Thursday, June 30, 2005

Surely when the church burns, the government may put out the fire. That has a nice ring to it. I hope will "crazy ninja nihilist" baude is successful in his game plan of clerking for kozinski (sp) and thomas.

update: well, i didn't claim it was original; he quotes well.
Meanwhile the Arbitrary Aardvark gives me credit for turning the phrase, "Surely when the church burns, the government may put out the fire." Alas, others turned it first. See David Currie, Inflating The Nation's Power, 71 U Chi. L. Rev. 1229 (2004) ("If the church burns, the state may put out the fire."); see also Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 61 (1947) (Jackson, J., dissenting) ("Certainly the fire department must not stand idly by while the church burns.")
The court has at times used various metaphors about burning vilages, roast pigs, and suchlike. I forget where I read yesterday that Everson was brought by KKK supporters.
I don't actually know the case, just that it is one of the landmark church/state cases cited in e.g. the 10 commandments cases.

Crescat-alanch: we welcome the 9 people who have clicked here today from crescat. That makes over 500 unique hits this month.

In the wake of the 10 commandments ruling, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wants to put a 10 commandments monument on the statehouse lawn, reports the indy star, even though there's a court injunction saying he can't. Via Howard.

I call governor Daniels' attention to the Indiana Bill of Rights:
Sec. 4. No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.

Monday, June 27, 2005

chiefly rants, fairly wild exaggeration, or invective
This blog doesn't have a motto, but that would do.

My thoughts on the 10 commandments and other cases are in comic form here
http://www.stripcreator.com/comics/arbi/294167 and here.

But i did want to pass along one cute response. I was on the phone with my ex,
who pointed out that the 10 commandments are foreign law, and scaliaphile conservatives hate it when the court pays attention to foreign law...

ok here's another, from scotusblog/discussions, a mr berg:
As my fellow religious-liberty scholar and litigator Carl Esbeck wrote recently in Liberty magazine: "That government has no authority to speak on inherently religious matters is a venerable First Amendment rule designed to protect organized religion-religion that should not want its prayers composed and symbols appropriated by Caesar. A religion that does not resist the state co-opting its sacred objects is flirting dangerously with becoming a civil religion, that is, a subordinate and uncritical booster of American nationalism." [not the libertarian liberty, but some religious magazine]
Esbeck was my con law prof at mizzou, competent. He's a christian-right type, and we often disagree, but I think he gets it right here. Trivia: Under the missouri court plan, when there is a vacancy on the state supreme court, a nonpartisan commission suggests thee names, and the governor picks one, and later they run for retention.
The commission usually names whoever the governor actually wants, some other distinguished lawyer, and carl esbeck. He's the susan lucci of the missouri supreme court.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Word for the day department:
Heated discussion at websnark over whether yiff belongs in the OED.

Monkey Law, one of my fave strips, is updating again after a year hiatus,
and is now under a creative commons license, so I can steal it. Here's a sample.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Crescat watch department: scooped again.
I wrote, at volokh
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
link* ap story
Bashman points to this article suggesting the legislature may intervene, to answer my own question above.
6.25.2005 2:36am

Baude wrote
A man, a plan
Will Baude at 12:00 AM*
Meanwhile, there is a movement afoot [same story]in Connecticut to step up to the plate where the Court has failed to.

* Dear blogger.com: there is no "12:00 AM".
and now my link is broken.

Result: 36. Your score isn't an achievement, it just is.
Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives. You scored 32 or above. Do with that what you will.

update: shrink says I definately don't have asperger's or ADD.

I got up at 9 and the barn crew had already left.
update: spent wednesday at the barn. got a lot done, also stepped on a nail.
Darn you beefsteak! I spent all day at okcupid.com. It's a free singles-matching type place, but sucks you in to all these tests. Last week I spent way too much money being tested for aspergers, so it's nice to know there was something free online after all...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Crescat watch department:
2 3? out of three ain't bad:
Baude nails the flag burning topic, and then has a weird post about milk as freedom.
Raffi drove up to the wonderful Baldwin's Book Barn (somewhere near westchester i think) but it was closed, but coming home he discovered sweet potato pie.
For those unfamilar with it, sweet potato pie is one of the engines of black capitalism. It's in there with the Black Star line, numbers rackets, Madam Walker's hair creams, and the incense the muslims sell on street corners. But not vegan.
The bookateria on east cleveland ave in NewArk is no Baldwin's but is worth a visit, and he could check out the food coop and the Deer Park Tavern. No idea if the food there is any good these days but it's a landmark, like the hotel dupont or the arden guild hall.
Update: Baude responds (proving again this blog has at least one known reader)
Hello-- the right to consume products you enjoy regardless of whether
other people think that they are harmful to you, and regardless of
whether other people think that still other people need to be
protected from themselves-- is this not freedom?

Oh! Point taken.
I will concede a) that i'm not very well informed about the class action lawsuits, not having followed the links, and b) those of us in the movement to keep coffee safe and legal need all the allies we can get.

Ok, the ad is very mockable. milkmakesmesick.org But I grew up in strange situation - privileged for sure, but without freedom. Including the freedom to choose my diet. In my family, drinking a quart of milk a day was mandatory. And milk makes me sick.

Kelo fallout:
Howard points to this article which suggests the CT legislature may act to curtail eminent domian abuse. I'd wondered, in a comment at volokh, if that might happen.

Word for the day dept:
1 entry found for onymous.
adj : bearing a name; "articles in magazines are usually onymous" [ant: anonymous]
via volokh.

That's no moon department:
Saw a link in a slashdot article about proposed russian mission to phobos, to
It's a bit over my head, but seems to combine the power of rockets with the efficency of ion drive, so could be a new kind of spacecraft motor. It's um, just vaporware right now, still has a few kinks to work out. But that's why slashdot's fun - routine mentions of breathtaking new technologies.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

indian recipe blog turban tip instapundit.

DEA at it again:
In the news conferences following Gonzales v Raich, the feds promised they weren't planning to hassle californians who use medical marijuana. They were lying.

A slashdot comment on Kelo by mh2:
Six state supreme courts have ruled that private economic development projects are a considered public use: Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and (obviously) Connecticut. Eight states have ruled that private economic development is not considered public use: Arkansas,Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, South Carolina, and Washington.

Kelo, Poletown, and state constitutions.
I woke up late today and found the supreme court had issued half the remaining cases.
Of these, the most important seems to be Kelo v New London, in which, 5-4, the court upheld government taking peoples houses from them.
It is in some senses a defeat for IJ, the institute for justice. More of a defeat than it would have been if the dissenters had picked up one more vote, e.g. Kennedy. Still, there is a sense in which IJ wins by losing.
They have focuses public attention on the problem, shown New London to be a gang of theives, and shown that the court is very deeply split over the issue. Few local governments want their cases going to the supreme court and not knowing how they will turn out. IJ here makes some progress in their war on emmenient domain abuse.
(Kennedy joined Stevens' majority, but also concurred with reservations.)

Kelo stands for the idea that the federal constitution, just barely, does not stand in the way of the government taking your stuff. In our system of dual sovereignity, property is protected (or not) by the taking clauses of both the federal and state constitutions. Where this goes now is that IJ and its ilk can now argue Kelo type cases in 50 state courts, under state constitutions.
Poletown was a Michigan case under the Michigan constitution, which upheld GM taking over a residential suburb in Flint. Years later and quite recently,the Michigan Supreme Court reversed Poletown, and held that the Michigan constitution prohibits the taking of private property for private use - what Kelo just failed to do.
IJ, over the past couple years, has started forming a few state chapters and looking closely at state constitutions.
This session IJ won the wine shipment case, and barely lost Kelo. Gonzales v Raich, which held that the commerce clause is a police power with no limits, was also of interest to IJ, although not its case. For anybody less than Goldstein Howe, having two cases in a one Supreme Court term is pretty impressive. IJ has limited resources, and maybe it will concentrate them on getting more cases to the federal supreme court. But Kelo gives a strong push to IJ tactic of looking also to state constitutions. They won't win everywhere. But I could see 5 or 10 states reigning in emminent domain abuse by recourse to their own state consitutions.
This is what I wanted to do with state "free and equal elections" clauses. But I am both inept as a lawyer, and haven't been able to find backers to support that kind of an effort - it's more than I can do alone.

In other cases, the court made it easier to transfer class actions to federal courts, to avoid runaway juries. It's a victory for the tort reform crowd. Ah, that's several consolidated cases in one ruling.
In a case from Michigan, a poor defendant gets a free lawyer for his appeal - Gideon's trumpet sounds again.
I'm more comfortable with the result than with the reasoning - Thomas's dissent says he waived his right to counsel on appeal, and there's something to that.

The other case was a rare example of not restricting habeus corpus. The court correctly distinguished between a 60b motion, and a successive habeus motion, for determining when a one-year statute of limitations starts to run. A 60b motion is a motion to correct error in a ruling. I've only filed one, and lost. (I think i'm wrong about what a 60b motion is, and I haven't read the case..look elsewhere for informed commentary. Short version - the court got a habeus case right this time. One more habeus deadline case to be decided next week.)

update a few minutes later: as is often the case, Will Baude is way ahead of me. he wrote this morning:

Kelo loses. More to come....

More: My Land Use professor hoped for and predicted exactly what happened-- an opinion about the virtues of private property, deference, and a call to litigants to turn to the states for litigation, not the federal government.

Reading these cases took me all afternoon. Worthwhile, but it reminds me of other stuff I should be doing instead. Reading the commentary that will follow will take even another block of time, and I havent even glanced at slashdot or my usual timewasting sites. I swept the hall and stairs, and might not get much else done today. It's hot.

First observations about the commentary: there's a sense that Kelo did better than expected. Similar reactions to Gonzalez v Raich - we lost, but could have lost a lot worse. My fingers remain crossed about Van Orden, the more colorful of the two ten commandments cases.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Instapundit ponders the ancient conundrum, Dick York or Dick Sargent?

I have to go with the straight one, York. he just looks more Darrenish.

House votes to repeal pesky first amendment. Or something like that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Indy Star sued by editor.

This Volokh story was the first I'd heard.
Indystar article here.
Editor and Publisher story. Followup story. Richard Prince column. The lawsuit.
I no longer subscribe to the star - I can just click on the link there to the left,
and the dead tree versions were piling up on the porch. But it's my current hometown newspaper, and James Patterson was a valuable asset to its editorial page. The paper was swallowed up a few years ago by Gannettcorp, aka McPaper. This is 4th town I've lived in where McPaper has come in, bought up, and dumbed down. More colored pie charts, fewer local features, fewer editorial voices that are not the product of j-school PC-ness. The paper, which had been owned by the Pulliam family most known for Dan Quayle, had been explicitly Christian and fairly conservative.
Patterson wasn't afraid to go get a prisoner's side of a story, where most papers just reprint press releases from the government and big businesses. He's been around and knows the score. His perspective, as a black mainstream/conservative christian, wasn't always one I agreed with, but always respected. He's been fired, and has sued. He's alleging the new McManagement is hostile to him both as a black man and as a christian.
Pundits are concerned that this raises free speech issues.
Patterson's personal philosophy is a job-related criteria for an editorial page writer. I don't think there's any contention the paper discriminates in its delivery or printing or advertizing staff.
Maybe I should take him to lunch some day. I have a story for him, and he's the kind of guy who would have the guts to print it. I think he'll find work somewhere.
I just think I might end up having something to say here, as somebody who is a Patterson reader who also follows Volokh.
Patterson's lawyer is John Price. I haven't met Price, but he does fun stuff.
He's best-known around here for running for the GOP senate nomination, and his anti-seat-belt lawsuit. Given Price's style, this could just be a gimmick, a publicity stunt without much substance. He and Patterson may even be playing a devious game here, making fun of the anti-discrimination statutes by using them.

Now that I've read the complaint, I would say there might be something to the retaliation claim.
Let's look at that from the newspaper's perspective. Hypothetical: A coworker libels you by filing false and frivolous allegations of racial, religious and age discrimination. His silly charges are dismissed as unfounded. He has an attitude about it, and is hard to work with. Eventually, you fire him, just so things can get back to normal and people can get some work done. Now you've broken the law, by retaliation.

As a legal claim for damages, the lawsuit mostly looks pretty weak. As a chance to tell his story to the world, and expose crass behavior by the big corporation destroying a hometown newspaper, the lawsuit is a powerful and compelling bit of journalism. I can relate to that. I'm a failed journalist and failed lawyer.
The two professions have a lot of overlap. Www.ij.org is an example of a group that does a good job of using lawsuit to tell stories, and by getting the stories heard, to right injustice.

Sometimes the strategy of a lawsuit gets in the way of the litigants' desire to tell their stories. In "the good mother" Liam Neeson, the first thing I saw him in, played a boyfriend who takes a shower with the girlfriend's young daughter.
In the context of a nasty divorce proceeding, this gets turned into an allegation of sexual misconduct. Neeson's character wants to take the stand to explain what happened, but doesn't get to. This, I think, drives the drama of the movie. It's more of a 'chick flick' than most of Neeson's work, but it really made me notice him as an actor.

Here, it doesn't much matter is Patterson wins or loses. He's a powerful story teller, and has used the lawsuit to tell his story. Indy is a one-newspaper town, and this won't kill Gannett. But it'll be the hot topic at next year's Indianapolis conference of the Society for Black Journalists. It'll raise the price Gannett has to pay next time they move in, buy out, and dumb down a local paper. I'm going to be moving to Milwaukee soon, where the lead paper of several is the Sentinal. If the pattern holds, it'll be a Gannett publication by 2010.

This isn't really a story about discrimination against christians. It is a story about diversity in the journalism ecosystem. Gannett is like the zebra mussell, muscling in and replacing local ecosystems in the great lakes. The starling is replacing hundreds of kinds of songbirds that have lost their central american wintering habitat. McDonalds replaced the local diner.

These days, journalism has moved to the blogosphere, an untamed tropical rainforest of flourishing ecological diversity. Freedom of the press is a wonderful thing, for the man who owns one.

Woohoo! I now have donor status at my stripcreator webcomic, which means new tools, more eyeballs. Granted, stripcreator is a far cry from real webcomix, but it's a big step in that direction for somebody who can't even doodle.

Another source for free books online:

Disclosure kills department:

Blogger and lawprof Brian Leiter is trying to out Juan Non-Volokh.
This is beyond bad form.
Mr. Leiter is behaving badly. When someone is behaving badly, one thing that sometimes works is to call their mother and ask her to get them to behave. I do not, yet,
have Mrs. Leiter's phone number. Anyone have it? gtbear at gmail com
I have opened a file on Mr. Leiter and welcome any such information - home phone, ssn, credit card numbers, next door neighbor's home phone. I will publish such infomation as updates to this post, unless or until Mr. Leiter retracts his threat against Mr. (Ms?) Non-Volokh.
Meanwhile, his dean's info is here:
Please give the dean a call and ask him to ask Mr. Leiter to behave.
placeholder for texas attorney disciplinary commission info.
Reward (currently $5) for information leading to the identity of any informant who outs Non-Volokh.
Brian Leiter Unlisted Phone Number & Address Found. - Information was found in Public Records, including Age, Address History and Family Members.
December 08, 2003
For those of you who have the pleasure of being ignorant of his existence, Brian Leiter is a law and philosophy professor at the University of Texas at Austin. I first became aware of him via this post from the Volokh Conspiracy. I'm quite egotistical, as anyone who knows me will tell you, but even my rather large ego was unprepared for the amount of self-worship that is found over at Leiter's blog--self-worship that is coupled with an unremittingly nasty and despicable attitude towards anyone who might disagree with him.

I have emailed this post to Mr. Leiter. Hilarity to ensue?

I want to make it clear I have no dog in this hunt. Apparently there is a history of bickering between leiter and sundry volokians. I am not a leiter reader, and mostly know of him because Heidi Bond likes his blog, and I like hers. I only know Non-volokh through his conspiracy posts. I am taking no position on the argument, or bickering, they are having. My response is to Mr. Leiter's taking this out of the blogosphere and trying to set up Non-Volokh to be attacked in the real world.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Placeholder for a post on javanomics.
Would you sell your soul to the devil for three years of good coffee? 70% of law students do. Via Baude.

F1 scandal. There was a race here in indy recently, and some kind of controversy about michelan tires. I'm so out of it I didn't know about it till my mother, from South Philly burbs, mentioned it. If I ever get the details, I might update this blurb.

Possible Supreme court review, notes Scotusblog:
In the access to library case, Kane, Warden, v. Espitia (04-1538), the Ninth Circuit ruled that a poor defendant who is acting as his own lawyer has a constitutional right to access to a law library during trial -- a decision it conceded conflicts with rulings by several other circuit courts. It ordered the retrial of a man convicted of carjacking who chose to represent himself after dismissing his public defender.
The response in each case is due July 20.

This interests me because I noticed in my town jailed defendants acting as their own lawyer are denied access to the law library, and if they do manage to get to it, the library is woefully inadequate (e.g. no supreme court reporters or other basic stuff.)

Cory Doctorow's third book is out.

Four drinks later (my limit is three) I feel like expounding slightly. I'm not done with it, but well into it. This is a much tamer book than the one about the lobsters.
There's a main character, call him Mr. A. (obscure ditko reference.)
In part of the novel, he's a grownup, living in next week's toronto, installing anarcho-punk muni wifi. (obscure tom jennings reference.*) I like, and relate to, that part. Another fraction of the novel is about when he's a kid, and that's unpleasantly weirder, because he's not human.

The ad hoc muni wifi part seems very doable, and i think that's part of the point of the book. Cory's day job is with EFF. Makes me want to run out and buy a wireless router, ask my boyfriend how to set it up so it runs a neighborhood wifi without compromising my security. His first, and better, novel, down and out in the magic kingdom, www.craphound.com/down, sold out 6 editions and 1/2 million free downloads.
Assuming similar numbers, and that no more than 1% of readers run out and set up free community wifi, it could have an impact on the current hot policy topic of should municipalities get into the wifi gig. Now i will go pass out so i can get up real early to pick up roommate from jail. Not the CCA gulag jail, but one one county over.
She did 40 days, public intox with complications.
Finished Someone, 7 pm tuesday. Maybe that was book 33. I've lost track.

29 Lenny Bruce.
30 Andrew Young.
31 The one with the lobsters.
32 The Deal.
33 Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves town. Right, 33.

Six decisions, two grants of cert. These are what scotusblog rightly calls second-tier cases, no major new constitutional landmarks. Mostly statutory interpretation questions about deadlines and such.

I'm a Thomas fan, and except for Eldred not a Breyer fan. But I think Breyer has the better argument, in Graham County v US, as to whether the statute of limitations ('s-o-l' in lawyer-speak) is the 6 year federal term the statute says it is, or is anywhere from 90 days to 3 years depending on state law.
Graham County Soil and Water district was caught, or accused, of ripping off the feds.
Qui Tam actions are suits filed by individuals who catch somebody ripping off the feds, so that the individual gets a share, and legal fees and such. It has a whistleblower protection clause so that the stool pigeon is protected against retaliation. The case is about how long that protection runs. A secretary turned in the S&W district, was harrased to the point she quit, and sued more than 3 years, but less than 6, later. Thomas says she is S O L. He retroactively changes the rules to deny her justice, where she reasonably relied on the plain meaning of the federal statute.
Courts have to have rules to function. The rules though tend to get in the way of the underlying function of the court, if that is to do great justice. The 7th circuit, for example, is especially infamous for a multiplicity of unknowable hidden rules that interfere with being able to sue the bastards what have harmed you. The result is a bleak house where the transaction costs of litigation outweigh the retributive function, so everybody loses except the lawyers. In order to know why justice stevens concurred in this case, I have to go read the next case...
In the next case, there's a one year SOL that's already run by the time the rules allow him to file, so he's SOL...
In the case after that, they actually prevent an execution, 5-4, under Strickland ineffective counsel.

San Remo Hotel v San Franscisco is deeply disturbing at several levels, but it has a 4-person concurrence that offers hope.
It creates a procedural thicket making it hard to get taking claims heard anywhere.
On the merits, the hotel has a valid claim that the city stole their hotel and ransomed it back to them for $0.5 million, violating takings clause. Procedurally, 12 years later, they have yet to get a fair hearing on the merits in federal court.

The part I find most troubling is that the court treats a decision under the state constitution as resolving the federal claims. That is deeply wrong, and offends commity and federalism and dual sovereignity. All for now.

update 12 hours later: will baude at crescat has the best discussion of the case i've seen yet - partly because i haven't reviewed the literature. He makes the valid point that San Remo is not a second-tier case after all. It's the concurrence that makes it important.
update wednesday: a discussion in the comments to a post on scotusblog shed more light on the dual sovereignity issue. Richard Stamp argues that the court's opinion carefully limits itself to the question presented, and does not review the 9th circuit's glaring error on the issue preclusion issue. That makes sense to me.

Book 32 (i think?)
The Deal. Sabin Willet, 1996. On my front porch I have a box of books. Nice weather yesterday so I sat out there, picked up a book, just finished (434 pages.)
A Grishamesque legal thriller murder mystery kinda thing. It's a first novel by a big firm harvard lawyer about some big firm harvard lawyers. It's about the bust-up of a law firm. I wrote earlier about a bust-up. That's when the mob finds an established business with good credit and goodwill, and uses it to run a scam.
When the business is a big law firm, the scam can be pretty big.
(When the business is a government, the scam can be an empty social security lock-box.)
It's a game theory prisoner's dilemma question. Is -this- deal big enough to be worth cashing in all your reputation capital for, or should you stick around and wait for a better chance? While he's no Grisham, it was a good read, if you know something about Boston, law, and computer forensics, so it spoke to me.
I did nothing else this weekend. On Friday I closed a four parcels of a five-parcel deal with habitat for Humanity. On Sunday I had a nice talk with one of my mentors about the cover-your-ass letter I need to write to paper around a few irregularities at the closing. Lawyers are notorious deal killers, and I know enough about real estate law to notice there were a few technical problems, but not so big as to kill the deal.
The set up in The Deal is that somebody writes "thousand" instead of "million" on the mortgage for a skyscraper, and nobody notices till too late. Hilarity ensues.

Plan for the day:
check scotusblog, pick up dry cleaning, don't stay out at the club too late, big day tomorrow. roommate gets out of jail then all day at the doctor's office for some tests.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Is the chief really leaving? An inside the beltway source mentions
big decisions handed down from Mount Olympus, whether in the form of opinions or retirements. Adumbration?

sunday comic:

Friday, June 17, 2005

Space cadet, a heinlein novel, was the idea behind tom corbett space cadet, which probably led to star trek.
Have Spacesuit, will travel. 2nd in a series of heinlein stuff and links.
audio clips from the story.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

50 book thingy
Post-singularity fiction.
It's hard to know who to root for. The lobsters? The hypercat?
Stories like this take snow crash, deepness in the sky, the persistance of vision, et ilk, as conservative and tame. A woman, her parents, her cat, a man who is the son of another herself, as well as articially intellegent lawsuits and corporations, run amok when the aliens are discovered.
Amber dives inward, forks her identity, collects a complex bundle of her thoughts and memories, marshals them, offers Annette one end of an encryption tunnel, then stuffs the frozen mindstorm into her head. Annette sits still for approximately ten seconds, then shudders and whimpers quietly. "You must ask your father," she says, growing visibly agitated. "I must leave, now. I should not have known that! It is dynamite, you see. Political dynamite. I must return to my primary sister-identity and warn her."

"Your – wait!" Amber stands up as fast as her ill-coordinated body will let her, but Annette is moving fast, swarming up a translucent ladder in the air.

"Tell Manfred!" calls her aunt through the body of an ape: "Trust no one else!" She throws another packet of compressed, encrypted memories down the tunnel to Amber; then, a moment later, the orange skull touches the ceiling and dissolves, a liquid flow of dissociating utility foglets letting go of one another and dispersing into the greater mass of the building that spawned the fake ape.

5:11 pm the next day, finished. The cat wins, i think.
Portions of this book originally appeared in Asimov's SF Magazine as follows: "Lobsters" (June 2001), "Troubadour" (Oct/Nov 2001), "Tourist" (Feb 2002), "Halo" (June 2002), "Router" (Sept 2002), "Nightfall" (April 2003), "Curator" (Dec 2003), "Elector" (Oct/Nov 2004), "Survivor" (Dec 2004).

Meanwhile, while reading that online, I've about finished book 30, the Andrew Young bio. King's been shot, Young is elected to congress, beating Wyche Fowler.
Young reels off a list of anti-war activists mysteriously taken out - Thomas Merton, dies in Thailand in 1969, hairdryer thrown into a bathtub - Merton was bald.
Young thinks the FBI was behind James Earl Ray, knew about and didn't stop JFK's hit by New Orleans Mafia don Marcelo. Or I could be mixing this up with book 32, which I'm also reading, which is more explicit in saying Hoover took out JFK.

This fits the version of how LBJ got the Veep nomination - pressure from Hoover on JPK. Now book 32, by a Mark North, is intended to be marketed to conspiracy theorists, and might not be of much historical veracity - I'm only in the opening chapters.
Still, it's fun to pick up a book and try to sort out which diabolical plot I'm in the middle of, and what are the lobsters up to?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Howard points to these two:
No relation to How Appalling or Crescat Pretentia.
They seem to have the same layout, so may involve the same people.
Not sure I see the point, will read a little further.
Update: not the same people. one site is modeled on the other.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Good discussion at scotusblog nominations of why Rehnquist may not retire any time soon.

The barn raizing is going well at raccoon creek. As part of my strategy to get out of the ghetto, I've been meeting with this cohousing group which has some land in rural indiana. Land with a relocated barn is big step up from just land. I haven't actually gotten to either the land, or the site where the barn is now, yet.

Friday, June 10, 2005

#284 Deep down everyone's a Ferengi.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Israeli Air Force changed its name to the Israeli Air and Space Force in 2004, while the launch of its OFEQ-6 reconnaissance satellite failed in its third stage in September. South Korea announced the creation of an Air Force Space Command, sploid, which i'm about to add to the blog roll, reports 44 countries in space.
"There's been an increase in the number of times that people report incidents like, 'I had this weird thing happen where a bird attacked me,' " says Alicia Craig, director of the Bird Conservation Alliance in Indianapolis.

My blogfather Wil has had one of those midlife crises and is letting go of some of the things that are lower priorities... than online geek pr0n. So that's where he knows Seanbonner from.
OMG! J00 G0t W3b m@!L!!11 LOL!!1
TECHNOLOGY: OMG! J00 G0t W3b m@!L!!11 LOL!!1
TUESDAY JUNE 7 2005 12:00 PM

Heads roll at NASA. Oh, and Titan doesn't have an ocean.

No freakin' idea why my blogads today are pushing herbal tea.

Blogger burnout:
Wil Wheaton mentions he's been experiencing some blogger burnout and links to this
blog article about it. What I find interesting here is it's Wil citing Tony Peirce citing the Instapundit citing Tyler Cowan. I don't know who Tony is, and I'm guessing Wil doesn't know who Glenn and Tyler are.
I think my own blogger burnout is still in the future. I have two blogs, one I take seriously as a matter of profesional outreach, and this one for extraneous fun stuff that doesn't fit the other. This blog gets about 100 hits a week; the other gets none.
It some point I'll stop and wonder why I keep doing it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hot or not.

Clarence Thomas, alone but correct
Alex Tabarrok

Justice Thomas, dissenting:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

See my colleague David Bernstein's post at Volokh for more.

June 7, 2005 at 04:01 PM in Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Will Baude at National Review on Gonzales v Raich, says Howard.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'd never read Ann Althouse before, although she is frequently mentioned at Volokh and Instapundit. Like her already. Marilyn Monroe, Camile Palia, R. Crumb, Bob Geldorf,
and solid constitutional analysis. She's part of the panel scotusblog is putting together to discuss Raich.

Raich is in. 6-3, people lose. I'm off to read it. And Rossi loses this round in Washington State - it will go on to WA supreme court, but it looks like Gregoire the Usurper keeps her job.
As is often the case, Thomas here is both right and truest to the civil liberties set forth in the constitution. Why then is he so hated by the left? I don't know.
Thomas goes where I would, pointing out that federal regulation of homegrown medicine is neither necessary nor proper, and is not commerce, and is therefor not authorized by the constitution.
What the majority has done is to hand the feds a national police power. On remand,
plaintiffs at least get to litigate their due process and 10th A. claims - the case might not be over. Bu tit is a major setback for Reagan-era new federalism.
It will be interesting to see whether and how the Gubernator responds. There's a lot he could do, but probably won't.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

So yesterday i ran around doing things on my list - today has been the opposite.
No amount of coffee is helping. Read a few FEC comments on internet rulemaking, but apparently everyone working on that takes the weekend off so not much new.
Turned down an offer to sell my house for 80% of the asking price.
I took out the trash and colected the rent from my roommate, that was about it.
It's the beginning of the too hot season, during which I'm lethargic, as opposed to the too cold season, when i'm hibernating under the covers. Note to self - must.. plug in.. air..conditioner.. this year.

I started this post, i think, in order to do some short reviews of webcomics.
Alex - supposed to be very clever british satire. Today's punchline involved a toilet - I think I'll skip it.
Something positive - didn't do anything for me, aside from the ad for gossamer commons.
Is something positive where "accentuate negative" comes from? dunno.
VG Cats - I've liked a few strips of it before, none from this set. Maybe I'm not in the right frame of mind.
Increasingly I'm seeing this post as well-meant but pointless.
Sinfest was wonderful as always - i guess i'll go see if filthy lies has updated.
Meanwhile I've had my second slashdot posting rejection. Which is ok.
I forgot if you don't save a copy it's gone - it was a post about a pill which is supposed to block free radicals, and thus maybe extend life.
I forget its name, an herbal blend of green tea, milk thistle, turmeric, and a couple obscure plants.

wonkette has this pic of deep throat, 1958, utah.

Friday, June 03, 2005

*evil villianous laugh* (Score:3, Funny)
by Kesh (65890) Alter Relationship on Friday June 03, @07:41PM (#12719215)
"The BBC reports that 'scientists have extracted and decoded the DNA of a cave bear that died 40,000 years ago.' The sequencing technique could also work for Neanderthals.

Now, we just need to combine the two! Neanderthal bears!
... what?

I had no idea [Nick Danger]
Google and Yahoo!, now account for more advertising revenues than do the prime time schedules of the three traditional television networks - ABC, CBS, and NBC - combined
Posted at 06/03/2005 04:13:41 PM EST - #
me either. from red state.
that's a revolution.

Nature-nurture department:
While offhand this sounds silly, it's worth looking into further.
German 900-year breeding program creates genetic supermen, smarter than you.
Oh, and they're jewish.

I woke up needing webcomics.
Websnark's webcomic was ok, then I started in on his day comics list. I'm not a big Sore Thumbs fan, but they do get in some good injokes. Here's a guest spot with Walter,aka CSIcrazyhomelessguy played by Wil Wheaton. Mono mojo, Wil.

Redstate points to a story on Kerry.
"I went back and reread the New Testament the other day, and I've got news for you. Nowhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ is there any suggestion at all that you ought to take from the poor and give to the rich and leave children at risk," he [kerry] said to a loud round of applause.

That's impressive, to read the new testament in a day. I wonder which day, where he was at the time, how long it took him, what else he did that day.
Wasn't there something about Mary washes his feet with expensive oil, Judas says we could spend that money on the poor. I couldn't find it in a quick search.
I don't usually go in for the sort of partisanship redstate does, but they are doing good work in organizing the FEC comments due today.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Heidi Bond raves about candied mint.
I havent found a good recipe, but here's some mint info.
Mint is one of my fave herbs, and it's supposed to grow like kudzu,
but I can't get it to grow. I think I know where there's a patch nearby.
Maybe a midnight trip with a shovel.
I wrote out a list of 12 things to do today, but it doesn't seem like I'll get to any of them.
Hints on Mints

The true mints are zesty perennials of several characteristic flavors and scents that are notorious for their usually rampant growth. They often will climb out of their appointed beds and appear in other garden areas where they may be less than welcome. They spread by roots and runners and also are able to start rootless wherever the stems touch the ground. Label them well and plant them in containers or beds that have barriers. Regular stem and root pruning will help keep mints from spreading. Don't let this invasive habit keep you from growing the mints. They are among the most flavorful herbs. Lemonade, iced teas, and the famous mint Julep would be sad potions, indeed, without mint.

SPEARMINT (Mentha spicata) is probably the best known true mint. It has rich green leaves, grows two to three feet in height, and has spikes of pink flowers. It comes in both curly and plainleaved types. Some spearmints are stronger in flavor than others so you may wish to sample several before choosing one for your garden. In addition to being a flavorful garnish for cold drinks and hot teas, spearmint is the key to mint sauce.

PEPPERMINT (Mentha x piperata) has a sharp taste that is familiar to all. Its glossy leaves are darker than spearmint and have a ruddy cast. Peppermint grows to a height of about a foot and a half.

APPLE MINT (Mentha suaveolens) has rounded, woolly leaves with an apple scent. This mint has white flowers and reaches three feet in height. Apple mint makes delightful teas and is especially good for making candied mint leaves.

CURLY MINT (Mentha aquatica var. crispa) has a milder mint flavor and is noted for its small, curled, light green leaves.

ORANGE MINT (Mentha X piperata var. citrate), also called bergamot mint, is known for its large, dark green leaves with wavy edges and distinct citrus scent and flavor. This is a different plant from the bergamot that is also known as bee balm (Monarda didyma) which also has a citrus flavor and fragrance, but is not a mint. The use of the common name, bergamot, for these plants is due to their similarity to bergamot oil from the tropical orange bergamot tree (Citrus aurantium) which is the characteristic flavor of Earl Grey tea.

PINEAPPLE MINT is a pineapple- flavored cultivar of apple mint and has similar uses. It has attractive cream and green variegated leaves.

"Welcome to New Jersey. A horrible place to do business," reads the billboard message.
heh. Love it. I know that bridge too. Article.

Minimum wage:
In all, 17 states and the District of Columbia - covering 45% of the U.S. population - have set minimums above the federal rate of $5.15. That has helped cut the number of workers earning the minimum or less (for those earning tips) from 4.8 million in 1997 to 2 million last year, or 2.7% of hourly earners, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

As a matter of theory, Libertarians have always been against the minimum wage, because it hurts those at the bottom, in order to make liberals feel better.
But here's some empirical data, which suggests the harmful affects are worse than I thought.
In a country of 300 million, 2 million are getting the federal minimum wage.
About half of those 300 million live in states where the minimum is higher, so lets say the population in question is 200 million.
Half of those are in restaurants.
I suspect the restaurant numbers are wrong, by including employees who make decent money in tips. When I was a waiter, I made $10/hr, of which $3/hr was the paycheck and the rest was tips. So it's probably less than 2 million, but let's use that figure.
The federal minimum is $5.15/hr.
The liberal theory behind minimum wage is that there are n number of jobs, and greedy employers are taking advantage of the powerless to pay them less than they want. Something like that?
So there's some number of workers who would get $5/hr in a free market, but get $5.15 in the regulated economy. That extra 0.15 helps them pay social security, $0.75/hr,
and save up to pay sales taxes and property taxes and parking tickets, etc.

This does nothing for the worker who would get $3/hr in a free market, except to make his job illegal. The employer will either do without, or replace the $3/hr worker with a $5/hr worker. If it's the kind of business that can be moved to mexico or china, that'll happen. Nothing will make the employer pay $5.15 an hour to a $3/hr worker.
The factors that distinguish a $3/hr worker from a $5/hr worker include,
do they show up? on time? dressed? sober? Are they able to do useful work? Have they been at the job long enough to master the skills?
Given a choice between the $3/hr worker who comes in, if at all, naked, drunk,
this employee will be replaced with a $5/hr worker who comes on time, dressed and sober.
So minimum wage does nothing to help those who aren't worth close to the minimum already; the benefit is, let's say, at most $1/hr.
But since we are willing to assume the employer will pay more than an employee is worth on the market, isn't it also possible that there are some employees who will settle for $5.15 when they could make 5.30, or $6, somewhere else?
By interfering in the pricing process by which workers set their wages by choice of job, workers can fall into a learned helplessness. Still, they are free to leave, costs of exit are low. In contrast, it is illegal for the employer to pay less than $5.15.
So some, but not all, of the benefit to workers who get more than they would in the merket, is offset by other workers who could do better in the market, but are lulled into false consciousness by the law, and settle for less.
I'm using a lot of words here, and havent gotten to my main point yet.
Minor point I've been trying to establish is that for some of the 2 million there is some small benefit, although the benefit is less than the burden of taxation.
Meanwhile of the 200 million, there might be 20 million who don't have jobs at all,
or who work under the table in the black market informal economy. It might be 20 million or 40 million; I'll use 20.
Some are independently wealthy and wouldn't want a $5/hr job. Others though,
because they are too old, too young, too sick, too crazy, too gangster, don't speak english, etc etc, want to work but are not worth more than $4/hr on the market.
Now part of this is the liberals might not want all of them working -
they should be in retirement homes, schools, hospitals, prisons, at government expense.
But in at least some cases, the person is willing and able to work, wants to work, someone wants to hire them - at $4/hr. Or $3, or $2.
I'm suggesting, without data, that there are 2 million such people. I've been one of them. So my theory is that for every worker who receives a small net benefit from minimum wage, another potential worker is shut out of the formal economy.
And the harm of having no job, or of having one's job be illegal, is greater than the benefit of the extra 15 cents (or whatever) to the minimum wage worker.
One example: I worked in the gift shop at a gay bar for $5/hr, a few shifts a week, under the table. The rest of the time I worked on my law practice. The gift store job was an excuse to hang out at the bar without pressure to buy drinks - I was there for the social life. Was I an exploited worker?
Another example: I am mildly autistic. While I by now have a doctorate, I had the kind of education that doesn't produce any useful job skills - I can't repair a car, build a house, write code, etc. I had some rough years, as a long haired wierd kid with a bad attitude and tendency to run 15 minutes late, of not being able to find a job at all in the city I grew up in. I would have been happy to start at less than minimum at a job with advancement potential. And I was white and spoke english and was healthy - lots of other people face bigger challenges. I eventually was able to get work as a dishwasher and janitor, worked my way up to working in warehouses, finished school, failed as a lawyer, might go back to working in warehouses.
But during my hard core unemployable years, minimum wage was a real obstacle to my getting hired on anywhere I could move up the ladder.
And I thought this was just me, but the article with the numbers made me think this is more common than we realize.
I think the average voter is emotionally attached to the minimum wage for irrational reasons, and would vote irrationally in an intiative.
There's more I could say about this method of setting public policy, but this rant has gone on long enough.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

oh sith.

I have found that most of the traffic to my blog is from google, from people looking for things they won't find here. I also see that I need to go back and read this blog cover to cover someday. There's some weird stuff from the months before my last nervous breakdown, that seems a bit odd even to me.

On Blogger Since May 2002
Recent Posts 84
Avg Posts Per Week 9
Posts Written 1,286
Words Written 290,646 . is that a book yet?

got this in the mail - it's not spam, it's something i'm interested in, but don't know all the details about. i had known the shak 7 were on trial, but this says they were busted for running a website. i'd welcome more info.
Win Animal Rights
to daaa, dadiscussion, dat-members, debsian ...
More options May 31 (1 day ago)


Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Time: 8:30 AM Court Support Demo followed by an 11:00
AM Rally
Place: Federal Courthouse, 402 State St, Trenton, NJ

On May 26th, 2004, 7 activists were indicted and
arrested on "animal enterprise terrorism" charges.
Specifically, the activists are alleged to have
operated a website for the Stop Huntingdon Animal
Cruelty campaign (www.SHACAmerica.net). For this they
face an aggregate of 23 years in jail each and upwards
of $1,250,000.

This is what the "War on Terror" has become -
a war on the First Amendment!

This is a call to action for anyone who believes that
no one should be thrown in jail for expressing their
views, no matter how controversial or unpopular those
views may be. Attend this event to demonstrate that
activists of varied social justice and civil liberty
causes will stand together to defend free speech.
Make no mistake: this is a frightening step in the
Bush administration's path to "War on Domestic
Dissidence" - a path that will not end until we stop
The SHAC 7: Kevin Jonas, Jake Conroy, Lauren Gazzola,
Josh Harper, Darius Fullmer,
Andy Stepanian and John McGee. Please come support
****Please help these defendants and show your support
by dressing appropriately to attend court.****
Visit the SHAC 7 website at: http://www.shac7.com
(website will be updated shortly). While you are
there, sign up for the SHAC 7 support list to receive
up to date information on court support activities and
to find out what you can do to help. Subscribe at:

A slashdot post on austism led me to do a bit of surfing. I may or may not have asperger's.
The Eight Asperger Advantages
Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel! There are aspects of Asperger that you can use to your great advantage.
Your ability to focus on one objective over long periods of time without becoming distracted allows you to accomplish large and challenging tasks.
Your ability to find novel connections among multi-disciplinary facts and ideas allows you to create new, coherent, and meaningful insight that others would not have reached without you.

Your willingness to consider unpopular or unusual possibilities generates new options and opportunities and can pave the way for others.

Rather than being swayed by social convention, other's opinions, social pressure or fears, you can hold firm to your own purpose. Your unique ideas can thrive, despite naysayers.

Your ability to remember and process minute details without getting lost or overwhelmed gives you a distinct advantage when solving complex problems.

Your ability to utilize 3-dimensional visioning gives you a unique perspective when designing and creating solutions.

Your ability to recognize and speak the truth that is being "conveniently" ignored by others can be vital to the success of a project or endeavor.

Your ability to make logical and rational decisions and stick to your course of action without being swayed by impulse or emotional reactions allows you to navigate successfully through difficult situations without being pulled off-course.

Woohoo! Habitat for Haminity is buying three of my properties, and i'm donating a couple more, so i'll be able to pay down my credit card or pay the rent for the rest of the year. This call was the first confirmation the deal went through.

Never did find out what catallarchy means, although I surfed through a dozen blogs and read some very interesting stuff about Robin Hansen. It's noon, maybe I'll get up, have coffee, take a walk.

Some Mars news from nasa.

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