Monday, December 26, 2005

2006 book 1:
A symphony in the brain. jim robbins, 2000.
It's about neurofeedback, the current buzzword for biofeedback.
In the 70s, biofeedback was a new-agey fad related to a growing understanding that body and mind are interrelated.
The book, by a guy who's esssentially a journalist, spends a lot of time on whether this is solid science or quackery.
So it's not just a fascinating story about an emerging technology, it's also a case study in Kuhn's thesis, in 'structure of scientific revolutions' of how new ideas fight to get recognized by science.
EKG EEG machines show electrical activity in the brain, which has some correlation with functioning.
I've had those a couple of times.
Biofeedback, to oversimplify, lets people monitor their brainwaves and learn to control them.
Certain ranges of wavelengths have been labeled alpha, beta, delta theta, for arbitrary historical reasons.
Epilepsy, autism, ADD, and depression are some of the conditions which, at least anecdotally, respond to neorofeedback.
It can also be used by athletes and business execs, anybody who is interested in enhancing performance.
The book is a gift from a family member who, like me, has issues with depression, and who is considering the treatment.
The book is consistent with what wikipedia [insert link] has to say on the topic, going through a history of chance discoveries, a handful of dedicated pioneers, resistance from the establishment, lack of funding to do the scientific studies that might lead to more funding.
The book does a good job of telling the story.
In the 70s, people like me faced hostility from the drug-and-cut medical mainstream, and have had a long fight to enter the mainstream. In the 80s I studied buddhist and western psych at naropa institute, and in the 90s worked for jigme norbu, a tibetan exile leader, so i'm not completely unfamiliar with the worldview of these folks.
Also in the 80s I worked at the U of Delaware's office of computer-based instruction, which grew out of a project by a music professor to use computers to do ear training, into a visonary plan to deliver education by computer, which turned out to be just too far ahead of its time. The internet now is doing most, but far less than all, of what we were trying to build back then.
I don't expect to do anything anytime soon with the ideas this book has presented.
But there's potential there. If I were king, or had the ear of the bill & melinda gates foundation, I'd want to look into having someone like Dean Kamen redesign the neurofeedback machines, to be smaller, cheaper, and suitable for mass production in asia, to take this out of the niche markets and make it generally available, something like the ipod.
That would be a step in the general direction of nanotech, when we'll have little robots monitoring our bodies' chemical and electrical systems for vastly improved health. Lots of depresssed people just give up, either killing themselves or becoming resigned to getting by without really thriving. Which is where I've been for about 5 years, just treading water and hanging on. Because I believe that the singularity is coming, via Moore's law, and a flood of new technlogies will be able to fix things that we've taken for granted as unfixable - death, taxes, lost socks.
I'd also combine it with my ideas on medical tourism. If there are already sound economic reasons to get your major medical work done in India instead of Indiana, this could be combined with some of these new technologies, and some tradition Indian techniques of meditation, diet, etc.
Am I going to rush out and sign up for neurofeedback sessions, or order a build-it-yourself kit? Well, no. Am I going to start tracking this interesting development, now that I understand it better? Yes.
Would I recommend the book? Yes. Is it free online? No. There is a yahoo group, and a google search for neurofeedback leads to wikipedia which has a links to sites by people in the industry. From what little followup I've done so far, the industry is in about the same state it was in 2000 - a few more demonstration pilot projects, but no dramatic breakthrough.

2006 Book 2:
Boss Rule: portraits in city politics. Salter, 1935.
best part was profiles of a handful of gop precinct leaders in philly, part of the vare machine.

Book 3: The CIA and congress: the untold story from Truman to Kennedy
- haven't read it yet, xmas gift from mom.

Book 4: F. Lee Bailey, the defense never rests. War stories - I like this kind of book. Written when he's 37, and summing up a lifetime career. I'm 45 and wondering what I'll do when I grow up. So far it's both a fun read and a serious exploration of injustic in the american courts.

Animal cruelty suit on behalf of reindeer
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

On the day before Christmas Eve, President Bush was sued by reindeer.
via instapundit.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Book 50. The Last Juror. John Grisham. 2004.
Bought it yesterday around dark, finished it this morning.
Tonight I'll wrap it and tomorrow give it to my brother. So I bettter post-date this entry. - Didn't work as planned,
has tomorrow's date but still posted.
It's a grisham: southern town, blood feuds, a stranger comes and starts writing down old untold secrets, and bullets fly.

Where I grew up, it's suburbs for a mile, with a few patches of woods. To the south, there's the railroad tracks and the highway and what's now a park and used to be the estate of one of the duponts, and then the high school. To the north, there's a strip mall shopping center. What used to be Cutsler's pharmacy is a comic book shop. We'd go to Cutsler's after church and buy the New York Times and I'd get a nickle to spend on candy - lemonheads or a reeses cup usually. A grocery store - it was an A&P,, then an Acme, now it's something else, a superfresh or some such - I was able to get brown rice sushi there yesterday, so it's gotten a little more upscale, and the restaurant, Culinaria, culinaria, is suitably yuppy - I keep meaning to mention it to Waddling Thunder . The kosher bakery that was my first job is gone, and the local bagel shop is a starbucks now, although there's a real coffee shop too, brew ha ha. Anyway, my mom now lives in a condo around the corner, and there's a used book store.
It's where I bought the Neil Gaiman William Gibson that was book #2 this year. I stopped in to start my christmas shopping and as usual went home with an armload, mostly johnson/kennedy stuff, but I wasn't going to pass up a Grisham.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

blogger entry 12/23/05
book 49: The Missing Manuals: OSX Tiger.
Last year at xmas I noticed my mom’s Mac was ten years old, and I lobbied for a new one. She now has the new one. She’s a mac person - ease of use and money no object - i’m a windows person - windows boxes are cheap enough and break easily so that people throw them away or sell them cheap.
So I haven’t been able to answer her mac questions till now - I refer those to my brother, who is a unix person.
She’s semi-blind, and not a computer-phile. Between us, there’s a lot we don’t know about the mac.
The ‘missing manuals’ series is pretty good. It’s like computers for dummies, but bettter. I’d rather wait for the movie - a book of text is an awkward method, tells instead of shows. But it’s way better than nothing.
This is the book that didn’t come with my windows box.
It’s taken me years of trial and error to be able to get a handle on the little bits and pieces of windows that I do know. It’s my old old complaint with computers - a world of secret handshakes, where you have to have someone show you the basic stuff - like I showed mom where the trash can icon is - like I said, she’s nearly blind - and she showed me where the on button is.
I still don’t know what the function keys do, or what the various shift-control-letter type shortcuts do, but I can make my computer jump through most of the hoops I care about. The mac has a big grab bag of new tricks, and if one were to go through the book chapter by chapter one could learn enough to get started.
I havent been through the whole book yet, and don’t really plan to, but I gettting deep enough into it to learn how the book presents the material, and then I can flip to the stuff I want to learn more about. Like, why isn’t it spellchecking?
I want to learn about the how to expand the screen so mom can see it options, which are in there, chapter 14, just havent worked through it yet.
The book would be better if it was open source - it’s proprietary, so I can’t include a copy or link with this blurb. But the book’s site, missingmanuals.com? has a lot of potentially useful other stuff.
We live in a world of eternal september - there’s always a flood of cluelesss newbies coming online, and even us old dogs can learn new tricks when, as here, somebody takes the time to reveal the secrets of the secret handshakes.
I composed this offfline, since mom has the $10/mo 15 hrs week dialup plan.
It took a few tries to drag this entry into the blogger window - cut and paste didn't work as expected,, and i'll need to clean up those odd characters where apostrophes should go.
Thatt's exactly why it's handy to have a book like this around.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

48: The Rise of the Feudal Monarchies, Sidney Painter, 1951.
My handman pointed out this one from one of my many boxes of books, and it fit with the history of england i just read.
Vassals and viscounts and such.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

To do when I get around to it: add a few more links to the blog roll. Like, via slashdot, it turns out Tim Berners-Lee has a blog.

Provocative article from msnbc "let's see some ID please". Via Howard.
The chip he describes is real; the plans to more widely implement the chip are real, the rest of the article is FUD, Gates' trademarked brand of fear uncertainty and doubt.

He's saying they'll be selling computers that need a pin number number or a fingerprint scan each time they are started.
I'm going to go way out on a limb here and say these computers, the broken ones, will cost either more, less, or the same as regular computers.
Only an idiot would buy a broken computer for the same price as one that works.
Of course, catering to idiots can be a viable business model, see AOL.
Anonymity is one of the cornerstones that make the net possible - see e.g. Pataki v ALA, EFF of GA v Miller, Reno v ACLU. A computer terminal that lacks anonymity is not fully functional.
I remember the 90s when people were shelling out $2K for broken computers that didn't even have modems.
But it won't become a net standard, unless it has some advantage that overcomes the brokenness.
The technology may actually have useful applications - I mean useful to someone like John Gilmore who isn't about to waive their right to privacy. The article doesn't do a good job of letting us know where to look for such useful applications.
I assume this will go the way of the clipper chip - we've been here before.
I wonder if this has hit slashdot yet.
My niche in the internet world is that I litigate about anonymity, while other people work on the hardware and software. I've accomplished little so far, and they've done much, but I still feel it's the best use of my limited talents. Maybe I should have stuck with that economics tutorial software we were working on back in the 80s - that would have been important - but they'd hired me as a programmer instead of designer, and I've never hidden my inability to code my way out of a wet paper bag. I'm not a great lawyer, or even a good lawyer, but I'm better at than most engineers, and there's work to be done. I'll keep doing it, and maybe someday make it pay, by colecting legal fees or finding a paying client.
http://www.windley.com has some thoughts - scroll down.

Book 47: Outline for Review, English History. Newton & Treat, 1907, 1921, American Book Company.
It's a sort of cliff notes, old enough to be in the public domain. About 5 inches high and 64 pages, it's concise, about a page per king or prime minister. Aside from 9th grade "world cultures western" I've never had a proper English history course, just picked up a bit here and there. The law schools I went to weren't really big on the history and evolution of law. Lots of "here is the rule", not lots of "where did the rule come from?" So this booklet, short enough to read in a day, dense enough I'm ready to read it again, was helpful.
Off to see if, unlikely, it's online.
A few tidbits: what we think of as the new deal, and a reaction to the depression, was enacted in England circa 1906-1910. The Russian and Mexican revolutions were in progress, and the US was making stides to rationalize and regulate the economy. That was the key mistake it's been taking us a century to begin to undo.
I havent found it online; you can buy it here $4.
If somebody's motivated to scan it and put it online, I'll mail it to them.

Friday, December 16, 2005

More asymetrical info: jane galt on the starbucks tax:
All of us, including me, fritter away money on things we don't need. The trick is to figure out which ones aren't worth the money. If someone proposed to give you a Starbucks a day for a year if you paid them $1400 on January 1st, would you take them up on this offer? I don't know about you, but that's a sizeable chunk of my income to be devoting to coffee. Yet that's what you'll spend over a year's time, if you buy an average Starbucks once a day, at least in my neck of the woods. Might be better to drink the free stuff your office provides, and put that money into something that really will give you joy, like a trip to Italy, or a great restaurant meal, or making yourself more financially secure.
I generally agree with her. I seem to recall some discussions of the value of student loans to buy starbucks, but it's unlikely I'll go dig up the links. Besides, I'd like to get to the bar before midnight. But I don't mind that I stayed here an hour longer than planned, absorbing asymetrical information.

Amusing posts at asymetrical info via instapundit. Cheap easy healthy dishes, for a loose enough definition of cheap easy and healthy.

10. Puppy. Blender. Free, depending on the puppy.
9. Ramen. Oriental flavor, or chile if you can find it. 10 cents, 2 packages, various condiments. $0.20. Egg optional.
8. Ramen again.
7. 1 # lentils. $0.50 walmart, 0.79 elsewhere. 1# rice. 0.30. Boil lentils.
Carl's method was high heat, big pot, splash of vinegar, an onion, lots of curry, pepper to taste. Serve over rice. Serves 6. ~$1.
6. Breakfast: oatmeal. 24 oz walmart $1? Put dry oatmeal in a bowl - do not cook. Add cinnamon to taste, add enough fluid (cup or so) that it's not too dry. Raisins, blueberries, other fruit, in season. Maybe a splash of brown sugar, maybe not. Fluid = water, fruit juice, or cold coffee. If you have your own cow or goat, use milk, otherwise don't. Serve with instant coffee. $0.15. Options: toast. Use storebrand white bread or day old better bread. Spread with margerine or apple butter or lightly with peanut butter.
5. Oriental kale. The purple looking stuff, used for landscaping at banks and lawyer's offices. Harvest after dark. NC. Dice, toss in slow cooker with spices, serve over rice.
Related: in the spring, plant greens. Collard and turnip mostly, maybe some mustard or kale. Cook as above. Seeds $0.10 at local dollar store. Can be frozen for later use, harvest in fall and throughout season.
4. Miso soup. If you have seaweed and tofu and a drop of toasted sesame oil, great. If you don't, great. Last time I made this I had some stock and veggie bullion and leftovers that were bland by themselves, but fine with the miso. $0.07, based on a $3 tub of miso probably good for 50 soups.
3. Beans. Any kind. Heat water to boiling, set aside for an hour, change water, cook a few hours. Add spices to taste. $1, serves 8.
2. Stirfried veggies. Refer to tsel dey recipe if you don't know how to stirfry veggies. Price can vary widely. Cabbage, carrots, onion, potato, cheap. Baby bok choy, snow peas, lotus root, saffron, will run a little more. Let's call it $1.
1. Leftovers: combine any leftover ramen, kale, miso, beans, rice, lentils, veggies.

That's $5 for a week's eats. That isn't precisely my diet, but it's a good approximation. Add in a few $0.10 limes, a $0.50 can of guava juice, some drink mix. Add in 3 gin and tonics, $5 + tips, monday nights.
I should have thought of this earlier, earlier than december - going to go plug in the crock pot. When I got out the crock pot, I went thru that cabinet, which stuff to pack, throw away now, throw away later. So I'm eating raisin bran with soy milk and threw out a bunch of plastic drink mix jars. And by "threw out" I mean set aside for recycling. I'm a pack rat, but that's a viable ecological niche. Hiding, storing stuff for winter, likes shiny objects...

This from the comments was worth keeping:
How to get rich:

1. Have a good income.
2. Live frugally.
3. Invest in index funds.
4. Retire early, as a rich person.

Not sure why this plan is irksome.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Buffy. 400 miles across kuiper belt object 440 year year.
Your mission: calculate ion drive ergs needed to move to venus orbit.

A better ion drive?
and this.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

46: T A T S U Y A I S H I D A

Eugene McCarthy, Richard Prior dead. Redstate.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Book 45 or so: Act of Treason. Mark North 1991.

It took me months to read this book, putting the "50 books in a year" meme at risk. It took me months to get around to buying it after I first spotted it at the used book store that is my main source for Kennediana (Word? spelling?) It was in my car the day I broke down 20 miles from home and thought the transmission was shot and I would have to walk away from the car - the book was too heavy to carry 20 miles - but in the end I got the car fixed, and the book sat around half read while I read some other stuff, and then I've been really working on it for a month or two, but havent been spending as much time reading as usual.

I have a half-baked plan of wanting to write a book (or wiki) on LJB, so for a couple of years I've been reading LBJ stuff which has veered into Kennedy stuff. I'm far less interested in how he was killed than in how he lived, and this is one of those books that is focused on the assassination. I need to do a survey of that microindustry - there are some 500 JFK books; I wonder how well they sell and whether the authors make money.

Act of Treason reads more like journalism than like the typical academic history professor style. Short words, lots of facts, organized in calendar format, he walks us through 1961 and 1962 and 1963. These are years I don't remember well, being a toddler at the time. His thesis is that Kennedy was offed by the mob - the Enemy Within - in order to stop RFK's war on the mob's control of unions, and that J Edgar Hoover knew it was coming and deliberately failed to stop it. His focus is on Carlos Marcello, the mob boss of New Orleans, as the guy who organized the hit. New Orleans was the birthplace of the American branch of the mob, so its boss has clout, although the council of bosses had authorized the contract.

Is North right? Ask me 500 books from now. Does he tell a tale that hangs together and document it meticulously? I'd say yes. Is it an edge-of-the-seat can't-put-it-down thriller? Well, no. It runs 671 pages cover to cover, and while the writing is competent it's not gripping. I spotted a couple of minor proofreading errors and a minor misplaced factoid, but in general it's consistent with the other books I've read, and is a possible version. It has a plausible role for LBJ - not in on the killing, but preferable to both Hoover and the mob, and with a lot of skeltons of his own he wanted to cover up. RFK wanted to cover up that his brother and father were in bed with the mob. Hoover wanted to cover up that he had advance warning of the hit. Johnson wanted to cover up Bobby Baker, Billie Sol Estes, and the finances of LBJ, Inc., so between them we got the Warren commission and a coverup that spawned an industry. I began this quest a few years after reading Caro's Master of the Senate, which is book 3 of 4 in the life of LBJ. I now have more pieces of that puzzle, but am still looking forward eagerly to the next chapter - caro spends 10 years researching each volume, so my goal is to have my own book ready before his is out. His'll be better, but I want mine to be sooner. I'm more or less on track. The way I write is to spend a long time doing research, gradually start making notes, and then throw it together at the 11th hour once there's a deadline that can't be put off. I'm well into the research stage by now. It's an awkward topic - too much interest in the JFK killing is the hallmark signature of the nut, and I've been failrly frank here that one reason I have time to blog and read books about LBJ is I've had emotional problems that are keeping me from caring enough to bother having a regular job. We're still not sure how Will Baude manages to run three blogs, trot the globe, read this blog and dozens of others, read 50 solid books and innumerable articles, and oh yeah, attend Yale Law. But I remember law school as a time like that -lots of meetings, lots of books, lots of activism, a couple of jobs, and oh yeah law school, but all in much easier than working in the warehouse had been. I do not currently have that level of energy. Today's been productive just because I washed the dishes, swept the floor, blogged a little, got some but not other tiems on the to do list done. Reading books about kennedy, or about law, is a bit like what I've been doing today - killing roaches. The more on reads, or kills, the more one notices others, just out of reach. Anyway, it's midnight, and I'm off to the usual black mass - a guy just called me and said he's ready return my snake, so we'll go do a bit of snake handling. (We're fixing some plumbing.) To do: count and see if that's really book 45. My wish list for book 50: Volokh on getting your law review article published. That'd be a good goal for 2006 - submit a law review article somewhere.
Oh, the number? That's Lee Harvey Oswald's ssn. Write it down, or memorize it, for those times when somebody asks you your ssn without a privacy act statement. At your own risk, and not to be construed as legal advice.

Rick Sincere's blog is pretty good, except it loads slowly and the left side is taken up by grey boxes that obscure the text. Might just be a firefox thing.

I have a policy of never clicking on popup ads. I haven't downloaded the most recent firefox update which has an improved popup blocker. Popup pitches are invariably scams, and even if they weren't, I wouldn't do business with someone who unlawfully accessed my computer in that way. So this link is at best just for entertainment purposes. Free money from Canada! It's mostly a pitch for the guy's investment newsletter, but I'm unfamilar with this particular scam, and maybe I'll come back to it later to dig a little deeper.

(double posted - i've lost the change date field, and wanted to move this up to indicate updates)
Wired on Gilmore hearing. Declan.
update: a blogger was there, and understands the issues,
and also reports deborah daniels' case was dropped - the bus passenger in Denver. I don't know Ed Hasbrook, the practical nomad, but those are great links. other press: New York Sun Bay Area Argus San Diego Tribune Papersplease getting millions of hits.

More on Davis: the Washington Times reports they stopped the bus and wouldn't let her board the new bus - in my book, that's a seizure.
Mrs. Davis and her supporters boarded a Federal Center-bound bus yesterday and planned to refuse to show identification, forcing federal officers to cite or ignore them. Instead, officers stopped their bus before it reached the center and allowed passengers who showed identification to board a second bus. Rocky Mountain News: http://rockymountainnews.com
Federal officials said the Davis case was closed because of a technicality involving a problem with a sign at the Federal Center at the time Davis was ticketed. The sign was supposed to inform people that their IDs would be checked. The "technicality" is the right to notice as part of due process under the 14th amendment and Colorado constitution. "A New Rosa Parks"

Friday, December 09, 2005

Another CT land use battle.
This time it's a town planning and zoning board refusing a permit for a Buddhist temple. The legal issues include Ray-lupia. I'm not in a position to evaluate claims by neighbors about noise and traffic. Sounds NIMBY, but I don't like noisy neighbors either.

Uphill in the snow:
Steve Jobs talks about being a college dropout.
Found while looking for "eco-terrorism" info.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
He also lists getting fired and getting cancer as high points in his life.
My college years were similar, although it was a shorter walk to the Hare Krishna, and I didn't become a multimillionaire. There was one semester when my dad was paying my tuition with IBM options as a tax avoision method, and one of my roommates - five of us in a 1 bedroom at $50/mo each - mentioned that Apple was going public. I thought about suggesting it to Dad, but we weren't communicating very well and I didn't. That was in an era when we were busy porting our mainframe programs over to the Apple II. The educational software we were developing never caught on on a stand-alone basis; what made it work on the mainframe was email, discussion groups, chat, user-friendly interface, notesfiles that were basicly early blogs. The move to microcomputers killed that off and it was years before I had those tools again, but I had seen the future.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The economy is proving as unstoppable as the 11-0 Indianapolis Colts. Link. That's how I like to get my sports news... as bad analogies in the econ reporting.
That my hometown team is unbeaten isn't news. That the US economy is growing at 3.7% annually isn't exactly news either. If (1.037) to the twentieth = about 2.0, that's a doubling time of 20 years, 2025. Some argue that outdated figures like GNP and GDP only capture about half the real growth.
And then I can construct, before deconstructing, an argument that shows a doubling of income in 20 years would be transformative. Because income goes to necessities first and then a mix of disposable income and savings. If the cost of meeting today's necessities stays about the same, the doubled income goes rushing into disposable income (and savings.) Say currently Joe Consumer makes 30,000, spends 10K to live, saves 3k, has 17 in disposable income. Double to 60K, - ten K to live, 6k in savings, 44K in disposable income an increase of .. ok, only a bit more than 2 1/2 times...
Anyway, fixed expenses aren't really fixed. Most of the world lives on $4000/yr or less.Anything over $4000/yr is disposable income. The rent, the car payment, all disposable options. It's a mater of lifestyle choices. So in 2025 our sense of what is a necessity will have changed. Jet insurance. Designer pets. Who knows.
But anyway, the point is that if the economy is doubling in 20 years, and people are living 77 years, that's about 4 doublings. That's a 16-fold increase per lifetime.
The future does not look like the past. That's if the rate stays a measly 3.7 percent annually. Instead, growth feeds on growth, as the singularity grows nearer.
The use of USA growth is one of the weakness of this analysis, which hasn't even touched on tax policy. That's because the economy treats taxes as damage, and routes around it, as with my earlier post on medical tourism. Where it can, taxation will grow to suck up all growth in the economy. That was the 20th century - huge growth in the world economy, much of which went to empower governments. The trends - russia, china, usa - tend to be about disempowering governments, and the UN isn't yet a serious threat of the global state leviathan.
Reporting from Indianapolis, I'm an arbitrary aardvark, and that was sports highlights.

Extreme case:
As feared but expected, the 3rd circuit has reversed the dismissal of obscenity charges against Extreme video, Lizzie Borden and Bob Black's online porn factory outlet.
So it'll be back on track towards a jury trial outside pittsburgh.
In other 3rd circuit news, Mumia will get to have an appeal of his conviction for an '82 cop killing.

Medical tourism solves healthcare crisis.
A bone-marrow transplant costs $2.5 million in the United States. Doctors in India can do it for $26,000. Heart-bypass surgery runs $60,000 to $150,000 in this country. In Asia, the average cost is $10,000.
Slate via wired.
So there's a business niche: medical travel agent.
Update: here's an example. Don, Ho! The Hawaiian singer flew to Thailand to get his own stem cells injected into his heart by the King's doctor. That's my first link to a pajamas media story - they dress in pajamas a lot in thailand I guess. I expect to see this story at BoingBoing soon.

Wired on Gilmore hearing. Declan.
update: a blogger was there, and understands the issues,
and also reports deborah daniels' case was dropped - the bus passenger in Denver. I don't know Ed Hasbrook, the practical nomad, but those are great links. other press: New York Sun Bay Area Argus San Diego Tribune Papersplease getting millions of hits.

More on Davis: the Washington Times reports they stopped the bus and wouldn't let her board the new bus - in my book, that's a seizure.
Mrs. Davis and her supporters boarded a Federal Center-bound bus yesterday and planned to refuse to show identification, forcing federal officers to cite or ignore them. Instead, officers stopped their bus before it reached the center and allowed passengers who showed identification to board a second bus. Rocky Mountain News: http://rockymountainnews.com
Federal officials said the Davis case was closed because of a technicality involving a problem with a sign at the Federal Center at the time Davis was ticketed. The sign was supposed to inform people that their IDs would be checked. The "technicality" is the right to notice as part of due process under the 14th amendment and Colorado constitution. "A New Rosa Parks"

Cartoon to Reality

Cousteau calls the sub Troy, in reference to the mythical Trojan horse statue, in which Greek soldiers were spirited into the fortress kingdom of Troy.

The idea for the sub, though, came from a slightly more prosaic source.

Troy was inspired by Tintin, a Belgian comic book character. On the cover of the book Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge (published in English as Red Rackham's Treasure), Tintin and his dog are pictured in a metal, shark-shaped submarine.

"I was 7 when I first saw the cartoon book, first read it," Cousteau, now 38, said. "It stuck in my mind as a great idea. We went one step further; I didn't want something rigid that didn't move."

I think as more people get the time and money to explore the things they wanted to do when they were 7, we'll see a great flowering of creativity.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Air Marshall eats, shoots, kills, alarming passenger.
link to follow.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

$400 later, I have a new transmission, so I went for a test drive, and a caught a bit on NPR about bussing. It covered the 50 year anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott, talked about how these days the bus systems don't work so well, then segwayed into Deborah Davis in Denver. It even mentioned, not by name, Gilmore v Gonzales, the do-you-need-ID-to-fly case by EFF cofounder John Gilmore. Gilmore is one of my brother's hippie-freak liberty-loving code-writing buddies who was the number 3 guy at Sun Computers before cashing out, and among other thing created the .alt newsgroups on usenet.

"ACLU Defends Bus Rider Who Refused to Show ID": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."

In related news, the case of Gilmore v. Gonzales will be argued this upcoming Thursday before a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Senior Circuit Judges Stephen Trott and Thomas G. Nelson and Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez. Ironically, the Ninth Circuit's oral argument calendar on which the case is listed repeatedly advises that "Picture ID required to enter Courthouse." Perhaps Gilmore's attempt to attend the oral argument of his appeal will give rise to a new lawsuit.

Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman

Howard reports:
"An Anonymous Blogger Preps for the Big Time; Lively Postings and Plum Press Mentions Have Delivered Fans, Detractors and Opportunity": The ABA Journal eReport provides an article that begins, "What began as a Web log to help deal with insomnia and stay in touch with friends now gets more than 100 comments a day. Its author, a 27-year-old New York City law firm associate, fears the notoriety could get her fired."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Anonymity is precious. Exposing who she is could get her fired, and affect her safety. Thousands of other bloggers and writers are in her shoes. We live in a world in which a couple dozen journalists a year get killed, others to go to prisons or gulags, others merely lose their jobs. The Supreme Court has five times upheld the right to anonymous speech, echoing a dozen lower court opinions. But the FEC and a number of state elction authorities try to treat anonymity as a crime. I'm trying to get this to stop. Little success so far. It's become a hot button issue for me. There are dozens of other violations of my civil liberties that irk me. I've just chosen to focus on this one for now, and when I win this one I'll move on to something else, if I live that long.
My late friend Peter McWilliams said, you can do anything you want, but you can't do everything you want.

Her blog is actually pretty good. Email evasion provides a greater challenge due to the baneful Blackberry, that incessant tether which I'm convinced is paving a path to the next logical step, a Total Recall-esque homing device inserted into the nostrils of each associate during first year orientation.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Howard: And in Gates v. Towery, the court examines whether named plaintiffs who have initiated a federal civil rights class action challenging the procedures that Chicago uses for dealing with property that the police seize when making custodial arrests remain viable class representatives after the City provides them with checks for the money that was taken from them upon their arrests and the promise of interest.

Elton Gates was arrested in Chicago and the police kept the $113 he had on him. He sued as a class action. Easterbrook authors an opinion about whether his suit is moot is they offer him his $113 back - it isn't.
CCA has a fund of $20 million that use to pay off lawsuits - they get sued a lot, soem frivolous, some serious. My friend Ray at the Ohio ACLU collected 1.9 million from them to settle some of the claims in Cutter v Wilkinson, CCA won some of the other claims in the Supreme Court last year.
Yale protest. Link.

I have mixed feelings about a federal judge banning Jesus from the statehouse. The decision seems to be in line with a supreme court ruling, so that's good. It raises issues of federalism and separation of powers. It's perplexing that the ICLU felt it needed to involve the federal courts - are the legislature's own processes, and Indiana's own courts, so broken? They may well be. I've had no success at litigating constitutional issues in Indiana's courts, either under the state or federal constitution. Well, that an overstatement - I did get a series of environmental cases dropped by insisting on my right to a jury trial.
The Indiana constitution is much stronger than the federal constitution about separating church and state. But there's not much of any mechanism to enforce the state constitution. Officials take, and then ignore, an oath to uphold it. The attorney general spends tax dollars to attack the state constitution, representing the legislature each time unconstitutional statutes are challenged. There is no private attorney general provision to fund constitutional litigation - the usual way to go about this is to find a federal claim to piggyback a 1983 action onto. But if you have a federal claim anyway, you also have access to the federal courts, and the ICLU, which has more experience winning these cases, finds that a less hostile forum.
Howard collects some coverage.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?