Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spammer Robert Soloway was sentenced to 47 months, about 4 years, after pleading guilty to spamming and tax evasion. Spammer Eddie Davidson escaped from federal prison, killed himself and his wife (or faked his death really well, or was murdered cleverly by enraged spamee.)

Article (rant?) claims Obama if elected would be the 6th black president. But that's not counting both Harrisons.
I found the article poorly sourced and unreliable, but interesting. Claims include Jefferson, Lincoln, Coolidge, Harding, Jackson.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scientists find quick method to make magnets link.

Saw on the news McCain had a mole removed from his face.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama jokes. Got any?

“A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, ‘I was expecting the farmer’s daughter.’ Barack Obama replies, ‘She’s not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American dream.’ ”

Very interesting story about some black killers in Baltimore who have learned the Patriot lingo and are asserting wacky defenses. So far they've managed to disrupt things enough that the death penalty aspect of their case has been dropped. Next they will be given tenure at one of the country's prestigious crime colleges, so that they can spread the gospel further.
I know this Patriot stuff probably better than most lawyers. There's a lot of craziness in it, but there is also a core of truth.
One of the key ideas of the patriot movement, for example, is that the second amendment protects an individual right, and the government since Roosevelt has been one giant conspiracy to deny that right.
In Heller, the Supreme Court agreed.

One thing I like to do with the patriot mumbo-jumbo is test it.
The Patriots say that a gold fringe on the flag is significant,and shows that the system is bogus, a sham. OK, that's testable. Object to a flag with a gold fringe and ask for a regular red white and blue flag. If the objection is granted and a regular flag provided, problem solved. However, if the officials suddenly get all huffy and insist on their gold-fringed flag, something up.
The Patriots say that the use of ALL CAPS for party's names in court cases has some mystical significance. OK< that's testable. File papers using regular caps. Problem solved. But if the officials suddenly get all huffy and insist on using ALL CAPS, something's up.
I suspect that there are other testable points that could be found. Hmm, I just looked at the caption for the case I'm working on, Stewart v Marion County.
D's lawyers in their filings change it to STEWART v MARION COUNTY. Bad habit, or is something up?

Hiatus for a week while I'm offline in Colorado.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to remember what the 12th Amendment was, so I had to look it up. Oh of course, it changed the way of electing the vice-president. No wonder we don't get a lot of cases on it.
Trivia question: have there ever been any cases on it? (I recall come controversy over whether Cheney was from Texas, but I'm not sure it reached the courts.)
OK, the case was Jones v Bush, dismissed by trial court, one line affirmance at 5th circuit, cert denied.

This story is copyright AP, and appears here only as a mirror in case of slashdot effect. First spotted at drudge.com, the drudge retort.
July 14, 2008, 2:29PM
NASA engineers work on alternative moon rocket

(story redacted - somebody else got it posted to slashdot before I did.
Instead, I give you this,
http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/solardish/dish01.shtml the light sharpener
which somebody posted in response to a slashdot comment I made in a thread about what to do with old satellite dishes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is not the house of my ancestors. But it's a stone house in New Paltz New York, 90 miles due north from New York City, near Poughkeepsie, where there are houses my ancestors, on both my mother and father's side, once lived in around 1680-1720, that are still standing. New Paltz means new Palitinate, the papal state where my Huguenot French protestant ancestors took refuge during the purges, and then moved on to Holland and then America. This came up in conversation with my mother yesterday. My mother was born in France, before another set of purges, but of American parents. When my father was slowly dying of the cancer, he continued his research into the family history and they took a trip up there and found a number of useful birth and marriage records. If I remembered better what Mom said yesterday, I might have been able to find a picture of the exact house.

Historical Heritage
New Paltz has boasted that it has the "oldest street in America with the original houses." New Paltz is the location where refugees of the Netherlands settled in the latter years of the 1600s. At that time the Netherlands were under Spanish rule which was Catholic, and these refugees were Calvinist Protestants. In an earlier century their forebearers had fled from persecution of Protestants in France where they were called Huguenots. From the Netherlands they came to settle here in New Paltz overlooking the Wallkill River. Their houses still stand, and tours are offered regularly throughout the summer. Another great web site providing information on the houses, the original families and their descendants is maintained by the Huguenot Historical Society.

Site says mom is, or more likely I was, wrong and the palitinate is not the Papal state, but was one of the principalities in what is now Germany, governed by an Elector. This is when Huguenots found that their part of France has become part of Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium?) as borders shifted during wars, and they were called Walloons, meaning foreigners by the Dutch. The Elector, and some of the intrigue of that period, is discussed in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Obviously this is one of those threads that can just keep getting longer indefinitely, so I'll stop here.
I had just felt like googling New Paltz, which I figured was probably in Connecticut.

Happy bastile day. Oh, so that's why tcm was playing a french revolution costume drama.

Here's one of my neighbors writing in the Huffington Post.

Welcome to my neighborhood: Indianapolis cop gets shot

I've been blogging repeatedly about the overwhelming crime problem plaguing my neighborhood. When our car was stolen or when the windows were smashed out, I knew crime was up all across the city. After having a gun stuck in my face on the front porch and a homicide a block away just a few weeks ago, I started altering my usual routine. He lives about a mile east of me, same zip code. I have similar problems with crime around here. Usually the cops are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My tenant/roommate Joell Palmer was a plaintiff in a landmark case about drug roadblocks. This group, public.resource.org, takes government records and puts them online, so when they put up Judge Posner's opinion in Joell's case my google search agent brought it to my attention.

Umbrella v watermelon: who will win? Wired. (spoiler: I personally suspect that the fight was rigged, and watermelon should get a rematch.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tiger Woods on track to be billionaire before 40, first sports billionaire.
Possibly world's cutest billionaire-apparent.
Some, not me, would say the Olsen twins.

They said if they let gays marry, it could lead to all sorts of variations from the norm. Learned today that McCain got his second marriage license march 6 1980, and was divorced from first wife april 2 1980. That was big of him. The ceremony wasn't till later, so I'm not sure the legal status.
So let's see.
Scandal, one of the Keating five.
McCain: 5"7. O'Bama's taller.
McCain: brainwashed by communists in Hanoi.
O'Bama: brainwashed by communists at Harvard.
O'Bama: married, two kids.
McCain: married, two wives.
O'Bama: wants to appoint activist judges.
Mccain: wants to appoint conservative judges, like the ones who found parts of McCain-Feingold unconstitutional in McConnell v FEC, WRTL v FEC, and Davis v FEC.
McCain: honest about social security.
O'Bama: honest about teenage cocaine use.
Questions for McCain: ever eaten dog?
Questions for O'Bama: ever sold drugs?
O'Bama: too close to Farrakan
McCain: too close to Bush.
Nader: still unsafe at any speed.
Bob Barr: Meh, I'd probably vote for him if they let me vote, which they don't. Not too excited.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Word for the day: octopied.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Welcome slashdot hordes. 750 hits so far. It's a reminder that that normally this blog doesn't get enough hits to be worth doing, except as a useful portal for myself.
The story as I submitted it, then the published version.

Yahoo's Ecogeek blog is reporting that Mercedes will phase out petroleum-powered cars by 2015. Vehicles will be powered by electricity, biodiesel, or hybrid flying monkeys. Story is unconfirmed but well sourced. Mirror of TFA.
Mercedes to cut petroleum out of lineup by 2015
In less than 7 years, Mercedes-Benz plans to ditch petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. Focusing on electric, fuel cell, and biofuels, the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency.

arbitraryaardvark sends in a story a couple of weeks back in Yahoo's Ecogeek blog, reporting that Mercedes will phase out petroleum-powered cars by 2015 (mirror), and notes: "Story is unconfirmed but well sourced." "In less than 7 years, Mercedes-Benz plans to ditch petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. Focusing on electric, fuel cell, and biofuels, the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency."

Monday, July 07, 2008

This is here as a mirror of the story in case site gets slashdotted; I'm submitting story to slashdot.
Yahoo's Ecogeek blog reports:
Mercedes to cut petroleum out of lineup by 2015
By Jaymi Heimbuch Posted Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:23am PDT

In less than 7 years, Mercedes-Benz plans to ditch petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. Focusing on electric, fuel cell, and biofuels, the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency.
The German car company has a few new power-trains in the line-up that European journalists have had the opportunity to test out in the Mercedes facility in Spain. One vehicle includes the F700, powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines HCCI and spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as diesel, but minus the expensive after-treatment systems.
The engine can run on biofuels, and we may have a purchasable vehicle by 2010 -- a year that seems to be popular for the debut of a lot of new alternative fuel car models, making ’08 and ’09 simply thumb-twiddling years for consumers. I don’t know, maybe car makers just like the roundness of “2010.” The company’s next big step will be to launch a Smart electric car which is fuel and emission-free.
Anyway, Mercedes is looking into electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Not only are models in development, but we’ve also seen the company making steps towards its zero-petroleum goal right now, from better cabs in London to li-ion battery improvements. The company also has about 100 Smart electric cars undergoing testing in London, with that favorite 2010 year as the projected market release date.
Mercedes is making serious investments, already putting nearly $4 million into the pot of its long-term Sustainable Mobility plan, with another nearly $1.4 billion going in before 2014.
While car models may be able to run on fuels other than gasoline or diesel, we have yet to find a method of both running and producing vehicles entirely free of fossil fuels. I’m waiting for a mainstream car line that creates renewable fuel, clean-running vehicles out of 100% recycled materials in plants run on 100% renewable, clean power … Will I even be alive when that finally happens? I have hope.

Via AutoblogGreen, The Sun; Photo Leonid Mamchenkov

Home Depot now recycles burned-out compact fluorescents, so most of America is within ten miles of a bulb drop off site. This is some of the infrastructure that was missing when I first heard about these from Hunter Lovins in 1980.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Word for the day: ochazuke.
Also lunch for the day. I'm a weeaboo.

basically is rice with tea poured over it, served with different savory toppings.
What you need:
Japanese style rice
Green tea (though I have discovered that black tea works really well too)
Suggested toppings:
roasted nori strips
strips of okoge; the thin crust of burned rice that forms on the inside of the traditional cast iron pot used to boil rice in Japan.
umeboshi, pickled Japanese plum
tsukemono, Japanese pickles; daikon, turnips, cucumber etc.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ditko's Mr A. I was introduced to Mr. A in the 80s by Forrest Bennet, who also turned me on to extropiansm and Robin Hansen.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A new twist on medical tourism: outsourcing your pregnancy to India. Slate video with that annoying Prudie person, but the idea's an interesting one.

Elsewhere, the Volokh conspiracy, one of the tentacles of the Constitution in Exile octopi, continues to deny that there's any CIE movement, so I respond in the comments:
Of course there's a constitution in exile movement. Some of the visible parts of the iceberg include Cato, IJ, Gun Owners of America, the Federalist Society, FIJA, ACLF.
The goals of the movement include rehabilitating the First Amendment re campaign finance and hands off the internet, the 2nd, to undo the myth of Miller, the 3rd, the 4th, in terms of unwarranted suspicionless administrative searches such as at airports, and restoring property rights as a basis for 4th A standing, the 5th, to incorporate Richard Epstein's view of takings, the 6th, any counsel you want, the 7th, fully informed juries, the 8th, stop jailing drug users, the Ninth, the 10th, the 13th, the P&I clause of the 14th, and so forth. Linda Greenhouse recently called Heller Scalia's most important case ever, and Heller is an obvious touchdown for the CIE movement, as to who brung it, its method, its result, and its followup. Heller will embolden the movement to try to bring other parts of the text of the constitution back from exile. One of the fallouts from Heller is that litigants and judges may take a whole new look at state rtkba provisions, and start to give them more teeth.

Me to the ABA
You folks write:

The United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts have consistently interpreted this Amendment only as a prohibition against Federal interference with State militia and not as a guarantee of an individual's right to keep or carry firearms.
9 Supreme Court justices disagreed with you in Heller. All the justices found the 2nd protects an individual right, although they split 5-4 on the scope of the right. You might want to update your page.
This position by the ABA is why I resigned from the ABA 14 years ago. I've sworn to uphold the constitution, and by denying that the 2nd A means what it means, the ABA has been working to subvert the constitution, so it wouldn't have been ethical for me to send them any dues.
Cordially, Robbin Stewart.

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