Thursday, January 31, 2013

electric surfboard

I blogged last week about Brewington v. State (Ind. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2013), a decision that strikes me as unconstitutional, and as quite perilous for Indiana speakers: It basically concludes that harshly and repeatedly criticizing someone — in that case, a judge, but the law applies equally to legislators, other government officials, business leaders, and others — for that person’s past conduct can be criminally prosecuted. To oversimplify slightly,
1. Dan Brewington, a disgruntled child custody litigant in Indiana, posted various harsh criticisms of the judge who awarded custody to Brewington’s wife. (Brewington also did some other things, quite possibly criminal things, which the opinion discusses, but I will set them aside for now; the brief will not focus on them.)
2. He was then prosecuted for the crime of “intimidation,” which consists (in relevant part) of “communicat[ing] a threat to another person” — including a threat to expose the person “to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule” — “with the intent ... that the other person be placed in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act.”
3. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, apparently viewing the sequence of harsh criticisms as a continuing threat of further such criticisms, and thus a threat to expose the judge “to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule” in retaliation for the judge’s past decisions.
4. In the process, the court stressed that the law covers expressions of opinion and even communication of true statements about what someone did. And since the statute isn’t limited to speech about judges (there’s a heightened punishment for such speech, but the law itself covers speech about any person), it would apply to similar harsh criticisms of legislators, business figures, university officials, and so on.
This, I think, clearly violates the First Amendment, and has a potentially very broad sweep. The law doesn’t just apply to disgruntled litigants, but also to newspaper columnists, advocacy groups, politicians, and so on. Under the court’s view, someone who goes to a legislator and says, “If you vote for this law [or because you voted for this law], we’re going to condemn you so much that your constituents will have contempt for you and vote you out of office,” would be guilty of a crime. Indeed, someone who simply keeps writing harshly critical columns about a legislator’s actions, without an overt threat of future such columns, would be guilty of a crime, too.
Brewington is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to review the case, and I think it would be helpful to have a friend-of-the-court brief supporting that request, and alerting the Indiana Supreme Court to the broader danger posed by the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion. (The Indiana Supreme Court is entitled to pick and choose which Court of Appeals cases it reviews, so the brief needs to persuade the Indiana Supreme Court to focus its time on attention on this case.) I plan to write that brief, pro bono.
I already have local counsel lined up, and a likely amicus organization, but I’d like to have more, including those generally seen as on the left, those generally seen as on the right, and those generally seen as elsewhere. If you’re involved with an Indiana advocacy, political, or journalist group — or for that matter an Indiana newspaper, whether professional or student-run — and you think the organization might be interested in joining, please let me know.

                                          # minors

I got a story picked up by boingboing, although they didn't credit me for the link.

It's further developments to an earlier story.
Waitress posts a funny/mean customer receipt from Applebees in St; Louis to reddit.
Customer calls Applebees, gets waitress fired.
Customer apologizes. Waitress still fired.
The next step will be to see if we can get Applebees to unfire her.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

today's best headline.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What Einstein told his cook (amazon)
Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plow through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labeling. A finalist for both the James Beard Foundation and IACP Awards for best food reference, What Einstein Told His Cook engages cooks and chemists alike.
Not something i'm reading, just looks interesting. From a discussion of whether you should rinse potatoes before putting them in soup.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Friday, January 25, 2013

We once stayed up all night on Facebook, naked, liking each other from head to toe. 
Jerermy at HuffPo, used to write for Crescat.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


stuff i'm reading:
zoe's tale, john scalzi
my booky wook, russell brand
fishbait, doorkeeper of the house, fishbait miller.
pure goldwater, barry goldwater as edited by his son.
audacity of hope, obama.
partway through each of these.


founded in 1928 by Hugo Gernsback, this was the pulp that defined the genre, and now it's back anbd free and online.

The student who changed the constitution: the story of the 27th amendment, at Volokh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Just look at this shattered banana that gives mute testimony of the bitter cold of Norway."
i got this, from reddit, posted to boingboing. I wonder why I got 500 hits today, this blog wasn't linked at boingboing, I don't think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

in which wil gets a superbowl commercial

Monday, January 14, 2013

Was at dunkin donuts the other day and heard a rockabilly version of danny boy. might be this one.
(conway twitty on youtube, 1957.)
house of pain rap version 
bing crosby 1945
Danny Bhoy comedian discusses bagpipes.
unfortunately i don't know how to edit and mix videos.
Danny died I guess it's two years ago now. obit.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

mitch hedberg album on youtube

Friday, January 11, 2013

1 "Pilot" Rob Bowman Chris Carter & Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz March 4, 2001 1AEB79 13.23[4]
While The Lone Gunmen are thwarted in their attempt to steal a computer chip by Yves Adele Harlow, John Fitzgerald Byers receives news of his father's death and the trio soon find themselves unravelling a government conspiracy in which an attempt to fly a commercial aircraft into the Twin Towers which would result in increased arms sales for the United States

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

POLL: Congress less popular than root canals, cockroaches...

Monday, January 07, 2013


Friday, January 04, 2013

what i'm reading:
Project Gutenberg's My Memories of Eighty Years, by Chauncey M. Depew
I'm reading this, as a book, in the local history room of the Buffalo Library. 
When I was a kid three of the boys in my patrol had a divorced father who owned and planned to restore a paddlewheel riverboat, the Chauncy M. Depew.
In later years I learned that Depew had been a senator or some such, so I'm happy to have a book about him in his own words. I'll finish reading it another time. My roommate is next to me, pouring over maps of Hamburger NY, where we stayed in a hotel last night. Though disputed, it has some claim to be the home of the hamburger, from an 1885 county fair where they ran out of sausages so they improvised. He's a geneology bug and infected me a few years ago. He's also the reason my house has bedbugs, but that's another story. I haven't heard yet if my offer on the new house has been formally accepted yet.
I'm not finding much on google about the riverboat. It might be from around 1912 and may have cruised the Hudson. There's some info in a box at the New York Historical Society.
"Series I. Steamboat Lines contains photographs, prints, clippings, and ephemera dating
                     1886-1951. The material is arranged alphabetically by subject with the majority relating
                     to the Hudson River Day Line, although the Central Hudson Line and the Hudson River
                     Navigation Company are also represented. Individual steamers highlighted include:
                     the Benjamin B. Odell; the Homer Ramsdell; the Newburgh; the Fort Orange; the Albany;
                     the Alexander Hamilton; the Chauncey M. Depew; the DeWitt Clinton; the Hendrick Hudson;
                     the Mary Powell; the New York; the Peter Stuyvesant; the Robert Fulton; the Washington
                     ship plans and blueprints are of particular interest in the documentation of individual
                     steamers. Those represented include: the Albany; the Alexander Hamilton; the Clermont;
                     the Chauncey Depew; the Dewitt Clinton; the Hendrick Hudson; the Mary Powell; the
                     New York; the Robert Fulton; and the Washington Irving.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

list of 3 letter words
list of 4 letter words
more like this.

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