That said, to openly complain about your post in the highest court in the land is disrespectful to that Court. Mr. Thomas, I, and liberals everywhere, understand your pain. We ask that you serve as long as you can possible stand it, say, until January 20, 2009. After that, we'll buy you season tickets to Nascar and that Winnebago you want so you can arrive in style.
[ Yes, that's actually what he wants - an RV. ]
[ Oh, and this will be the first time in a long time the man is notice for something other than being a ASCJ]
Anyone who has ever stepped on a piece of gym equipment knows that calorie counts are like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar. To get an accurate count you'd need a chest strapped heart rate monitor, a realistic insert of your weight, your age, a machine regularly maintained so that tension readings were accurate....and the whopper -- a good sense for how your metabolic rate measured up with that of the average person with your height, weight, sex, and age.
Here's how I measure:
1. How much do I like doing that particular exercise? Hand-bike? Hate it. Not doing it.
2. How disgusting am I when I get off the machine? (Anyone who has played a sport with me knows that I do not sweat. I just degenerate into grades of gross.)
3. Over the course of a week or so, where do I notice I am losing some weight. Usually, I notice if I am growing a tummy or not.)
4. Run. Nothing, except perhaps rowing, is as strenuous.
WaPo reports that Musakey will be setting up a screen between DOJ and the White House so as to preserve the independence of his own office/prevent a repeat of the AUSA firings scandal.
I think this is a positive step in that politically driven prosecution smells a lot like corruption, and not the passive, vote-for-dollars, kind. Rather, it is the go-out-and-impose- your-will-on-the-legal-system kind.
That said, I am not sure that the Chinese wall is appropriate by DOJ. Unlike watchdog agencies, such as CBO (leg) and GAO (exec), DOJ was not chartered to be independent. It is only the culture of independence that has persisted for decades that provides that shield. A la Cheney, the DOJ sees itself in the executive but, being made up of people who swore when entering the bar to be officers of the court, also part of the judiciary.
Is it inappropriate for the President to go in there and dictate to prosecutors, thus eliminating prosecutorial discretion? Again, nothing in the law as I understand it prevents that. It is just "not how things are done." It is my opinion that they are not done that way because the independence begets a sense of fairness by those involved, contributing to the permanence of the rule of law in this country. But, again, that's just an opinion.
Now, Mr. Mukasey, let's see if you can keep up that wall.
As RDBF says, "I give them credit for doing it in public."
BG: I was trying to install linux on an aging HP laptop (Pavilion N2415, AMD Duron, 256MB, 10Gb)
How I lost: First, I tried to partition space and create a dual boot system. Really hard. Then I gave up and tried a clean install of Ubuntu. Didn't work because Ubuntu installs off a "live CD" -- which it a CD that actually boots a full version of Linux. Once you are running it off the CD you can use it to install the OS to the hard drive. That's great if you have the processor for it and 1Gb of Ram. I did not.
So, I was using a clean install of Fedora. That worked - though it was not much faster than XP. That would have been fine, except for the fact that I needed (a) a wireless card and (b) Citrix.
Wireless: If you have a newer machine and a newer card, someone might have written a Linux driver for you. Celebrate. If not, you need an NDIS wrapper which simulates how Windows treats the card. You install that, and then you install the driver for the wireless card. Yeah. Right. Not happening.
Citrix: I skipped the wireless fight to see if I could get Citrix running to log into my office account. Without this, the whole experiment would be useless. I needed Open Motif installed to use Citrix, so I tried installing it. Again and again and again, using every permutation I could imagine (or find online). Nothing worked. That is, I could install Open Motif, but Citrix would not install because it claimed it could not find it. This is apparently a known issue that others have overcome. I was vanquished.
What I learned: (Licking wounds)
1. Linux is a lot more powerful and user friendly than I remember from earlier versions. I can see installing it really really easily on a desktop. The Live CD is a god-send because you don't need to use the command line to install it.
2. www.ubuntu.com rocks. People love it-count me in. It comes with everything you need.
3. Mandriva (www.mandriva.com) also rocks. It is a Mandrake Linux derivative. It's main selling point is that the company makes a bootable USB version for about $60. It's a 4GB drive with a full install of linux. With this, you can pretty much hijack any machine for your own nefarious purposes.
4. I am happy with robust OS's. I know Windows. I am gaining expertise on a Mac. Of course, you don't need that - Macs just work. Linux? That's staying on the back burner for now.
2. Giant Losers. Why? See post one - wind. Eli, a spotty passer in my opinion, couldn't contend with the wind.
3. The Dolphins! It's almost disappointing to watch them win. It is not disappointing, however, to see that they still play to win. That is the sign of a true pro. Of course, they had to injure Ray Lewis and Kyle Boller to get there. I am not saying they did it on purpose. I am just saying that the Ravens were a 4-9 team with their best defender and second string QB.
Rusty Hardin, the lawyer for Roger Clemens, lambasted George Mitchell and his report on steroids in Major League Baseball. “He has thrown a skunk into the jury box, and we will never be able to remove that smell,” Hardin said. “There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances, and yet he is being slandered today.”
- WSJ Law Blog.
WSJ got it right when quoting a libel lawyer. Clemens is named in the report, in writing. That's libel. When you defame someone orally, that's slander.
If you want to get technical, both allegedly occured yesterday as the buzz rose to its current caucophany. Pundits, pundits everywhere and not a thought to think.
Legal practice tip:
Slander = Spoken
Libel = library = written word.
Intentionally racist, or an insensitive turn of phrase?
On Dec 13, 2007, at 11:07 AM, #### #### wrote:
Wondering if you'd consider a lowball offer - $300. $500 was far more than I wanted to spend.
On 12/13/07, Salah Salem < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
What do u think
Sent from my iPhone
On Dec 13, 2007, at 2:19 PM, ##### #### wrote:
I think $300 would go a long way to pay for that iPhone.
On 12/13/07, Salah Salem <email@example.com > wrote:
I have an iPhone
Sent from my iPhone
On Dec 13, 2007 3:52 PM, #### ##### wrote:
Your emails all bear a signature reading "Sent from my iPhone." I realize this is not your ideal offer, but I will leave it open nonetheless. If you are willing to go to $300 at some point, let me know.
On 12/13/07, Salah Salem <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
i have someone offering 500. ur offering me 300 for a laptop that still has 80 gb hd drive, 1 gb of ram, microsoft office 2007 and centrino 1.6? office itself is 200, so go do ur research rather then trying to jew offer me.
On 12/13/07, ####### #######:
Salah, Many identical machines are on sale on ebay for the price I offered. If you wished to decline the offer, a simple "no" would have sufficed.
Am I right in thinking that this is more insensitive/offensive that calling an idea or action "retarded"?
Why didn't I go with this photo? Aside from your snarky comments (and I thank you heartily for them), the reaction I generally got was either, "You look smart," or, "You look smug." I can't risk the latter.
The House measure he's referring to is the Mortgage Cancelation Relief Act, H.R. 1876. As it stands, the IRS sees everything as income, so when your lender says, "You know what, the home I financed wasn't worth $400K, it was worth $350K, so I'll lower your mortgage amount (and thus your payment)," the IRS sees this as your having made $50K. Goodbye high mortgage payment, hello crushing additional tax burden. The House fixed that by simply excluding these write-downs from the definition of "income."
Second, Congress needs to temporarily reform the tax code to help homeowners refinance during this time of housing market stress. Under current law, if the value of your house declines and your bank forgives a portion of your mortgage, the tax code treats the amount forgiven as taxable income. When you're worried about making your payments, higher taxes are the last thing you need. The House agrees and recently passed this relief with bipartisan support. Yet the Senate has not responded. This simple reform could help many American homeowners in an hour of need and the Senate should pass it as soon as possible.
Changing the tax code can also help state and local government do their part to help homeowners. Under current law, cities and states can issue tax-exempt bonds to finance new mortgages for first-time home buyers. My administration has proposed allowing cities and states to issue these tax-exempt mortgage bonds for an additional purpose: to refinance existing loans. This temporary measure would make it easier for state housing authorities to help troubled borrowers — and Congress should approve it quickly.
- POTUS, Dec. 6, 2007
This bill is not yet law. The Senate has "read it" and sent it to Committee. I have to imagine they are fast tracking it. This may do more good in 1-2 sentences than the whole of HOPE NOW.
The sting: Leave a bag in a conspicuous place, like a restaurant, and then arrest someone when they see it and make off with it. "But what if the person took it in the hopes of returning it?" Tough Toffee.
Want More? NYPD apparently thought they were wasting their time with this. [I'll wait] .... SO, they inserted a real Credit Card owned by an NYPD pseudonym. Now the unwitting felon has stolen a CC, which in NYC is grand larceny.
First, has New York gotten so safe that the cops have to resort to creating crime?
Second, this is entrapment, no? If you draw someone in to buy drugs, that is not entrapment because they had in their heart the desire to commit the crime. The cops did not create that. Here, the person had no such intent. At most, he or she found an abandoned object. Or worse, they now have to stand up in court and explain away their good samaritanism.
Oh, and NY has a "good samaritan law," but neither it nor any version of it in any other state, extends this far. Those laws protect people who attempt to rescue or assist someone in danger from tort liability if they screw up. They don't ever require someone to proactively return a lost object.
[For those wondering - I am doing doc review and this is jogging my brain]
Why? FIrst, let me take a few misconceptions of the table:
After a quiet stretch, last week was a big one on the backdating front. Stephanie Jensen, a former human resources exec at Brocade was convicted by a jury on backdating-related charges.
And former UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire agreed to forfeit
about $620 million in stock-option gains and retirement pay to settle civil and
federal-government claims related to backdating.
- WSJ Law Blog.
- Backdating is not a crime. How you account for options backdating is a crime.
(Primer: An option is an option to purchase a stock in x number of years, usually at today's price. You are betting that the price goes up. For example, Google options issued at $10 a share 10 years ago are today worth over $700. If you have 10,000 of those...call me. Backdating an option happens when you say "I don't like today's stock price - but the price last January was good, so we'll issue the option today, but date it as of last January so you get that price.)
This practice is shady, and is likely going to be illegal very, very soon. That said, it is not illegal now -- what is illegal is not accounting for it correctly. When you backdate an option as of last January, you have to go back to last January's financials and reflect the issuance of new equity options as of then. This is a BIG pain because you may have to restate your earnings, profits, cash flows, and (here is the kicker) amend your filings with the SEC -- which would let everyone know what you are up to. Companies didn't want to do that.
- Backdating is not a crime. People claim that the CEO (the usual recipient of backdated options) is liable because he or she knew it was happening. Sure, but if the practice is not illegal (and the CEO would have been so told by company counsel), who cares? Now if someone told the CEO that it would not be properly accounted for...that's a different story.
- This is not O.J. This is not a case where the CEO got a legal dream team and the accounting staff got the shaft. The company obtained counsel for both and paid for it, likely falling back on their director & officer insurer to foot the bill. Thus, the person likely got similar, if not the same, level of representation.
So perhaps this is just a case of intent. The accountant knew backdating options required a restatement and ignored it. The CEO? He or she must return the profits but lacks the intent necessary for criminal liability.
Project costs exceed $20B, because in addition the building, they're building a mall, a lake, and 19 other highrise apartment building for this thing to lord over a la Sauran's tower and to act as a "crumple zone" if any of the engineers forgot to carry the one.
How Smart is Your Right Foot?
Careful! This is so funny that it may boggle your mind. And if you are
anywhere near as stubborn as we are, you will keep trying at least a few
more times to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't.
1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and
make clockwise circles.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right
hand. Your foot will change direction.
I told you so. And, there's nothing you can do about it!
Go ahead KEEP TRYING ALL YOU WANT!
Anyone know why this works? You can clearly move the two appendages independently. Why does rotation change that mix?
Anyone know other such quirks?
The Good: There is no government money going to the program. That's consistent with my view from yesterday.
The Bad: This plan does nothing. Now, I want the plan to do nothing, so why am I against this? Because it is a political play to move this problem past the christmas season (and avoid the personal interest stories on every cable network searching out a xmas eve foreclosure) and into the new year. That's it. So what do we do then?
A few more notes:
- POTUS wants $50M for mortgage counseling. That's silly. Educating those in trouble is too late. How about adding $1.5B for financial education in high school? That would do more to strengthen this economy than most any other short term fix. "Here kid. This is how you balance a check book, this is a stock, this is a bond, and this is how not to fall prey to predatory lending."
- People are talking about a second "meltdown," namely one related to people's second mortgages or the mortgages of "prime" borrowers (those with good scores) who were sold loans much pricier than they needed. First, the whole idea is really fuzzy -- which is great if you later want to claim you saw it coming, whatever form it takes. Second, this may not be an issue. The second mortgages for subprime borrowers are really part of the first meltdown. If banks are ignoring that as part of the mix right now, they're clearly suffering from monetary glaucoma. Further, the "prime" borrowers can refinance at the soon-to-be shrinking interest rates (or even the current ones, given that theirs is above market), so that's simple enough.
Dear lenders and mortgage backed security purchasers (those who bought the mortgages from the lenders), you are big, sophisticated outfits. To you, I say caveat emptor.
Dear America, you need a crash-course in personal finance. I don't care who told you what on the phone. This is a house. It is worth several times what you make in 1 year. If you don't understand enough about finances to buy it (or enough about your loan to pay it), don't.
That said, there are now reactions from the President and candidates, including Billary. POTUS wants to freeze variable interest rates. Problem is, his plan does nothing. Here's why.
- The plan applies only to those current on their mortgage. People who have never missed a payment can likely pay -- they don't need the serious help. (I know, for some it is a stretch -- just not as big as for those who clearly can't make payments).
- The plan simply freezes rates. Why are you taking a stab at the banks who lent to people who have demonstrated the ability to pay a variable rate?
- The plan does nothing about those who are late on payments and/or facing foreclosure. Any plan that does nothing on this front is simply useless. I don't know what the correct action is, but you can't claim to be fixing the problem if you do nothing to address this end.
Billary's plan is even worse:
- She also wants a rate freeze for those current on payments. Again, BFD. This is symbolic and goes against the terms of these people's deals.
- She does include rate freezes for some people behind on payments. That's a little better.
- But she wants a 90 day freeze on foreclosures. What is the purpose of the 90 days? Is it just to give Congress time to figure out a course of action? If so, fine, but make that clear. If it's supposed to do more...well, what are three months going to do? Give you a Christmas and then kick you out in the dead of winter? Great.
Other plans that have been floated include subsidizing mortgages (this will cost so much it would give you a heart attack), reforming lending practices to force lenders to sell the loan with the best rates (which contradicts the very nature of a capitalist market), and/or expanding the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac (I don't know enough to comment).
You know what will really help? For the banks to clean house on this, take a one-time Machiavellian loss on these mortgages, not by foreclosing (which is insanely expensive given that the resulting housing stocks will stay on the market forever), but by writing down the loans to the actual appraised value of the property today and developing a payment plan with the current owner. Yes, banks, you lose, but you have to admit that you really lost a long time ago when you bought these loans -- it just took a while for everyone to notice.
My 2 cents.
1. Pats. Unreal. To be fair, unreal and very, very lucky. Still, I agree with Peter King of SI -- each of the calls in the last few minutes was correct. I do feel a leetle bad for the Ravens. Here come the Steelers. No. 1 in pass rush, run defense, and points allowed vs. no 1 in all offensive categories. Uh boy.
2. Pod Hotel (www.thepodhotel.com) Neat and relatively cheap. I recommend it if you want to stay in midtown with the euro crowd. That said, it books up really really fast.
3. Rockefeller Plaza in winter. With the xmas decor out, it is a truly magical place. Photos up soon.
That could be because he was subject to pelleting at medium range from a shotgun instead of a bullet. Or, it could be because Rodney is super-human.
Think about it. The man was chased, tazed, and beaten severely. Now he's been shot. What next? What will it take to show you that he's the $6M Man?
I can't decide if I should be excited for this. If it is lame, there will of course be the comparitive lameness discussion (new or old), and the deeper, philosophical question of whether Knight Rider is lame a priori, which explains the number it did on the 'Hoff years later (even Baywatch didn't help - him, at least - my pubescence thanks you TV gods) or whether it is relatively lame, given that the me who liked the show was 11.
Most are regular readers.
Give yourselves a big hand. I have watched the numbers grow. It is encouraging, and it means I will certainly keep on posting for your enjoyment.
The Small Thinker.
A very, very learned man
Went by the name of Mr. Hand.
A famous judge, he was the sort
Who redefined the law of tort.
The T.J. Hooper was the case,
Where Hand was called upon to face,
A tug that failed to stay afloat.
It even sank another boat.
A sudden storm had struck. Oh no!
The tugboat had no radio.
If it had heard the storm report,
It might have sailed back into port.
But as it was, the boats were lost.
(An example of a true sunk cost.)
The tug was negligent, said Hand.
It should have made it back to land.
A radio would have saved the day.
The tug owner should have to pay.
Defer to custom? No sirree.
The PL here was more than B.
As any idiot would find,
The industry had lagged behind.
And so the story shows, you see,
The potential liability
Resulting when you do not lug
A radio aboard your tug.
It refers to Judge Hand's famous equation in Tort law: PL > B -- if the Probable Loss is greater than the Burden of preventative action, then the defendant's failure to take the preventative action renders him or her liable.
This is the Point in the Blow Job Where I Have to Watch What I Say.
I'll fess up to the irony of choosing this recent favorite, but how could pass up such turns of phrase, "but who wants to fellate a dullard?"
U.S. Military Wasting All of Its Victories on Notre Dame .
There is no doubt someone out there who thinks this is worth it. Perhaps if they beat Duke, there would be more support.
2. Thanks! To our friends D&S&K for perhaps the best xgiving meal I have ever had. It had 7 beautiful people, at six pm, with five main dishes, four alcoholic beverages, three appetizers, two separate graces, and a great deal of laughter and (ir)reverance.
3. Skyline Drive - a chance to step back and survey God's country. The majesty of the woods in the late late fall gave way to a bed of leaves as thick as a mattress as we trod through the now-shuttered campgrounds and into the goods to chace down a cascade so clogged with orange and umber that it was hard to tell whether you were seeing more leaves or just their reflection.
You must go.
4. Senses du humor. We spotted a place on the drive home advertising "Antique Tables - made daily."
Eloquently put. On weekend where families get together, there as many memories built as there are lives torn down by increased family violence.
You read this blog, which means you are a friend or a friend of a friend (of a friend). Nobody I know would ever do this. If they did, they'd at least have the decenecy never to look me in the face again for the shame of it.
And to all of you decent, loving people out there -- hug someone you haven't seen in a while this weekend. It will make them feel good when they remember it a few months from now, too.
KDKA in Pittsburg had the report. I don't know how wide-spread this is. It might even be permitted under the enlistment contract.
Still, to push so hard for enlistment, offer so much, ask a soldier to put him/herself in harm's way and then ask for a refund is just that type of despicable that only a beauracracy can achieve.
New motto, "An Army of One, or perhaps 4/5, in which case we'll need 20% back."
Everything is Illumuinated, Jonathan Safran Foer. Wow. Read it. It starts funny and ends powerful.
Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe. Yet another example of how much you can do with words, and another reminder of how little I manage to do with mine.
Cringe. The word is "problematic." It means, "giving rise or relating to a problem." It has a suffix already - "ic." You want to add "al," and we now have two suffixes, a meta-adjective meaning "giving rise or relating to something problematic, which gives rise or relates to a problem."
Of course, that's an opinion. Why? Because an academic review of "ic" and "ical" adjectives in the English language shows that sometimes the two forms have different meaning, such as "historic" and "historical," and sometimes they don't, as with "symmetric" and "symmetrical." [PDF] The latter is of particular interest because I don't hesitate to use "symmetrical" to indicate that something is symmetric, um, al. That just sounds right.
Still, Problematical? Feh.
A marriage of "faux" and "emo," to describe (I assume recursively) the process of genuinely wanting to imitate emo creativity in order to approach real emo, which hopes to approach genuine emotion, and so on.
Great word. Describes all music since. . . oh lord. Too long now.
ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge ##### ###### from #### #### dated ##/##/2007 re: Counsel for defendant request that the Court approve a 10 page limit for each of reply brief.
ENDORSEMENT: This may be the most ridiculous letter I have ever received. My rules say 10 pages. If you comply with my rules, you will be fine. (Signed by Judge ### ## ##### on ##/##/2007) (###)
Yeah, and this was just a one page letter. Imagine a hearing.
Once again, this is not an internet forward. It actually happened.
What about my welcome? Are you passively/aggressively communicating that I have left it behind and should seek to retrieve it as it is becoming something of an annoyance, like an email from a roommate saying simply, "Your shoes." ? [Yeah, I have no idea to punctuate that correctly.]
Want more? Read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Truss.
In other news: "Peeve" means a vexation or grievance. The term is nearly 100 years old (relatively recent) and comes from a back-formation of the term "peevish," which is to be ornery.
We are considering becoming a 3 OS family.
We have a mac mini running both OS X and XP through Mac's boot camp software. We have an XP media computer that acts like a TiVo (Shameless plug for BeyondTV -- it is awesome). And we have an XP laptop.
The laptop is aging and I would like to improve the speed....so the natural direction to go is Linux. For those who don't know, Linux is now easier to use than XP. The only tough part is installing it and, if you have a computer from the past 2-3 years, even that is a cinch.
Ubuntu Linux is the easiest to install. It uses a LiveCD, which actually contains the whole OS on CD. It boots into Linux so you can see what it will look like and play with it. Then, if you like it, you can install it from the same CD. It didn't work on our old laptop because there wasn't enough RAM, so the CD had to keep loading and unloading data -- s-l-o-w.
Next stop: a DVD installer that does not load the OS. I'll let you know how it goes.
"Fran Drescher: Hear her speak out about a lifelong struggle with being a walking stereotype [EDIT: Removed 'mistaken for a Jew' - JL points out that I am mistaken. Ms. Drescher was born to Ashkenazim Sylvia & Morty Drescher in flushing queens. Ech]."
Second, the Pack isn't getting enough credit. The powerhouses everyone points to are NE, Indy, and Dallas. Well, now the Pack, on a decent schedule, have put up a better record than Indy and their defense is on the up and up. I see a superbowl team. Am I the only one?
Here is the text of the Second Amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the
right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Legal Times asks the right question: What the heck do you make of all those commas?
My answer: Because there is no sensible way to read the sentence, you can read them any (and it) any way you like. Which means that the gun debate will rage forever.
Here are three possible readings:
Pro-gun: The first clause is 'precatory' - i.e. throat clearing - so that the substance of the sentence is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." What do we do with that comma? Oh, in the 18C, those commas were not grammatical indicators, but merely indications of a pause. So you mean ignore it? Ok.
Anti-gun: The first clause is the context for the main clause. "“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Ok, but you got rid of 2 commas. Yup. They're, um, pauses.
Strict: Strictly speaking the comma pairs indicate subjunctive clauses, grammatical asides, so that the body of the sentence reads: “A well regulated Militia shall not be infringed."
Strict, assuming the secondary clauses are explanatory: The text set off by a comma, like this, can be explanatory. If so, the sentence can read, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State (explanation of purpose), the right of the people to keep and bear Arms (explanation of what a militia is), shall not be infringed.” I am happiest with this reading because it follows the statutory interpretation canon which states that every word and comma in a statute has meaning.
The problem is, it leaves the question completely open: If a militia = the right to keep and bear arms, do we have that right absent the need for such a militia?
Rage, rage against the dying of the argument.
But, that's not why I am writing. No, no. I am writing because the news appears here at the-gossip.net. Start reading...then keep reading, and tell me it doesn't remind you of Everything is Illuminated by Safran Foer.
The charges: "Aggravated Gambling Promotion."
I get "Aggravated Assault." It brings to mind a particular viciousness. And don't tell me that "aggravated" modifies the description of the crime rather than the act itself. If so, there would be aggravated jay walking and aggravated use of a controlled substance, none of which I have ever heard of. So what is Aggravated Gambling Promotion, other than a really zealous geezer handing out pamphlets on the sly?
Turns out the difference is moolah. If you promote by encouraging others, that is simply promotion. If you make pamphlets, organize, or supervise, that is "aggravated" promotion.
Reuters reaction: "[P]ossibly the most unfortunate spell-check blunder I've ever seen."
[ language log ]
The best resulting comment:
News Flash: Member of academe does not share common social frame of
reference with most of the public. In other news: rain is wet and drinking too
much alcohol can make you inebriated.
What is "serious" in this context? Is it the ability to garner votes, or the presence of a platform? Certainly the former is the only thing that counts at the end of the day. The latter, however, is the kind of thing that commonsense indicates should matter to folks like the FCC and FEC. Wierd, that...
For more tongue twisting analysis, see Bob Bauer.
2. Pat-Colts! P-a-t-s! Pats! Pats! Pats! (Hey, the Jets have nothing to cheer about). This game came down to 1 mistake by Peyton. That, and we need to have a serious review of NFL officiating. The Pats should have had an abominable 80+ yds in penalties, but the other 100 yds were simply bad calls. One last thing: a shout out to Duckett (I think), for the most incredible catch I have ever seen by a defensive player. The harlem globetrotters would be proud. [No, I am not going to talk about 16-0]
3. Chad Johnson. He took 2 of the most sensational hits I have ever seen. He was carted off on a back board. The CT scans are fine and he flew home with the team. As a testament to his reputation as a baller, BOTH benches cleared to see him off the field. Say what you like, this is what sport is about.
4. A top marathoner died yesterday near the start of the NY Marathon / USOly trials. A lot of people think he pushed too hard...but this was mile 5. Can we accept that sometimes your body just gives up?
5. Jimmi Johnson is the current Nextel Cup chase leader with his third consecutive win. In the cup chase. With all the risk involved in staying near the front of the pack. Of course, number 2 is occupied by his teammate "Gordo." Gentlemen, enjoy your paychecks and don't wreck each other.
It is, for the record, after 12:00pm EST. That means that for nearly half a day I have been without the use of my computer. Scratch that, I wasted the first two hours with crash after crash, so I have been bludgeoned by my computer for two and mounted a counter-attack for the other two.
So I called IT. Not because I can't fix this, mind you, or because I can't find a workaround the admin privleges to run the necessary system scans, but out of respect for the organizational protocol.
What does IT do? It installs Symantec virus blocker and Google pack. Google pack! Hats off to Google for making something IT can trust (and really this is credit to SpyBot Search & Destroy -- a free anti-malware tool), but still. "For this I need IT?" said my glare at the red "speakerphone" button. If I didn't have so much billable paperwork right now, I'd be genuinely peeved.
1. The crash likely resulted in increased productivity. A diet coke and a donut do not a productive man make, especially when reading deposition trascripts. The lack of world wide distract-cess is ultimately a good thing.
2. In reality, about 20% of this company would have understood what to do to fix the machine in this case. This is a huge increase, but not so huge as to render IT obsolete. What will IT look like 20 years from now, when the web/desktop/laptop/peripheral savvy generation is the heart of the work force? Will it be much smaller, having less to offer the average person? Nay. I have to imagine it will instead be bigger. Why? Because users are not geeks. They are users. They don't care about the integrity of the system, but about their facebook pages, upload assistant programs, iTunes, etc. etc. etc. In the future, there will be more of this both in and out of the office. I imagine that IT will need more staff to help lock down desktops and protect the network both from within and without. Sad really.
The Pale was the limit of English land in Medieval Ireland. The lands were surrounded by pales, pickets, with a fence strung across them. To go beyond those pickets was to enter the wild Irish lands.
There are three things going on here. They make a lot of babies, they study the Torah and they dance. They need a lot of energy, and something to strengthen them.
There is talk in the innermost circles of U-OJ of a perfect can of Red Bull, without blemish, scratch, or dilution, which, when finally found, will be shared amongst the high priests and herald the coming of the end of days. Luckily, all will be awake to see it.
[ Thanks to RK for the link ]
They claim this is a "brutally honest" dating site. I'll step back from my tone for a second to simply ask: is the mere fact that you had dinner before you retired to his hotel room sufficient to render him a "date" instead of a "john"? I mean, at what point are you simply a prostitute on retainer?
Of course, as the site advertises, if you are looking for "real love," you should head over to www.seekingmillionaire.com . True, if what you are in love with is that seventh figure. "Bruce, I want to move in with you! Let's run away to house so large we never have to see each other! Let's make an 8th figure! Mama needs a new pair of jets!"
If you will permit me, I would like to geek out for a moment. Geek Technique has modded an iPhone that is so hot, I actually think Apple should consider making a limited edition like it. That's right, it's an iNewton.
For those who don't recall the Newton, it was a full script handwriting-recognizing PDA from the early 90's. It worked really well and ran pretty quickly. I suppose the two major problems were that it was a bit clunky and that it was about 20 years ahead of its time.
It's like the Atari Lynx. Early 80's game system that came out at the same time as the Game Boy (perhaps even before). What made it different? Let's see...it had the landscape format all modern PGD's have, it was COLOR, you could flip the screen for left handed use, and the game cartridges were cards resembling those used in the 90's TurboGrafix 16 and Express as opposed to the clunky plastic blocks you stuck into Game Boy and Game Gear.
"Incredible cosmic programming, in a itty-bitty-little competition space" -- to coin a phrase.
The FCC wants to end that and make the cables inside the building available to all. Questions:
1. Is this even possible? I don't believe that the same cable can carry more than one set of channels (i.e. RCN or Comcast or Roadrunner, but not all 3). Does this mean that the exclusivity agreement goes, but the new company still has to run cable? Will they?
2. This is meant to increase competition and lower rates. If companies have to run new cable, will they do so and lower their rates at the same time?
3. Aren't we quibbling over the past? FIOS (Fiber optic cable) is the new hotness. Cable is old. Perhaps the provision is not meant to repair cable, but to prevent the same abuse with FOIS? !?!?!?! One can only guess.
Why? Because it's sensors (touch, object recognition, variable sound, etc.) + adaptable programming make it a virtual puppy without the poopy. The thing is adorable.
Check out the videos.
Of course, providing legal opinions has proved to be a hazardous past-time.
In English: the Portland City Comm'r set up an election site called "samadamsformayor.com." The legal eagles at the NE brewing haven saw this an incursion into their territory, having previously fielded a samadamsforpresident.com as part of a marketing campaign. So the beer sent the man a cease-and-desist letter.
1. "Sam Adams", though merely a name, is protectible if it has acquired a brand identity separate from the name. (i.e. Hyatt, McDonalds). In the lingo, this is called "secondary meaning".
2. Mr. Adams's defense? I have been using it longer than you have. The brewer got the patent in 1973. The man, since the 60's. So-called "prior use" is a defense in trademark law, but it is limited by geography. That means that Mr. Adams can use his name legally in Portland. If he moves or goes national, that would change the equation significantly.
3. There is a first amendment political speech issue here that has not been raised.
4. Sam Adams was cool about it -- they admitted they didn't realize this was a person. They claimed others had tried to knock off the marketing campaign and that this was an effort to avoid a recurrence. Sam Adams -- say cool and avoid all the negative press.
1. "Scofflaw" is an awsome word (see the linked article).
2. My Facebook-powered chums inform me that somone created a "million for Colbert" group on that service and filled it in 10 days. Hill' and 'Bama have had groups for months and top out in the low 6-digits (thanks AB).
3. MSNBC engaged in a media circle jerk when it reviewed Colbert on Meet the Press (no doubt he will review their review of him and Elton John will write the theme song). The only interesting tidbit: Colbert is polling around 2.5%, higher than Kucinich and near Biden.
The cause for this entry: The Wisconsin Supreme Court, (via Volokh Conspiracy), who debated this question during a recent ethics hearing: If a lawyer has sex with a client's girlfriend while the client is having sex with her, is the lawyer having sex with the client as defined under the Rule?
The Court eventually declined to apply the transitive property of being a total jerk, but not in the way any normal person would think.
I read the rule: "Don't have sex with your clients, unless (and you have to love this), you had sex prior to that person becoming your client." That is the rule in most states.
The judges got as far as to mull the temporo-spatial limits of the word "with." If we are both having sex "with a person" over time, say through the month of August, we are both in a constant state of having sex "with" that person and, occupying that same state with the same person, we occupy it together and are therefore having sex with each other. The court missed the erroneous presumption: Who says that one cannot be in two mutually exclusive states of "having sex with" a person?
But it didn't reject the logic of the argument. Rather, it decided that the rule says "a person" once, but says "the person" or "the client" more often, so it must be directed at the one person - the client.
Did we need all that?
http://view.break.com/387011 - Watch more free videos
I had a "senior moment" this morning -- perhaps the first of many. I forgot where I parked the car. I knew it was in a Thursday spot. I knew I had moved it. I just didn't know where to. Picture me criss-crossing the various blocks in my neighborhood on this rainy morning, half searching, half wondering if I have lost my mind, my car, or both.
Still, nothing compared to this guy.
A corporation, in this case Viacom, which owns CC and, thus, the Colbert Report, would be giving him the in kind contribution of air time, far in excess of the legal limit.
Consequence? The Explainer says he can run until someone files a complaint. My lawyerlicious instincts tell me that's too late. The complaint does not create the violation. It merely brings it to the attention of the FEC. The violation occurred before and could see Viacom incurring a stiff penalty. All the more reason for my theory that Viacom's lawyers have long since contacted even real-er election law experts to scope out the risks of this project.
[ thanks to RSC for cutest little link in the whole world. ]
By the end of this year, I will be a lawyer without courtroom experience and a minister without a flock. It's like being a driver without a car, a detective without a mystery, a quip without a zinger.
I tell ya. It's not easy being a landed white jewish educated male in an upper-class first world metropolis.
Any chance we can stop this insanity? Hey you! Over there in Iowa! Turn in your subsidy and retrain!
I disagree with the ACLU on this one. First, these are not 10 Commandments in a courtroom. The sheer size of the mezuzah precludes its inclusion as a public icon of religion. Second, it is not clear how the separation of church and state applies to the FL state house [edit - AC], particularly in light of the frequent invocation of the divine to swear people in and hold ceremonies. Third, what does the FL constitution say? Fourth, there is the esoteric question of what to do when a religious symbol is not posted as such. This man is not a Jew. He is not posting this mezuzah as a religious act. Is this somehow an intrinsically religious act?
Finally, this is an odd case. This is a big issue for the ACLU, but not for the representative. As a matter of personal faith, it does not matter to him. If it offended his faith, presumably, he would not have had a problem turning down the gift, so you'd imagine that if public opinion sided with the ACLU, he would cede the issue. The more interesting question is: what about Jewish governors?. If there is a biblical requirement to put this up and the House or some other body prevents you from doing it, you have a 1st Am. vs. implied 1st Am. problem. You have a right to exercise religion. That should beat an implied separation of church and state.
[ Thanks to JR for the link ]
The weather is wonderful.
This is the fortune equivalent of "Just lay back and think of England." [learn about the phrase here] For a long time now, our fortunes have suffered. What used to say, "Glate things are on the holizon," has more recently said, "Others think you are wise." Thanks, but a fortune is intended to be forward looking. Divining the present? Thoroughly unimpressive.
Why the drop in quality? Does this signal a death of the intrepid far east spirit? Has assimilation finally dulled the asian edge? Is my voice rising to a fevered pitch in your head yet?
Fine. This is a stupid problem. Of course, you could always go for dark fortunes.
[Thanks to http://www.jinksofwe.blogspot.com/ for the reminder. ]
But you already knew that.
- When does the equal time rule kick in? Is it when you announce, or the first time you are formally listed in a state primary?
- Clearly, cable is not affected by the equal time rules, yet. Could this realistically prompt the FCC to reconsider?
- Per the Caucus Blog, Colbert seeks 3000 signatures for a run in SC, and would then need the approval of the state democratic election commitee (insert correct acronym here). Would they have a good reason to turn him down?
- What if Colbert actually wins the SC primary? What would that mean for the SC delegation at the DNC? Could Colbert actually affect the real Dem. candidate if the final primary race is close?
First, if I had to guess, Colbert would solve the equal time rule by offering all of the candidates the right to come on his show every night to debate. Having offered it, he could argue that he has met the requirement.
Second, I assume that any serious political effect of this run would give Colbert pause and he'd find a way to back out.
Third, I am increasingly of the opinion that Colbert is to the 00's what Stern was to the 90's. He is breaking out of the traditional role of television host and intruding into the real world. Yes, the Daily Show has been on the campaign trail for years. That is satire, to actually run, that is novel. Consider it "high satire."
The problem: The Equal Time Rule, which requires that a station provide candidates equal free time to express their views. Two points:
- The rule does not apply to cable television, which is why NBC had to yank Law & Orders containing Fred Thompson, but TNT did not. Why an appearance on a cop show as a fake DA is political speech is beyond me. It appears that the rule is really meant to read "exposure." On the other hand, FX and SciFi both pulled Ah-nold flicks from the air when that man ran in California. The precedent is there -- I don't know if anyone wants to prompt the FCC to finally enter the fray and regulate cable content (though from a policy front, cable and networks are seeing more parity in viewership, so why not regulation too?)
- There is an exception for a "bona fide newscast." Does he dare argue it? For example, the closely-related Daily Show is "fake" but has shown to be the most prevalent source for actual news for younger males. Isn't that bona fide?
Some choice Colbertian tidbits:
I’d like to thank Maureen Dowd for permitting/begging me to write her column
today. As I type this, she’s watching from an overstuffed divan, petting her
prize Abyssinian and sipping a Dirty Cosmotinijito. Which reminds me: Before I
get started, I have to take care of one other bit of business:
Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.
There. Now I’ve written Frank Rich’s column too.
- Who hired the guy? A parent can obtain legal representation for a child, but that person must be then shielded from the legal decision-making. I'd love to see the ethics panel take this up.
- He's suing claiming that fetus is a person and has standing to fight abortion in court. Consider this: if he wins, that means that lawyers all over the country can claim fetus of mothers slated to have abortions as their clients. Then, they can haul mom into court and attempt to force her to have the baby. Before you argue that mom can decide for her children, note that if she wants an abortion, that would be murder of the child. That pits her against the child and renders her an unfit parent.
- On the other hand, hijaking a woman's womb could be a form of slavery. I only bring this up because the lawyer is actually making this argument on the other side -- that mothers enslave fetuses when they choose abortion, violating the Thirteenth Amendment. If fetuses are enslaved, shouldn't all mothers abort them as soon as possible so as to free them?
- How does this man know what the best interests of the fetus really are? Even a guardian ad litem (lawyer for kids in a divorce or similar proceeding) has to attempt to discern their wishes. I don't know that we can assume every fetus would want to be born.
- If the fetus is born and ends up being of an opposite socio-political persuasion, does it have a cause of action against the lawyer for being used in this manner?
And you thought this man was just a kook.
St. Louis at Baltimore (-9.5): There's an ancient philosophical question that asks what will happen when an offense that can't move the ball plays a defense that can't stop anybody. This game should provide the answer. Pick: St. Louis
Way to lower the bar and make life difficult for the rest of the contractors buck-o! On the other hand, I hope GSA doesn't get just what they paid for. Oh! Oh! and can you imagine if this ends up costing $10? The percentage cost overrun will be literally incalculable!
You just have to read it. Clearly, the man is brilliant, though it is likely his wife has the edge in that relationship. He describes her as having "a good job in washington." Yeah, so does Dubya.
See an example here (particularly those of you who wonder what Dahlia Lithwick is like).
Twofer: the technology includes something called a "dingalink", which permits the user to create a link to a particular time in the video. Awesome.
Threefer: disagree with your counterpart? You are at "bloggerheads."
The economic effects of this could be massive, with tattoo artists, t-shirt printers, and revisionist historicizers set to make a killing (flaying, burning, and damnation extra).
I am not in favor of capital punishment -- kill someone, and I am happy to keep you in a little box forever. THIS on the other hand, is a different story. This is why the Second Amendment is so liberally construed. Nothing a little "made in America" couldn't drop in two clicks.
• Kyrgyzstan [KEYR-geez-stan]
• Mauritania [moor-EH-tain-ee-a]
• Harare [hah-RAR-ray]
• Mugabe [moo-GAH-bee]
• Sarkozy [sar-KO-zee]
• Caracas [kah-RAH-kus]
How about "With-DRALL"?
O'Reilly reported that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "
See more at Media Matters
Guess what? The study finds that this rarely leads to romance, sometimes leads to an end of the friendship, and otherwise tends to peter out -- if you'll forgive the pun. Our instincts were correct. The real question is, if our instincts were wrong, so what?
Wall-E. Half E.T., half Jonnie 5 (read: Short Circuit). This movie will have no dialog. Now THAT I wanna see.
My flight and my hotel on this trip cost more than my entire honeymoon. This trip is 10 days in 2 cities, with meals at nice restaurants and work all day. That trip was 1 month, for two people, in Asia, including lots of scuba lessons, and meals were usually served in exotic environs or on tropical beaches.
And if that doesn't give you pause, I don't mean that the honeymoon equalled the flight plus the hotel for this trip. I mean it cost as much as each one. (read: this is twice the cost, without food or incidentals).
Whew. Business sums still give me sticker shock. Still, this is a good value for the client -- you should see the upside.
I attended a deposition this morning. Very cool. I had a Greek frappe and worked in a Greek law firm office. All good, so far.
The deposition ended and we stole out to the Acropolis for 2 hours before we had to hit London. The place just looms over the whole of Athens. It is most definitely a ruin, but it is nothing short of captivating. As for the rest of Athens? It is a study in the good and bad of modern Europe.
Then my laptop blew up. More correctly, it fizzled. The power cord is partially severed (no biggy) and the LCD's backlight won't come on at all. There is a faint image on the screen, but its like looking at an x-ray against a dark wall. This happened in the business lounge at the airport while I was coordinating a document production due tomorrow with an assistant in the U.S. I ended up using a public machine, installing Adobe reader illicitly, and providing advice on the fly over gChat until 5 minutes before they closed the flight. Whew. Of course, now I can't work on the flight home. Maybe I'll take it is as a vacation. Question now is: do I buy a new laptop. I love the IBM/Lenovo c60. Any recommendations?
- Americans traveling to England or France often joke that they are going "where the history comes from." It occurs to me that I can say the same to Londoners at my next stop. It oozes out of the marble around here.
- "Neh" means "Yes" in Greek. Thank god it's not confusing. Other words: "Ozhi" is "No" and "Eferashtoo" is thank you. The more interesting thing is that a country chock full of tourists has little in the way of multilingualism. You'll hear French, Italian, German, Russian flavors, and English, but all very broken. What they lack in language they make up for in friendly.
- Greeks love fish. You go into a fish restaurant, go to the kitchen, pick the fish off the ice drawers ("I want THAT red snapper."), and then go back to your table and order starters. Ergo, I love Greeks.
- As a whole, Greeks are not beautiful. To a one, they are sprightly and fun to be around.
- Yes, the Parthenon is that impressive. It towers above the city and is currently being reconstructed.
- Finally, the Hotel Grand Bretagne. Breakfast on the roof with a panoramic view of Athens, 24 euros. Marble everything room for a night, 240 euros. Getting to swim in a lightly salted spa pool between the jets and the waterfall: priceless.
This is now the third in a series of prank-related posts. We're kicking it up a notch and including a prank war. This is great. See the whole series here.
[Note: I take a lot of these things with a touch of salt. I need to see the first 5 to determine if I think this is faked. Some of the camera work is a little too good or too conveniently placed for the victims not to notice (i.e. when she slaps him), but you be the judge. Besides, if it is fake, it is a great sketch. Think, funny Blair Witch Project.]
SF/AZ/OAK/TB - together, these might create one decent football team. Why can't the first three clubs haul themselves out of the gutter? As for TB, how often does an NFL team sink from mediocrity to crap?
Cleveland, start Quinn. It will slow down his learning curve, but putting him at game 6 will mean he has to win every game for you to have a decent year. F-r-y-e - s-u-ck.
Oh, and as a Pats fan and Tour de France fan, I am starting to get the two confused. This had to have come from Bill's office - I just wish it didn't.
I recommend the motto: Bride-zilla? Get Firepower.
I truly am surprised the Brits beat us to this.