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AvatarComments by Em Carpenter

On “The Epic Supreme Court Decision

I also should have pointed out there are two separate issues here: one is the requirement of arbitration as the forum for disputes, and the other is the requirement that it be individual arbitration, abrogating the “strength in numbers” element.


Hmm... the practice of insisting upon individual arbitration clauses in employment contracts is fairly new so I don’t think there’s anything on point historically. The most you could say is that prior labor victories may not have succeeded if these clauses had existed at the time.
A class of employees has a lot more power than a single plaintiff, so maybe labor victories would have been few and far between.

If you don’t want to read all 65 pages, I suggest reading the 3 page syllabus, and the dissent.

On “Priming

I listened to the Fah/Bah clip without watching and without the visual, I hear bah.
I'm also team Laurel, and my hubs is Yanny. Funny to me, because he blares his music through his headphones or in his car and has been to a lot of really loud, hard metal concerts, yet I am the one with hearing damage. Go figure.

On “Starbucks Changes Sitting, Restroom Policy

I realize that some are legit concerned about crowding and inconvenience but there’s an unsettling undertone to some of the criticism that is something like “poor people should not participate in society.” Sitting around chatting in a Starbucks is part of our culture, even if not a super important one. Not wanting THOSE people in “our” spaces is part of the issue. I’m not saying that the folks quote tweeted here are thinking that, but I do think some people have that concern, even if subconsciously.

On “Stop Mocking Millennials – Their Day is (Almost) Here

I think that personal circumstances dictate in many ways what our philosophy toward work is, more so than our generational label. I am also a "Xennial" (gen x/millenial crossover event!) with the added trait of having grown up impoverished. I work to not be impoverished ever again.
With that as my motivation, I went to college with the express purpose of finishing as fast as I could and then going to law school. I majored in what would be easiest for me, English, with no intention of using that degree except as a prerequisite to my JD.

On “Policing the Predators

I think somebody may have mumbled something about one possible answer a bit upthread....


They were both forced to resign from the State Police for violating policy. One retired from law enforcement altogether, but the other just moved on to a different department. Civil service protections insulated them from losing their law enforcement certification.


They may not stop crooks bent on committing a crime, but they might stop the opportunistic predators like the ones I mentioned, who take advantage of a situation. They may not have done it if they’d known it was illegal. They knew it wasn’t, hence their immediate confessions.


Well, yes, coercion. Using intimidation, the presence of a weapon, the threat of arrest.., under common law these things can support a rape charge. The problem is the reluctance of prosecutors or jurors to see that, absent overt violence.


True. People are people, and we cannot rely on them to not abuse their position of power, nor can we rely upon juries to understand dynamic, which makes laws like this necessary.


The thing that is difficult for me to understand is that even when the officers don't deny the sex, they still give them a pass.

On “Amazon Prime Is A Luxury Good

I will have to review and see what I saved on shipping these last few years. I know one year it paid for itself just in my Christmas shopping shipping costs (I do not step foot in any retail establishments, save grocery stores, from Thanksgiving until New Years), but then for the last few years I have found myself shopping other sites and finding things Amazon didn't have or that were cheaper. I also need to poll the household and see how much streaming they do from Prime. I feel like they use Netflix and YouTube more often.

On “The Great Health Insurance Adventure, a Status Report

To clarify... did Medicaid pay something that it was not supposed to have paid, when it mistakenly thought you were eligible?

If so, then you may need to pay that back. Seriously. Even though it was their mistake. It's not fraud, since it was not as a result of your actions, but it could still be a civil issue. You might want to look into that. In Medicaid world that is called an overpayment, and they are obligated to recoup that money.

On “Oliver North to Become President of NRA

Band-aids aren't stitches, but they do stop the bleeding.

On “Morning Ed: Economics {2018.05.10.Th}

I remember the days of the Iron Sheik!
Don't forget Chris Jericho, the Ayatollah of Rock n' Rolla.

On “King Coal: West Virginia’s Abusive Love

He got 520, but his opponents got less than 300 each.
(Closed primary, and most are still registered Democrats.)


You're right about miners not wanting retrained. They cling to the tradition and they have immense pride in their "honest hard work".
That's why Hillary's famous line "we're going to put a lot of coal miners out of work..." was her death knell here, even though in context she was proposing programs to help retrain and reemploy them.
To be fair, if someone told me that no one needs lawyers anymore so I'm going to have to find another profession, I can imagine I would likewise take umbrage.


Yes, I may have heard that somewhere.

He still got 20% of the vote in a three-way contest, so the point I was trying to make stands.

The part that is most astounding is that he won by a landslide in Mingo County, ground zero for the coal wars and the site of the Matewan massacre.


Correct, no intermediate appeals court. The legislature tries annually but it gets voted down or never comes out of committee.


Politics in West Virginia...
Historically WV was blue, dating back to the rise of the unions that I mentioned. In my lifetime I have seen it turn red, due in large part to leftward movement of Dems on social issues. Guns, abortion, gay rights... a lot of WV parts ways with the Democrat platform on these things. They are deal breakers. So some have made the formal party switch, while others stay registered D out of tradition, but vote R in the general. (Interesting note- Obama was the first Democrat to win the presidency without carrying West Virginia). But there are enough people in this state who rely on government programs (Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, social security), that it is a fine line for Republicans who advocate the reduction or elimination of these programs.
For coal miners though, it is the EPA, MSHA and the like that are the catalyst for their Republican bent.


West Virginia has my heart. To many here it is sacrilege to hate coal, but all I see is destruction and suffering and it is painful. Blankenship’s popularity, when he represents the worst of the industry, is inexplicable to me. I thought he’d be run out on a rail.

On “#IndependentBookstoreDay

Checking back in to report that I made the trek to City Lights, and I fell in love (I have fallen in love with the city in general)! I found a really cool book, signed by the author. It combines neurology, Parkinson’s disease research and the works of William Burroughs.
I also went to readers Bookstore at Fort Mason, a cool little secondhand bookstore that supports the SF public library.
Thanks for the recommendations!

On “The Golden State Killer and Privacy in the Age of DNA

I'm not sure if you are referring to my article here as using a property rights framework, -and I didn't really intend it as a property analysis It was about privacy. But in search and seizure law (which this definitely is), the concepts intertwine.
The fourth amendment guarantees the right to be secure in our "persons, houses, papers, and effects", broadly construed to include your car, your blood, your electronic data, email, etc. When we are talking about suppressing evidence in a criminal trial due to a 4A violation, standing is important. If it's not yours, no expectation of privacy and no standing. If no expectation of privacy, no 4A violation.
I think it will be an easy call for a judge here as to the matching of DNA on the website, under either a privacy or property framework .


As of now, doing so would require voluntary consent or court order. There are laws allowing fingerprints and DNA taken after arrest or convictions but I think a blanket policy of collecting that from everyone at birth would not meet a standard of compelling state interest sufficient to intrude on privacy. At least I hope not.


What constitutes a “search” is an issue that is fought about in court quite a bit and the results are not always what one would expect. For instance, a drug-sniffing dog being walked around your vehicle has been deemed NOT a search.

Interesting thought about not owning your own DNA. I’ll have to ponder that. What about your blood or your saliva? You can’t force anyone to turn those over without a warrant or court order or consent (though it can be collected when discarded). Doing so would be an illegal “search”.