Ten Second News

Ordinary World: Christmas Hangover( 14 )

Ordinary World: Christmas Hangover

[OW1] On Christmas Eve, Trump tweets grievances

[OW2] Merry Christm….opps, never mind: “A Swiss man won a million and then lost it on Saturday, when a televised Swiss lotto draw went chaotically wrong.”

[OW3] What Was Steve Mnuchin Thinking? Three Possibilities

[OW4] The Dollar Store Backlash Has Begun: The U.S. has added 10,000 of these budget retail outlets since 2001. But some towns and cities are trying to push back.

[OW5] Japan Reportedly Will Leave International Whaling Group To Resume Commercial Hunts

[OW6] Illusion of control: Why the world is full of buttons that don’t work

[OW7] Every government shutdown — and how long they lasted

[OW8] Inside Bernie-world’s war on Beto O’Rourke

[OW9] GoFundMe refunds money after police say fundraiser for homeless man was a scam

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Links( 6 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] The 27 Best Music Moments of 2018 according to The Atlantic.

[Mu2] All Songs Considered: The Year In Music 2018 from NPR

[Mu3] 10 Best Country Music Videos of 2018 from Rolling Stone

[Mu4] Real live rock ’n’ roll stories for Christmas

[Mu5] How Will Rock and Roll Find Its Future?

Art Links

[Ar1] The Art-Filled Spanish Palace That Went Up In Flames On Christmas Eve

[Ar2] Art of Clay and Steel in the City of New Orleans

[Ar3] What happened to all the art in Mexico’s presidential palace?

[Ar4] The art behind the gorgeous indie game Gris

History Links

[Hi1] The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi

[Hi2] The complex task of writing history

[Hi3] Christmas Wreaths Are a Classic Holiday Decoration With a Surprisingly Deep History

[Hi4] Why the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Makes for a Complicated History

Food Links

[Fo1] Re-visiting 2018 food safety Op-Eds

[Fo2] New Research Suggests That Food Really Does Affect How We Think

[Fo3] Last Call: The intricacies of leaving food for Santa

[Fo4] FDA weighs legalizing interstate sales of cannabis-based CBD in food and drinks

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Linky Friday: Merry and Bright( 1 )

Linky Friday: Merry and Bright

[MB1] I Spent a Year Wrestling With the Metaphysics of The Muppet Christmas Carol

[MB2] Bleak house: the dark truth behind Charles Dickens’ Christmas obsession

[MB3] Merry Christmas, Don Corleone

[MB4] Netflix Now Owns Christmas TV, Too

[MB5] Vintage photos of a ‘Merry Christmas’ in N.J.

[MB6] A Weed Grows In Toledo, And Residents Hang Their Christmas Hopes Upon It

[MB7] How was Utah’s first Christmas Day observed? By working, of course

[MB8] Canada’s Christmas Tree in a Bottle

[MB9] The Monumental Push Behind Getting That Package Delivered By Christmas

[MB10] Christmas Facts and Trivia

[MB11] Why social media is killing Christmas

[MB12] Die Hard gets remixed as ‘The Greatest Christmas Story’ ever told

[MB13] 17 old photos of LA’s grandest department stores decked out for Christmas

[MB14] How Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Made Christmas Trees a Holiday Staple

[MB15] America’s Most Glorious Christmas Trees

[MB16] A journey through Europe’s historic Christmas markets

[MB17] How Many Americans Celebrate Hanukkah? It’s More Than You Think

[MB18] Wellness: Coping with Estrangement Over the Holidays

[MB19] Today is one of the eight sacred Celtic holidays of the year

[MB20] When the Christmas Plant Was a Pepper, Not a Poinsettia

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Wednesday Writs for 12/19( 17 )

Wednesday Writs for 12/19

Roy Pearson (Picture from the Washington Post)

[L1]: We hear a lot about lawsuit abuse and frivolous cases, in which some litigant appears to attempt to make a quick buck through use of the court system against a hapless defendant. While many a lawyer will tell you the stereotype is exaggerated, these cases exist. One such travesty was initiated in 2006 by, of all people, an administrative law judge, in Pearson v. Chung, our case of the week.

Our plaintiff was Roy Pearson, who suffered the tragic tort of (he alleges) a pair of pants lost by a dry cleaner. The business, run by the Chungs, contends they gave Pearson’s pants back, but he insisted they were not his. Pearson sued for the loss of the pants, and also alleged unfair trade practices; specifically, Pearson argued, the “satisfaction guaranteed” sign in the window of the business was an unconditional warranty, one which the Chungs must have had no intention of honoring since they refused to “satisfy” him regarding his supposedly lost pants. If that wasn’t enough of a reach, Pearson asked for damages for seven different violations of the Consumer Protections Procedures act for every day of the several years the business had been opened. His first demand was $1,500; settlement negotiations culminated in an offer of $12,000 from the Chungs, which Pearson rejected. He ultimately asked for $54 Million. At a bench trial, the trial court judge found for the Chungs on all counts. Pearson appealed, but the DC Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, finding Pearson’s claims “not supported by law or reason”. Just this year, Pearson faced discipline from the DC Board on Professional Responsibility for his actions.

The Board recommended Pearson’s law license be suspended for 90 days. The Chungs went out of business.

[L2]: Millions were riveted a few years ago by the documentary series “Making a Murderer” involving the murder of Theresa Halbach and subsequent conviction of Steven Avery and his 16 year old nephew, Brandon Dassey. The series was chock-full of awful characters-including most of the lawyers involved. What struck me in the series was the abominable representation provided by Dassey’s lawyer, Len Kachinsky, including allowing his client to be interviewed without counsel present, and steadfastly ignoring Dassey’s claims of innocence. Since then, he became a municipal judge, a position from which he was suspended following stalking charges by a court clerk. He was acquitted last week, but I think we can all still agree, he’s a creep.

[L3]: The Ninth Circuit is taking up the question of whether defendant children in immigration courts have a right to counsel. Per the government, because it is a civil rather than criminal proceeding, they do not, not even a baby in a basket.

[L4]: The Chinese tech company Huawei developed a phone smart enough to drive a Porsche, but we won’t be getting it here in the US, due to the FCC’s national security concerns.

[L5]: Third Circuit judge Thomas Hardiman made the news last summer as a name on Trump’s shortlist for SCOTUS nomination. He was back in the headlines last week with his proposal to eliminate discovery in federal civil cases worth less than $500K, an idea some believe detrimental to the average litigant.

[L6]: Uber is being sued again, this time for anti-competitive behavior. They’re accused by rival Sidecar of engaging in “widespread sabotage”, including submitting phony ride requests to tie up drivers, and unfair pricing.

[L7]: The DC Circuit tackled the government’s ban on transgendered people in the military last week. One point of contention: the government insists the ban is not discriminatory because it allows an exception for transgendered people who do not have gender dysphoria- which, as Judge Robert Wilkins pointed out, is basically defined as being transgendered.

[L8]: Any lawyer who often practices in front of a particular judge will pick up cues, certain phrases that signal to an attorney where the judge’s mind may be going on an argument. Our supremes are no different. 

[L9]: Don’t do drugs and then chase zombies around the WalMart parking lot in an endloader, or you may get 15 years in prison like our dumb criminal of the week.

[L10]: The jury is still out on what may make the cut as the craziest lawsuits of 2018, but here are the winners, as it were, for last year:

Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017

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Tech Tuesday – 12/18/18( 17 )

On a personal note, we spent the weekend in Flagstaff, and Bug got to see Mars through a 16″ telescope, and he got to see the Orion Nebula through the Clark Telescope, which showed him 8 baby stars and the glowing green gas of the nebula. Totally worth staying up late and standing in line in the cold.

[TT1] It’s got a funny name, but under the right conditions it can provide more thrust than the mains.  So I guess the name isn’t quite so funny.

[TT2] New neural network design using ordinary differential equations. If you understand calculus, this will make sense.

[TT3] Oh, man, evidence that gender is not as simple as XX or XY is bound to cause certain heads to explode.

[TT4] See what happens when you let your kids play with Shrinky Dinks too much?

[TT5] Pretty sure this was an episode of Curious George, when he got to pilot a mini-sub to find a lost sensor package.

[TT6] I feel better knowing there is a group out there for Architects with anger issues.

[TT7] Using lasers to help cubesats keep in touch with earth.  This is more involved, and a bit more clever, than simply pointing a laser at earth.

[TT8] A motorcycle with jets in the wheels.  We are living in the future.

[TT9] Organic farming is bad for the environment.  Bit of schadenfreude with this one.

[TT10] CRISPR techniques could help with obesity without editing genes.  Well, some obesity, in people with certain gene mutations.  Not you, you just need to stop hitting Dunkin Donuts three times a week and try going for a walk longer than from the couch to the bathroom.  And maybe take Dave’s advice and lift some actual weight.  Or eat some clay.  Ya’ll weren’t expecting that last one, were ya?

[TT11] The VSS Unity reached space and came home safely.

[TT12] Previously mentioned ‘Steam Sponge’ has leveled up to become a ‘Super Heated Steam Sponge’.

[TT13] I am enormously curious and eager to try a vat grown steak.

[TT14] Electric motors do make variable geometry a lot easier to do.

[TT15] Two older drugs, when their powers combine, can form Captain Pla…, errr, no, but they can cause cancer cells to starve and die.  Now can someone explain to me why this doesn’t hurt healthy cells?

[TT16] A tunable, artificial Mother of Pearl.

[TT17] The 3rd, and final, Zumwalt has left the construction yards.  Why the 3rd, and not the 32nd as originally planned?  Because OMG! are these expensive ships, and destroyers, like frigates, are supposed to be cheap and easy to turn out.  The Zumwalt is sitting at (not counting R&D costs) $4.6B per hull.  The Arleigh Burke class is $1.8B per hull, and those ships are currently doubling as light cruisers (since the Navy is no longer developing a Ticonderoga replacement, which was only $1B a pop).  Compare to the Freedom LCS, which is just shy of $400M.

[TT18] I’m a fan of electric motors, but being a fluids guy, I personally think hydraulic motors don’t get nearly the love they deserve.  Glad to see someone else thinks so too!

[TT19] Damnit technology, stop finding more fossil fuels!

[TT20] Sure it’s small, but can it be produced cost effectively?  Thoughts, Brother Michael?

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Ordinary World 17 Dec 18( 2 )

Ordinary World
16 Dec 18

[OW1] Has The Trump-Russia Scandal Actually Been The GOP-Russia Scandal All Along? by Elizabeth Piccuito: “People have generally assumed that the main problem facing the GOP from investigations into illegal Russian influence schemes is that the party will be sullied by association with their leader. Butina’s plea, however, is a sign (and not the only sign) that Trump may not be the only Republican unduly influenced by Russia.”

[OW2] How to approach Kansas’s economy post-Brownback by Alex Muresianu: “Instead of pursuing budget-busting tax cuts, the Republican legislature should work with the new governor to reform Kansas’s tax code by lowering tax rates and broadening tax bases. Kansas’s tax code is roughly average, ranking 28th of 50 for business climate, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.”

[OW3] A Boost for Young, Diverse Farmers by Olivia Paschal: “The new farm bill, which passed through both houses of Congress last week and is waiting on Donald Trump’s signature, nearly triples funding for the only two programs specifically designed to support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers; in other words, farmers outside the current dominant—and aging—demographic. The two grant programs—the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program, often known as the 2501 Program after its original section number, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program—will exist within one new initiative, called the Farmer Opportunity Training and Outreach (FOTO) Program.”

[OW4] Tear Up the Farm Bill and Start Over by Alison Acosta Winters & Caroline Kitchens : “This year’s bill, like its predecessors, is a huge jumble of subsidies and other programs, such as quotas and price setting, that dole out welfare to corporate agricultural interests. It creates barriers for new farmers, wastes resources, and creates risk for farmers and taxpayers alike. The bill leaves intact numerous harmful policies, including programs designed to shield the U.S. sugar industry from competition, which help keep U.S. sugar prices double those of the rest of the world. This hurts consumers and sugar-using businesses alike.”

[OW5] California Regulators Want to Tax Texts You Sent 5 Years Ago by Joe Setyon: “The tax would not apply to internet messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage—platforms that many people use instead of traditional texting. That raises the question of unequal enforcement. “Subjecting wireless carriers’ text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion’s share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anti-competitive, and harmful to consumers,” the CTIA, a telecommunications industry trade group, argues in a legal filing. It’s not even a given that the California Public Utilities Commission has the legal right to do this. Thanks to a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, text messages are now considered an “information service,” which the commission may not have the authority to tax.”

[OW6] Teen vaping is soaring as the Trump administration tries to crack down by Kimberly Leonard: “Vaping opponents, including members of the public health sector, have long charged that e-cigarettes target teens because they come in multiple flavors intended to mimic fruits or desserts. Defenders of the flavors say that adults need an alternative that tastes nothing like traditional cigarettes to get them to stop smoking. The FDA plans to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations. This would mean that certain flavors can be sold only in specialty vaping shops. The FDA will also require age verifications on websites where the devices are sold. The actions have caused alarm among conservatives who point to the Trump administration’s otherwise deregulatory agenda, and to vaping organizations who argue that they will diminish progress made on smoking regular cigarettes.”

[OW7] Rebuilding the City on a Hill by Avi Woolf: “Increasing rural support for the right, alongside its decline in cities and now also suburbs, marks something deeper than what pundits have noted. Right-wing bigotry, after all, existed long before the Tea Party, and it certainly predates Trump. I’m afraid what it marks out is the abandonment of any hope for the future, of any belief in the possibility of persuading young people or immigrants or anyone who lives near different kinds of people that conservative ideas outside of just free markets and tax cuts have any value for them. This is wrong. My series has been an attempt to show that.”

[OW8] Trump Owns a Government Shutdown. So What? by Alex Shephard: “Trump designed Tuesday’s Oval Office meeting to be a spectacle. “Although aides often urge him to keep such meetings closed to the public, The Washington Post reports, “Trump likes the visual of him at the center of a room leading a meeting with lawmakers because he looks like he is ‘in charge,’ according to a former White House official.” When Pelosi and Schumer asked to meet behind closed doors, Trump refused. Nonetheless, all three of them may have gotten what they wanted.”

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Links( 25 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music’s Least Wanted Gig

[Mu2] This is what kind of music you should listen to at work to be more productive

[Mu3] Does listening to music really help you to fall asleep?

[Mu4] Dolores O’Riordan remembered by Dave Davies

[Mu5] Music to keep the darkness at bay: The history of music in fact began even before the time of Lascaux, dating to near the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic age.

Art Links

[Ar1] Hoarding and Spending at Art Basel Miami Beach: After Safariland, if you need to convince yourself that the art world isn’t entirely in money’s thrall, you’d want to be anywhere but here.

[Ar2] Legacy of Lynching Exhibit Explores Racial Violence Through Art

[Ar3] ‘Thank you, dear Nazis’: A German art collective says it tricked neo-Nazis into outing themselves online

[Ar4] Gris mirrors the stages of grief through art, sound and design

History Links

[Hi1] Southern Baptist Seminary Confronts History Of Slaveholding And ‘Deep Racism’

[Hi2] Smithsonian names woman to top post at American History Museum

[Hi3] How the Civil War Changed Christmas in the United States

[Hi4] Anti-Semitism is making a comeback, and history can explain why

Food Links

[Fo1] Moosewood, the Restaurant that Taught Americans to Eat Healthyish, Has a New Cookbook

[Fo2] Rethinking the Corny History of Maize: A new genetic study traces the movement of one of the world’s most vital crops from Mexico to South America

[Fo3] The History of Mocha Coffees

[Fo4] What’s Ina Garten making today: Whole lotta cash

[Fo5] Stadium Food Is Nasty and Full of Human Sweat, According to an ESPN Report

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Linky Friday: Mental Health( 10 )

“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.”
– Carl Gustav Jung

Linky Friday: Mental Health

[GB1] What is ‘hangxiety?’ When drinking to overcome social anxiety backfires the day after.

[GB2] New brain circuit that controls anxiety found

[GB3] Black children are suffering higher rates of depression and anxiety. What’s going on?

[GB4] Anxiety Is Our New Religion

[GB5] Depression Can Be Hard To Talk About, So Farmers Turn To Twitter For Support

[GB6] Regular trips out guard against depression in old age

[GB7] 300 years of storms: The evolution of the language of depression

[GB8] It’s despair, not depression, that’s responsible for Indigenous suicide

[GB9] McKenzie Adams Suicide: Everything We Know About The Heartbreaking Story Of 9-Year-Old Who TooK Her Own Life

[GB10] The boy on the bridge: A 12-year-old tried to kill himself, police say. Instead, he killed someone else.

[GB11] VA Struggles Unlock The Reasons Behind High Risk Of Suicide Among Older Veterans

[GB12] Social Media Is Ruining Our Minds—It Also Might Save Them

[GB13] Kaiser mental health workers explain why they’re striking

[GB14] Oregon may require middle, high schoolers undergo annual mental health exams

[GB15] Being detained under the Mental Health Act drove me to improve care

[GB16] Even with insurance, getting mental health treatment is a struggle in Mass., study says[GB17]

[GB18] Military units to reunite for mental health support in new VA pilot to prevent suicide

[GB19] AI can predict mental health issues from your Instagram posts. But should it?

[GB20] The Administration of Mental Health

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Ordinary World 13 Dec 2018( 3 )

Ordinary World
13 Dec 2018

What Google’s CEO Couldn’t Explain to Congress” by Alexis C. Madrigal: “It was the kind of borderline-surreal, mostly useless exchange that typified the hearing. Serious issues with Google’s practices around the world got very short shrift. Democrats and Republicans alike tried to ask questions about Google’s prospective plans to build a censored version of its search engine that could be deployed in China. But none of them made use of the reported details about what’s known as Project Dragonfly, and Pichai answered their general queries simply: “We have no plans to launch in China,” he said.”

A New Moment for North Carolina Politics” by Eric Medlin: “More than likely, North Carolina will hold its congressional election again. Harris will be forced by state law to stay on the ballot, and his opponent, Dan McCready, has a good chance of winning. While the corruption inherent in this election seems exceptional, winning through underhanded tactics is an established political strategy in North Carolina politics. The more exceptional aspect of this episode is not that fraud occurred in a North Carolina election, but that someone may actually be punished for it.”

‘Zombie’ Theresa May staggers on towards her eventual downfall” by Dominic Waghorn: “Like a zombie, Theresa May staggers on. Whatever is thrown at her, nothing can bring her down. But neither can she regain her strength. As she stumbles towards her eventual destruction, is she taking the country with her? She has overcome and survived the latest challenge but the prime minister immediately now faces an even bigger one.”

Would David Hume Give BlacKkKlansman a Golden Globe?” by Elizabeth Picciuto: “I’m disinclined to go along with his first criterion, that people with typical or greater sensory abilities are the better judges. What he’s trying to get at is an explanation for the surprising uniformity of opinion. However, as he notes, a sharper-than-typical sensory ability can sometimes hinder one from enjoying what others enjoy. Also, people with atypical sensory systems can sometimes fulfill the second criterion better: they can pick up on nuance and subtlety that others miss. The others, though, seem pretty compelling to me, particularly sensitivity to nuance, lots of experience, and freedom from prejudice.”

Side Hustles & Freelancing in a Gig Economy by Jessica Elliot: “The majority of us side hustle to cover some monthly expenses, like the orthodontist payment or insurance on a teenage driver. Others tuck it away for a special vacation. However, millions of people are increasingly turning to the idea of multiple income streams and becoming less dependent on one employer for the entirety of their income. There’s a driving factor that pushes people into full-time freelancing or long hours to a side hustle. I like to call it—desperation.”

The State of Democratic Data” by Tom Bonier: “To that end, the 2016 presidential campaign saw the emergence of a new conventional wisdom: Democrats, who were widely believed to possess a significant advantage over Republicans in the area of data and analytics, had suddenly fallen far behind, leading to Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Of course, when a candidate who was such a strong favorite to win falls short, it’s natural to look for excuses and cast blame. This particular narrative came without much evidence. In the end, Democrats failed to see Donald Trump’s path to victory, even though it was in plain sight all along, obscured only by the margin of error in the polls the campaign used to predict state-level outcomes.”

#ThotAudit: The Incel Troll Campaign Reporting Online Sex Workers to the IRS” by Baily Steen: “The term “thot,” for those unfamiliar with such internet slang, stands for “that hoe over there” and can easily apply to popular online harlots who trade nude content of themselves for lustful attention. For those with the right ego, body and branding, the online sex industry yields plenty of rewards, and apparently inspires a lot of sexual frustration. Enter the “manosphere,” the dark hive of online forums often frequented by male members of the far-right, where irritation for women’s sexual liberties abound. On Sunday, such dissatisfied “involuntary celibates” and “meninist” activists took attention away from their complaining about the opposite sex to snitch on the sexual promiscuity of social media’s most eligible “thots,” to the point it even caught the attention of the IRS themselves.”

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Wednesday Writs for 12/12( 12 )

Wednesday Writs for 12/12[L1]: Carol Bond was a woman scorned by a cheating husband, but it was her best friend, who happened to be her husband’s pregnant mistress, whom she blamed. The actions Carol took to exact her revenge resulted in her being charged with violation of an international treaty, and became the basis for Bond v. United States, our case of the week.

Carol Bond was a micro biologist, so naturally her plan was to poison her husband’s girlfriend with toxic chemicals. Fortunately for the homewrecker, Carol was caught before she could inflict any serious damage- but the federal government indicted her under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act.

Mrs. Bond appealed the charges levied by the United States, on the grounds that the government had no authority to use an international treaty in a domestic prosecution. In support, she cited the Tenth Amendment, which says the federal government only has the powers granted to it by the Constitution. First, the government denied that Carol, or any individual, had standing to challenge federal law under the Tenth Amendment, arguing that only a state could do so. The Third Circuit agreed, but SCOTUS sided with Carol and sent the case back for reconsideration on the merits of her Tenth Amendment claim. Still, the Circuit Court sided with the government, opining that while the prosecution’s interpretation of the Act as used against Carol Bond was “striking” in its “breadth”, it nonetheless held it was applicable. But Carol once again appealed to the Supreme Court and in a unanimous decision (including three separately written concurrences), SCOTUS reversed her conviction in 2011.

[L2]: A few weeks ago SCOTUS heard argument in Nieves v. Bartlett, in which Russell Bartlett argues that his 2014 arrest for disorderly conduct and resisting was retaliation for his exercise of free speech- he claims he was arrested for approaching an officer to express displeasure at the officer’s questioning of a group of teens. The issue is whether his arrest- which was for resisting an arrest arising from his verbal complaints of the officer’s conduct- amounts to a retaliatory violation of his freedom of speech. The issue has been before the court twice before with mixed results. Erwin Chemerinsky speculates whether the third time is the charm.

[L3]: A Massachusetts judge is facing a probe into allegations she allowed a defendant appearing in her court room to escape out the back door to elude ICE agents waiting outside to take him into custody.

[L4]: A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Pinnacle Foods, Inc. over their Hawaiian brand potato chips on false advertising grounds, because the chips are made in Washington State. This is an outrage. Next, you’ll be telling me Swedish Fish aren’t actually made in Sweden (some are, but some are made in Canada).

[L5]: Were the Stormy Daniels/Karen McDougal payoffs-the ones the president didn’t know about, ok he did know but wasn’t involved, ok he was involved but it was legal, ok it wasn’t legal but it was Cohen’s mistake-an illegal campaign contribution? These analysts say yes.

[L6]: This one guy (besides Trump) disagrees.

[L7]: Pro-union advocates who were troubled by last summer’s SCOTUS decision in Janus are worried there may be another, more problematic case in the pipleline.

[L8]: In another Janus spinoff, one in which I have personal interest, a North Dakota lawyer demands to be free of bar membership.

[L8]: Podcast recommendation: The Modern Law Library from the ABA Journal is a short bi-weekly podcast featuring the authors or subjects of books of legal interest. The most recent episode features three judges who contributed to the book “Tough Cases: Judges Tell the Stories of Some of the Hardest Decisions They’ve Ever Made.”

[L9]: I should rename “Dumb Criminal of the Week” as “Florida Man of the Week”: If you illegally jump into a crocodile exhibit, don’t leave behind your Crocs. Or a trail of blood.

Wednesday Writs for 12/12

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Morning Ed: Energy( 12 )

Morning Ed: Energy

[En1] Peter Van Doren writes of the current limitations of green energy.

[En2] A look at the largest wind farm in Mexico.

[En3] Spokane wants to send Canada’s smoke back.

[En4] When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, it looked different.

[En5] Renewable energy has a lot riding on the ability to build a better battery.

[En6] Progress towards cleaner energy in Texas keeps chugging along.

[En7] A look at Japan’s plans to use recycled nuclear material for an arsenal.

[En8] Big Oil is under some pressure to ramp up.


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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 22 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] As debates over music in the age of #MeToo rage on, radio is still about the power of the people

[Mu2] Pop Music in 2018 Was a Beautiful, Transformative Mess

[Mu3] Disappearing movies and games: How safe is your digital collection?

[Mu4] How The ‘New World’ Symphony Introduced American Music To Itself

[Mu5] Matthew Herbert Sets The EU To Music With His Brexit Big Band.

Art Links

[Ar1] Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel, explained

[Ar2] “Come,” it says. “Smell the roses. I use beauty as a trap,” the artist, Ebony G. Patterson, told the Cut in Miami this week.

[Ar3] Walmart to purchase Art.com assets

[Ar4] Tania Bruguera and Other Cuban Artists Released from Jail, Government Curtails Law Censoring the Arts

History Links

[Hi1] Pearl Harbor history preserved with help of Paul Allen Philanthropies

[Hi2] Always good, but this week they tackle some history: The Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered

[Hi3] Forty Years Ago, 12.6 Million Feet of History Went Up in Smoke

[Hi4] The Most Amazing Historical Discoveries of 2018

Food Links

[Fo1] Comfort food? Ohio State University installs bacon vending machine

[Fo2] Oversight of US military’s food suppliers called into question after fraud indictment

[Fo3] Despite value deals, fast-food prices are on the rise

[Fo4] Food giants lure consumers with ‘stealth small brands’

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Linky Friday: Pearl Harbor( 7 )

Linky Friday: Pearl Harbor

[In1] For first time, no USS Arizona survivors will be in attendance at ceremonies to mark attack on Pearl Harbor.

[In2] How the U.S. Navy’s Battleships Got Revenge for Pearl Harbor.

[In3] Unknown Stories: Audio Recordings Reveal Mood in Buffalo After Pearl Harbor

[In4] A scrap from Pearl Harbor saved this WWII sailor’s life off Okinawa

[In5] Before Pearl Harbor, these secret American heroes were already resisting Japan

[In6] On the morning of Sunday, Dec. 7, Jensen was the only physician on duty at the Naval Hospital. On a second-floor balcony overlooking Hickam field, he was stitching up the face of a soldier who had been injured in a bar fight. At 7:55 a.m., he heard explosions, then 20 planes flying low at a high speed, skimming the hospital’s roof.

[In7] A total of 334 crewmembers survived the USS Arizona sinking. Some of them have chosen to be interred on the USS Arizona upon their death.

[In8] Pearl Harbor tugboat in North Little Rock to offer 1st public tours

[In9] On This Day in 1941?—?During the Attack on Pearl Harbor Lt. Annie Fox Earned the First Purple Heart Awarded To A Woman.

[In10] How (Almost) Everyone Failed to Prepare for Pearl Harbor.

[In11] Pearl Harbor Mystery: Where Is USS Oklahoma?

[In12] Utah Was the “Not So Famous” Battleship Sunk During the Pearl Harbor Attack.

[In13] Japan’s Midget Submarine Attack on Pearl Harbor Was a Suicide Mission.

[In14] How the Battleship USS Nevada and I Survived World War II.

[In15] How the U.S. and Japan Became Allies even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

[In16] Blame Alfred Thayer Mahan for Pearl Harbor (and Thank Him for Its Failure).

[In17] Doris Miller honored on eve of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

[In18] Vin Scully recalls learning about Pearl Harbor.

[In19] VIEWPOINT: Widow: “People are forgetting about Pearl Harbor”.

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Wednesday Writs for 12/5( 8 )

Wednesday Writs for 12/5

Schenk Flyer

    [L1]: The year was 1917. The United States was embroiled in the first World War, and a draft had been instituted. A Mr. Schenk, the admitted general secretary of the “Socialist Party”, and others in his group were mailing out flyers and literature to draftees, denouncing the war and the draft. The flyers encouraged the drafted men to defy the orders, averring that the conscription violated the 13th amendment prohibiting involuntary servitude. But Schenk et. al. found themselves charged by the government with conspiracy and misuse of the mail for sending out the literature which, they alleged, obstructed recruiting and incited insubordination. They were convicted, and appealed on the grounds that the charges amounted to violation of their first amendment rights. The case made it to the Supreme Court, in Schenk v. United States, our case of the week. The Court ruled unanimously against the socialists. Writing for the court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said the following:

…when a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.

In the opinion of the Court, the realities of wartime could justify the imposition of stricter restrictions on the freedom of speech. Holmes also made the following statement, which is perhaps the most well-known and lasting detail of the Schenk case:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.

[L2]: SCOTUS members are back on the bench on January 7th to begin hearing the first oral arguments of 2019. Among those on the docket are cases involving copyrights, FDA warnings, governmental immunity, and Native American hunting rights.

[L3]: Are law schools adequately preparing students for the modern practice of law? Forbes contributor Mark Cohen isn’t so sure.

[L4]: Second year Law student Joshua Quick made headlines last month when he fought with a man who opened fire at a Florida yoga studio. In appreciation of his heroism, his law school rewarded him with $30,000 toward his education.

[L5]: When Citizen United was decided, John Paul Steven read his dissent from the bench. It was notable at the time that he had some difficulty reading, and he decided that same day to step down. What no one knew, not even Justice Stevens, was that he had suffered a mini-stroke.

[L6]: Pennsylvania’s former attorney general reports to jail this week. Kathleen Kane’s appeals were denied; she will serve ten months for leaking grand jury documents and lying under oath.

[L7]: Everyone loves dad jokes. Everyone loves lawyer jokes. Here is a short list of jokes that are both: lawyer/dad jokes, if you will.

[L8]: Genetics is funny, and it seems we are constantly finding out new ways in which our genes decide who we are, and not just in a physical sense. A man in New Mexico charged with a (very) violent crime is appealing his conviction, arguing that his attorney should have been permitted to present evidence that he carries “the warrior gene”, and is thus predisposed to violence.

[L9]: Jay-Z: rap god, fashion mogul, and advocate for diversity in arbitration?

[L10]: Our dumb criminal of the week just couldn’t get a handle on things. Like his gun.

[L11]: YouTube Channel recommendation: History Boy. YouTube channels are big with kids these days, but most of them are video game related. This young man makes short videos of interesting history tidbits- like this one, containing a quote by Justice Holmes, a civil war veteran. (Warning: graphic images).

Oliver Wendell Homes civil war quote


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Tech Tuesday for 12/4( 3 )

In case you’ve been living under a rock this past week, NASA put another probe onto Mars. This one is basically a seismograph. Just a reminder, this is still a very tricky thing to do, and the fact that we get it right more often than not is worthy of the admiration of the people who put this stuff together.

Speaking of probes, OSIRIS-REX has achieved orbit around the asteroid Bennu.

He was particularly drawn to the futuristic shuttlecrafts that effortlessly skimmed through the air, with seemingly no moving parts and hardly any noise or exhaust.

Hydrogen stored in a liquid at STP, as a gasoline replacement. Sounds wonderful, but for something that is being touted as Open Source, I’m not seeing any obvious chemical formulas so I can understand how the Hydrogen is getting bound to the liquid, nor how the mystery catalyst is doing it’s job.

They have spread so far, so fast that they may be one defining sign of our times. The shells they leave behind can enter the geologic record, and survive for ages to come as a marker (“we were here”) in deep time.

New full body image scanner. There’s a couple of links to videos in the article, be sure to check them out, because damn if that isn’t impressive!

Ooooh, a pretty Pinwheel of Death!

Stellarator fusion reactor sets new records. Fusion power still 20 years away. Note: my Alma Mater finished building one of these about 20 years ago.

It’s about time we started co-opting viruses to our benefit. Now if we could just engineer the cold virus to help with weight loss, I might enjoy having the sniffles.

ISS turns 20! Happy Birthday, you fantastic bit of easy to spot orbital amalgamation!

Factories! In! Space!

Bioengineering replacement spinal disks. Oh, and look, there is some glue for that, and other cartilage replacement.

Speaking of hydrogels, we can use them for gathering water as well.

Using photosynthesis to convert CO2 into plastic.

It’s good to see more things being designed and built with additive manufacturing, but I’m still waiting for them to get Tweels out and on all the roads.

Oh, man, this just hits all the right aerospace geek notes for me. ESA astronaut caught the launch of Progress rocket.

I got nothing better that this Ed Brayton quote from FB:
A Chinese scientist is making CRISPR babies. As an atheist BBQ guy, I know that this is totally unnecessary. You can make a baby CRISPR by drying out the skin and applying a coat of olive oil before roasting it. The Chinese invented Peking Duck, they should know this.

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Ordinary World for 3 Dec 2018( 35 )

Ordinary World
3 Dec 2018

[Wo1] Macron surveys damage after worst riots in Paris for decades, calls for talks: “French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday surveyed the damage from a day of riots across Paris and led crisis talks that ended with a call for further talks with anti-government activists who have staged two weeks of protests.”

[Wo2] UK’s Labour will seek no confidence vote in May if Brexit bill fails: “Gove told the BBC Sunday that if ministers don’t pass the bill “the alternatives are no deal or no Brexit.” The likelihood of rejection could increase Monday if Labour is successful in forcing May to reveal the full legal advice she sought before agreeing the deal with European leaders last month. The UK’s attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, is due to brief lawmakers on the matter Monday, but Downing Street is seeking to avoid publishing the full advice, in defiance of a Commons vote last month obliging it to do so. The government argues Cox’s briefing will be sufficient, but Starmer said “if they don’t produce it tomorrow then we will start contempt proceedings, and this will be a collision course between the government and Parliament.”

[Wo3] Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag: “A United Nations panel has accused China of turning its far-flung western region of Xinjiang “into something that resembled a massive internment camp shrouded in secrecy, a ‘no rights zone’.” It estimates that there could be as many as one million Muslims who have been detained there”

[Wo4] India and Pakistan Aren’t Ready for Another Terrorist Crisis: “On the week of the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist massacre, the bilateral cooperation between India and Pakistan to open a visa-free corridor for Sikh pilgrims to access a sacred place of worship offers a rare moment of inspiration. Ten years ago this week, India awoke to the horrific three-day assault on its financial capital of Mumbai by Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, much of it broadcast live, in which at least 170 people were killed, hundreds more were wounded, and South Asian rivals raised fears of a major conflict and nuclear crisis. Today, the impromptu corridor of free passage between decades-long adversaries might signal the triumph of back-channel diplomacy and pragmatic confidence-building.”

[Wo5] Mattis: Putin a ‘slow learner’ who tried to ‘muck around’ in midterms: “Mr. Putin is clearly a slow learner. He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people,” Mattis said. “He’s not acting in the best interests of the Russian people, and he is actually causing NATO to rearm and to strengthen the democracies’ stance, the unified stance of all the democracies together.”

[Wo6] Trump wants to grant Kim’s wishes, South Korea says, as new round of summits looms: “After meeting Trump at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Moon said the U.S. president gave him a message to bring to Kim. “And the message was that President Trump has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim and that he likes him, and so he wishes Chairman Kim would implement the rest of their agreement and that he would make what Chairman Kim wants come true,” Moon told reporters on his presidential plane over the weekend. But Trump and Moon also agreed on the need to maintain existing sanctions against North Korea until it completely denuclearizes, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.”

[Wo7] Alberta premier announces 8.7% oil production cut to increase prices: “The reduction will drop to an average of 95,000 barrels a day until curtailment ends at the end of 2019, when Enbridge’s new Line 3 pipeline starts operating.The Alberta government also expects to acquire locomotives and rail cars by the end of next year to transport 120,000 barrels a day. Notley said the decision to impose mandatory curtailments was difficult, but necessary. “In Alberta we believe that markets are the best way to set prices, but when markets aren’t working, when companies are forced to sell our resources for pennies on the dollar, then we have a responsibility to act,” Notley said, adding the government has “a responsibility to defend our province and to defend our resources.”

[Wo8] EU begins disciplinary procedures against Italy after rejecting its controversial budget plans: “Italy’s populist and partly right-wing coalition wants to increase the country’s deficit to 2.4 percent of annual economic output in 2019, as it looks to make good on pre-election spending pledges. A previous Italian government had submitted a 2019 budget which would have recorded a deficit of just 0.8 percent. In a statement, the European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — said: “With regret, that today we confirm our assessment that Italy’s draft budget plan is in particularly serious non-compliance with the Council recommendation of 13 July.”

[Wo9] Trump shifts focus to Japan after trade truce with China: “Analysts are watching how the Trump administration will balance its ambitions for a comprehensive pact like a free trade agreement with the U.S. agricultural industry’s thirst for a deal when other farming nations such as Australia and Canada are gaining greater access to the Japanese market through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-nation FTA that will enter into force on Dec. 30. Similarly, Japan and the European Union are speeding up domestic procedures for the early enforcement of an FTA, making American farmers and ranchers less competitive than their European counterparts in terms of access to the world’s third-largest economy. “What the Japanese are hoping to do is to drag this out as long as they can, even potentially waiting out the end of the Trump administration,” said Benjamin Self, vice president of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation in Washington.”

[Wo10] ‘It’s the real me’: Nigerian president denies he died and was replaced by a clone: “With that declaration, Buhari broke his silence about a rumor that had taken root on social media last year, when he was away in London being treated for an undisclosed illness. The theory went that the president, who is running for reelection in February 2019, had been swapped out with a look-alike from Sudan named Jubril — even that he was “cloned,” as he put it in relaying the rumor to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter. There was no evidence to back up the rumor, an AFP fact-check concluded. But posts on social media claiming that Nigeria — the most populous country in Africa and the continent’s largest economy — had come under the control of an impostor were viewed more than 500,000 times. The earliest online mention of the rumor identified by the Paris-based news agency was in a Twitter post from September 2017, in which a user wrote, “The Man Who Parades himself as ‘Buhari’ Is Not The Real Buhari. Is Jubril From Sudan.”

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Linky Friday: A Bit of History( 3 )

Linky Friday
A Bit of History

[Hi1] Epic history of light

[Hi2] News you can use: How to Beat Demagogues Online: Know Your History!

[Hi3] Why Are Fewer People Majoring in History?

[Hi4] 3 Things People Get Wrong About the History of HIV and AIDS

[Hi5] Reasons to live happily without Facebook, Part 565,454: The Infinite Weirdness of Never-Ending Chat Histories

[Hi6] Science history: the disinterested flight pioneer: New Zealander Richard Pearse may have beaten the Wright brothers, but never claimed the honour. Jeff Glorfeld reports.

[Hi7] The Craziest Titanic Conspiracy Theories, Explained

[Hi8] The Costs of the Confederacy

[Hi9] The deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California’s history has finally been contained

[Hi10] Photos: The Strange History of NYC’s Swinburne and Hoffman Islands

[Hi11] Quebec’s high school history textbooks offer ‘skewed, one-sided view of the past’ and should be replaced

[Hi12] Alfred the Great’s rebel nephew: At the turn of the 10th century, King Alfred’s carefully crafted royal dynasty was almost wrecked by an ambitious prince, Æthelwold.

[Hi13] Re-upped from the Sunday Brunch because it’s just so fun: The History of the Oceans Is Locked in Whale Earwax

[Hi14] ‘A Record of Exploded Ideas’: History and Strategic Commentary in the 21st Century

[Hi15] How photos shaped history of San Francisco, Los Angeles

[Hi16] Always, without exception: Are US History Textbooks Obsolete?

[Hi17] Of Demogorgons and Purple Worms — a Visual History of Dungeons & Dragons

[Hi18] List is awesome, plus didn’t know Reader’s Digest was still around: 15 of the Most Famous Psychopaths in History

[Hi19] Scientists Have Identified the Actual Worst Year in History. And No, It’s Not 2018

[Hi20] On this date in 1835, John and Jane Clemens welcomed their sixth child, a boy. The trouble started almost immediately…You may have heard of him.

[Hi21] Hal Holbrook in “Mark Twain Tonight!” from 1967. He still performs this, just – as he quips – he’s past 90 these days so he doesn’t need the age makeup.

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Wednesday Writs for 11/28( 10 )

[L1]: In the early 1900s in New Hampshire, a young boy named George Hawkins grabbed an electrical wire and badly burned the palm of his hand. For years, it seemed he was destined to live with the badly damaged but usable hand. Then, one Dr. McGee turned up, promising George and his father that he could fix the boy’s hand. Dr. McGee guaranteed a “100% good hand” after surgery. The boy and his father agreed and Dr. McGee performed the operation. His method: remove skin from the boy’s chest and graft it to the palm of his hand. The surgery did not go well, and the result was a mass of tissue in his palm that made his hand completely unusable-and then grew hair. The Hawkins family sued Dr. McGee for breach of contract in Hawkins v. McGee, our case of the week– better known among law students as “the Hairy Hand Case”. The New Hampshire appellate court agreed with the jury, who decided the doctor had formed a contract with his promise of a 100% good hand, and breached by failing to deliver, but ordered a new trial to accurately assess damages. The case, besides being gross, is notable for the recognition of “expectation damages”; that is, the difference in value between the expected performance of a contract and what is actually received. The parties eventually settled, but the case lives on in 1L contracts classes every where.

[L2]: In keeping with the theme of suing doctors, how would you feel if your surgeon decided to bust a move in the middle of your liposuction? According to multiple lawsuits, Dr. Windell Boutte did just that- and much more serious things.

[L3]: Satan takes on Netflix! Well, the Satanic Temple, that is. The Organization says Netflix has co-opted their design of Baphomet and used it without permission in the graphic logo for the Netflix show “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.

[L4]: After forty years, a United Nations court rules that Khmer Rouge perpetrated genocide in Cambodia, convicting two of the regime’s surviving leaders of killing off minorities in the 1970s “killing fields.”

[L5]: Bail reform has been a topic of late, and a New York program aimed at helping those charged with non-violent crimes await trial outside of jail has proven to have a successful return-to-court rate- so why isn’t it being used more broadly?

[L6]: Out of 27 lawyers scheduled to argue before the SCOTUS this next session, only two are women, continuing a trend of very few women appearing before the high court.

[L7]: Speaking of SCOTUS, Justices Gorsuch and Sotomayor joined up in a dissenting opinion in the case of Stuart v. Alabama, in which the majority upheld the DUI conviction of a woman despite the fact that the chemist who performed the forensic testing in her case was not the one who testified to the results. Gorsuch and Sotomayor believe this action violated Stuart’s constitutional right to confront her accuser (I concur).

[L8]: In what will surely be a new 4th Amendment battle, an Ohio man became the first person compelled to use his face to unlock his iphone for the police.

[L9]: The American Bar Association has published a list of the best of #lawtwitter. The list is incomplete because I am not on it, but still a good start.

[L10]: You know how meat and poultry packaging shows you a little picture of a skillet? That’s because it is mandated by our crazy law of the week.

[L11]: Our dumb criminal of the week faked his own death– but unfortunately for him, he told his girlfriend. Apparently having more conscience than he did, she tattled to his parents.

[L12]: To end back on the medical malpractice note, I give you the deposition scene from Malice, starring a young Alec Baldwin:

Malice – I am God

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Morning Ed: Society( 27 )

[So1] This wins.

[So2] How brewing became a boys’ club when women owned the ground floor. Coffee, on the other hand, women were not as fond of.

[So3] This is really interesting: They’re building “memory towns” for people with dementia, and it has ramifications for the rest of us.

[So4] History is bad. Science says so.

[So5] This is sort of a back alley argument for lightened copyright restrictions. A lot of this stuff they don’t care enough to offer, but also don’t want to give away. We can make the choice for them!

[So6] Derek Thompson writes about the effect of meritocracy on sports. The arguments about parental involvement are good, though “If it’s not a traveling league why bother” says more about a defect in our culture more general than inequality.

[So7] The last line of a couple dozen shows. The Savage shows, Wonder Years and Boy Meets World, got the most mileage out of theirs. The sad ones are the “What now?” ones.

[So8] I know I say this about a lot of things, but isn’t there a middle ground here? Garfield was designed around merchandising and it shows, but Calvin and Hobbes gear would have bought joy to people and instead of that we have pissing Calvin as the primary cultural artifact. More on Calvin and Hobbes.

[So9] I just don’t think you’ll ever do better than Corporate Merger Jesus.



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Ordinary World 26 Nov 2018( 106 )

Ordinary World
26 Nov 2018

[OW1] There’s no point to regulating Big Tech because it’s failing by Taylor Millard: “It’s no surprise to see the populist right agreeing with Democrats on social media regulations – even if they disagree on how the regulations should be drawn up.”

[OW2] Longing for Community by Berny Belvedere: “Here’s one place where important strands of the left and right can converge: the importance of community. This is an overlooked point of intersection. It is community in two separate senses, sure, but the two senses are mutually-reinforcing. For identitarians on the left, the sense of community worth agitating for is group community—the African-American community, the LGBT community, etc. For communitarians on the right, there is a yearning for thriving local communities. My thesis is that to realize the aspirations of community in the fullest sense of the word, you cannot ignore either of these.”

[OW3] The Charity Walkathon Is Dead, Long Live the Charity Walkathon by Olga Khazan : “Before the internet took over, “runs and walks were a way for people to connect around a common cause,” says Elizabeth Dale, a professor of nonprofit leadership at Seattle University. “I remember as a kid doing a 15-kilometer walk for multiple sclerosis. We had a family friend with MS, and I got to walk in her honor. There was real value in coming together and participating in something with other people.”

[OW4] Asia’s War on History by Richard Scotford: “Today the people of Asia find themselves at a critical juncture, with CPC controlled China demanding that democratic Japan fully face-up to its war time history and stop visiting the Yasakuni Shrine, ‘honour’ war time agreements and face-up to its dishonorable past. Yet, the same CPC, controlled media that demands such submissiveness from an independent sovereign state can’t acknowledge its own, very real and vicious history. And this is why Asia finds itself in a bitter war over history, which may eventually be the prelude to a real war.”

[OW5] INTERVIEW – A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes by By Sean Illing: “Asshole survival, Sutton says, is a craft, not a science, meaning one can be good or bad at it. His book is about getting better at it. I sat down with him recently to talk about his strategies for dealing with assholes, what he means when he says we have to take responsibility for the assholes in our lives, and why he says self-awareness is key to recognizing that the asshole in your life may be you.”

[OW6] Red state, Blue state; Country state, City state by O.T. Ford: “If I wanted to guess a white person’s politics from location alone, I wouldn’t ask what state or region. I’d ask how big the city or town was and how close to the center she lived. That’s not a flawless method, but it’s better than “red state or blue state?”. Who actually thought Houston, being in Texas, was conservative? Who thought downstate Illinois, being in Illinois, was liberal? They aren’t. And again, that’s not new.”

[OW7] Instant Pot Politics: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram stories are the future of candidate marketing by Christina Cauterucci: “Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram stories feel like a harbinger of one possible political future, one in which digital-native elected officials take full advantage of the unmediated access to constituents and fans afforded by social media. Millennials and Gen Zers prize a curated sort of authenticity in the celebrities they follow and expect constant documentation of their friends’ lives. In the near future, they may come to demand the same Instant Pot intimacy from the politicians they send to Washington, too.”

[OW8] What works in Healthcare? by Benjamin I. Espen: “I suspect what is going on is that medicine works, just barely, on average. You get things like the long slow decline of maternal mortality from the confluence of lots and lots of little things added together. If you look at anything else, heart disease, or cancer, you will see the same pattern. Vaccines are an exception. Disease rates for things with effective vaccines just drop off immediately. Which brings us to my motivation for bringing this up at all. Random C.”

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 23 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] If you missed it, our own Kristin Devine provided a list of Thanksgiving songs for a holiday that doesn’t get the music love that Christmas does.

[Mu2] How The ‘New World’ Symphony Introduced American Music To Itself.

[Mu3] How ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ turned Queen into box office, music chart champions after decades.

[Mu4] We all did it, TBH: “Making Up Lyrics For Instrumental Video Game Music”.

[Mu5] The World’s Highest-Paid Women In Music 2018.

Art Links

[Ar1] “President Emmanuel Macron announced Friday that France would return 26 works of art to Benin, hours after he was presented with a report calling for thousands of African artworks in French museums and taken during the colonial period to be returned.”

[Ar2] At first glance, you may think it’s a food truck, but this truck sells ‘Food for the soul’: The Minnesota Art Truck defies convention, features local artists.

[Ar3] Fine art photographers show their best at ‘Shades of Gray’.

[Ar4] Suit Accuses Dutch Museums of Holding On to Nazi-Tainted Art.

History Links

[Hi1] Olivia Hooker, who after surviving a race-related attack on a black section of Tulsa, Okla., in 1921 went on to become the first black woman to enlist in the Coast Guard and a distinguished psychology professor at Fordham University, died on Wednesday at her home in White Plains, N.Y. She was 103.

[Hi2] It’s a vital waterway with a colorful history running through the heart of Bowling Green, but most people don’t even know it exists. “We glamorize (Whiskey Run) today,” he noted in an email message, “but it was a stinky, hazardous eyesore.”

[Hi3] California’s only ‘pirate’ raid in history was actually about independence.

[Hi4] The History of the Oceans Is Locked in Whale Earwax:The massive plugs contain spikes and dips of stress hormones that perfectly match the history of modern whaling.

Food Links

[Fo1] The Big Number — 5.6 million youths deal with food allergies.

[Fo2] Mind The Junk Food: London To Ban Ads For Unhealthy Eats On Public Transportation.

[Fo3] The Danes know all about hot dishes for cold nights. Here is a selection of recipes from Trine Hahnemann’s latest cookbook, Copenhagen Food.

[Fo4] Food Distributors Make Changes as Costs Bite: Sysco, US Foods and others are raising wages and redrawing truck routes as operating expenses rise.

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Linky Friday: Black Friday( 3 )

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in the latest styles from Old Navy, and laid him in a shopping cart, because they were waiting in line to get into Walmart.”
– Adam Kotsko

Linky Friday: Black Friday

[Bf1] Black Friday is longer, and tamer, than ever: Black Friday crowds aren’t what they used to be. That doesn’t mean the holiday is going anywhere.

[Bf2] How Walmart is trying to reinvent in-store shopping to win Black Friday: To better compete with Amazon and other retailers, Walmart is increasingly using technology to improve its in-store experience

[Bf3] Costco’s Black Friday 2018 Ad Has Nasty Expensive Surprises

[Bf4] Black Friday sales could be targeted as “prime pickings” for cyber-crime, the UK’s cyber-security defence agency has warned shoppers.

[Bf5] Why the annual Black Friday shopping event sounds like a disaster: From a Wall Street crash to Australian bushfires, ‘black’ days usually denote catastrophe. So what makes this day of runaway consumerism any different?

[Bf6] Gunman killed during Black Friday sales at Alabama mall: Multiple witnesses said they heard as many as 10 shots after an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl were injured when they were struck by gunfire.

[Bf7] Worst Amazon Black Friday Deal Confirmed As Customer Data Is Leaked

[Bf8] Is it time to put Black Friday out of shoppers’ misery?

[Bf9] Our own Vikram Bath’s thoughts on Black Friday

[Bf10] A family of Black Friday super-shoppers explain the holiday’s appeal

[Bf11] Why Black Friday shopping is especially dangerous in Tennessee – and how to be safe

[Bf12] ummm….they, and more specifically Amazon, already seized on it, which is why it no longer exists. Walmart and Target seize on the first Black Friday without Toys ‘R’ Us

[Bf13] Amazon Workers In The UK Are Planning to Protest on Black Friday. Here’s Why.

[Bf14] Nope. The last Kmart in Tampa Bay welcomed buyers on Thanksgiving. Is it enough to save the chain?

[Bf15] Amazon does a little shopping of their own: The complicated reasons why Amazon might buy Fox Sports Southwest and its siblings

[Bf16] ‘Wallywood’ fire camp begins to disband after Walmart asks evacuees to leave. Will it hurt the store’s image?

[Bf17] The infamous scrum for 23-inch TV’s at Walmart:

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Ordinary World: Thanksgiving( 9 )

Ordinary World: Thanksgiving

[Th1] What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving? by Megan Gambino: The history of the holiday meal tells us that turkey was always the centerpiece, but other courses have since disappeared

[Th2] A short course on the history of 8 Thanksgiving foods: “The myth of our holiday’s Pilgrim origins took hold. But the dishes we eat at Thanksgiving? They capture other stories about the making of the American nation.”

[Th3] Sorting out the myths and history behind Thanksgiving: “There are plenty of varying myths and beliefs around Thanksgiving. Some people think it marks the victimization of Native Americans under colonialism, while others just want to eat turkey in peace without their hyper-political nephew chiming in.”

[Th4] American Myths: Benjamin Franklin’s Turkey and the Presidential Seal:How the New Yorker and the West Wing botched the history of the icon by Jimmy Stamp: “First up, the idea that Benjamin Franklin, in his infinite wisdom and wit, wanted the National Bird to be the turkey.”

[Th5] Bad Timing Award: How Recalled Foods Are Cramping Thanksgiving Dinner Menus This Year

[Th6] Alice’s Restaurant: An Illustrated Version of Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic

[Th7] If You Need a Thanksgiving Conversation Guide… By Roland Dodds (2015): “Is it really that difficult to talk about these issues with people who don’t share your perspective? Are urban young professionals so divorced from other segments of the broader community that they are unable of engaging in these discussions without assuming their family is a bunch of ignorant idiots? Have I asked enough rhetorical questions?”

[Th8] Forget Thanksgiving. What happened to Black Friday? by Vikram Bath (2013): “Regular people know about Black Friday and are able to participate, so we see pricing that is no better than other sales during the year. This doesn’t mean you can’t save on Black Friday. It’s just that you shouldn’t expect to save more than you would have on Labor Day. That’s right. The problem is that Black Friday has become too commercialized. This makes me sad.”

[Th9] A Rambling Thanksgiving Post by Mike Dwyer (2012): “Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I love the whole concept of recognizing a time to be grateful for what we have. The holiday has its roots in American history. It represents the ‘official’ start of the winter hunting season for me. And it’s all about food.”

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Wednesday Writs for 11/21( 19 )

[L1] Sometimes, you gotta fight for your right to party. And sometimes, you have to take that right all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, as was the case in District of Columbia, et al v. Theodore Wesby, our case of the week, a decision handed down in March 2018. A decade earlier, police showed up on the scene of a wild house party, a display of debauchery the likes of which Clarence Thomas, writing for the Court, described thusly:

The party was still going strong when the officers arrived after 1 a.m., with music so loud that it could be heard from outside. Upon entering the house, multiple officers smelled marijuana. The party-goers left beer bottles and cups of liquor on the floor, and they left the floor so dirty that one of them refused to siton it. The living room had been converted into a make-shift strip club. Strippers in bras and thongs, with cash stuffed in their garter belts, were giving lap dances. Up-stairs, the officers found a group of men with a single, naked woman on a bare mattress—the only bed in the house—along with multiple open condom wrappers and a used condom.

The party-goers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but all charges were ultimately dropped. The party guests sued for a fourth amendment violation, arguing that the officers’ entry was unlawful because nobody present had the authority to let them in the house. The lower court and appellate court agreed, but SCOTUS ultimately found for the District, finding that the police reasonably believed they were witnessing a crime, had probable cause to make the arrests, and thus violated no rights.

[L2] The facts of our case of the week are among the most risque to have appeared in high court jurisprudence, but the ruling is fairly unremarkable, unlike those found in this list of the 5 Worst SCOTUS decisions of the last fifty years. Are there others you think should be included? (h/t to Michael Siegel for the link).

[L3] While we’re making lists, what’s your favorite Perry Mason episode? Personally, I like the one where he goads the prosecution’s witness into a shocking confession, exonerating his client.

[L4] Lawyers are decreasingly being portrayed as heroes in film and TV, which is just as well, since we are villains everywhere else.

[L5] Heroic may be too strong a word, but some lawyers do some good, some times. It has become common to give away turkeys around the holidays. Altruism or marketing strategy? I doubt the recipients care.

[L6] Then there’s this lawyer in Texas, who made nearly half a million dollars representing indigent criminal defendants last year. Caution to new lawyers: results are atypical- (and possibly fraudulent, in my opinion). He claims to work 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week on his court-appointed cases. For perspective, this is twice the billing of the second-highest appointed defense biller in the county,which is part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area. Second place was a firm of three lawyers.

[L7] Continuing with the theme of lawyers behaving badly: this attorney took to Facebook to pronounce his own client “an idiot and a terrible criminal.” While this description is one many lawyers have thought of their clients, most of us don’t actually say it out loud.

[L8] It’s hard not to feel that way when you represent people like our dumb criminal of the week, who instigated a war between brick and bullet proof glass, in which he became the only casualty.

[L9] If you see a bull running wild for more than three days in Missouri, go ahead and castrate it. Don’t worry, it’s fine, according to our crazy law of the week.

[L10]: In honor of these lawyers offering brief cases full of cash in order to lure clients, I will leave you with this, probably my favorite lawyer related song of all time:

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Tech Tuesday for 11/20( 10 )

Tech Tuesday for 11/20

[TT1] This is MASSIVE! The last of the physical metric standards is set to fall away, leaving the definitions of units under the metric system to be wholly described by universal physical constants.

[TT2] Russia has a functioning nuclear power plant that is not in a Navy ship or submarine.

[TT3] I’m frankly at a loss as to what the hell Boeing was thinking, putting such a system into the 737MAX and not bringing it to everyone’s attention. It’s a good system, don’t get me wrong, but you need to make sure the pilots flying the plane know about it, and how to deal with it. I mean, hell, when I got my new Subaru, with the Eyesight system, the sales guy made sure to tell me how to temporarily turn off the system, for when I was in the car wash (the brushes would confuse the system and it would think a collision was imminent, and thus apply the brakes).

[TT4] The APA says media reporting on mass killers does actually inspire the next mass killer. Also, I am certain this has nothing at all to do with mass killings.

[TT5] Researchers in Sweden have developed an isomer that can easily store solar energy for up to 18 years.

[TT6] This seems like an interesting concept for a cargo vessel. I like the outriggers, and the stabilization system. You have to watch the video to really get a feel for the dolphin propulsion system. (No, they haven’t harnessed a pod of dolphins to pull the ship across the ocean like a team of reindeer)

[TT7] At one point in earth’s history, the universe was seriously trying to dimple the planet like a golf ball.

[TT8] The San Juan has been found.

[TT9] China is getting serious about Fusion Power Research. Fusion power is 20 years away. And thank you, Trump, for making is so in my head, I always want to pronounce it ‘Ch-EYE-nah!’

[TT10] Say hello to Cosmic Girl!

[TT11] Some history, and cold water, regarding Quantum Computing.

[TT12] That’s a nice way to do a tidal turbine. Props are away from most marine life, and the whole system can be easily brought in for servicing.

[TT13] I love looking at the new ideas students come up with. Most of these won’t get very far, but there are a few winners in there.

[TT14] Back in the old days, we’d do this with strain rosettes.

[TT15] Lockheed intends to quiet to sonic boom for commercial air travel. Still not sure what to do about the cosmic fuel suckage of traveling above the speed of sound.

[TT16] Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll do some Bio-mimicry of worms.

[TT17] Parker Probe attempts to get renamed Icarus, but manages to avoid that fate.

[TT18] The Plimp Model J. Nice idea, but come on guys, ‘Plimp’? Sure, it’s a Portmanteau, but it sounds like an adolescent skin condition.

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Ordinary World: Education( 70 )

EDU1: Tom Bennett, founder of ResearchED, an organisation dedicated to promoting evidence-based research in education, weighs in on the ‘traditional-vs-progressive’ teaching debate.

EDU2: A new journal called The Journal Of Dangerous Ideas, edited by prominent academics including Peter Singer has launched. The journal, which allows anonymous submissions, aims to create a platform for controversial and unorthodox ideas and arguments which would otherwise go unpublished.

EDU3: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled changes to Title IX laws, reinforcing the rights of the accused in sexual assault cases and reducing the liability of colleges and universities when investing claims of misconduct.

EDU4: Michael Petrilli of the Thomas Fordham Institute writes on the state of education form in the United States.

EDU5: Alina von Davier, a professor at Fordham University, blogs for the Brookings Institute about the role of AI technology in schools.

EDU6: An amusing blogpost by Claire Stoneman on the medicalised language of the modern school.

EDU7: The Education Writers’ Association has uncovered some surprising causes of declining enrolments in liberal arts courses in universities and colleges.

EDU8: Also from the Education Writers’ Association, a report about the explicit teaching of social and emotional learning skills at Hazel Wolf K-8 STEM School in Seattle.

EDU9: A dissenting response to the previous piece about social and emotional learning from Chester E. Finn Jr of the Thomas Fordham institute, which casts doubt on the validity of the concept of social and emotional learning.

EDU10: David Leonhardt, writing for the New York Times, argues that a college student debt relief program would merely be a welfare program scheme for the upper middle class.

EDU11: John Schilling of National Review highlights growing support for school-choice programs in the community.

EDU12: A piece from The Conversation which explores the limits of education in improving social mobility.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 3 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] “‘Dylan goes electric’ is still shorthand for any time an artist or anybody does some radical turn in their music or in their work where they’re sort-of ‘Audience be damned, I need to make the sound I need to make,’” says former Spin editor and Rolling Stone music critic Alan Light, who curated the latest exhibit at the American Writers Museum — “Bob Dylan: Electric.”

[Mu2] How we use music as a possible sleep aid: Respondents believe music stimulates sleep, blocks internal, external sleep disruptors.

[Mu3] Someone just perfectly transcribed HMRC’s hold music while waiting on the phone for 40 minutes: “It was boredom therapy. I just thought it could make someone laugh if I transcribed it and posted it up, it was just silly really. I think the fact that the song just repeats itself is enough make people go insane.”

[Mu4] Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of The Sound of Music.

[Mu5] Fantasia – all the classical music used in the Disney film.

Art Links

[Ar1] Nevada Museum of Art to Launch Art Satellite into Space on Monday: “If you’re looking at the night sky next week, you might be able to catch a glimpse of something new – a satellite sent up into the Earth’s atmosphere as a piece of art.”

[Ar2] How record-setting art auctions are ruining the old neighborhood.

[Ar3] As Art Collections Grow, So Do the Places That Stash Them.

[Ar4] Saskatoon widow has her husband’s tattoos-and the skin they’re on-preserved: “The preservation process will take three-and-a-half months. Chris’s skin will come out like parchment paper, ready for framing in UV-ray-resistant frames, Sherwood said. “Museum quality,” he said.”

[Ar5] “An iconic 1972 painting by British artist David Hockney soared to $90.3 million at Christie’s on Thursday, smashing the record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by a living artist.

History Links

[Hi1] If you’ve been reading our friend Luis A. Mendez’s excellent articles on the election, you might also check out his multi-part series entitled “Roaring: The Nineteen Twenties,” over at Conservative Pathways. Here is the first installment, “Roaring: A Return To Normalcy On The First Presidential Election In 1920s America.”

[Hi2] Have Americans forgotten the history of this deadly flu? “Overall, 675,000 Americans were killed by the Spanish flu. This number surpasses the total of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War combined. Current day estimates put the death toll from the 1918-1919 outbreak of the Spanish flu between 80 to 100 million worldwide.”

[Hi3] The History of First Ladies’ Memoirs: Freed from the political constraints of living in the White House, these famous women have over the decades shared their personal opinions with the public.

[Hi4] “One of the old-growth trees in Muir Woods was cut down after a localized fire about 10 years ago — and scientists found history inside. “There were very many scars,” said National Park Service scientist Alison Forrestel. Some of the more recent scars dated from about 1820, others from the period 1835 to 1841. The biggest was in 1822, the most recent in 1863. The scars seem to indicate that wildfires swept through Muir Woods fairly regularly and they were intense enough to blacken tall redwoods.”

Food Links

[Fo1] Double Dipping? 5-Second Rule? Scientists Separate Food Fact From Fiction In New Book.

[Fo2] Stop Squeezing The Food At Me: “An unavoidable consequence of spending any meaningful amount of time online is being exposed to viral food content. Some of that stuff looks good and appetizing and much of it is trollish and stupid and decadent in ways that suggest a culture in serious trouble. But there is one particular aspect to this genre that I simply cannot handle anymore: the squeezing.”

[Fo3] Infuriating: “After pouring bleach on food made for the homeless, Kansas City health officials change course.

[Fo4] Whoops: “According to Oliver, the Queen and Prince Philip regularly eat their meals with notepads so they can send their suggestions back to the kitchen. This time, however, it was less of a suggestion and more of a threat. Once, on a torn-off top sheet the footmen found the dead body of a slug,” Charles wrote, adding that Queen Elizabeth wrote a small note next to the little body that read, “I found this in the salad—could you eat it?”

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Linky Friday: For the 116th Time…( 15 )

“Congress didn’t vote on the bills, they just wave at them as they go by.”
– Will Rogers

Linky Friday: For the 116th Time…

Roy Clark is dead at 85. If you only know him from Hee-Haw, check out his music throughout Linky Friday, including this famous clip of him on the Odd Couple where he plays three different instruments and styles from classical violin to flamenco guitar:

[Co1] Meet the freshmen: New members of Congress arrive in DC eager to get to work.

[Co2] Meet the History-Makers of the 116th Congress: In a banner year for candidate diversity, election night witnesses a few firsts.

[Co3] Durbin re-elected Senate Democratic whip for 116th Congress.

[Co4] Grassley set to become Senate Pro Tempore for 116th Congress.

[Co5] Kevin McCarthy chosen to lead House Republicans in next Congress, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise to be House Republican whip.

[Co6] Pelosi and Trump Agree on Something: She Should Be Speaker.

[Co7] Opposition to Pelosi hardens: The California Democrat can’t afford to lose much more support if she’s going to win back the speakership.

[Co8] Number of LGBT in Congress reaches double digits.

[Co9] Judge ends hearing without ruling on Rep. Mia Love’s quest to halt vote count in Salt Lake County, says he understands need for speed.

[Co10] Recount Ordered in Florida Senate Contest; Republican Holds Lead in Governor’s Race.

[Co11] Pew Data – Public Expects Gridlock, Deeper Divisions With Changed Political Landscape: Congressional Democrats favored over Trump on most issues.

[Co12] Democrats load “subpoena cannon” with 85+ Trump targets.

[Co13] GOP made it easier to subpoena presidential administrations in 2015. Now Democrats have that power.

[Co14] Rick Scott takes place among Senate GOP freshmen amid Florida recount.

[Co15] Mitt Romney is telling friends he wants seats on the high-profile Senate Finance and Commerce committees.

[Co16] Marcia L. Fudge weighs bid against Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.

[Co17] Trump Backs Package Of Changes To Criminal Justice System. As Lame-Duck Session Begins

[Co18] The Art of a Lame-Duck Immigration Deal.

[Co19] House and Senate face long to-do list in lame duck session.

[Co20] Think what you will about Orrin Hatch, but the retiring Senator’s Twitter game was strong. Here’s the person responsible for making the Utah Republican one of the best Twitter follows in government.

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Ordinary World for 15 Nov 2018( 24 )

Ordinary World
11 Nov 2018

Throwback Thursday:

[TT1] The Gateway Pundit Presidency by Tod Kelly (2017): “Four years ago, I worried that fringe conspiracy theory-driven media would destroy American conservatism. As it turns out, it’s actually much, much, much worse than that.”

[TT2] Paul Ryan & The Blood of the Tiger by Will Truman (2015): “The short answer for “Why Paul Ryan”? Because he’s bigger than they are.”

[TT3] Poor Partners by Burt Likko (2014): “In classical art, you almost never see Athena and Aphrodite depicted together. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not the same reason you never see Clark Kent and Superman in the same room.”

[TT4] Is it OK for Rich People to Shop at Thrift Stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army? by Vikram Bath (2015): “Goodwill is not a place for poor people to shop. It’s a jobs program.”

[TT5] Dear Target: It’s Not Me, It’s You. by Dennis Sanders (2015): “I used to think Target was way cooler than it’s rival Walmart. I don’t think that way anymore.”

[TT6] Are Political Leaders Responsible for Supporters’ Behavior? By Elizabeth Piccuito (2016): “Well, are they?”

[TT7] Peace In A Great, Big, Empty Place by Sam Wilkinson (2015): “There was snow yesterday.”

[TT8] Founders & Futures by Sunny Ali (2018): “Gods, prophets, and founders of nations of man.”

[TT9] The Pain of Tradition by Mike Dwyer; “For the amateur chef with an opinionated family, Thanksgiving can be the worst holiday of them all.”

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Wednesday Writs for 11/14( 18 )

Wednesday Writs for 11/14

Gideon petition for writ

Wednesday Writs for 11/14

[L1]: In 1961 Clarence Gideon, a career petty criminal from Florida with an 8th grade education, found himself charged with felony burglary, among other things. Having no money, he asked judge to appoint a lawyer to his case. Under Florida law, said the judge, Gideon was not entitled to counsel unless he was charged with a capital offense-that is, one punishable by life in prison, or death. Mr. Gideon faced only five years. He proceeded to represent himself through trial and, as one might expect, found himself convicted. Lawyerless, he handwrote a petition to the Florida Supreme Court. When that was summarily rejected, he wrote another one and sent it to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Not only did they accept Gideon’s petition in our case of the week, Gideon v. Wainwright, but the Court also ruled in his favor, thereby securing the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for all persons charged with a crime in a state court.

[L2]: Speaking of due process, is it legal for police to us their search dogs on your vehicle without your consent?  Here’s a roundup of what you need to know (and in sum: yes.)

[L3]: Lots of talk about sore losers after last week’s midterm elections, but no one holds a candle to this judge in Texas,who took ungracious losing to a whole new level of petty.

[L4]: In last week’s crazy news cycle, you may have missed the release of the first SCOTUS decision of its current term, an 8-0 decision applying age discrimination law to government entities of all sizes, no matter how small.

[L5]: Did you know that he United States government may not hold a copyright, per the Copyright Act? According to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, neither may a state.

[L6]: There has been a lot of debate over the legality of the appointment of Matthew Whitaker to temporarily replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Here’s the case for illegitimacy.

[L7]: And here’s the counterpoint.

[L8]: Speaking of Trump decrees, he canceled Jim Acosta last week- or, at least Acosta’s press pass. But does a 1977 decision out of the DC Circuit offer the CNN reporter some recourse?

[L9]: Committing crimes while hungry can lead one to make bad decisions, as our dumb criminal of the week learned.

[L10]: Maybe said dumb criminal could argue it was not him, but his evil twin. Does that ever happen?

[L11]: In light of the story circulating recently about the short law school love affair of Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rhenquist, I leave you with the following:

Jackson Browne – Lawyers in Love (1983)

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Ordinary World: Observance( 24 )

Ordinary World
Monday, 12 Nov 2018

[Ob1] Veterans Day: Stories of Those Who Served, A collection of accounts from active duty and civilian life, through the eyes of the people who lived them.

[Ob2] 100 years on we shall remember them: Britain commemorates its WWI dead “On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice events will take place in every corner of the British Isles to commemorate the sacrifice of a generation during the First World War, which only came to an end at 11am on November 11, 1918, after an almost incalculable loss of life. The numbers still have the power to shock.Between 1914 and 1918, 886,345 UK troops were killed. Another 228,569 troops from the wider British Empire were killed, more than 74,000 of them from India.”

[Ob3] For Turkey, WWI Anniversary Evokes Memories of Defeat: “It is not only the humiliation of Istanbul’s occupation along with much of the country by French, British, Greek, and Italian forces that evokes those sentiments today. The defeat marked the end of the Ottoman Empire and the loss of vast swathes of territory to the British and French, which eventually became modern Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.
“We have many legacy issues, leftovers from the First World War still influencing Turkish politics, Turkish culture —the trauma of losing an empire,” said Guvenc.”

[Ob4] Armistice Day: How France will commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI: “Several villages were razed to the ground in the battles which led to the end of the war. These include Beaumont-en-Verdunois, Bezonvaux, Cumières-le-Mort-Homme, Fleury-devant-Douaumont; Haumont-près-Samogneux and Louvemont-Côte-du-Poivre, all of which are located in the départment of Meuse.Residents were evacuated at the start of the Battle of Verdun, which raged from February 21st to December 18th 1916, but when they returned they found that everything had been destroyed in the conflict, from houses and buildings to trees and hedges. In 1919, the land was bought by the government and it was decided that the six villages would not be rebuilt or inhabited, but would remain as memorials, each with a mayor and an annual budget to take care of the land.”

[Ob5] 100 years since the WW1 Armistice, Remembrance Day remains a powerful reminder of the cost of war: “On the first Armistice Day, November 11 1918, crowds cheered on the streets of Allied countries such as Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US, France and Belgium. People rejoiced at the ending of a period of total mobilisation that had affected every aspect of their lives, inflicting unprecedented hardship on soldiers and civilians alike. But for those who had lost the war, the news of the armistice came as a shock. While some were relieved the conflict had ended, the sudden collapse of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires provided a breeding ground for revolutionary movements and further internal conflicts. For them, Armistice Day was a moment of anguish and bitterness.”

[Ob6] A quiet respect: Veterans have camaraderie in Collier senior communities: “It’s evident in the rapt attention that veterans Gene Engel and William Woo-Lun give Page as he tells the story about the flag. As Page, a boatswain’s mate in the Navy, tried to replace the flag on his ship in the midst of the typhoon, the wind was shredding the flag, practically “beating us to pieces,” he said. The new flag was easier to hang, since it came in a package. The worn flag has 48 stars because Alaska and Hawaii had yet to be admitted to the Union.”

[Ob7] Veterans tell stories of hope and struggle at Middletown forum: ” People thank Denise Miller’s husband all the time for serving in the armed forces. And several times when she has presented her military benefit card at doctor’s offices, she’s been asked for her husband’s information.
“People don’t think of a veteran as a female,” said Miller, now a Tiverton resident, who graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1994 and served in the Air Force from 1998 to 2006. Her first deployment was to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch. She served in security forces and also provided intelligence support. “I’ve had people tell me that females don’t belong in the military,” she said. She has also been told she’s too young to be a veteran.”

[Ob8] Saying their names helps honor the memory of veterans at a ceremony on ASU campus

“The names seemed to float in the air across the lawn, stopping students on their way to class. A few more people slid onto the folding chairs, just 19 of them, set up in the grass.

Marshall Egbert Stewart.

George Sherman Roach.

Elton Stacey Perry.

It was a small gathering, at noon on Thursday, organized by the ASU Alumni Veterans Chapter. Hill is on the board.

Often we honor our military for Veterans Day with big gestures, like parades with color guards and marching bands on city streets and memorial ceremonies in parks and cemeteries. But we do it with small gestures, too.A community breakfast at Tempe High School. A gourd dance at Pueblo Grande Museum. Free haircuts at Great Clips. Golf tournaments and 5K runs. Free coffee at Starbucks. A complimentary donut at Dunkin’. A free Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s.And in gatherings like this annual reading of the names at ASU, a list of 137 spanning a century and getting longer every year.

Robert Ernest Lackey.

Ralph Blanchard Riggs.

Jack Tracy Trimble.

Hill read the names through World War II, the largest group lost, 72 in all, including the only woman on the list.
Tony Pearl Roomsburg.

Roomsburg was born in Phoenix and graduated in 1942 from ASU, then Arizona State Teacher’s College.

She enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps on Dec. 31, 1943. Private First Class Roomsburg served in British West Africa (the French Ivory Coast, now Ghana), and was transferring to Robert Field, Liberia, on May 30, 1945, when her transport plane went down.

The wreckage was never recovered. Roomsburg was 25.

Jim Geiser, a six-year Marine Corps veteran and the group’s volunteer historian, spent hours over five years researching her story, along with those of the other alumni veterans on the list.

Halfway through, Geiser took Hill’s place at the podium to read, starting with the Korean War.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 23 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] I was there; it was good but probably coming at it a bit high…“25 Years Later: Was 1993 The Greatest Year In Music?”

Still, let’s do all 1993 music just for fun.

[Mu2] If the opening statement of “most beloved” was true, the rest of the article wouldn’t be necessary…”Sales of music’s most beloved format are in free fall in the United States this year. According to figures published by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the value of total stateside album sales in the first half of 2018 (across download, CD and vinyl) plummeted by 25.8 percent when compared with the first half of 2017.”

[Mu3] Music isn’t wallpaper – it’s a civilising force.

[Mu4] Does Hearing Christmas Music in Early November Enrage You? You’re not alone.

[Mu5] Music Therapy Yields Gains For Children With Autism

Art Links

[Ar1] Fallen SEAL Team Six Member Was a Secret Art Prodigy: Navy SEAL Josh Harris left pieces of his humor and his soul behind in lush paintings that his parents found after his death.

[Ar2] Inside The Multi-Million Dollar World Of Rock And Roll Art At SF Art Exchange.

[Ar3] The Surprising Formula for Becoming an Art Star: Study maps the galleries, museums that determine the next Picasso, as well as the ones that don’t have as much sway.

History Links

[Hi1] The Times’s Capsule of History Goes Digital.

[Hi2] Giving Color to History: Why colorized historical films and photographs bring the past closer.

[Hi3] Veterans Day is a fitting reminder of the values we cherish and defend.

Food Links

[Fo1] Slow-Cooking History

[Fo2] 11 Thai Dishes You Aren’t Ordering But Should Be.

[Fo3] ‘Farming While Black’: A Guide To Finding Power And Dignity Through Food.

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Linky Friday: Sights & Sounds( 3 )

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.”
– Rita Mae Brown

Linky Friday:
Sights & Sounds

[SS1] Broward County, Fl while the rest of us wait…

[SS2] ‘We know where you sleep at night’: Protesters surround Tucker Carlson’s home

[SS3] White House boots CNN reporter using doctored video as evidence of aggression

[SS4] Beto O’Rourke Drops F-Bomb During Concession Speech

[SS5] Massive Wildfire Forces Evacuations In Northern California

[SS6] Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s broken ribs “should get better,” Dr. LaPook says

[SS7] China unveils an uncanny AI anchor based on a popular newsreader

[SS8] Kyrsten Sinema takes slight lead over Martha McSally in Arizona Senate race

[SS9] Who is acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker?

[SS10] Dutchman, 69, applies to legally reduce age by 20 years to find more women on Tinder

[SS11] Sure he is…Fox News Host Sean Hannity in Hot Water After Trump Campaign Rally Appearance

[SS12] Queen – Tie Your Mother Down (Live at Wembley 11-07-1986)

[SS13] New details on the California bar shooter and the victims

[SS14] Sums the week up, part I

[SS15] Stunning…Aurora Australis Beams With Vertical Light Rays in Tasmania

[SS16] Scattered and covered is a hell of a drug…

[SS17] If you’re going to be dumb, you gotta be tough…

[SS18] The Last Few Polio Survivors – Last of the Iron Lungs

[SS19] The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes

[SS20] Sums the week up, part II (Language Warning)

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Wednesday Writs for 11/7( 19 )

Wednesday Writs for 11/7[L1]: When people talk about frivolous lawsuits, abuse of the court system, and outrageous verdicts, they often refer to the McDonald’s hot coffee case, in which a woman spilled her coffee in her lap and sued the restaurant. But there is much more to this story than the popular myth would suggest. The coffee was between 180 and 190 degrees, sgnificantly hotter than a typical cup, and Stella Liebeck, 79 years old at the time (and not driving), spilled the coffee when attempting to add cream and sugar. She spent 7 days in the hospital, requiring skin grafts for the third degree burns she suffered on her legs and groin. Read more about Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, our case of the week.

[L2]: Probably no one would doubt the validity of this lawsuit, in which a “doctor” (who received a “doctorate” 8 months after finishing a bachelor’s degree) convinced seriously ill people he could cure their illness through non-traditional means- such as an IV of fluids and baking soda. The plaintiff, a cancer patient, is now in stage iv.

[L3]: According to the State of Texas, WalMart is not liable for the death of a 24-year-old woman in their parking lot after the increasingly impaired woman purchased-and inhaled- 60 cans of compressed air from one store, over the course of 27 hours.

[L4]: If there’s not already, there will likely be some lawsuits resulting from these exploding toilets.

[L5}: When this post is published, we will all no doubt be discussing fresh midterm results. If it’s all too much, here’s a good read about the 1972 presidential election, with some familiar themes.

[L6]: An Arizona constitutional amendment allowing accused rapists to be held without bail has made its way to SCOTUS after the Arizona Supreme Court struck the provision down. (No word on whether the Court will grant certiorari).

[L7]: All lawyers daydream about telling that judge just exactly what we think of him or her. This lawyer apparently dared to make his dream a reality, much to his detriment. 

[L8]: If you’re wondering why lawyers get fed up with judges, consider the one who asked an alleged rape victim whether she couldn’t have just kept her legs closed.

[L9]: University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino is the latest coach to face criticism regarding the handling of criminal allegations against a person involved in his program after it was revealed that tight end Kemari Averett continued to play for the team after having been accused of rape. U of L officials knew, but Petrino didn’t… and that’s the way the University wants it.

[L10]: Lawyers of a man accused in a plot to kill Muslim refugees try an interesting twist on the insanity defense in a bid for lenient sentencing: they say their client was driven to it by Trump’s rhetoric, in the first use of the “Trump Defense”. Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) has the story.

[L11]: Coming in at number one on the list of bad places to hide your drugs: the interrogation room at the police station. Our dumb criminal of the week apparently did not expect there to be cameras. In the interrogation room. At the police station.

[L12]: Why did the chicken cross the road? I don’t know, but if it does so in Quitman, Georgia, it has run a-fowl (I do apologize) of our crazy law of the week.

[L13]: Lastly, here’s a great scene from what is, for my money, one of the top three the best lawyer movies ever made. Come back next week for #2.

My Cousin Vinny (5/5) Movie CLIP – Automotive Expert (1992) HD




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Ordinary World: Election Day( 0 )

Ordinary World
6 Nov 2018
Election Day

[El1] Voting in Early America by Ed Crews: “Among the first things the Jamestown voyagers did when they set up English America’s first permanent settlement was conduct an election. Nearly as soon as they landed—April 26, 1607, by their calendar—the commanders of the 105 colonists unsealed a box containing a secret list of seven men picked in England to be the colony’s council and from among whom the councilors were to pick a president. Captain John Smith, reporting from Jamestown, wrote that about eighteen days later, “arriving at the place where wee are now seated, the Counsell was sworne, the President elected, which for that yeare was Maister Edw. Maria Wingfield.”

[El2] The Vote That Failed: Old style ballots cast illegally in Indiana helped topple a president then he helped topple them. “The most celebrated martyr to ballot fraud and vote buying, Cleveland lashed out against the “vile, unsavory” forms of self-interest that “fatten upon corruption and debauched suffrage.” He called upon good citizens everywhere, to rise above “lethargy and indifference,” to “restore the purity of their suffrage.” And they did.”

[El3] Video:

[El4] Election 2000: Before and After By Wendy Underhill: “In the world of election administration, 2000 wasn’t just the start of a new millennium, it became the fault line between the “pre-Bush v. Gore” world and the “post-Bush v. Gore” modern era of elections. It highlighted how crucial ballot design and voting equipment are, and how important the laws and procedures governing vote counting would become.”

[El5] THE 1998 ELECTIONS: CONGRESS — THE OVERVIEW; G.O.P. IN SCRAMBLE OVER BLAME FOR POOR SHOWING AT THE POLLS: “Just two weeks ago, Mr. Gingrich had foreseen election gains of 10 seats to more than 40. Seeming uncertain yesterday, he said he had trouble accounting for the results.’Things were happening out there that none of us fully understand — neither party in my judgment,” Mr. Gingrich said.
Taking his share of the blame for his party’s losses, the Georgia Republican said he had misjudged how the public would recoil from the Clinton scandal and how the scandal would drown out other Republican themes. ”I mean I totally underestimated the degree to which people would just get sick of 24-hour-a-day talk television and talk radio and then the degree to which this whole scandal became just sort of disgusting by sheer repetition,” Mr. Gingrich said.”

[El6] The Ugliest, Most Contentious Presidential Election Ever: “Although he captured the popular vote, the newly “reconstructed” states of Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina, still under federal occupation, hung in the balance. The Republican Party, which controlled the canvassing boards, quickly challenged the legitimacy of those states’ votes, and on a recount, supposedly supervised by personal agents who were dispatched to these states by President Grant (along with federal troops), many of Tilden’s votes began to be disqualified for unspecified “irregularities.” Democrats had no doubts Republicans were stuffing ballot boxes and claimed there were places where the number of votes exceeded the population. Most egregious was Louisiana’s alleged offer by the Republican-controlled election board: For the sum of $1,000,000, it would certify that the vote had gone to the Democrats. The Democratic National Committee rejected the offer, but similar reports of corruption, on both sides, were reported in Florida and South Carolina.”

[El7] The election of 1864 and the last temptation of Abraham Lincoln: “Even Lincoln had lost all hope. “You think I don’t know I am going to be beaten, but I do, and unless some great change takes place, beaten badly,” he told a fellow Republican. On Aug. 23, he committed his pessimism to paper. “This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he can not possibly save it afterwards.”

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Ordinary World 5 Nov 2018( 28 )

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
– Larry J. Sabato , Pendulum Swing

Ordinary World
5 Nov 2018

Election Eve

[Wo1] Forget About The Candidates. What Else Is On The Ballot This Week? By Nathaniel Rakich: “There are also more than 150 ballot measures being decided across dozens of states. These often fly under the radar because they don’t fall along clear Republican-vs.-Democrat lines, but that’s often why they’re so interesting: They force voters to engage directly with policy rather than fall back on their partisan identity. As a result, ballot measures can produce surprising results — like minimum-wage increases passing with more than 55 percent in red states. Here, grouped by subject matter, are the ballot measures to watch on election night.”

[Wo2] Medicaid Expansion Has Momentum Ahead Of Tuesday’s Midterm Elections by Bruce Japsen: “Ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid health coverage in three Republican-leaning states have momentum heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections. Voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah could follow the lead of voters in Maine who last November voted to expand Medicaid for poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act via ballot initiative. These states are seeking ballot initiatives because their Republican-leaning legislatures or governors have been roadblocks to the idea.”

[Wo3] Ag’s biggest 2018 Ballot initiative By Liz Crampton: “California’s Proposition 12 would mandate larger, cage-free spaces for pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens. But what really makes it one of the most consequential state ballot initiatives in this election cycle is that it would require producers in other states to move to cage-free if they intend to sell within the country’s most populous state.”

[Wo4] Democrats Need to Quit Worrying About Winning and Start Leading by Michael Slaby: “Having spent the last decade working in politics as a digital and technology leader in the Obama campaigns, I’ve been a co-conspirator in the Democratic Party’s digital revolution. But over the last few years, while I have tried to focus on how we rebuild the party itself, what I’ve witnessed is a party increasingly focused on more technology and better tactics as its principal answer to its disorganization and irrelevance. What I don’t see is a focus on the values, ideas, and other fundamental building blocks of citizen-centric leadership that are desperately needed in American civic life.”

[Wo5] In West Virginia, Ojeda shows how to campaign as a Democrat in Trump Country By Meridith McGraw: “Ojeda, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, said he thinks the Democratic party — the party that once helped put Kennedy over the top — has lost its way in Appalachia. “It’s about finding the people in the areas that can relate to those people and supporting them. It’s got to stop being about the most money,” Ojeda told ABC News. “You know, you find the person that everyone in that area can relate to, that cares about the people in that area, and then support that person. And if we do that, make no mistake about it, we can go back to blue.”

[Wo6] Georgia’s Brian Kemp Announces Election Hacking Charge Against Democrats by Scott Neuman : “Days before elections, Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running a close-fought campaign for governor, says Democrats are under investigation for hacking the state’s election system. A spokesman for Kemp — who is in a neck-and-neck race with Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams — provided no evidence for the accusation made on Sunday, that also came just as reports that the state election system, which as secretary of state Kemp oversees, is open to glaring vulnerabilities.”

[Wo7] Judge rules against Brian Kemp over Georgia voting restrictions days before gubernatorial election By Eli Rosenberg: “U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross ruled Friday that the procedures were likely to result in the violation of voting rights for a large group of people and needed to be halted immediately. She said Kemp’s restrictions raised “grave concerns for the Court about the differential treatment inflicted on a group of individuals who are predominantly minorities.”

[Wo8] My Brother Is A Trump Supporter by Matt Johnson: “We shouldn’t allow Trump to distract and divide us by turning every provocation-no matter how petty or transparently cynical-into another bloody stalemate in the endless culture war that has engulfed the country. We need to have a sober sense of historical proportion about the Trump presidency (which would preclude breathless invocations of words like “fascist”). And we should extend more charity to our fellow Americans.”

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