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VC Open Thread:
What's on your mind? Comment away.
IT Guy:
21.3" of snow in Columbia, MD. For once, the weather forecasters underestimated!
2.12.2006 2:15pm
Mark Spottswood (mail):
This is a query for any members of the Conspiracy that want to chime in. I'm also interested in hearing what other legal people think on this. I am have been tasked to develop an online presence for a major law review, and I am interested to know what the online community is looking for in a journal's web-presence.

What would all of you like to see in a major law review's online portal as law reviews expand their presence online? What is working, or not working, with HLR's and YLJ's new online presences? Are comment forums a useful place for scholars to interact? Are response pieces interesting?

In general, what do you think that modern reviews need to do, in order to remain relevant as more and more legal scholarship migrates onto the web? I am especially interested in the ability of the web to provide faster rates of response to legal questions that emerge -- a great example being Prof. Kerr's writing on the NSA question. In particular, what do you think is the right balance to strike in terms of substantive editing and content control, v. allowing a more rapid posting and response?

Any thoughts would be welcome, either here or on my email.

Thanks to all,
Mark
2.12.2006 2:22pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Wind chill of 74 in Tucson.
2.12.2006 2:24pm
Quarterican (mail):
I want to put this delicately, and if this has been discussed in another comments thread, I apologize, but I missed it.

I have no problem with David Bernstein not enabling comments on his threads. I would prefer that he did, although I probably have no interest in reading or partaking in the threads that would arise from his recent posting. But despite that preference, I understand that there are many legitimate reasons not to enable comments, and it's his business.

What does weird me out is that he or someone else seems to have deleted one of his recent posts without, as far as I can see, any comment. It's sitting there in the memory of the program I use to get RSS feeds, and I clicked on the link to see, out of curiosity, whether a comments thread had been enabled. And then, several hours later, I noted that it was gone. If it was determined for some reason that the post should not have gone up, that's fine, but without some word of explanation - however oblique - I find this very strange.
2.12.2006 2:24pm
Shangui (mail):
Google's continuing cooperation with the CCP to keep its citizens from information they find dangerous is getting increasingly reprehensible.

(Today's NYT Week in Review section, sorry, I can't get links to work)

I am fully in favor of free trade with China (esp. from the point of view of trade restrictions, which I am against), but for a company to go out of its way to make the CCP's censorship as effective as possible really seems beyond the pale. I don't think it should be illegal for Google to do this, but I do think it's immoral. And it clearly shows that "don't be evil" as a corporate motto is nothing more than advertising BS. Shameful.
2.12.2006 2:44pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
AFC 38, NFC 27
2.12.2006 2:46pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
the older I become
so the harder my toenails.
holes in my socks.
2.12.2006 2:52pm
Fishbane (mail):
NYC, 2 feet and counting. The accumulation rate has not let up in almost a day. Yay, snow!
2.12.2006 2:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I'm trying to put together a list of most overused words/phrases, ones that generally undermine productive discussion:

"score political points"
"[] amuses me"
"so obvious it does not need explanation"
"drivel"
"liberal media"
"fascist"
"[conservative/liberal] hack"
"personal attack" (yes, I'm aware of the irony here)
people that correct spelling mistakes

feel free to add any other phrases that make your eyes roll when you read them.
2.12.2006 2:57pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
yes, Nanny Bloomberg is describing it as "a dangerous storm", and is considering legislation taxing each snowflake.
2.12.2006 2:58pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
"eyes roll"
2.12.2006 2:59pm
Bottomfish (mail):
In connection with the Bernstein article on the ABA's mandatory diversity policies in the legal profession: given that what lawyers do affects non-lawyers, do non-lawyers have any right to affect codes of conduct for lawyers? Or is the profession a law unto itself?
2.12.2006 3:03pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
Bottomfish, I think you've opened the classic "Titanic Clash of Vegetables" can of worms, here.
2.12.2006 3:05pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Glenn,

That was the best conceivable response to my post.

Lee
2.12.2006 3:15pm
Nathan Sharfi (www):
Kovarsky: "talking points".
2.12.2006 3:19pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
Lee-

(awaiting lightning bolt from Bottomfish)

I serve in the smallest of capacities:)

GWB/nyc
2.12.2006 3:30pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Google's continuing cooperation with the CCP to keep its citizens from information they find dangerous is getting increasingly reprehensible."

Bush spying a/k/a Google a/k/a PacMan

"yes, Nanny Bloomberg is describing it as "a dangerous storm", and is considering legislation taxing each snowflake."

"taxation"=political inappropriate word; "user fee"=much more appropriate (users ... snowmen, snoballs, sleighing, snow angels, skiers ....)

"Wind chill of 74 in Tucson"

Snow flurries predicted in Tampa.
2.12.2006 3:33pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
would that be of the Knob Hill Day-Petranos??
2.12.2006 3:35pm
Bored:
With the exception of Orin's posts, I've been quite bored and disappointed with the material on VC lately.

Also, as noted in some other comment threads lately, the level of discourse has seemed to have gone down as well. The posts seem to be long drawn-out rants, as opposed to thoughtful pieces posted to create meaningful discussion. This fact has led to a breakdown in the quality of comments as well.

That is one reason why I enjoy Orin's posting style: most often short thought-provoking posts that lead to long and interesting comment threads. The only time he seems to post longer, more detailed posts is when he has something well-reasoned to say that actually adds to the discussion; e.g., his long NSA analyses.

Anywho, I'm looking forward to having this blog back to how it was a few months or years ago.
2.12.2006 3:53pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
More seriously, there is something I would like to talk about on the subject of other NSA spying programs the Bush Administration has not discussed.

I have mentioned this before, with little responsive comment. There is this new law being implemented called the REAL ID Act, to nationalize driver's licenses as electronic data base integrated 'smart card' surveillance mechanisms for access to virtually every existing fundamental right, entitlement, or benefit (including access to travel and to federal courts).

The passport provisions that are moving along faster than the driver's licensing provisions, already have promulgation of federal regulations by the Secretary of Homeland Security requiring RFIS chipping in all passports. Certain provisions of the REAL ID Act contain jurisdiction-stripping to remove judicial review.

One can only imagine that the driver's licnesing provsions will also be subject to future Secretary of Homeland Security regulations requiring the RFID chips in all driver's licenses.

President Bush has already experimented in dead Katrina victoms and on some institutionalized mentally retarded with the implantation of these RFID chips into human beings.

The Real ID act started off as H.R. 418, which passed the House and went stagnant. It was then attached as a rider on a military spending bill (H.R. 1268), by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R) of Wisconsin (the author). It was "signed into public law (109-13)" on May 11, 2005.

But a closer look suggests this law is not one of those laws subject to debate before being passed by both the House and Senate, and signed into law by the President. The Real ID Act has undergone at least six amendments as an attachment to military spending appropriation bills. H.R. 1268 is called "An Act Making Supplemental Appropiations for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, for the fiscal Year Edning September 30, 2005."

To see what the concern over THIS Presidential spying program ... see, http://www.spychips.com/devices/verichip-inserter.html for a picture.

My questions, is, like the recent similar discussion on Balkinization, is this Real ID Act really a law?
2.12.2006 4:10pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Sorry, "RFIS"=RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device)
2.12.2006 4:12pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"would that be of the Knob Hill Day-Petranos??"

I guess due to my autism and the impairments of not being able to read between lines, but only understanding literal connumication with no steps left out, I missed the joke or putdown or whatever was intended. What is "Knob Hill?"
2.12.2006 4:14pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I think we should also talk about:

Cheney Hunting Trip

that Justice Scalia missed out on this year.
2.12.2006 4:27pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I guess that just shows you don't mess with Dick Cheney!
2.12.2006 4:29pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
I think something needs to happen in the world so we can stop talking about the Mohammed cartoons.

The Olympics, maybe?
2.12.2006 4:33pm
myalterego (mail):
You can't make this stuff up... maybe Cheney is such an originalist that he wants to be like another vice president - Aaron Burr.
2.12.2006 4:46pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
Knob Hill refers to high society, that is, it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to your hyph-en-ated name not possibly carrying a pedigree... using the term "Beacon Hill" would be interchangable.

Cheney can smack a democrat at three hundred meters- if they run, they only die tired. Seeing as he merely winged the guy, I figure he was a heavy party contributer. Obviously, though, the guy got Dick PO'd. I love 'im.
2.12.2006 4:58pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Preparing my house to sell so I can go off to law school this fall.

Doing well in 1L is also on my mind.
2.12.2006 4:58pm
Charles Chapman (mail) (www):
I wanted to mention the Support Denmark and Buy Danish campaigns. The links, buttons, badges, banners and icons are reference on my weblog:

The Is-Ought Problem
http://www.theisoughtproblem.blogspot.com/
2.12.2006 5:22pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
I've got 2 feet of Global Warming in my driveway.
2.12.2006 5:33pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I really want a Tombow "Egg" Fountain Pen. They're no longer made, but I'll pay a premium for one. Damn... why can't I find one, even ebay is bare.

I'm pissed off "Arrested Development" was cancelled and even more pissed off that "Skating with Celebrities" has received nearly twice the ratings. What a world.
2.12.2006 5:56pm
Kovarsky (mail):
"Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: . . . creating human-animal hybrids."
2.12.2006 5:59pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
"Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: . . . creating human-animal hybrids."


Dr. Moreau: What is the law?

Sayer of the Law: Not to eat meat, that is the law. Are we not men?

Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?

Dr. Moreau: What is the law?

Sayer of the Law: Not to go on all fours, that is the law. Are we not men?

Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?

Dr. Moreau: What is the law?

Sayer of the Law: Not to spill blood, that is the law. Are we not men?

Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?
2.12.2006 6:03pm
Wikstrom (mail):
...anybody here ever throw away an ordinary battery {D-cell, AA penlight, AAA, etc} in their municipal trash ?

It's a California state crime now to toss such commonplace batteries in the trash —- they are "Hazardous Waste", apparently.

Minimum fine is $1,000 per day that your 'battery' is knowingly in the trash system. If a California bureaucrat thinks your battery might directly harm someone — it can be $250,000 per day, plus up to 9 years in jail.

Probably many other U.S. localities have similar government "regulations".
2.12.2006 6:08pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Hmm I guess I better wipe the prints off my oil filters from now on.
2.12.2006 6:15pm
JGR (mail):
Related to the general quality of posts - I think there is something like a Gresham's law that a small number of bad comments can drive off a lot of good comments.
Does anyone else feel any frustration in trying to develop a personal code for when and how long to carry on a debate. I will usually just end a debate when it becomes clear (100% clear) that the other commenter has no interest in having an intelligent or reasonable debate. A little while back Eugene Volokh posted about the Vatican's press release that appeared to support government suppression of free speech if it offended religion, and asked if we could still publish Martin Luther or Christopher Hitchens. A commenter left a comment to the effect that Volokh didn't understand anything about Luther - Luther was himself a Roman Catholic priest and wasn't suppressed by the church. I wrote a reply spelling out the errors in the comment, which led to a long and rambling response about the life of Luther and other things. When it became clear that the commenter literally couldn't even understand the difference between a hypothetical and a historical statement, I cut the debate off and said I wouldn't respond any more. This led to the commenter's final post (they ALWAYS have one of these) that I was running "with my tail between my legs" (" You are obviously clueless and way over your head in this debate") http://www.volokh.com/posts/1139182381.shtml
You can see why these are so frustrating. For one thing, it isn't always obvious when a commenter is just being obstinate or isn't actually that bright. Etiquette forbids simply stating that a comment is stupid, which means you have to take the time - sometimes a long amount of time - to spell everything out in clear language in case the commenter really doesn't get it. Then at this point, the commenter frequently still either doesn't get it or pretends that he doesn't, and posts ANOTHER long post. If you cut off at this point, which I generally do, this always gives the commenter some type of childish glee that they have "beat you."
2.12.2006 6:15pm
JGR (mail):
Kovarsky,

"so obvious it does not need explanation"
See my post above to see why this is frequently the only rational response to something. Bloggers get hundreds of emails by people who (for instance) don't understand the difference between a hypothetical argument and a historical statement. Most bloggers will respond to comments that raise important objections, even if they contain a logical flaw that is obvious to most people, but it's something like an essential impossibility for bloggers to respond to every objection where the logical flaw seems so obvious it doesn't require explanation.
Of course, I still see your point. That was what my earlier post was about, the difficulty in drawing a line in when it's appropriate to just say "This is obvious.."
2.12.2006 6:38pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"'Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: . . . creating human-animal hybrids.'"

Yeah, that's right ... they might revive Centaurs from extinction. If horses were wishes, beggars might ride.

"Knob Hill refers to high society, that is, it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to your hyph-en-ated name not possibly carrying a pedigree... using the term "Beacon Hill" would be interchangable."

Oh. Thanks for the description. I don't know what "Beacon Hill" is either. Actually, my name is hypehnated because I married a Silician Italian, named Petrano, and my former name to which substantial good will in the equestrian world has attached was Day -- hence the hyphenation. I won a National Hunter (Equestrian) Championship before I was married, was invited to compete at the Madison Square Garden, Washington International, Pennsylvania National, Devon, Upperville, WEF. I guess if that qualifies my presence on top of "Knob Hill" among high society, that is a good thing, but I rather thought I would not qualify until I achieved my bar admission. My mistake ... if I am already there I will be sure not to look down.

"Cheney can smack a democrat at three hundred meters- if they run, they only die tired. Seeing as he merely winged the guy, I figure he was a heavy party contributer. Obviously, though, the guy got Dick PO'd."

Good thing I'm a Republican. But a bit of a dissenter to the spying and trampling of disability civil rights of this particular Administration; I guess that might get me "winged." I better watch out for misdirected buckshot coming from the VP., eh?
2.12.2006 6:39pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
Oh. Thanks for the description. I don't know what "Beacon Hill" is either. Actually, my name is hypehnated because I married a Silician Italian, named Petrano, and my former name to which substantial good will in the equestrian world has attached was Day -- hence the hyphenation. I won a National Hunter (Equestrian) Championship before I was married, was invited to compete at the Madison Square Garden, Washington International, Pennsylvania National, Devon, Upperville, WEF. I guess if that qualifies my presence on top of "Knob Hill" among high society, that is a good thing, but I rather thought I would not qualify until I achieved my bar admission. My mistake ... if I am already there I will be sure not to look down.

you left out the part about being a permanent member of the Student Council.
2.12.2006 6:53pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Dear Mary Kat,


Yeah, that's right ... they might revive Centaurs from extinction. If horses were wishes, beggars might ride.

Actually, if horses were wishes, beggars would be even worse off.
2.12.2006 7:09pm
Kovarsky (mail):
JGR,

Of course you are correct that lotsa propositions are so obvious they need little explanation, but what is noteworthy is that the people that actually inovke the "too obvious they need little explanation" line on the threads tend to be the people least eligible and entitled to invoke it.

And the Bush line with the chimeric overtones - man, you just can't write stuff that good. O wait. You can. In the state of the Union address.
2.12.2006 7:12pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I mean, on the "hybrids" line, has anybody traced it back to where it came from. Often times bizarre references like that can be traced back to discrete events or sources - like the reference to some sort of grass as a source of alternative fuel or whatever - i remember someone recently tracked that one down to an administration official's meeting, just prior to the speech, with someone (i think it was a congress person) from the state that produced the most of that kind of grass.
2.12.2006 7:18pm
kparker (mail):

President Bush has already experimented in dead Katrina victoms


Yes, I hear Bush is quite the surgeon--but not much of a speller.
2.12.2006 8:49pm
Kovarsky (mail):
"I support the free press, let's just get them out of the room..."
2.12.2006 9:33pm
SlimAndSlam:
I can't believe I'm reading this stuff rather than studying for the bar exam. Nine days, folks, nine days!

On the other hand, I can believe it. Both well-reasoned comments and vitroilic flame wars are more interesting to read than this here big stack of outlines. Probably more informative, too.

And that's what's on my mind.
2.12.2006 9:34pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I think every political celebrity should have his or her own theme song. Today, Cheney cemented his musical legacy.

And it's bad, bad leroy brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old king kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
2.12.2006 9:44pm
Fishbane (mail):
I just noticed a very important contest having to do with everyone's favorite Justice.
2.12.2006 9:49pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I think something needs to happen in the world so we can stop talking about the Mohammed cartoons.

The Olympics, maybe?


I'll take the Mohammed cartoons any day. A week of 10,000 different forms of swimming, and the count that various countries have won this many dozen medals in water polo, dog racing, and bag racing, and that some athlete has staged a come-back by running on two compound fractured legs, is a bit more than i can take.
2.12.2006 11:09pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
That is one reason why I enjoy Orin's posting style: most often short thought-provoking posts that lead to long and interesting comment threads.

Neitszche: The art of the aphorism is to say in a sentence what others say in a book. Or do not say in a book.
2.12.2006 11:13pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I think every political celebrity should have his or her own theme song. Today, Cheney cemented his musical legacy.

And it's bad, bad leroy brown


I see by your outfit that you're a quail hunter
these words he did say as I slowly strode by
come sit here beside me and hear my sad story
for I hunted with Cheney and fear I will die....
2.12.2006 11:17pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Actually, if horses were wishes, beggars would be even worse off."

How's that?
2.13.2006 12:00am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"you left out the part about being a permanent member of the Student Council."

No, that would not describe me. I've never been a member of student council, autistics are not popular enought to marshall enough votes -- at least until the majority realize their very useful ablities at constructing systems, anlyzing, and problem solving on a very high level. Its sort of the Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Mozart effect -- autistics, all. However, I WAS unanimously chosen by the student body of my law school to the student rep position on the Academic Standards Committee after the law school imposed a draconian grading curve to keep up with UCLA's bar pass rate.
2.13.2006 12:18am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Yes, I hear Bush is quite the surgeon--but not much of a speller."

My husband isn't much of a speller either, and HE already got his bar license. Obviously, spelling is not an "essential function" of an attorney -- or a blogger.

I am a near perfect speller, yet substantially limited in the task of typing by manually keyboarding. I believe you directed your mocking toward my attempts to correct by keyboarding the 'background noise' errors made by my disability speech recognition device. SOOOOO uncool. However, you have resoundingly proved my point about the high error rates of the speech recognition involved in the President's illegal NSA spying.

I guess that makes it a wash in the pedigreed scoring department.
2.13.2006 12:25am
Gene:
When is the last time that a president or vice-president shot or killed someone while in office?
2.13.2006 12:31am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"I can't believe I'm reading this stuff rather than studying for the bar exam. Nine days, folks, nine days!

On the other hand, I can believe it. Both well-reasoned comments and vitroilic flame wars are more interesting to read than this here big stack of outlines. Probably more informative, too."

I remember this person, a 1L, when I was a 2L, who wanted to be editor of law review. So industrious was she, very busy cooking up bogus final examination outlines, great formatting, and left stacks of them on tables in the law library. Out of curiosity I read one, and realized she had cleverly fed all the lazier 1Ls in competition with her for that top law review spot all the wrong law, and ultimately, it caused many to fall victim to that draconian part of the grading curve I was talking about.

It is a dog eat dog world out there, and while exams may be boring in comparison to blogging, never take a law exam (or a gift horse) for granted.
2.13.2006 12:34am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Interesting statistic...Senator Kennedys and Mary Jo Kopechnes combined weight in 1969 are the same as Senator Kennedys weight alone today.
2.13.2006 6:28am
Kovarsky (mail):
despite my 8 million posts on this thread, i think the winner is the guy who said "i have 2 feet of global warming in my driveway."
2.13.2006 6:45am
Joshua:
I know it's been a busy legal news week, but still I can't believe there's yet to be a VC post on "Gretzkygate" [the ongoing scandal in the NHL revolving around illegal sports (but not hockey) gambling allegations against two people close to Wayne Gretzky, albeit not (yet) Gretzky himself].
2.13.2006 9:17am
Just an Observer:
The ABA has released a Harris poll it commissioned.

I don't think the results support the notion that the public will always give the President a free hand balancing security against civil liberties in war on terror.

Of course, much depends on how the questions are asked. These questions asked the respondents to weigh the rights of "people like you." Many folks may think that description doesn't fit others named Mohammed who attend mosque in Dearborn.
2.13.2006 2:44pm
Chaz McNonvolokh (mail):
Orin,

I think it would be helpful to number the comments in the threads here on the VC. That would make it a lot easier for subsequent responders to posts to indicate exactly what they're responding to.

Chaz McNonvolokh
2.14.2006 9:14am
NYU Jew (mail):
<blockquote>
When is the last time that a president or vice-president shot or killed someone while in office?</blockquote>
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton-Burr_duel">
Aaron Burr</a>.

From "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (Comedy Central):
A partial transcript:

Jon Stewart: "Yes, as you've just heard, a near-tragedy over the weekend in south Texas. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt at a political supporter's ranch. Making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting VP since Alexander Hamilton.

"Hamilton, of course, shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.
2.14.2006 12:49pm
Brother Bark (mail):
Ms. Day-Petrano, wouldn't that "autism" be better described as "Asperger's Syndrome"?

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/aswhatisit.html

Your writing doesn't seem to be evocative of the severe mental (emotional) handicap that is autism proper.
2.14.2006 5:49pm
Brother Bark (mail):
Anyways, in the spirit of random thoughts, what about setting into place a strict law in the United States that explicitly, clearly requires all would-be residents and immigrant citizens to plainly disavow hatred of Jews, Christians and members of other religious groups, and to plainly acknowledge the right of all inhabitants of the United States to free speech, most particularly including mockery of and satire about any and all religions and their symbols and historical figures? Such written agreements would be posted as a matter of public record on the Web.

This would be an interesting way to weed out those with terrorist inclinations, neh? A true mind thug would have great difficulty with disclaiming the pleasure of screeching for the slavery or death of Jews or Christians, for instance (as provided by certain parts of the Koran), while moderate Muslims shouldn't have difficulty with this, just as most Christians today don't support the barbaric parts of a Bible written in ancient times (killing alleged "witches", etc.). It really doesn't benefit the country at all to allow into it sick-souled radicals who believe and preach hate against Jews and Christians or members of other religions.

It would be great if this requirement could also be applied to job-seekers for any government position, but the First Amendment might present insurmountable complications.
2.14.2006 6:17pm