Saturday, 08/01/2015

We Lay Down And Wept

And wept for thee Zion.


August 1, 11:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

For It Is Important That Awake People Be Awake

A Ritual to Read to Each Other:

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the
and following the wrong god home we may miss
           our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each
          elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

William E. Stafford.


August 1, 10:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teaching Vermont Politics

My friends Curtis Reed and Kesha Ram have some things to say about Bernie and what he needs to do:

For starters, Reed wants Sanders to meet with leaders of color in Vermont, "which is something that he hasn't done."

"Bernie needs to talk to his own people – his people of color that are right here in the state of Vermont – so that he has a much greater handle on the New Jim Crow and how racism has morphed since his days back 50 years ago," Reed said in an interview.

Reed, executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity in Brattleboro, also wants Sanders to stop calling Vermont a white state.

"We become marginalized in the narrative about Vermont," Reed said. "He's projecting this view of Vermont simply not having any people of color. Maybe in his own way that's what he feels and what he thinks."

In the 2010 U.S. Census, 10 of the state's 14 counties declined in white population, Reed said. Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2010, 59 percent of the population growth was "the result of ethnic and racial minorities" whether born in the U.S or those who migrated here.

"Our numbers are relatively small, but they're not zero," he said.

Rep. Kesha Ram, D-Burlington, the first Asian American woman in the Vermont House, said characterizing Vermont as a white state insinuates that Vermonters don't know or care about race.

"[Reed's] letter is very brave, and it resonates a lot with me," Ram said.

It is important for Sanders to "acknowledge that there are people of color living in Vermont" and "convey that living in Vermont doesn't mean someone has a lack of understanding of social justice and racial equality," Ram said.

That's a fair point about calling VT a white state (which I just did below).  It is predominantly white, which is undeniable, but like any privileged, status quo POV, to say it's white ignores our growing diversity (which  know for a fact scares some local people from my own canvassing back in the day) and changing needs.  It is marginalizing, and I will endeavor to refrain from doing so going forward.

Bernie has certainly had a fairly easy ride, even as a socialist from NY, because of demographics and other factors.  And he's done a lot of great work on civil rights and attendant economic issues.  He can still learn and evolve.


August 1, 9:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Teaching Bernie Politics

It's a fair cop:

Bernie Sanders is very bad at talking to people who are not white liberals. I thought he was a skilled enough politician to show the needed dexterity to talk to a variety of people in their own spaces that would combine his own particular focus on income inequality with other issues that mattered to his audience. It’s becoming clear that he’s really not that good of a politician.

Bernie wins statewide elections by landslides.  Because this is Ver-lily-fucking-white-mont.  Ain't surprising.

He's absolutely right on the issues.  He's passionate and drawing great crowds.  For him to truly contend, however, he'll need to develop the other shit that presidents (you know, he candidates who actually win) do.  And I am hopeful that he can learn.


August 1, 7:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

When In Doubt, Troll The Dipshits

Although I don't think responding to stupidity is technically trolling:

[O]ne of the most amusingly off-beat antics of the antivaccine movement was to start a We The People petition to prohibit any laws mandating the force and requirement of vaccinations of any kind:

No human being should be FORCED to be vaccinated against their will and/or personal/religious beliefs. I petition against making vaccinations of any kind mandatory. This includes forcing children to be vaccinated to attend public schools, activities, and daycare centers. This also includes adults working in the public or private sector.

Notice the emphasis on the word “FORCE” (capitalized, of course, for maximum crank effect), which is clearly designed to appeal to Americans’ dislike of being forced to do anything. Of course, it’s not exactly being “forced”; parents can still refuse to vaccinate their children, but their children will pay a price other than being made vulnerable to potentially deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. They won’t be able to attend public school. After having been used to getting easy religious and personal belief exemptions to this mandate (the latter of which basically boiled down to saying, “because I don’t want to”), it is understandable that antivaccine activists would be upset. In any case, they channeled their rage into the petition above (among other places).

How I remember it! As they got closer to the required 100,000 signatures that would trigger a mandatory response from the White House, they got more and more excited. Apparently they thought that the answer would be to their liking. Why they thought that, I have no idea, but now we know the answer. The White House got Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to respond personally to the petition, and I have to conclude that the Obama administration is basically trolling the antivaccine movement. First, the response quotes President Obama from a previous interview thusly:

I understand that there are families that in some cases are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.

I beg to differ on that last point.  Being a selfish goddamned asshole with a shitty understanding of science is a reason to not get your fucking shots.  Ain't a good one, but it's a reason.


August 1, 6:02 PM in And Fuck... | Permalink | Comments (0)

Claiming The Real Bad Things

This is a significant observation:

Conservative language is forever appropriating the Holocaust, but only while comparing it to why they should not have to deliver flowers to a gay wedding or as empty rhetorical backdrop for a preferred farthest-right foreign policy stance. They are forever talking about slavery—but not as historical abomination, only as metaphor for their struggles against a perceived-as-too-liberal health insurance reform plan. An assault weapons ban is, according to the NRA, a form of discrimination against favored weapons akin to "Jim Crow"—and the Jim Crow history of the southern states is far more likely to come up as metaphor for gun oppression, in conservative groups, than it ever will be in discussion of the actual effects and modern legacy of Jim Crow.

And don't forget how they also have appropriated NDN culture, as you see in the steadfast defense of Washington's racist football mascot.  Hell, they've even try using disasters under their own watch as an attack ("Obama's Katrina").  Dishonest and deluded...


August 1, 4:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


Paul Campos asks:

[W]as there a handy suffix for scandal neologisms prior to Watergate? And will we ever come up with another one? I suppose the persistence of the -gate formulation is another tribute to the power of baby boom demographics...

Tea Pot Dome, methinks.  Deflatedome doesn't rhyme, so it never would've worked today.


August 1, 9:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 07/31/2015

He Was One of God’s Athletes

An old fave.  I also love the animated short with Christopher Plummer, but I have adored the late, lamented Lurtsema's voice for decades.


July 31, 11:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Y bardd trwn dan bridd tramor..."

Hedd Wyn:

Beneath the earth, beyond the sea -- poet, heavy
      Do you lie: clasped the hands that can not free,
   Gone cold the blazing eye to see
   Beyond the door that binds and guards your keep.

All the living now is over -- all the roaming
      Now is done.  You, when came the fatal hour,
   Long known a rover, now no longer
   Could you run, nor lie upon the earth, but under.

Tender is the moon tonight -- rising over
      Trawsfynydd's bog, but you lament the light
   That lauds the lonely moor and height;
   Black gravel seals and steals away your sight.

How could you have ever known -- when you upon
      Your native bracken trod, or stood alone
   On treeless height or tireless hill did roam,
   That you would fall asleep so far from home?

Robert Williams Parry.


July 31, 10:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Patent #: US0X0000001

Our friends at the USPTO remind us:

On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. The patent was signed by President George Washington. Hopkins was born in Vermont, but was living in Philadelphia, Pa. when the patent was granted.

Naturally, Hopkins was a Vermonter, receiving one of only three issued that year under the auspices of our original regime.  It was signed by President Washington and everything!


July 31, 9:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Stand In The Women's Health Clinic Door

Huckster would use Federal troops to deny women their reproductive rights.  Is this when 2nd Amendment Solutions are supposed to kick in?


July 31, 8:05 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 07/30/2015

Okay. I Got A Good Spot.

The Falcon is on the plain at Hadley.


July 30, 11:34 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Heavy And Dark The Night Is Closing

The Two Children:

Heavy hangs the raindrop
From the burdened spray;
Heavy broods the damp mist
On uplands far away;
Heavy looms the dull sky,
Heavy rolls the sea—
And heavy beats the young heart
Beneath that lonely tree.

Emily Brontë.


July 30, 11:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A City That Is Set On An Hill Cannot Be Hid

AP History, ISIS' greatest recruiting tool:

In September of last year, Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who is now running for president, said “most people” who take the course would be “ready to sign up for ISIS.”

I can't disagree that people around the world don't hate us for our freedoms, but rather for our depredations that we whitewash so we can morally judge everybody else.  It'd be so much easier if we hadn't stolen land from indigenous peoples whilst killing them (or is it the other way 'round?), enslaved generations of Africans, and fought proxy wars that cost millions of other humans their lives.  Changing the guidelines will only hide that from us, not everybody else...


July 30, 8:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

If You Can't Stand The Heat, Stay Out Of The Hair Salon

We should, naturally, judge candidates by their hair.  Just ask Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders!

Now I understand why the Framers wore wigs...


July 30, 6:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

BDS Scares Clinton, Et Al

The Hill: Is boycott a bad word?

Our Framers: hell no.


July 30, 6:04 PM in Pax Americana, Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0)

What If Trump Was One Of Us?

What would you ask if you had just one question?

At least 12 voters in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire are absolutely gaga over real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Bloomberg Politics' John Heilemann sat down Wednesday night with a focus group of 12 Trump supporters in the Granite State who riffed on why they thought the billionaire was the best candidate in a crowded GOP presidential field.

“He's like one of us," Janet, a former dog breeder, explained. "He may be a millionaire (sic), which separates him from everybody else. But besides the money issue, he's still in tune with what everybody is wanting.”

Many also cited Trump's vast wealth in identifying with him.

"I knew that he was a wealthy, successful man and I remember asking my mother if I could write him a letter to ask him how he made his money so that I could do it too," Jessica, a data analyst, said.

Yes, many people still cling to the mirage that we can all be billionaire blowhards if we just act like this selfish asshole who inherited his Richie Rich Starter Kit.


July 30, 5:25 PM in And Fuck... | Permalink | Comments (0)

Intersection: End Of An Era

We'll see if I keep this up now that summer school is over.  And yes, I was driving.


July 30, 4:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Became Bored Hunting Animals

That's why I prefer to hunt men...


July 30, 2:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stimulant Report: Day Two

Things are still going well with our new friend, Adderall.  I really appreciate all the comments here and on FB about other people's experiences with the medication and attention deficits (both kids' and adults').

Samuel's teacher reported today that he's done well this week, and noticed that he was asking a lot of questions, looking for reassurance.  Could be a bit of that initial euphoria some people get when starting on the drug, perhaps combined with his concerns over this being the last day of summer school?

On the way home the boy was definitely hyper-talkative, but responded very well when I asked him to tone it down.  He was able to immediately put on the brakes, and remain quiet and contemplative for minutes on end, which is a welcome relief.

So Sam's on a relatively even keel.  We definitely could tell when the stuff was wearing off last night, and he was extremely motorific this morning until the meds kicked in.  A marked difference between on and off.

We're so very grateful that we've still got a few weeks before kindergarten begins to make tweaks.  But man, it's been great already and we bask in optimism as the adventure continues.


July 30, 1:22 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (1)


Running at the school, May 24, 2014.


July 30, 12:56 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 07/29/2015

This Is, In Fact, The Real Life

Saw Brian May on NASA TV today, and that Kunitz poem made me think of all the layering in this little ditty.


July 29, 10:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"I have walked through many lives, some of them my own..."

The Layers:

In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

Stanley Kunitz.


July 29, 10:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Happy Birthday, NASA!

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 established NASA to meet the following objectives:

  1. The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
  2. The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;
  3. The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space;
  4. The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.
  5. The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.
  6. The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defenses of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;
  7. Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results, thereof; and
  8. The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment.

Good Ole NACA was absorbed by the new agency on October 1.  And our Constitution doesn't say a damned thing about either...


July 29, 9:05 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Socialist Sour Grapes

Been reading a lot of stuff like this in Seven Days, which apparently wants to be the Vermont NYTimes:

Diamondstone did admit feeling annoyance that Sanders gets credit, in Vermont and nationally, for an unwavering dedication to his beliefs — as the guy who has been saying the same thing for years, no matter how unpopular.

If that were true, Diamondstone said, Sanders' career would look an awful lot like ... Diamondstone's. He views Sanders as just another sellout who moderated his image and compromised his beliefs to win elections.

"He's a different political person than he was in the good old days," Diamondstone said. "It's changed, big time. It's two different people."

I dig Peter Diamondstone and the Liberty Union.  I love what they stand for.  I vote for him and their candidates (like my friend Rosemarie Jackowski) whenever I can.  

LU now qualifies for major party status because enough of us have done so.  That's wicked awesome!  

They still haven't won at the ballot box like Bernie has.  He's done more for Vermont and the United States than they have in terms of policy.  Because, you know, elections have consequences.

Anyway, I look forward to the next Seven Days piece: Sanders says climate change is real, but why does he fly on airplanes?


July 29, 7:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Listening To Adderall

In the interest of establishing a baseline, even though we've just barely started the latest medical journey, I wanted to note that so far things are going surprisingly well.

On Tuesday Samuel got no meds--essentially a day of titrating the fluoxetine down.  There weren't any noticeable differences from the previous week or two, which is not surprising with drug's relatively long half-life.

Wednesday marked his first dose of stimulant, right after breakfast.  It was actually the first time he'd ever had a pill, which made him feel like a big boy and he took it like a champ.

Another first: Sam bolted ahead to class this morning, entered the room by himself, and immediately started washing his hands.  Before now, he always stayed close to us, had to be nudged into room (while Sadie waltzed in and plopped down at a table to work), wandered around looking at everything, and took a long time to get over to the sink, making every step of the morning routine a chore.  Smoothest dropoff ever.

At pickup, our boy was line leader.  I was amazed that he didn't need guiding or reminders to slow down, stay with group, not cross the "safety line" (where buses are), etc.  There was a look of calm confidence on his face.

On the way home Sam volunteered that he'd played with other kids--usually it's like pulling teeth to get him to talk about school.  He told me a complete sequence of events instead of haphazard memory of what he did (scattered over many follow up questions).  He reportedly even took time to ask his teacher about P ("the black human" whose name he now actually knows) and why he has white parents (apparently adopted from war-torn country in which his parents vanished, "were they killed by Germans?" he asked in follow up).

Second dose administered after lunch.  His appetite is already a bit suppressed, so we'll have to be very careful with Mr Low Birth Weight Skinny Butt.  That said, he still is grazing and asking for snacks, so that's good.

I am trying not to engage in confirmation bias (is the placebo effect possible when you're not the one taking medication?). seems today we've had fewer questions, fewer check ins, and fewer interruptions about his dragon game or legos or whatever he's doing.  I've even been able to type this post without a whole lot of distraction.

Today was one of the easiest Samuel days in a long, long while.  While we understand things can be up and down as we get dosage right and work on new dynamics, it has been a remarkable change already.  One hopes as he gets used to Adderall, the trend will continue.  Insha'Allah.


July 29, 5:03 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 07/28/2015

Too Set In Our Ways To Try To Rearrange

Too right to be wrong in this rebel song...


July 28, 11:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How little we know, and when we know it!

Like a Sentence:

It was prettily said that “No man
hath an abundance of cows on the plain, nor shards
in his cupboard.” Wait! I think I know who said that! It was . . .
Never mind, dears, the afternoon
will fold you up, along with preoccupations   
that now seem so important, until only a child   
running around on a unicycle occupies center stage.   
Then what will you make of walls? And I fear you   
will have to come up with something,
be it a terraced gambit above the sea
or gossip overheard in the marketplace.
For you see, it becomes you to be chastened:
for the old to envy the young,
and for youth to fear not getting older,
where the paths through the elms, the carnivals, begin.

John Ashbery.


July 28, 10:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Never Absolutely Sure Of Any Private Enterprise

Our rockets always blow up (or disintegrate):

[Virgin Galactic spaceship pilot Peter] Siebold says he recalls the violent breakup of the craft before he blacked out. When he awoke, he tried to get his emergency oxygen flowing. He next remembered the jolt of his parachute automatically opening.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded during a hearing that SpaceShipTwo broke apart after Siebold's co-pilot prematurely unlocked its brakes as the craft was shooting toward space.

It's almost like any human endeavor is fraught with risk, not just gummint.


July 28, 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crack That Whip

Give the past a slip!


July 28, 9:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Godwin Says What?

Other than Dred Scott, these guys really have no where to go:

A Texas state representative compared Planned Parenthood to Nazi Germany at a rally at the Texas capitol on Tuesday following the release of "sting" videos by an anti-abortion group, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“To find out that this culture of death is now leading to the sale – this is no different than what happened in Nazi Germany," said state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) at the rally sponsored by the Texas Alliance for Life in Austin, according to the Chronicle. "No different than doing the experiments on the old men and old women and now doing them on the babies. And I am so proud that Texas always takes the lead in trying to turn back what started with Roe v. Wade."

FTR, abortion by Aryans was a capital offense, and contraception was illegal in Nazi Germany.


July 28, 8:15 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

It's Like Invading Iraq Because Saudis Attacked Us


In general Muslims aren’t denying the Holocaust, they just don’t see the relevance for them. As far as most Muslims are concerned what happened to Jews in World War II was a Jewish-Christian situation and they had nothing to do with it. Which is also at the root of the resentment about the creation of Israel. For Muslims there is no justice in taking their land and giving it to Jews because of what Christians did to the Jews in Europe. Is it surprising that Muslims from the Middle East believe that if the Jews are entitled to their own country, then it should be in Europe, not Palestine.

Indeed, it would be not unlike the United States resettling Native Americans to Europe.  No, wait, it was the Europeans who fucked them up in the first place.  Maybe it's more like Scot-Irish indentured servants taking over Cherokee territory or something.

Anyway, yeah, a Jewish Homeland in, say...Germany would've paid for all.  But then Herzl's dream wouldn't have come true.

Perspective.  It is, in fact, everything.


July 28, 7:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is It Safe?

The kind of dentist who would never shoot a lion with his crossbow.  Also helps old ladies with their groceries.


July 28, 7:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hot And Muggy Intersection Makes NTodd Hot And Grumpy

From Hunt St above.

Up the hill a bit.

Folks in the white house take care of the flower boxes on that side of the bridge.

Here we are, as usual.

400 pixels doesn't show the details that caught my eye.

Here comes Sammy!


July 28, 3:25 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

You Know Who Else Marched Jews To The Door Of The Oven?

Well, yeah:

We cannot live with al Qaeda, but we might be able to live with a contained Iran. Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons on my watch. But before I look parents in the eye to explain why I put their son's or daughter's life at risk, I want to do everything possible to avoid conflict. We have substantive issues to discuss with Tehran.

 - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 2008

Hitler, FTR, hated NIH syndrome...


July 28, 11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Copyright The Law?

At first blush, this seems ludicrous, but I'm not sure outrage is proper here:

The state of Georgia claims an open records activist broke copyright law — and maybe even committed a terrorist act — by posting the full, annotated versions of the state’s legal code online.

State officials claim in a lawsuit filed last week that Carl Malamud had engaged in an 18-year “crusade to control the accessibility of U.S. government documents” by scanning and reposting the annotated version of the Georgia legal code, which courts often rely on to make decisions on the law, on his website

The state also “points directly to the annotated version as the official laws of the state,” reported Techdirt.

The basic legal code is readily available for free online and in print, but the state claims in its suit that information in the annotated legal code is copyrighted.

The annotated legal code is currently available for $378 through legal publisher Lexis Nexis or through a complicated series of steps through the Georgia General Assembly website.

Malamud argues that public laws should not be subject to any form of copyright protection — and he says the courts have generally upheld that view.

Lemme grab the low hanging fruit: The annotated legal code is currently available...through a complicated series of steps through the Georgia General Assembly website.

Being the investigative journalist blogger dude that I am, I journalistically investigated the complicated steps involved:

  1. Find the Georgia General Assembly website through obcure high tech methods such as teh Google.
  2. Very carefully click on the "Georgia Code" link under "Georgia Government" heading in left nav bar.
  3. On the resulting "Code of Georgia - Free Public Access" page, click on the "I agree" button after thoroughly perusing the Terms & Conditions.

After following that complicated series of steps, only then may the user search or browse through the annotated code for free.  Clearly a  barrier to the average citizen who has neither the time nor money to invest in such a process.

Anyway, this is where you will find important information such as § 1-1-1. Enactment of Code:

Copyright 2015 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current Through the 2015 Regular Session ***


O.C.G.A. § 1-1-1  (2015)

§ 1-1-1.  Enactment of Code 

   The statutory portion of the codification of Georgia laws prepared by the Code Revision Commission and the Michie Company pursuant to a contract entered into on June 19, 1978, is enacted and shall have the effect of statutes enacted by the General Assembly of Georgia. The statutory portion of such codification shall be merged with annotations, captions, catchlines, history lines, editorial notes, cross-references, indices, title and chapter analyses, and other materials pursuant to the contract and shall be published by authority of the state pursuant to such contract and when so published shall be known and may be cited as the "Official Code of Georgia Annotated."

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 1.

Let's ignore the assertion of copyright for now.  Notice that History line at the bottom?  That's an annotation.  It's not the law, it's a essentially a footnote.  As this first section spells out, the statutes have been merged with the annotations--legislative history, editorial notes and analysis, etc--prepared by a non-public entity under contract.

The LAW is not copyrighted.  The packaging of Georgia's statutes that includes privately done work is.  Malamud could get his own free copy of the code and put together his own copyrighted annotations if he wanted. appears to rely heavily on the conflation of statute and annotated code.  F'rinstance, they cite Banks v. Manchester (1888): the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all, whether it is a declaration of unwritten law or an interpretation of a constitution or a statute.

But here's the full context:

Judges, as is well understood, receive from the public treasury a stated annual salary, fixed by law, and can themselves have no pecuniary interest or proprietorship, as against the public at large, in the fruits of their judicial labors. This extends to whatever work they perform in their capacity as judges, and as well to the statements of cases and headnotes prepared by them as such, as to the opinions and decisions themselves. The question is one of public policy, and there has always been a judicial consensus, from the time of the decision in the case of Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. 591, that no copyright could, under the statutes passed by Congress, be secured in the products of the labor done by judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial duties. The whole work done by the judges constitutes the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all, whether it is a declaration of unwritten law or an interpretation of a constitution or a statute.

Sure, the concept can be extended from the Judiciary to any Legislative work.  But that's not what is at issue here.  Malamud and friends aren't just publishing unannotated law, they are publishing additional information not created by the State.  That extra content is copyrightable, and what these folks are doing is a violation just as it would be if they scanned a book on Supreme Court opinions that included the author's own interpretations of history, law, etc.

What's particularly funny about this, Malamud's disingenuous arguments aside, is that the underlying concern about information wanting to be free is mooted by the fact that the information is actually freely available online.  So what value is his middle man website offering, exactly?


PS--Reminds me of people freaking out about patents.

July 28, 9:36 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, 07/27/2015

Second Childishness And Mere Oblivion

Thus ends all our strange, eventful histories.


July 27, 11:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jerusalem Flower

Found Poem:

As it developed, Harriet Tubman,
Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Which was really the long road to the North
And emancipation for runaway slaves,
Thought her quilt pattern as beautiful
As the wild flowers that grew in the woods
And along the edges of the roads.

Michael Longley.


July 27, 10:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


Who wears the pants at Treasury, anyhow?

Last month, the Treasury Department announced that a woman would be featured on the $10 bill when it is redesigned in 2020 and David Barton was so outraged that he brought the National Review's Quin Hillyer on to his "WallBuilders Live" radio program today to explain why this decision is so "outrageous and ignorant."

As Hillyer explained, the change is really nothing more than an attempt to "erase our history."

"I think there is something worse afoot," he said. "You combine this with all sort of other things they've done and it looks to me like they literally want to erase our history..."

"People really do need to get outraged and stay outraged about this," Hillyer continued, "because this isn't just about a face on a bill, this is about maintaining, preserving, respecting, honoring the history, the good history of the greatest nation ever created on earth."

For his part, Barton claimed that adding a woman to the $10 bill would "denigrate" the Department of Treasury and, by extension, our entire economic system...

Because, just as in science, there have been no women in our nation's history, let alone in the Bible.


July 27, 8:50 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (1)

State Constitutions And Laws Are Messy

In the wake of Obergefell, there's quite a bit of editorial work that probably won't be done any time soon.  Still, marriage equality is the law of land, no matter what Huckster thinks.


July 27, 7:43 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

No Man Ask For

Chippin' around, kick my brains 'round the floor.


July 27, 6:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Can't Listen To Prozac Any More

The fluoxetine regime for Samuel has come to an end.  Didn't work.  Well, that's not entirely fair.

It did mitigate some social anxiety.  OMG, our son was making eye contact with cashiers and the like, introducing himself, telling them he lost a tooth, inappropriately sharing our address, etc.  Not atypical for most kids, completely out of character for our boy.

But after about a week, the drug ramped him up so much that his separation anxiety became more acute.  Increased check-in frequency.  He was (I can't believe I'm typing this) even more non-stop-in-your-grill than before.

We stopped for milkshakes after our follow-up appointment.  Somehow we ended up talking about stomach acid.  "Oh, that's the stuff we saw in Kade when he accidentally ate those nanites in Rescuebots!"  Right, good job, man.  "If you burp does some come up?"  

From there the conversation moved to my GERD.  "Will you die from that?"  Probably not.  "But if you die, you'll finally get a lot of peace and quiet, right?"  Heh, yeah.

"So how does the acid get into your stomach?"  "Why..."  "Etc..."  Okay, dude I'm done.

And that's how it goes.  Sam's doc (and teachers) saw it, too, so there wasn't really any need for a hard sell to change meds.  Act II of our drama: enter the classic Adderall, stage right.


July 27, 5:24 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2)

Bring The South Kicking And Screaming Into The Latter Half Of The 20th Century

To be fair, they did end up moving the sculpture to a cemetery (in Bitburg, I think):

Wait, Selma unveiled a monument to Forrest in 2000? Wow.

What should we do with such monuments? Some should clearly be taken down. I’m not 100% supportive of erasing the racist history of the past from the public spaces it occupies. It’s possible to interpret it as sites of racism. But really, who is going to do that? Does Memphis have the capability and money for the long-term interpretation of its infamous Forrest statue? Probably not. And we are not bound by our ancestors choices in who to memorialize. Just because a statue was erected in 1895 does not mean need to leave it up in 2015. If the statue was to an open racist, KKK founder, and commander during the Fort Pillow Massacre like Forrest, I don’t see any good reason to keep that statue up. That’s what belongs in a museum, with plenty of interpretation as to why it was seen as desirable to put that statue up and what that said about white supremacy and black rights in the post-Reconstruction South.

Some will claim that these fights over the Civil War are meaningless and don’t solve racism. First, no one claimed they would solve racism, a fight that can be fought but not won. Second, if you don’t think the past matters, talk to Lynne Cheney. Talk to the people fighting the AP US History standards for being too liberal (typically the AP response was to make this year’s DBQ about the rise of conservatism, which according to my grader friends, was all set up to make students write about how government doesn’t work). Ask the Texans seeking to eliminate all discussion of civil rights from the state’s history textbooks. Ask Bree Newsome. Ask the victims of Dylann Roof. The past matters a lot, and especially the Civil War past. These symbols are almost as much about the present as the past and symbols are incredibly important. We are turning a corner in the popular understanding of the Civil War as being about slavery and racism and eliminating statues honoring people like Forrest are an important part of that, especially since that’s where the energy and momentum is right now. And as I’ve said before about many movements, no one can control where the energy is at a given time and it needs to be built upon with concrete gains before it dissipates.

Spot on.

There's a strawman running around with its pants on fire, claiming that people who want to remove the Traitor Flag and monuments to Treasonous Rebel Scum and whatnot are trying to erase history.  Nope, we just would like it all relegated to places where you have more space to learn about the history, as opposed to places where pigeon shit tells you nothing about the context.


July 27, 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, 07/26/2015

Return To Flight

Jeebus, it's been 10 years.


July 26, 11:04 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Summer Stillness

From The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems:

THE stars are golden instants in the deep
Flawless expanse of night: the moon is set:
The river sleeps, entranced, a smooth cool sleep
Seeming so motionless that I forget
The hollow booming bridges, where it slides,
Dark with the sad looks that it bears along,
Towards a sea whose unreturning tides
Ravish the sighted ships and the sailors' song.

Aldous Huxley.


July 26, 10:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Arc Of History Bends Toward A Little Less Racist Brutality

To be fair, pepper spraying black people standing up for their basic rights is a bit of progress from shooting them to death and nailing them with fire hoses.  And hey, it's not like the cop is herding the protesters into ovens like Obama is doing with the Jews.


July 26, 9:49 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (2)

You Win Civil Rights With The Advocates You Have, Not The Advocates You Wish You Had

Because we usually get to choose perfect advocates:

Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition this year was not something I really got behind from the beginning. I don’t like admitting this, but it’s not because it’s at all analogous to admitting I’m a transphobic bigot; on the contrary, my criticism has more to do with my being a progressive idealist, who simultaneously happens to be a cynic and a skeptic. I don’t trust the Kardashian empire or its apparent motivations (specifically, to get rich/famous). I didn’t trust Jenner because I believed she shared them.

But lately, Jenner has pressed me — and likely numerous other LGBTQ advocates who questioned her new role as spokesperson for trans issues — to change my tune, or at least to reevaluate my skepticism. Her recent ESPYs acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award displayed, with an impressive vocabulary, a call for trans activism that was nascent but still so clear in her April interview with Diane Sawyer, when Jenner came out publicly as transgender. Since then, she hasn’t backed down from an opportunity to educate or try to change minds, contrary to what some (myself included) might have expected or feared.
In addition to being straightforward, “I Am Cait” is also extraordinarily palatable, especially for an audience that is most certainly not dominated by the likes of me — which is to say, it’s not composed primarily of outspoken feminists with degrees in women’s studies and copies of “Gender Trouble” on their bookshelves, who tend to have inordinately high hopes for the public faces of social issues in which they’re deeply invested. While I might have wondered ever-so-critically what Judith Butler would make of Jenner’s show as I watched it, the fact is that many of the people who will tune in to “I Am Cait” have no idea who the hell Judith Butler is. They might never have met a transgender person or known someone close to them who transitioned, and they might not have known the difference between sex and gender until Jenner herself explained it so aptly earlier this year. They might require the sort of gentle spoon-feeding the show provides by way of introduction to the horrors of trans marginalization — so it’s good that the unfamiliar are for whom “I Am Cait” was clearly made.

I really have been annoyed by the hand wringing over Caitlyn's family, wealth, etc, somehow making her a bad advocate for trans rights and basic humanity.  She's got a platform, thank the fuck christ, and is using it positively.

Anybody who bitches about her celebrity doesn't want to address the real issues.  Fundmentally they're transphobic from where I sit (whether they use the proper pronouns or not).


PS--My old prof, Jenny Boylan, has been rather involved with various aspects of Caitlyn's public introduction and her show, not to mention the series Transparent (which is excellent).

July 26, 8:34 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reefer Madness Killed Sandra Bland

Remember, she was no angel, so deserved to die.  Just like all those other uppity darkies that keep dying in totally isolated incidents that have nothing to do with race.


July 26, 7:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Don't Tread On Our Hallowed Ground

Digby has pictures of Traitor Flag wavers at Gettysburg, of all places:

The fact that these were also carrying the wingnut favorite "Don't Tread On Me" flag shows they were there making a modern political point, not staging a tribute to the confederate soldiers, and frankly they soured the whole atmosphere. It really is hallowed ground.

...It's obsessive and sick to keep pushing confederate "pride" after all this time.  Especially there.

Looks like Lincoln was wrong about our poor power to detract...


July 26, 5:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


Scott Lemieux:

Yes, impeaching Obama on absolutely ludicrous grounds and have removal fail massively in the Senate would be the risk-averse and intelligent gamble.

The fever is catching!


July 26, 4:50 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)