Blog Ipsa Loquitur

I’m definitely not a father.  Well, I haven’t talked to that girl (now lady) I dated in high school in quite a while, but I ran into her parents at the mall a few years back, and they were awfully nice to me. I’m going to read between those particularly parental lines and assume, then, that I’m not a father.

That being said, I’m writing this one down: The Tape Trick via Prudent Baby. (Note: web site is not actually written by a baby.)

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Law school. I mean, it seemed like an interesting intellectual endeavor at the time. It was also personally enriching and more than a little eye-opening. The ABA has apparently begun to recommend college students not to go to law school:

The ABA is now making the case to persuade college students not to go to law school.

According to the association, over the past 25 years law school tuition has consistently risen two times faster than inflation.

[…]

Before the recession, the ABA cites statistics that show an average starting salary for an associate of a large law firm of about $160,000 a year. But by 2009, about 42 percent of graduates began with an annual salary of less than $65,000.

That last paragraph contains a rather hilarious bit of meaningless statistics: comparing the average salary of people who graduate and go to BigLaw against all people who graduate is silly. That’s a little like comparing NCAA athletes who graduate and go play professional sports to NCAA athletes who graduate and work as public schoolteachers.

That being said, I started law school in August 2007, about a year before the economy began to burst into flames. When I began, the Dow Jones was at 13,378 and rose to 14,093 before sinking to a low of 6,624. When I graduated in May 2010, the Dow was at 10,616., about halfway between the wild extremes of the bubble and the basement.

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Next time I go to law school, I’m planning ahead for these sorts of econopocalypses.

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Apparently, there’s a shortage of thiopental sodium in America: the anesthetic is used in lethal injections, but the sole American supplier isn’t making enough to keep up with demands. This made for some droll late-night comic fodder about the dangers of using expired poison in your lethal injections, but there are some concerns.

Given the lack of domestic options for purchasing thiopental sodium in America, some states have started importing it from Europe. Yesterday, in response to the Wall Street Journal, the FDA said they have no authority to regulate “substances imported or used for the purpose of state-authorized lethal injection…”, because the FDA’s role is to protect the public health, something which lethal injection drugs are pretty clearly not meant to do.

The FDA’s punt on the efficacy of lethal injection drugs leaves an opening for opponents of the death penalty. As pointed out by the WSJ Law Blog:

But the [FDA] did have one thing to say that could provide grist for attorneys representing death-row inmates; some advocates have claimed that it is unconstitutional to import thiopental, because of the possibility that foreign-made thiopental will not be sufficiently potent and effective, creating a risk that inmates will suffer a severely painful death.

This is an allusion to the question raised in Baze v. Reese; Kentucky death row inmates claimed that lethal injections could be excruciatingly painful, which would be cruel and unusual punishment, which one of those amendment thingies prohibits.

Filed on under The News

Duke Law celebrates Public Domain Day on January 1 of every year, raising public awareness of old creative works for which the copyright has expired.  This is presumably out of a sense of wry irony (henceforth “wryrony”), as nothing in the United States will enter the public domain until 2019.

Read What Could Have Been Entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2011? on Duke’s web site.  For now, we’ll just have to thank our lucky stars that we got Jane Austen.

Filed on under The News

Krauthammer insists Obama’s a genius for convincing Congressional Republicans to spend a massive amount of money to stimulate the economy via tax cuts:

If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.

This is an interesting article, but it’s premised on the idea that Congressional Republicans actually want to balance the budget, and don’t just pretend they do in order to win votes. If the GOP is actually focused on balancing the budget, then yes, Obama’s a genius for tricking them into accidentally spending $700 billion on tax cuts. Or, more likely, the GOP is capable of doing third-grade arithmetic. What follows from that premise is an exercise in fourth-grade logic left up to the reader.

Filed on under The News

Famed hacker magazine 2600 published a press release condemning the DDoS attacks on Visa.com, Mastercard.com, and other sites that are perceived to have acted unfairly to Wikileaks:

The assault on Wikileaks must not be overshadowed by the recent denial of service attacks and these certainly must not be allowed to be associated with the hacker community. This will play right into the hands of those who wish to paint us all as threats and clamp down on freedom of speech and impose all kinds of new restrictions on the Internet, not to mention the fact that the exact same types of attacks can be used on “us” as well as “them.” (Interestingly, it was only a week ago that “hackers” were blamed for denial of service attacks on Wikileaks itself. That tactic was ineffectual then as well.)

Maybe I see everything that happens on the internet through net neutrality-colored glasses, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Filed on under The News