July 7, 2007
F***, S*** and Other Typos
"Some may recall the days when the Li'l Abner comic-strip characters in daily newspapers blew off steam, not with a string of profanities, but with a babbling brook of crazy typewriter symbols: "Why you no good l!!#&+!%l!!"
Thus we were touched to see how the daily press covered the story of the Federal Communications Commission's losing day in court in the Case of the Fleeting Expletives.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that the FCC lacked authority to punish the TV networks for the broadcast of unscripted profanity, or "fleeting expletives," specifically as articulated live on network TV by Cher ("People have been telling me I'm on my way out every year, right? So f*** 'em"); and by Nicole Ritchie ("Have you ever tried to get cows*** out of a Prada purse? It's not so f****** simple").
After the decision, editorialists and columnists in newspapers everywhere mocked the FCC's "moralists" and "language police" for its provably quixotic effort to suppress the most commonly used words--today--in our language." [RJ]
Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy
"In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, you charged us to travel to communities across our Nation to meet with a wide range of leaders on the broader issues raised by this tragedy, and to report back to you what we learned, together with our recommendations for how the Federal government can help avoid such tragedies in the future. The enclosed report summarizes our findings and provides our recommendations developed through discussions with educators, mental health experts, law enforcement and other key state and local officials from more than a dozen states." [RJ]
ALM Sold to Incisive Media
"ALM, publisher of The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal and 30 other national and regional publications, will be sold to London-based Incisive Media for $630 million, according to a joint announcement Thursday by the two companies." [RJ]
July 6, 2007
Friday Fun: Cubicle Carl is not using the facsimile machine properly
Love the pop culture references.
July 6, 1946: Happy 61th Birthday Mr. President
The White House Kids page for the 43th president omitted the following:
ASU's Law School Distributes Content Through ASU's iTunes University
From the press release:
The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law now has a presence in ASU's iTunes University. Currently, there are three "subchannels" in the law school channel: Events, Ross-Blakley Law Library, and IT @ O'Connor. Each subchannel will contain audio and video recordings in those areas.
The Events subchannel contains recordings from special guest speakers, conferences, and other events held at the law school. The Ross-Blakley Law Library subchannel will soon feature a podcast newsletter chronicling all that is new and exciting at the Law Library. The IT @ O'Connor subchannel will contain a monthly podcast by one of the IT staff focusing on current and emerging technologies for the law school's infrastructure and for use in the classroom.
Time to Go Nuclear (Again)?
Balancing Benefits and Risks
Charles D. Ferguson, Fellow for Science and Technology
Council on Foreign Relations
56 pages | April 2007
Hardcopy: $10.00 | PDF Download: free
ISBN 978-0-87609-400-6 (0-87609-400-0)
Council Special Report No. 28
From the book description: Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks is a sobering and authoritative look at nuclear power. Dr. Ferguson argues that nuclear energy, despite its attributes, is unlikely to play a major role in the coming decades in strengthening energy security or in countering the harmful effects of climate change. In particular, the rapid rate of nuclear reactor expansion required to make even a modest reduction in global warming would drive up construction costs and create shortages in building materials, trained personnel, and safety controls. There are also lingering questions over nuclear waste, as well as continued political opposition to siting new plants. Nonetheless, the report points out steps the United States could take—such as imposing a fee on greenhouse gas emissions—to level the economic playing field for all energy sectors, which over the long run would encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors (if only to replace existing ones that will need to be retired) and help reduce global warming.
Computers in Libraries - July 2007
The July 2007 issue of Computers in Libraries is now available. Check it out! [RJ]
Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry
"The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint report, "Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry." The purpose of the report is to inform consumers and others involved in the industry about important competition issues involving residential real estate, including the impact of the Internet, the competitive structure of the real estate brokerage industry, and obstacles to a more competitive environment." [RJ]
"As discussed in the report, the review by the Department and the FTC suggests that, although the real estate industry has undergone a number of substantial changes in recent years — particularly as a result of technological advances such as the Internet — competition in the industry has been hindered as a result of actions taken by some real estate brokers acting through multiple listing services and the National Association of Realtors, state legislatures, and state real estate commissions. In addition, consumers likely would benefit significantly from additional knowledge about the range of options available in brokerage services and fees."
Public Papers of the Presidents George W. Bush Book II - 2003
"Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush Book II - July 1 to December 31, 2003 now available on GPO Access at: <http://www.gpoaccess.gov/pubpapers/index.html>.
Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. As subsequent volumes covering the administration of President Bush are published, they will be added online. Volumes covering previous and future administrations will continue to be added on an incremental basis." [RJ]
July 5, 2007
Refugees International Report on Sudanese Laws Exposes System that Compounds Rape Victims' Trauma
Laws Without Justice: An Assessment of Sudanese Laws Affecting Survivors of Rape outlines a system of Sudanese laws that exposes rape victims to further abuse, shields perpetrators from prosecution, limits the ability for survivors to receive medical services and generally denies any access to justice. Here more about it. [JH]
Legal Writing Institute Launches New Website
The Legal Writing Institute has announced the creation of a new website for the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, temporarily located at http://www.law2.byu.edu/Law_Library/jlwi/ until a permanent domain is established.
Hat tip to Legal Writing Prof Blog. [JH]
Taming the Wild West of Content
"The impact continues to reverberate, as traditional media companies try to capture the new efficiencies and potential of the online-content economy while battling threats to their ownership and control of content assets. Despite its rapid growth, the online-content economy still lacks attributes that all successful economies have: transparency and accountability. In fact, we're in the Wild West stage of the content economy. " [RJ]
Superfund Investigation Profiles Top Companies Linked to Toxic Waste Sites
"Toxic waste still plagues American communities 27 years after the U.S. government created a program to identify and clean up the country's worst sites, according to a two-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. "Wasting Away: Superfund's Toxic Legacy" reveals the beleaguered state of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund effort, uncovers the companies and government agencies linked to the most sites and tracks progress of the cleanup.
The Center's top overall findings:
- Nearly half of all Americans live within 10 miles of the 1,304 active and proposed Superfund sites listed by the EPA.
- Since the program started in 1980, fewer than one out of five sites has been cleaned up enough to be removed from the listing of the worst toxic waste sites.
- The amount of money EPA recouped from polluters annually to pay for cleanups plummeted from $320 million in 1999 to $60 million in 2006.
- EPA's 2007 target for "construction complete" sites – with systems in place to begin cleanup – was 40, but has been scaled back to 24. The 2008 target is 30 sites, according to the EPA's 2008 budget.
Apple iPhone: iGenious or iDud?
"The iPhone is here, in our Labs, and we didn’t waste a second before tearing it open and taking it for a test run. Over the past 24 hours, our lead audio and cell phone gurus have been poking and prodding the much-touted phone, running it through every imaginable test to find out if it really is “all that.” So, what’s the verdict? You gotta read this story." [RJ]
Law schools increase animal law studies
"The practice of animal law is expanding in the United States as animal rights advocates build up law school studies in the area and ramp up litigation. Law school curricula in the field has been buoyed by $7 million in support for animal law courses from a foundation set up by The Price is Right television show host Bob Barker." (sub. req.) [RJ]
July 4, 2007
On Reading the Declaration of Independence
Drafting the Declaration. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. In 1823 Jefferson wrote that the other members of the committee "unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught [sic]. I consented; I drew it; but before I reported it to the committee I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams requesting their corrections. . . I then wrote a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unaltered to the Congress."
Prior to deciding on Jefferson, both Adams and Franklin turned down the offer to draft the document, citing that if they wrote it people would read it with a biased eye. Revised first by Adams, then by Franklin, and then by the full committee, a total of forty-seven alterations including the insertion of three complete paragraphs was made on the text before it was presented to Congress on June 28. After voting for independence on July 2, the Congress then continued to refine the document, making thirty-nine additional revisions to the committee draft before its final adoption on the morning of July 4.
The "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence, one of the great milestones in American history, shows the evolution of the text from the initial "fair copy" draft by Thomas Jefferson with edits by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, to the final text adopted by Congress on the morning of July 4, 1776.
Reading the Declaration: Essential Resources
About Reading the Declaration
I cannot too strongly recommend Garry Wills' Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (1978) which is noteworthy for its thorough analysis and comparison of Jefferson's "original Rough draught" of the Declaration with the final version approved by Congress. See also Carl Becker's classic, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas (1922).
JibJab's Fourth of July Celebration
JibJab teamed up with ThePartyParty.com to produce this kick-a$$ July 4th celebration! Actually, to say we teamed up is misleading. He's the genius. Not us. Make sure to check out the other GREAT work at ThePartyParty.com! [JH]
Great Moments in Presidential ... ah ... Presidential Talk-Making
July 3, 2007
Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence
From President Bush's statement (July 2, 2007):
I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.