December 29, 2007
Wild, Wild Wimmin Bare All for Charity Calendar
The calendar, called "Wild, Wild Wimmin Of Williams," features twelve women in their 40s, 50s and 60s from Williams, Arizona, a great little town my wife and I visited this year to board a train to the Grand Canyon. The proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society. "No naughty bits showing."
The story and the video; neither give purchasing information! The calendar's price is $20 and can be obtained by calling 928-635-4426 or sending an email to email@example.com. Why not support this great cause. [JH]
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
"Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has initiated three military operations:
- Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) covering Afghanistan and other
Global War on Terror (GWOT) operations ranging from the
Philippines to Djibouti that began immediately after the 9/11 attacks
- Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) providing enhanced security for U.S.
military bases and other homeland security that was launched in
response to the attacks and continues at a modest level; and
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) that began in the fall of 2002 with
the buildup of troops for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and
continues with counter-insurgency and stability operations.
In the sixth year of operations since the 9/11 attacks, the cost of war is a major concern including the total amount appropriated, the amount for each operation, average monthly spending rates, and the scope and duration of future costs. For Congress to assess Department of Defense (DOD) war costs in FY2008, conduct oversight of past war costs, and consider future alternatives for Iraq that range from the President’s temporary increase in troop levels initiated this spring to a complete withdrawal, Congress needs considerably better information on costs than has been provided in the past."
December 28, 2007
Movie Rentals Coming to iTunes in January?
The blogosphere is buzzing over speculation that Apple will launch the long-rumored iTunes movie rental service in January. Apple also has agreed to license its copy-protection platform called FairPlay. When this rumor first made the rounds in June, the launch was expected in the Fall, movie rentals would be priced at $2.99 for a 30 day rental, and the service would allow films to be moved to at least one other device, such as an iPod or iPhone. Guess we may know soon. In addition to the above Google Blog search, see CNN's report. [JH]
Friday Fun: I'll Sue Ya
Featuring none other than a likeness known as Weird Al Yankovic.
Hat tip to Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, who writes, "Great commentary on the legal profession." [JH]
Notable Books Lists Offer Many Sources for First Amendment Insights
The New York Times and Washington Post selections of notable books of 2007 include a number of new titles that offer illuminating perspectives on First Amendment questions and controversies. Check out Josie Brown's (South Carolina), First Amendment Law Prof Blog post for details. [JH]
Annotated Legal Bibliography on Gender
Annotated Legal Bibliography on Gender, 13 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 685 (2007) [Westlaw]. Topics covered:
- Domestic Violence
- History & Culture
- International Law & Human Rights
- Reproductive Rights & Technology
- Same-Sex Marriage
- Sex Crimes
- Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Identity
- Workplace Discrimination & Harassment
Information Resources on Performance of U.S. Charities
Darryll K. Jones (Stetson), Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, observes that readers can rank charities by "fundraising efficiency," defined as the percent of private support remaining after fundraising expenses, in Forbes's 200 Largest U.S. Charities. Ezra Rosser (American) lists additional resources for evaluating charities at his Poverty Law Prof Blog post, Charity Information and Rankings. [JH]
The War on Whistleblowers
From the Center for Investigative Reporting: "America’s whistleblower courts were created to ensure federal employees could fearlessly speak out about government abuse, corruption and mismanagement. This CIR/Salon investigation reveals that the system set up to protect whistleblowers has instead been used to punish them. At whistleblower court, employees lose nearly 97 percent of the time." [RJ]
December 27, 2007
Benazir Bhutto Assassinated
Benazir Bhutto died from a gunshot wound to her neck after a suicide bomber struck at a rally. CNN has the developing story.
Additional CFR resources:
- Riedel: Bhutto’s Assassination 'Almost Certainly' Work of Al-Qaeda
- A Conversation With Benazir Bhutto (Aug. 15, 2007)
- CFR Backgrounder: Pakistan's Institutions and Civil Society (Updated Dec. 27, 2007)
A Quick Look at Gavel Grab
"Justice at Stake’s new blog, Gavel Grab, is designed to build a national conversation about fair and impartial courts: what they do, why they are in danger, and what everyone can do to help.
Gavel Grab will feature commentary from Justice at Stake’s network of partner organizations and national experts. Our goal is to provide a forum for intelligent and civilized discussion for everyone who cares about our courts: judges and lawyers to be sure, but also reporters, teachers, students, activists and citizens of every political stripe.
We’ll discuss state and federal courts, and how to keep them independent and accountable. We will look at the election and selection of judges. We will report on efforts to impeach or intimidate judges. And we will discuss efforts to weaken the power of the courts to uphold the rights of all Americans." [RJ]
Why Kindle Won't Be Adopted by Law School Students
Gene Koo, CALI Fellow and co-editor of Law School Innovation explains why Kindle won't "catch fire" in law schools. He writes " I don't think Kindle will replace paper casebooks in the near-term because it's less functional than a paper book for study purposes without adding obvious digital/network features for study purposes." He thinks the eBook features of Aspen's Studydesk offer far greater potential. I concur. See Beyond the Kindle Hype. Check out Gene's post. See also Baylor law prof Mark Oster's Advances in Book-Hauling Technologies on Law School Innovation. [JH]
OCLC Interviews Experts on Social Media Trends
NextSpace (The OCLC Newsletter) asked nine experts to explore and comment on the trends and behaviors of users of the social Web: Lori Bell (Alliance Library Systems, Second Life Librarian and Director of Innovation), Edward Castronova (Indiana University, Associate Professor of Telecommunications),Paul Jones (ibiblio.org, Director), Hemanshu Nigam (MySpace, Chief Security Offfice), Kitty Pope (Alliance Library System, Second Life Librarian and Executive Director), Fred Stutzman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph. D. Student), Stuart L. Weibel, Ph. D. (OCLC, Consulting Research Scientist). Here's the link to the interview.
Hat tip to Gary Price, The Resource Shelf. [JH]
Probation and Parole in the United States, 2006
Presents the number of persons on probation and parole at yearend 2006, by State, and compares the national totals to counts for yearend 1995 and 2000 through 2005. The report provides State-level probation and parole supervision rates at yearend 2006 and the percentage change in each population during the year. It presents probation and parole entries and exits, by State, and it provides national and State-level data on parole revocations. The Bulletin also includes a national description of the race, gender, and offense composition of these populations.
Highlights include the following:
• The number of adult men and women in the United States who were being supervised on probation or parole at the end of 2006 reached 5,035,225. In 2006 the combined probation and parole populations grew by 1.8% or 87,852 persons.
• More than 8 in 10 offenders under community supervision were on probation at yearend 2006. During 2006 the probation population grew by 1.7% which represented an increase of 70,266 probationers.
• At yearend 2006 a total of 798,202 adult men and women were on parole or mandatory conditional release following a prison term. The population grew by 17,586 parolees during the year or 2.3%.
Opening: Librarian (Assessment Specialist), U.S. Government Printing Office
GPO is currently recruiting for the position of Librarian (Assessment Specialist). This position is in the GPO Central Office in Washington, DC.
The Office of Education and Outreach is responsible for the development and implementation of the Public Access Assessment Project in support of the Library Services and Content Management mission and initiatives.
For more information on this position, please see the vacancy announcement on GPO's web site:
Additional information on careers at GPO is available at:
The application deadline is January 11, 2008.
December 26, 2007
Law Student Uses Facebook Group to Promote Health Care Reform
Jeff Traylor, a Lewis & Clark Law School student, has turned to Facebook to advocate for universal health care. In the year between his graduation from college and his first year in law school, Jeff Traylor worked in a restaurant and was similar to approximately 44 million Americans in this respect: He had no health insurance. Having confronted the choice facing many Americans between paying bills or buying medicine, Traylor created 1,000,000 Strong for Universal Health Care in America that he hopes will help people “get organized, get active, and begin the campaign for reform and a real solution.” [Politico story] Check out Taylor's Facebook group. [JH]
NLRB Rules on Employee Use of Email
What rights do employees have to use their employer's email systems for concerted activities? Essential none according to the NLRB in the Board's The Register Guard, 351 NLRB No. 70 (2007) ruling. For details, see Adjunct Law Prof Blog's NLRB Issues Major Decision On Employee Use of E-Mail post. See also Adjunct Law Prof Blog's More on Register Guard NLRB E-Mail Decision (NLRB is an aging agency that has not kept up with the modern workforce.). [JH]
New RAND Corporation Report: The Victims of Terrorism
The Victims of Terrorism, An Assessment of Their Influence and Growing Role in Policy, Legislation, and the Private Sector is a new report from the RAND Corporation:
"Little attention and analysis have focused on terrorism victims, including survivors. This report focuses on the organized groups of families and friends that have emerged since September 11, 2001, to become a powerful voice in U.S. counterterrorist policy and legislation. These groups were remarkably successful in getting the 9/11 Commission established as well as the enactment of the commission’s most important recommendations. This report documents these groups’ number and diversity, their wide disparity in mission and services, in addition to the effectiveness of their strategies for achieving their missions. It also compares the 9/11 victims’ groups to those formed in response to previous terrorist attacks both in the United States and abroad, highlighting the lessons the 9/11 groups learned from these precedents and the differences between 9/11 groups and those that preceded them."
Professional Reading: The Two Appointments Clauses: Statutory Qualifications for Federal Officers
Georgetown University law professor Hanah M. Volokh's The Two Appointments Clauses: Statutory Qualifications for Federal Officers is now available from SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Congress often exercises control over appointments to federal office by writing job qualifications and putting them directly into the statute creating the office. This practice is best examined by viewing the Appointments Clause not as a single entity, but as two related clauses that set up two very different methods of appointment: presidential nomination and Senate confirmation as the default method, and vesting in one of three authorized positions as an optional alternative method for certain types of officers. When creating an office, Congress must choose one of these methods for appointing the officer, but cannot create a hybrid method combining the two procedures. In this article, I examine the text, history, and structure of the Constitution to determine what is required by each of the two appointments processes. I conclude that statutory qualifications are consistent with the Constitution's process for vested appointments, but inconsistent with the nomination and confirmation process.
Opening: Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Baltimore Law Library
The University of Baltimore Law Library is seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as Electronic Resources/Reference Librarian. Job duties include identifying, evaluating and recommending the purchase of electronic resources, providing end user training, and performing general reference services.
- Represents Law Library on University System of Maryland Electronic Resources Committee in identifying, evaluating and recommending databases. Acts as liaison for consortial subscriptions through ResearchPort and MDL.
- Reviews, evaluates and recommends databases for non-consortial (UB Law only) subscription.
- Tests resource access, and works to maintain access by communicating with appropriate technical staff (vendor, UM-ITD, UB Law and UB OTS) and UB Law web manager.
- Keep statistics on usage; compiles reports for Library administration.
Instruction and Publicity
- Provides instruction and training in computerized databases to students, faculty and staff.
- Publicizes availability and features of electronic resources to Library users.
- Writes and/or edits Law Library column for Advance Sheet.
Reference and Public Services
- Assists library users in locating and obtaining information by describing the contents of the library, the online catalog for the University of Maryland System, and other available resources.
- Use knowledge of legal and other information sources (books, computerized databases and microforms) to answer specific questions for all users, and to help students and faculty with reference and research problems.
- Staffs Reference desk as assigned. Supervises circulation desk and circulation functions in absence of Circulation Librarian and supervisor. Fills in at Circulation Desk when necessary.
Required: JD from an ABA accredited law school or equivalent plus either an MLS from an ALA-accredited library school OR and MS/MA Degree in Computer Science/Information Technology, OR a BA/MA in Computer Science/IT with at least 2 years of work experience in information technology and excellent oral and written communication skills. Preferred: At least 2 years of academic library experience; experience doing legal research; familiarity with legal bibliography; experience with bibliographic utilities, integrated library systems and subscription databases; and experience in user training (individual and group instruction).
Include your Vacancy Number on all correspondence and in your e-mail subject line. Please submit resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
University of Baltimore
1420 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
UB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ADA Compliant Employer & Title IX Institution.
December 25, 2007
Where is the Legislation That Banned Christmas?
There is no sign that Cromwell personally played a particularly large or prominent role in formulating or advancing the various pieces of legislation and other documents which restricted the celebration of Christmas, though from what we know of his faith and beliefs it is likely that he was sympathetic towards and supported such measures, and as Lord Protector from December 1653 until his death in September 1658 he supported the enforcement of the existing measures.
I see. He was just a fellow-traveler. The Cromwell Association explains that it was "the broader Godly or parliamentary party, working through and within the elected parliament, which in the 1640s clamped down on the celebration of Christmas and other saints’ and holy days."
OK but where is this legislation? Nigel Jamieson, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Otago, New Zealand, has found it and his delightful tale of the research that went into locating the Ordinance 360 years after the fact is published in Oliver Cromwell—The Grinch That Stole Christmas, 26 Statute L. Rev. 189 (2005) [Westlaw].
Although without royal assent, The Ordinance, bearing the date of 4 January 1645 and resolved upon before both Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, provides in its 'Appendix touching Dayes and Places for Publique Worship':
There is no Day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the Gospel, but the Lord's Day, which is the Christian Sabbath.
Festival dayes, vulgarly called Holy dayes, having no Warrant in the Word of God, are not to be continued.
Jamieson explains that the application of this general prohibition against feast-days to the specific celebration of Christmas is clear from an earlier Ordinance, dated 19 December 1644, 'for the better observation of the monethly Fast; and more especially the next Wednesday, commonly called The Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Thorowout the Kingdome (sic) of England and Wales'. This Ordinance provided:
Whereas some doubts have been raised whether the next Fast shall be celebrated, because it falleth on the day which heretofore was usually called the feast of the Nativity of our Saviour. The Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled doe order and ordaine that publique notice be given that the Fast appointed to be kept on the last Wednesday in every moneth, ought to be observed until it be otherwise ordered by both Houses of Parliament: And that this day in particular is to be kept with the more solemne humiliation, because it may call to remembrance our sinnes, and the sinnes of our forefathers, who have turned this Feast, pretending the memory of Christ into an extreme forgetfulnessse of him, by giving liberty to carnall and sensuall delights, being contrary to the life which Christ himselfe led here upon earth, and to the spirituall life of Christ in our soules for the sanctifying and saving whereof Christ was pleased both to take a humane life, and to lay it down againe.
Probably only English legal historians and law librarians will appreciate Jamieson's research narrative. To them, I say, enjoy the pleasure of reading this article about the process of legislative research and legal authentication. Merry Christmas. [JH]