[June 3, 2000]

If you recall my posting of the Prerequisites to Being a Modern Liberal Democrat, you may be interested to know that they are scattered all over the web. This poster attributes them to Lonnie Shoultz. I'm trying to confirm this. Variations on the theme, certainly related to the original, can be found here and here and here and here. For some of these you may need to scroll down.

UPDATE: Lonnie replies:

It's been over a year, but I did write most of it. Someone has added some
great examples that were not on my original list…

So, I'm glad to give credit where credit is due. W

For future reference: Trademark Electronic Business Center W

Everyone say it with me: Harley Davidson. . . fountain pen. Harley Davidson. . . fountain pen. Has Levenger gone mad? W

[June 2, 2000]

If you had any illusion that Cubans have any freedom in their own country, I hope this story sheds a little light on the subject: Half a Million Cubans March to 'Free' Elian:

As with the other meticulously staged mobilizations, state-owned buses brought protesters in from all parts of Havana, officials used megaphones to organize the marchers into orderly lines, and police cordoned off the U.S. building. The Communist Party apologized to the people for the temporary paralyzation of public transportation.

No word on what the sanctions were for those who failed to attend. W

I've got something small, but cool, in the works. If I can get it to work, you'll see it here shortly. W

Over at almost.org, there's a new tale up. This one prominently features Rico Suave:

"Well, I would like to kiss you just to get it out of the way," he grins.

Now there's a man who knows how to use his checklist. W

[June 1, 2000]

Last week I began studying for the Virginia Bar Exam. Unlike some folks, I will probably never mention the exam again until August. There is just one little nugget of wisdom that I want to share with you about bar exams in general, from today's lecture:

The bar exam is an exercise in malpractice.

Why, you ask? Because the exam requires the examinee to sit down and, without the benefit of research, apply black-letter law to a given set of facts and arrive at a legal conclusion. You can even arrive at the WRONG legal conclusion, and if your reasoning is sound, win enough points to pass. But in the real world, no practicing lawyer would be able to give a firm legal conclusion wihtout some reference to the substantive law, and any attempt on his part to do so would frequently constitute malpractice on his or her part. Yet this is exactly the skill one must perfect in order to win a license to practice law. No wonder the profession has such a bad reputation. W

It depends what the meaning of 'apply' is: the 11th Circuit rules today that the INS did not violate the law by rejecting the asylum petition of Elian Gonzalez. The crux of the court's holding reads:

The important legal question in this case, therefore, is not whether Plaintiff may apply for asylum; that a six-year-old is eligible to apply for asylum is clear. The ultimate inquiry, instead, is whether a six-year-old child has applied for asylum within the meaning of the statute when he, or a non-parental relative on his behalf, signs and submits a purported application against the express wishes of the child’s parent.... The INS’s estimate of the purported applications -- as applications that were not strong on their merits -- is not clearly inaccurate.

The same three judges observed in late April:

The INS has not pointed to (nor have we found) statutory, regulatory or guideline provisions which place an age-based restriction on an alien's ability to apply for asylum. And we have found no preexisting requirement that a minor, in submitting an asylum application, must act through the representative selected by the INS.

That last sentence seems to have escaped the attention of the panel in their rendering of today's decision.

Many people will celebrate today's ruling because they favor Elian's father or because they disdain Elian's Miami cousins. In doing so, they forget that the law affords all people its protections and obligations. All too often in recent years, the Amercan people have been willing to let their personal feelings for the parties involved sway their approval or disapproval of the turnings of the wheels of justice. That path leads not to a nation under the rule of law, but a nation under the rule of the mob. Keep that in mind as you ponder today's events. W

[May 31, 2000]

Recycled LinkFrom Ghost in the Machine: Thankfully, Slate debunks the political fortunetellers who claim that voting isn't necessary: The Phony Science of Predicting Elections.

They can't predict or explain elections, because their models don't comprehend any aspect of human behavior that can't be quantified.

A lot of these models seem to rest on the same assumptions as the Keys to the White House. Personally, I'm still going to vote. W

Every speeder's dream come true: Police Officer Jailed for Giving False Ticket W

[May 30, 2000]

Do you think cars suck? Do you think sprawl must be stopped? I don'tW

Why didn't I think of this? SharkTank.com W

[May 29, 2000]

Boy, for a holiday weekend, this one has really kept me busy. Of course, Saturday night was the Billion Blogger Blowout for DC-area web folk. Although Park Service estimates ran slightly less than the full billion planned - six, actually - quality more than made up for quantity. Besides myself and my always-stunning wife, the gathering included the Ratbastard, John, his lovely wife Laura, and Fred. The topics of conversation ranged from the British monarchical succession to statistical prediction of regulator genes to feline narcotic scams. Because of the high casualty rate (one plate) and graphic nature of the pizza consumption, I kept my camera holstered.

As if that weren't enough party for one weekend, we spent Sunday at HFStival, a major concert blowout organized by the local "alternative" radio station. Mary Prankster turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of the show, rocking the local stage. I never knew Baltimore could spawn punk music, but there you have it. MP's web site is just a crappy guest book right now, but occasionally gives clues about local show dates. If there's a show near you, you should definitely take a look. We had so much fun at the festival that next year we might actually PLAN to go, rather than grab last-minute tickets. W

Spain pictures coming soon. Really. W

[May 28, 2000]

Recycled LinkInsert these two links into the memory banks: Online Graphic Creation and a new format for Weblogs.Com, both found at Weblog Wannabe.