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Don't talk to cops

Posted by Ben
on 03.06.10

Ok?

Question for the Unfogged Legal Resource Center: When the cop who talks after the law prof is addressing the class, and talking about the two types of people one might have to interrogate, the strategy with the third (sic) type is to go into the room with paperwork, do the paperwork, "don't tell them Miranda", sit there, and "wait for them to start talking". (This is around 38:50–39:18.) I vaguely recall from a friend's law school days that there are have been some odd decisions in years past about at what point a person is actually in the custody of the police, but … surely if you're in the interrogation room, with a cop sitting across from you, it's pretty unambiguous what's going on, right? How can what's said in that situation be admissable? (And what would otherwise stop the cops from simply leaving you there without ever directly addressing you?)


 

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Also it looks like Tron, and don't lie. You love it.

Posted by Stanley
on 03.06.10

I've never even heard of Tiësto, but this song featuring Tegan and Sara: great! Their voices do the techno-y thing well, and I say this as a not-at-all expert on the techno-y thing, as should be obvious by now.

Whatever. Great pop song.

Oh, and as long as I'm on about suggesting music: Dangerous Ponies. Whoa oh oh!


 

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Lest California have all the fun, Virginia has douchebags, too

Posted by Stanley
on 03.06.10

And we elect 'em!

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has urged the state's public colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, arguing in a letter sent to each school that their boards of visitors had no legal authority to adopt such statements.

[...]

"It is my advice that the law and public policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibit a college or university from including 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity,' 'gender expression,' or like classification as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy absent specific authorization from the General Assembly," he wrote in the letter.

Christ, what an asshole.


 

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Whump! Heh. Heh. Heh.

Posted by Stanley
on 03.06.10

Let me tell you about a person I know. He fills each and every conversational pause with a chuckle. "Heh. Heh. Heh."

I have accidentally noticed this fact and now home in on it all the time. Like, from across the room.

I'm fully aware this is my own personal hang-up, but man is it ever distracting.


 

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Am I being overly sensitive?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.05.10

The African-American student association at Heebie U is having a fundraiser. For $5, you can rent a student to carry out your spring cleaning. (I'm avoiding the exact name of the fundraiser, but it involves the exact words in the previous sentence.)

I generally do all these guess-the-jellybeans, etc fundraisers. But renting a black student to clean my office totally squicks me out. (Yes, I can easily make a donation and decline the service. Not the point of the post.)


 

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In defense of Obama

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.04.10

Here are two things that I am not defending: his first year was poor, and he will always govern from the center. I'm not arguing those points.

Here are two things that I will argue:
1. He is a smart guy. I bet he navigates the presidency lightyears better than he did six months ago, and likewise six months before that. I bet he becomes an increasingly deft and agile leader. I think the health care summit was a pretty clever piece of theatre.

2. He could profoundly change the rhetoric for the next thirty years, even if in practice he is frustrating centrist. If he says it enough, and the voters believe it, and the media then internalizes it, the following could become a truth: that government is capable of addressing inequality competently, and that everyone benefits when you shrink the gap between the haves and the have-nots. That would be a monumental achievement.


 

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It is kind of tendentious to claim that Berkeley is "inherently bound up with" American imperialism on the basis of its name

Posted by Ben
on 03.04.10

Sifu's claim that at UC La Jolla the vast majority of students there don't care about anything but becoming molecular biologists reminded me of this article on the UC system I read yesterday on the recommendation of a tiresome revolutionary.


 

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Guest post: Name withheld

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.04.10

So I got an e-mail from my alma mater the other day that confused the hell out of me. Here is an excerpt:

"Without a doubt, the campus is experiencing a difficult and challenging time. We have all encountered unexpected obstacles in recent weeks, both individually and collectively. Of utmost concern to the Colleges is the well-being of our students, and we are greatly concerned by the number of students who worry for their safety on campus. We also recognize that an impressive number of students, moved by their concern for the campus community, have played an active role in recent events. As Provost, I recognize that the events of the past few weeks may have resulted in a disruption to your studies and may impact your ability to focus on your academic progress to the full extent of your intentions.

We wish to support you in any reasonable and caring way. College and department advisors are ready and willing to work with you to determine the best course of action in getting through this difficult time. Your instructors can also consider with you what appropriate course-related accommodations may be available to meet your specific circumstances. Faculty have been encouraged to think creatively and be responsive in finding fair and equitable solutions to student concerns.

Your first step should be to contact your college and department advisors for assistance. They will help you determine which course of action best suits your circumstances. Some students may need help managing course-related workloads; others may wish to meet with staff from Counseling and Psychological Services. Some students may wish to request an incomplete in one or more classes; others may seek to withdraw for the quarter. The Committee on Educational Policy has approved a special Winter 2010 proviso to permit students affected by recent events to withdraw from all classes this quarter without receiving W grades. To take advantage of this special opportunity, you must withdraw from all classes, not a single class."

What the hell, says I? What's going on there?

Googling around, I gather the rough outlines, described here. The highlight to me is the handmade KKK hood put over a statue of DR. SEUSS. I mean, c'mon. A close second is the whole "wow, I just thought I'd make a noose for fun and leave it in the library for no reason" excuse.

I know several of the people who were involved with the on-campus TV station idiot-frat-boy tossing of gasoline onto the fire. Most of them are members of that particularly obnoxious species of right-leaning provocateur, who previously got in trouble for showing footage from a strip club on the campus TV network: transgressive! Several of them actually graduated years ago, but were too into the
whole big-annoying-fish-in-a-small-pond thing to stop hanging out on campus. Real winners. Needless to say, they're all a bunch of privileged-ass white guys. (You can see their website, with bonus racism, here.)

Unfortunately, the head of student government reacted to the infantile provocation by cutting off funding for ALL student media on campus, which appears to have set up a black people vs. free speech battle royale among the student body, as mentioned in passing here.

Meanwhile, only the SD Union Tribune thought to get a quote from DR. SEUSS'S WIDOW, who was quite gracious about the whole putting-a-KKK-head-on-a-statue-of-her-dead-husband thing.

Anyhoo, lots of laughs, lots of assholes, lots of rank idiocy, and lots of food for thought: perfect unfogged bait!


 

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Strapping

Posted by Stanley
on 03.03.10

I speculate that the lifespan of the hipster (have I mentioned I hate this word? I do) mustache is almost over. Further, I'm betting on hipster chin-strap beards to take off next. Mark my words.


 

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Although the heart thing was sort of cute, I admit.

Posted by Stanley
on 03.03.10

Man, I'm not sure at all how I'd react to receiving this sort of video. I'm sure it's all sorts of context-dependent. But it sure sets off my own Stay Far Away radar pretty quickly.


 

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Idle tidbits

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.03.10

I'm single-parenting it for the next few days. This will give me a chance to reset my learned helplessness feature. Jammies executes his to-do list while I'm still scratching my butt; it's good for me to review the sum total of tasks that need to be accomplished each day.

Things that aren't post-worthy alone:
1. I once read that they ought to build airports a few degrees higher than the surrounding area, so that runways are at an incline. Incoming planes would land on a slight uphill, departing planes would accelerate on a slight downhill, and huge fuel savings would acquire. Why isn't this done?

2. Some of my foreign students have the same handwriting, which none of the domestic students have. I don't feel like I ever had much say in my handwriting, but it is clearly the shaped by your environment. Handwriting is not interesting, except this: no matter the scale, your handwriting looks the same. Most people have the same handwriting on a chalkboard, painting a banner, or writing on a piece of paper. So it is not wired in your fine motor skills; it is a deeper brain design than that. Marginally interesting!

3. My grandmother would contribute the following, if she were a commenter here: Saran Wrap used to be a giant pain in the ass, because the razor edge was on the top of the box, and so the wrap used to collapse against the roll instantaneously. Then they moved the razor edge to the lower edge of the box, so that there was a cardboard side to hold the leading remaining wrap. Then she'd say "The obvious isn't obvious until it's obvious."


 

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We are all cartographers now.

Posted by Stanley
on 03.02.10

This is a pretty neat tool for finding new music. You drop in a few band names, and it starts to suggest similar acts. I haven't found anything new yet, but the friend who introduced it to me found Ra Ra Riot, which band I now like, so it's like it helped me find new music.


 

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Class Dismissed

Posted by Stanley
on 03.02.10

It looks like maybe the union here was trying to call a bluff and perhaps misjudged, but I still find it pretty difficult to grok a solution that's okay, just fire everyone.

On a related if anecdotal note, having grown up with a high school teacher as a parent, one constant complaint that's stuck with me is the notion that parents and teachers used to work better together as partners but nowadays it's a much more adversarial relationship, with both parents and teachers alternately trying to assign blame to the respective counter-party.

I've speculated to myself that this nostalgia for some forgotten past is an invention, something along the lines of the Leave it to Beaver-type nostalgia for the '50s, misremembering quite a bit of what was going on. But I do think there's something of a there there. Maybe.


 

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Newest member of the Mineshaft

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.02.10

The baby Snarkenfox pup was born at 1:21 am -- six pounds, five ounces. All the most merry congratulations to Redfoxtailshrub and Snarkout!


 

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You gotta love Avery.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.01.10

Via Jammies, here.


 

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Division of public and private sectors

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.01.10

Texas has an agency called the General Land Office. Its core mission is "the management of state lands and mineral-right properties totaling 20.3 million acres."

Included in that portfolio are the beaches, bays, estuaries and other "submerged" lands out to 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, institutional acreage, grazing lands in West Texas, timberlands in East Texas, and commercial sites in urban areas throughout the state. In managing that property, the land office now leases drilling rights for oil and gas production on state lands, producing revenue and royalties which are funneled into the state's Permanent School Fund. The dividends and interest from Permanent School Fund investments go into the Available School Fund, and from there money is distributed to school districts on a per-pupil basis, helping to offset local property taxes.

Apparently the GLO is in the habit of buying up suburban land and flipping it. They got into a scuffle with Heebie Town because they bought some land in Heebie Town and coaxed a local Target to move to it. The town does not recieve taxes from GLO property. So Target had been paying taxes to the town, and then moved to property leased from the GLO, and no longer pays town taxes. (Or at least, that was the plan. It was actually more complicated than that - Heebie Town became furious when they got wind of the situation, and got on the GLO's case until the GLO just bailed and sold the land directly to Target, who somehow got a tax break from Heebie Town to keep them from leaving altogether.)

I just didn't know that the state government was in the habit of flipping property. Is this well known? Is this nutty? It's a little nutty, right?


 

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whatever.

Posted by Ben
on 02.28.10

Let's pretend I formatted this nicely and presented a post that was meaningful on its own rather than just linking to mefi.

Maybe Obama's campaign was really just an attempt to ensure that no one else ever gets into office with rhetoric like his.


 

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