Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
After an amusing and inventive Mickey Mouse short, we had this enjoyable holiday fare that happily is not as dark as the original sounds. I enjoyed Rapunzel and a voice actress sounds similar (no, it's not Mandy Moore) and some of the animation looks somewhat similar too. The film's moral is a bit too obvious, but overall, I enjoyed the experience.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
KC played back-ups but still almost allowed the 8-8 (once 2-6) Steelers in but missed a 42 yd field goal at the end of regulation. It took nearly 12 minutes, but the now 8-8 Chargers' field goal in OT held up. The other late games are not that notable except for the 8-7-1 Packers winning their division via a strange "yeah it's a live ball" TD and late TD. Welcome back, Rodgers from your time off doing commercials. Bring on Kyle Orton! ETA: Local radio guy noted Chargers got help from blown calls.
Rex Ryan did keep his job, rightly so since with a flawed team and rookie QB, 8-8 (here helping eliminate the Dolphins) is pretty darn good. NYG ended 7-3, but still couldn't manage to beat a good team (Eagles not good at the time). Ravens eliminated, Panthers got the #2. Houston clinched #1 pick. Yeah, Detroit lost again. Steelers still alive.
I had my fare wrongly deducted twice instead of obtaining a free transfer recently, submitted a claim online and just received my $5 refund card. Had a problem with a machine once and similarly got a refund. System does often work. OTOH, unlike shown on an episode of Rules of Engagement, am not aware of bike racks on the front of NYC buses.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
One problem with the Volokh Conspiracy (useful) extended discussion of the contraceptive mandate claims was that its "substantial" burden test was so weak. Marty Lederman has a more nuanced and realistic approach. The Sunday closing bit is telling.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Reading various accounts, there might be reasonable grounds to oppose Sen. Gililbrand's desired legislation to change handling sexual assaults in the military. I'm somewhat agnostic though kinda think it would work. What did pass is notable and she at the very least helped push the line left-ward. Kudos to my senator.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
A stay immediately, even before the district court has a chance to rule on it, was rejected given the circuit standards were not met. Overall, unlike in NJ were lack of federal benefits after the DOMA ruling made the lower court ruling strongly likely to stick, this is a closer question. I think it might be best to not allow same sex marriages until the appeals are over. Not that strongly upset, mind you, but honestly, probably best policy. Update: The district judge denied a stay but things are in flux.
NY teams this season managed two things pretty well -- beating mediocre teams and kicking. NYG (eventually) eliminated Detroit, while the NYJ have a shot at eliminating Miami next week after a good game. Bears (badly)/Packers lost; they and Dallas/Eagles have a "win and in" game set up. Chargers/Steelers/Cards (all longshots) stay alive. MNF: Falcons lost, SF in & Cards have that much a harder road.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Well, it has begun -- a district court judge struck down an anti-SSM state amendment on federal constitutional grounds. Violates the right to marry (strict scrutiny) and does not rational basis as to EP (Windsor relied on for opening, but its standard is avoided as too new and vague). Pretty good opinion though I would have added some teeth to the RB as a back-up though deeper doubts are hinted at in dicta. Another "Scalia is right" opinion too.
Friday, December 20, 2013
These appeals and the cross-appeal are not about whether prostitution should be legal or not. They are about whether the laws Parliament has enacted on how prostitution may be carried out pass constitutional muster. I conclude that they do not.“I” being a woman chief justice (Ginsburg is smiling). This is a case where fair form can in practice lead to a general right to something since outlawing it fairly is pretty hard to accomplish. More here.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The 17th state has joined the SSM community, relying on equal protection based on sexual orientation using intermediate scrutiny. Its avoidance of a sex discrimination / right to marry argument was a bit weak, but understandable since this is a more limited ruling. Few states left without clear anti-SSM (state) constitutional barriers.
No Thursday night football? There is football on next Monday (last). This time of the year, there used to be a Saturday NFL game or something, or one on Christmas eve or day. The Packers and/or the Viks seemed to be common. None this time. Almost seems untraditional!
President's Review Group Report (which few will read but some are positive about) released proposing reforms in intelligence collection while (shockingly) being overall impressed at how things are going. Still, reading that NSA opinion, it did seem there are various limits in place. It's why certain overkill language turns me off. Put the government to the test, but realize it isn't all bad. In fact, work off the limits. Guess both ways have some value. Eh.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
It's unlikely, but do recall seeing an onside kick actually working & being used to win a game. But, a 61 yard field goal? Detroit last night looked to be able to survive a mistake filled game when the Ravens relied on that. The result pleased fans of the Ravens, Bears (first place), Packers ... but not Miami, whose road to the playoffs is now harder. Jets eliminated.
He staid his ruling pending appeal. Prof. Kerr wasn't impressed. Others more so, but also noting the ball is in Congress' court too. Kerr is likely too conservative on the precedent point, but realistic as to a district court judge going so far with it. Still, have to start somewhere and finding a case with standing to sue would help. And, Congress et. al. ...
Monday, December 16, 2013
I discussed the Sister Wives case and what do you know -- they won in district court. One might say "fwiw" given the opinion. But, the win seems earned. OTOH, no, it doesn't make it soooooo hard to understand why bestiality can be outlawed. That thread is depressing down to such things as "you think animals have some ability to consent? you are strange" type comments. Somehow, "don't force him/her" to me can apply to pets. They have some will.
He's best known for Lawrence of Arabia, but I think my favorite Peter O'Toole film might be Lion in the Winter. He did slum a lot too. As to Joan Fontaine, I might have seen her some in The Women and one or two other things. Just reserved Rebecca in her honor.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Another interesting day of upsets. Not in NY -- Giants were kinda in it for a bit, Jets to the 4th when a blocked punt killed them. Falcons eked out a win vs. Redskins' (who went for the win) back-up. Viking whipped Eagles but Packers did so against Dallas when it counted. Saints lost to an inferior team again. And, Pats FINALLY couldn't claw back. Miami alive.
Obtain various free things and this was one of the better ones -- it's a collection of favorite Bible quotes from various country music stars with the Gospel of Mark tossed in. Its glossy finish makes it like a coffee table book, but it is smaller in size than those usually are. It would make a nice extra or little Christmas present for those who like this sort of thing.
Enjoyed this movie -- it was overall a serviceable comedy that was put together well as a whole and had a few cute (so to speak) ideas like the fake "mom" (Jennifer Aniston as a stripper -- one of her better comic roles) and "daughter" teaching the "son" how to kiss.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Concern for the drug protocol led the Eighth Circuit to stay an execution (the state just executed someone with an unfortunate first two names). The USSC vacated it 5-4, the dissent at least wanting to give the court time to clarify. Concerns like these are fairly common though lead to the "death penalty delayed but not denied."
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
One thing I noticed in two biblical analysis books is reference to someone "loving" certain practices or texts. An interesting usage. Also, interpretation of texts and religious practice is akin to trying to interpret fossils or past cultural practices from what we have at a later date. This is part of the value of algebra (reason to cancel unknowns) and logic education.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.On a more personal level, happy birthday to 1/2 the reason I'm a human today.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wailed about the Democrats changing filibuster rules after his own party abused them and failed to put forth any real compromise (guess that's appreciated given the result). Then, the grown-ups voted in a DC appeals judge and Federal Housing Finance Agency head. More to come.
While Aaron Rodgers is out (if still in "double check" Bears themed commercials), the Detroit Lions shot to first place. But, injury did not totally stop the Bears and Packers. A tie might ruin it for the Packers, while a MNF explosion has the Bears/Lions now tied for first. Following a theme, the back-up QB on the Eagles have them in first place too.
This continues a series that frames the issue in a way that appeals to my sentiment that those for religious liberty should be against their claims. I see it more of a free exercise concern but the two clauses do interlock and this does get to my concern that the net result is selective religious establishments since all claims won't be treated equally.