“He was the most wonderful cat: black–perhaps partly Siamese–with enormous green eyes. And very intelligent. You could tell he had been a writer’s cat. He would sit by me, seriously, as I wrote, while all my other cats filtered away.” Know this author as the YA author ME Kerr; this is about her relationship with the author of the book behind Carol. Interesting. The book isn't deep but interesting snapshot of the times and a more unpleasant Highsmith years later.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
The NY Daily News got on Kelly Ripa repeatedly for staying away a few days after her co-host leaving the show being handled in a disrespectful way. Calm down. Not sure if A followed from B, but if it did, appreciate my online communication to a local councilman actually did lead to fixing a barrier set up for construction in a way that you had to climb over something after crossing the street. Stevens with a new speech (in honor of Scalia but on various topics). SCOTUS without comment rejected a last minute death penalty appeal. He's dead.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Trump sweeps five races by sizable margins. Sentiment now is he's basically the nominee, a contested convention unlikely (this sort of thing helps clinches things if he comes a tad short). [Trump has about 950 of 1237; NJ will probably give him 50 and unbound PA etc. should give him at least 50 / really needs less than 200 of the other 400+.] Sanders only won Rhode Island and effectively concedes -- statement speaks of getting as many delegates/staying in to the end but not about "winning." Sorta knew that the whole time.
Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, & Invented Their Stories of the Savior
Bart Ehrman (along with Elaine Pagels, a repeat go-to for early Christian thought, including Gnostic teachings) has a new book out. It was an interesting discussion of memory and how it affected how Christianity was remembered pre-gospels. Think the point was made about two-thirds the way in but overall he is as usual good reading. Again, do think the historian can examine miraculous beliefs, psychological and other techniques available to understand what "really happened." Plus, as part of history, it needs to be covered more than he does.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Some orders from SCOTUS but the big legal news so far is that the 2CA upheld the NFL regarding four game suspension of pretty boy. My take: four games sounds too much, but the players negotiated for a procedure and second guessing by a federal court unless it was simply unreasonable is asinine. And, that test wasn't met. To be continued. Update: Only SCOTUS opinion this week amounts to a minor 1A case. Major case this week is a public corruption prosecution to be heard on Wednesday. An equally divided court is possible which would (to me a bit unfairly) result in the prosecution being upheld.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Veep is back in a few minutes while the second season of Better Call Saul ended on what amounts to a cliffhanger last Monday. Looks like his brother has a confession of tape, but it's still brother's word v. brother's word, one who (feigned or not) appeared truly to be off the deep end. Saul easily can say with cause for belief that he "confessed" to settle down Chuck. Meanwhile, one more episode in "series 2" for Grantchester, tonight's episode ending with Sidney distraught after the person he encouraged to confess was hanged. Summer shows?
Friday, April 22, 2016
Carol, based on a 1950s novel, concerns a married woman in that time who falls for a younger shopgirl & vice versa. Carol's husband (Kyle Chandler in an atypical role) loves her but that doesn't change that they are not to be. Good film and allows the two a happy ending. Jenny's Wedding about a woman (Katherine Heigl, decent) who finally comes out to her family (complications ensue) when she decides it is time to marry her partner (didn't recognize Alexis Bledel at first!) in the present) is not as good, but its heart is in the right place.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The author is French, but the book takes place in Argentina in the 1980s, multiple characters greatly affected by the murderous dictator in power a few years before. A patient tries to determine the true story about the death of the wife of her psychoanalyst, currently in prison after being accused of the crime. It provides things from various perspectives, including the voice of patients. This style attracts me given my overall way of looking at things. Overall, liked it, but at times it goes into a basic stream of consciousness style that is a bit much.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Special opinion day (which SCOTUS didn't announce on their website) to hand down a criminal justice opinion yesterday. There were time restraints but couldn't wait a day? U.S. v. Texas was heard -- talk is a 4-4 split or punting on standing. Two technical rulings today, one partially 4-4 with a discussion on the rules for full faith and credit of "acts." The context was narrow (and written by Breyer) but can see the "equally dignified" states rhetoric used in a Shelby v. Holder (problem there was a reasonable ground for different treatment) context.
Since we don't have id laws and voting is very quick without problems in the news much at all (do pop up) like other places, NY election laws seem okay to me. Plus, the races rarely are close though that isn't the only reason votes "matter." But, there are many problems. Voted today; wonder how many votes Carson will get. Think voting for delegates (who are allotted by percentage of win), Bernie not having enough to give him the seven for my district, and candidates open to confusion. Still support the ceremony of in person voting.
Monday, April 18, 2016
People are familiar with the some pennies on the dollar figure of women v. men's pay, but think many wonder -- but it's not like "x" position pays less for women than men. More complicated than that -- you have to look at the whole picture. The excerpt, for instance, shows the limits of simple "free choice" here. Still, even the blatant form of discrimination is still around in some forms, probably. True equality goes beyond that though.
YouTube has clips but they aren't coming up at the top of basic searches for some reason. Anyway, this is from 1998 (original Swedish date) and watched it again. Charming coming to age film that is a good look at teenage life overall including beyond the two leads.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The HBO movie on the Hill/Thomas hearings was decent. Melissa-Harris Perry interviewed Anita Hill recently. At the time, I believed he didn't have the qualifications (EEOC head, short term federal judge) to be a justice. Cf. Souter's extended time as a state judge. I believe Hill but at some point you have to accept he's a justice; different then. Ultimately, we have to see this as a step in the extended path of justice including sexual harassment/equal justice. And, Thomas' use of race -- given his views -- comes off as real hypocritical.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016
A lot to cover -- starting from the 1890s -- so not quite comprehensive. Most interesting is the early years, the later stuff covering more well-trod ground. Some great photos. One interesting film discussed was a 1960s homosexual prison short that actually lost in the Supreme Court (5-4), if without an opinion. YouTube provides some clips including this one.
As noted, here, she's both not up there on my concerns about people in prison but nor would her release concern me as compared to a range of others. Heinous crimes, especially by teenagers, need not mean lifetime in prison. If the review board agrees, over forty-five years is enough for me. The notoriety of the crime probably matters here.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
We are getting a lot of this with news Cruz defended an anti-sex toy law, but there were various lawsuits like that. Bottom line, this wasn't just business -- he's promoting conservative values that allow for this narrow view of sexual liberty.
We already had someone with a right to wear certain gear in a license photo. This was trickier since it involved a prison and the judge said "no, it is a parody." Part of the problem was the litigant didn't say much about his beliefs. As the judge notes, fictional religions (or parodies?) can conceivably be taken seriously. I would rely on that, look at the specific person. Probably borderline. Is non-belief so different from parody advancing same point? Many do it for the fun, but who's to say there isn't also some ultimate beliefs too?
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
This case is around five years old at this point -- it started long before the SSM onslaught started to happen in the federal courts -- but I have always thought there was something there. But, at best, the sensible path was a narrower ruling. The drawn out lower court opinion was interesting but dubious. And, if there is no real chance of prosecution etc., this seems appropriate. They will appeal and but don't think the en banc court wants this either.
Monday, April 11, 2016
I read the authors at Verdict and Dorf on Law and appreciate their reasoning and overall positions including on veganism and women's rights. The book here is a mixed bag, at times a bit tedious reasoning-wise (at times, things basically peter out, so we spend pages on a failed argument) and some things don't quite work for me. For instance, don't think animal welfare laws that work within the bad system fail as much as they do. But, worthwhile.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Saturday, April 09, 2016
I have a lot less patience with films these days and took out three duds really; actually watched this all the way. Blah. Thru the decades, a researcher [Helen Hunt, not given much to work with] tries to find a breast cancer gene as a woman lives her life as she survives multiple outbreaks (her mom/sis [and separately, her ex!] not so lucky). Samantha Morton is very good but the film as a whole is very garbled. A lot of "hey! that's" in the cast.
Friday, April 08, 2016
I couldn't find another book on Alexander Stephens, so checked out this one. Felt the book somewhat plodding and the two came out as unpleasant characters. Cute title but couldn't get into the book. Also checked out Closed Chambers, which I probably read back in the day. Pretty long book but focuses on a few legal issues (abortion, race, death penalty) and pads things with covering the issues as a whole. Why? His insider view as a law clerk is the point here, right? Needs more of that. Only skimmed it this time, but seems disappointing.
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
It's National Poetry Month. This is an interesting biography of the ancient poet, largely relying on general understanding of the times [amounting to centuries] to get a sense of the details of her life. We know little about her exact life and a "full" listing of her poems here largely amounts to fragments. But, within the limitations, good quick account for the general reader.
Monday, April 04, 2016
A tricky jury case (line-drawing problems) was taken for argument and another habeas ruling disposed of by per curiam. Sex offender won unanimously regarding a statutory matter. Small win, but notable. And, important election case (importance of apportionment covering non-voters covered; see, e.g., pre-19A) was decided unanimously though Alito deemed part of RBG's opinion "meretricious." Thomas would toss "one person, one vote."
Sunday, April 03, 2016
Agree with the thesis of this book on the importance of civil institutions in the development of constitutional law. It covers a lot of ground and interestingly suggests over time the Bush Administration did greatly change its ways. Found the discussion a tad tiresome though perhaps since it covered old ground in a way didn't find too fresh and caught various errors (e.g., Clement didn't really defend the law in Heller) that annoyed me. Worthwhile overall.
Fun Svengoolie film last nite -- find a lot of these things not paced right or whatever but this was overall a good one with some old movie silliness. Yes, that doomed newspaper man was on Car 54, Where Are You as a pussycat police commander mistaken for a tyrant. Think the sculptor (looking like a young Dr. Zachary Smith) was supposed to be gay -- he was no fan of women. Unfortunately, that charming statuesque model accidentally was killed over the tiresome tough talking dame who ended up giving up her job. Anti-feminist to boot!
Saturday, April 02, 2016
After hearing a fellow student give a speech about it, as I recall, I have been giving blood regularly for the last twenty or so years. But, special incentives like tickets etc. do help. Plus, it's an easy way to contribute [heck you are lying down!] and get snacks in return. Went for this again this time and it's a pretty high tech process. Thor on the t.v.; blah.