Sunday, August 27, 2006
Once again, LiveScience.com has brought us science news about human sexuality, this time in a long piece, "The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love." This stuff is fascinating to me. See if it is to you. Their RSS feed is at the top of the page. I find it one of the best feeds on the Net.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Blogger stored as a 1024 x 819 this 1280 x 1024 picture I took, so you can click on the pic to enlarge it almost to full-size. This guy did a beautiful job on his old-fashioned panel truck. I was leaving the post office, saw this truck, and told the driver, "Whoa, man! Let me take a picture of your truck!" He graciously complied, I whipped out my cellphone camera, and here you are. Dig it, and check this site out for many more cool panel trucks.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
UPDATE: I went to the ACLU presentation with my trusty cellphone camera and offer these pics and links:
People I recognize in this one: lower left, Teresa Jones, Chief (City of Memphis) Prosecutor and local coordinator of the National Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education programs; lower right, representative from the League of Women Voters, who had a voter registration table at the event; in the blue shirt behind her, John Fowlkes, Chief Administrative Officer of Shelby County; and upper right, Dedrick Brittenum, Memphis City Councilman.
Blogger is not accepting any more pictures right now, so here are the promised links:
Democracy's Ghosts - a film about disenfranchisement
Sunday, August 13, 2006
It is not evident why the danger posed by international terrorism, considerable though it is, should require, in the case of Hamdan’s trial, any variance from the courts-martial rules. (slip opinion at 5)Here's the slip opinion: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006).
The procedures adopted to try Hamdan also violate the Geneva Conventions. (slip op. at 6)
STEVENS, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I through IV, VI through VI–D–iii, VI–D–v, and VII, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ., joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts V and VI–D–iv, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, and GINSBURG, JJ., joined. KENNEDY, J., filed an opinion concurring in part, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ., joined as to Parts I and II. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined, and in which ALITO, J., joined as to all but Parts I, II–C–1, and III–B–2. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined as to Parts I through III. ROBERTS, C. J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. (slip op. at 8)
I saw Justice Anthony Kennedy on C-Span last night speaking on the rule of law and emphasizing that the law binds the government as well as the people. Kennedy appears to me to be the swing vote on this very important constitutional case. Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself because he participated in deciding the same case in favor of Rumsfeld when he was a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit below. His recusal was the ethical thing to do; but his vote would likely not have affected the judgment. Justice Kennedy is now the fulcrum of our Supreme Court; and it's lucky for the American people that he is a good jurist and a good human being.
UPDATE: Justice Kennedy works on his swing; and For Supreme Court's new term: rise of a new centrist.
Friday, August 11, 2006
“I don’t take anything he says seriously anymore,” Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said yesterday. “I think that he has been a very counterproductive, even destructive, force in our country and I am very disheartened by the failure of leadership from the president and vice president.”H/T to the excellent site, Think Progress, which has a link to the post from which the quotation was drawn.
If Hillary Clinton keeps this up, we might have to put her on a pedestal after all.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Harry, you can't have it both ways there, chief. Either you support the Democratic nominee in the races or you don't. Especially in the case of the 9th District.Read the rest here.
He can avoid and play politician with the Connecticut Race but in the 9th District, he has to vote. Are you voting for your brother or are you voting for Steve Cohen?
It is a simple question.
Withholding your support from Steve Cohen, the Democratic nominee for Congress from the Ninth District of Tennessee, is going to be counter-productive to the candidacy of Harold Ford, Jr., statewide. So let's see that support now, before its absence becomes too glaring.
UPDATE: Kleinheider on the Fords' Memphis Turnout Gambit. Maybe the rest of Tennessee needs to offset this selfish, to-Hell-with-the-Democratic-Party game, if that's what it is, by not pulling the lever for Junior. I was thinking about voting for the Green candidate Chris Lugo if Harold Jr. disrespects Cohen's nomination; but now I'm thinking that voting for Corker will be voting twice against Junior. Hello, Harold... Are you trying to play a game with the voters of Tennessee?
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Now, co-operating with one of Memphis' best-known DJ's in the 60's, Jon Scott, Flash has started a Live365 web radio station for All Memphis Music. I love the recorded segments from legendary Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips, who gave Elvis' first record its first airplay.
Check this thang out! And tell 'em Wintermute sent you!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Arthur (Wiki bio) came home to the place of his birth, the great music town of Memphis, Tennessee, for his final months and passed away recently despite all the treatments our world-class medical center provided him.
Here's the best national obit I've found so far, the Washington Post's.
I've collected some representative videos of this self-described "first black hippie" doing some of the most lyrical and magical music of the Sixties. First up is my favorite early recording, "Seven & Seven Is," which I think of as "Ooop Bip Bip."
Next, perhaps Love's masterpiece, the sweet, lyrical, ultra-human "Alone Again Or," performed live with full string and Mexicali horn sections. Unlike the first time I linked to a video of this performance, this video has a modern live version of "A House Is Not A Motel" tacked on to it. I don't mind, and you won't either. Get high, listen up, and enjoy paradise on earth for a few minutes. This is real hippie music; and that's how it used to work.
Finally, a bonus video: "A House Is Not A Motel" live. Shows how well Arthur could do in the 21st century. I like the original guitar intro better and the original lyrics; but the outro is part and parcel of the excellence of the recorded version and shows what fine musicians Arthur could put around himself whenever he wanted to do it.
Arthur, I never got to know you, but I did think of you from time to time and in fact talked to Neil about getting you a gig at his music room last year. Had I known you had moved back to town, I would have tried to find you; and I would have pursued that gig for you, man. Thanks for the great music anyway....
UPDATE: Slate's music critic Jody Rosen weighed in with a good remembrance.
UPDATE: Arthur's regular obituary finally appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on August 9, 2006, a day after his memorial service, which must have been for just family and friends personally made aware.
ARTHUR LEE, 61, of Memphis, musician, died August 3, 2006 at Methodist University Hospital. A Memorial service was held on Tuesday, August 8, at N.H. Owens & Son Funeral Home. Burial in Forrest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA. He leaves his wife, Diane Skorman Lee and many cousins and friends.You can view his guest book, which was open for signing through September 9, 2006.
UPDATE: The Memphis Flyer has an informative cover story on Arthur, with coverage of his last days and his local funeral.
UPDATE: I tracked a link to here back to a valuable and interesting reminiscence, "Requiem for a Heavyweight," by Stuart Goldman, a music critic and screenwriter who knew Arthur well.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
For the few that didn't, that's Stevie Ray Vaughan on the right.
Now, in his zeal to expose defects in the special election to replace John Ford, John Harvey hit really hard on ex-felons voting without first having had their rights restored under Tennessee law. In my view, as a defense attorney, once a convict has done his time and paid his debt to society, he or she should be entitled to regain the right to vote according to sound and reasonable law. In fact, for many ex-felons, regaining voting rights is an important step in going straight and putting their mistakes behind them.
Tennessee law in this area has changed several times in the last few decades. A felony conviction in Tennessee automatically renders the defendant "infamous." This infamy can be removed in a Tennessee Circuit Court by filing a petition and presenting evidence of good character in a hearing, with the U.S. Attorney for the District and the State District Attorney given a chance well in advance to respond with any negative information and objections. One might reasonably maintain that a felon ceases to be a felon and becomes an ex-felon after serving the sentence or at least after any parole and/or probation term is successfully completed; but surely after official restoration of rights, an ex-convict deserves no worse a descriptor than ex-felon.
This year in the Tennessee General Assembly, Senator Steve Cohen was successful in getting restoration of the right to vote streamlined for most ex-felons, except those convicted of a few named offenses (new law in .pdf); but on a subject Steve and I discussed previously, he also got passed in that law a prohibition on anyone committing malfeasance in public office ever being able to regain the right to vote -- and consequently to be able to run for office again -- in Tennessee. This supplements the 1989 law providing for a permanent exclusion from public office for bribery and a 10-year bar for official misconduct. Permanently taking away the right to vote from all ex-felons is something no other democracy does. Taking the right to vote away in the United States was specifically enabled by the post-Civil War Amendment XIV to our Constitution, Section 2, in pertinent part:
But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.Now I believe John Harvey has accepted this new legislation for restoration of voting rights and in fact has respect for its principal sponsor Senator Cohen.
John has raised some issues against the incumbent Sheriff Mark Luttrell regarding priorities in running the Department and regarding selective enforcement of department policy about associating with convicted felons.
I recognize Sheriff Luttrell's success in getting the Shelby County Jail re-accredited; and we've not heard about any more Thunderdome games inside. The Sheriff and his PR man, former TV newsman Steve Shular, have assisted me in getting one of my clients released from the women's Jail East when her paperwork had been misplaced; and they helped me get a family member into the main jail's attorney visitation area to try to convince a relative to accept a plea bargain.
With the current post-Katrina gang-related crime wave in the Memphis region, I am ready for our leadership to make crime-fighting our #1 priority now. That goes for Memphis Mayor W.W. Herenton, his police director Larry Godwin, Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton, and -- necessarily -- Sheriff Mark Luttrell. I do think the personnel policy regarding associations that John Harvey recites paints with too broad a brush. Rehabilitated people not committing crimes should not be deprived of the friendship and support of law enforcement officers, nor should such people be blackballed from supporting candidates of their choice, as long as that support does not get them any unethical paybacks.
As a practicing attorney, I feel lucky to be able to access court records over the Internet from my office. I know John Harvey has had much to do with getting databases of law enforcement information online; and I thank him for that. I don't know why he was reassigned from that duty to the Fugitive Squad; but he seems to improve performance wherever he's working. John should have filed as an independent rather than a write-in if he was going to make a serious effort; but he has cited reasons why he didn't. It's very hard for a write-in to win in a race with a big turnout; but regardless of the outcome in this election, I think we will be hearing more from John Harvey. He's still young enough to render his best performance as an innovator, even four years from now, if a new Mayor doesn't distract him with a great job at the Memphis Police Department first.
I stand on my right to cast my ballot in secret; and, as I said, I have received great service from Mark Luttrell on the jail side of his job. I do hope that -- mission accomplished there -- he will strive for like success on the enforcement side; but I felt like writing this post for John Harvey. Now as for this Reginald French person, I just can't see a tire-slasher as my Sheriff.
Good luck John, and happy trails!
Readers might want to follow John's crime blog below:
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. The term is also sometimes used incorrectly to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants.
The mildest forms of push polling are designed merely to remind voters of a particular issue. For instance, a push poll might ask respondents to rank candidates based on their support of abortion in order to get voters thinking about that issue.
More negative are attacks on another candidate by using polls. These attacks often contain information with little or no basis in fact.
True push polls tend to be very short, with only a handful of questions, so as to make as many calls as possible. The data obtained is discarded rather than analyzed. Legitimate polls are often used by candidates to test potential messages. They generally ask about both positive and negative statements about all major candidates in an election and ask demographic information at the end.
Also see the Warning from the National Council on Public Polls.
A "Push Poll" is a telemarketing technique in which telephone calls are used to canvass vast numbers of potential voters, feeding them false and damaging "information" about a candidate under the guise of taking a poll to see how this "information" effects voter preferences. In fact, the intent is to "push" the voters away from one candidate and toward the opposing candidate. This is clearly political telemarketing, using innuendo and, in many cases, clearly false information to influence voters; there is no intent to conduct research.
The American Association of Political Consultants statement is worth reading as well and ends with these guidelines:
The AAPC acknowledges, of course, that voter persuasion by telephone is a perfectly legitimate campaign practice. What we condemn is advocacy phone calling that:
- Masquerades as survey research;
- Fails to clearly and accurately identify the sponsor of the call; or
- Presents false or misleading information to the voter.
This information is brought to you as a public service to the electorate. I've also written about the history of Dirty Tricks.
Reporters may also benefit from reading the National Council on Public Polls piece, "20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results."
The older we get, the more we regret choosing virtue over vice, new research shows.