Aggregation Aggravation

I got a letter today from the City:

aggregation-letter

Click to read it. At the bottom of the page is a tear-off form that I'm supposed to fill out and sign in order to opt out of the program, but my scanner won't scan legal-size paper, so you don't get to see it. It's not all that exciting; you aren't missing much.

Apparently, before I moved to Lesser Northeast Key Midwestern Swing State City (just 20

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<em>WALL·E</em>

Beware Spoilers!

My sister and I went to see wall·e this afternoon.

After the extraordinary success of Ratatouille, I had high expectations for Pixar. Pixar has consistently offered excellent films with lovable characters, engaging stories, and exquisite imagery. When Disney bought out the studio, I was seriously worried that their independence and creativity would suffer -- Disney's in-house animation projects had been famously bad up to that point. Home on the Range and Brother

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Gak!

That's the noise I just made when I realized all the stuff I need to do. In no particular order:

  1. Explain my position on the death penalty (including my analysis of Kennedy v. Louisiana)
  2. Post my analysis of District of Columbia v. Heller
  3. Finish my critique of "gay culture"
  4. Write a formal review of Gattaca (I can't believe I haven't done this yet!)
  5. Write big memo for Job #1
  6. Write big memo for Job #2
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<em>District of Columbia v. Heller</em>

Via SCOTUSBlog:

The Court has released the opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), on whether the District’s firearms regulations – which bar the possession of handguns and require shotguns and rifles to be kept disassembled or under trigger lock – violate the Second Amendment. The ruling below, which struck down the provisions in question, is affirmed. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion. Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. Today's opinion by
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June at One First Street Northeast

June is always an exciting time at 1 First Street NE. The Justices always like to take their time on very important cases, which means they often get announced at the very end of the term. This week is the last week before the Justices leave for their three-month summer vacation, so it is time to announce all the big decisions that are still pending.

One of the cases announced today, Kennedy v. Louisiana, asked

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Rosebush Watch: The Damage

I meant to post these earlier. These are from June 12th, when the Rosebush Vandal struck again.

Before

rosebush-before

After

rosebush-after

The person was who everyone expected. Because the person is a minor, I am not posting the video of the act.

This person came onto the porch, pulled the petals off the existing blooms, threw them in the air, and danced and twirled in them as they fell to the ground.

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More on Gay Marriage

California

Everybody's got their knickers in a twist over the California Supreme Court's recent ruling that Prop 22 (a popular initiative to enact a statutory ban on same-sex marriages) was unconstitutional under the California State Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. The court declined to reconsider, and also declined to issue a stay of its order directing state officials to stop denying marriage licenses to otherwise eligible same-sex couples. Apparently, same-sex couples started getting married a

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<em>Boumediene!</em>

I was in court all day today and so I did not find out that the Supreme Court had ruled in Boumediene v. Bush today. [Note: PDF link.]

The Court explicitly held that MCA § 7 (the jurisdiction-stripping amendment) was within Congress' power to enact as a matter of Article III (but not within Congress' power to enact as a matter of the Suspension Clause).

I've said all along that this question, which the Court calls

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Rosebush Vandal Strikes Again!

The Rosebush Vandal has struck again. This time, I caught the perpetrator on video. Obviously, I will not be posting the video of the commission of this most recent crime until such time as I am able to determine whether or not it is legally safe for me to do so.

This time, existing blooms were ripped off. The perpetrator demonstrated an inordinate amount of glee. When I get a second to catch up with

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Rosebush Watch

I set up a camera to watch my rosebush. You can see a live picture of my rosebush here [Link removed because Rosebush Watch ended on July 1, 2008] or by clicking on the little rosebush sitting on the W in the header. The camera watches 24/7. If you're lucky, you might catch me watering it some time.

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Vandals!

I have a rosebush.

It is a floribunda with deep red--almost maroon--flowers. I've been working on it for a few years now, and I prune it when it needs pruning, and I water it every other day, and I feed it and rotate it (it is in a large pot) and clip off dead blooms and whatnot. I care for it, rather like some people care for pets. It is a thing that I am

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Indiana Jones Jumps the Shark

Spoilers, as usual.

The sum and substance of my Indy IV experience consisted of me repeatedly chanting at the screen:

Please don't let it be aliens!
Please don't let it be aliens!
Please don't let it be aliens!

Guess what?

It was aliens.

Each of the first three films had a supernatural element--The Ark melted Belloq's face, the Shankara Stones burned through Indy's WWII Mark VII British gas mask bag, and the Holy Grail healed

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Public Libraries are Hazardous to Your Health

This is a gross post.

I do not often get sick. In fact, in the past 3 years, I have been sick exactly 3 times. Fortunately, they have all come at the least inopportune times - during various breaks. I got sick two Christmases ago, and then again last Christmas, and now I'm sick again during summer break.

All three times have been really insanely awful sinus infections. I'm not the sort of person who

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<em>Iron Man</em>

Oh well. At least it wasn't awful.

Two words spring immediately to mind: formulaic and shallow. Not that there's anything wrong with being formulaic and shallow - indeed many formulaic and shallow pictures nonetheless rake in the big bucks - but formulas become predictable, and predictability kills immersion unless the characters are interesting enough. Here, they weren't. They just weren't developed enough to make me care.

Batman Begins follows much the same formula, but in

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Sundae Specials (Initial Thoughts)

Gus Van Horn mentions the difficulty of arguing against the government's use of behavior-modifying techniques in mixed-government contexts:

Unfortunately, everyone is so used to the government owning the roads ... that few so much as bat an eye when they hear of the government looking for ways to psychologically manipulate people into doing its bidding. Indeed, in this limited context, it is hard to argue productively against the government taking advantage of such knowledge about human
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