Mail 729 Wednesday, June 20, 2012
We’re off for a couple of days so things will be erratic.
Query to those who are familiar with Livewriter: My ThinkPad has livewriter on it, and it works, and I know the passwords, and it will go out and get ‘recent’ posts – but of course recent to the ThinkPad is the last time we used it to post something. It has no belief that I have done anything since. FrontPage kept a local copy of everything so this was never a problem, but Livewriter doesn’t seem to have any way I can tell it to go get the most recent post if that was posted by another machine. A quick Google on the problem shows others have it too but I found no solution. How do you use Livewriter if you use more than one computer?
Maybe this machine has a file of the latest blog titles and I can send that to my ThinkPad? Or is there a way to type the daily title in? Or what? Please don’t send mail speculating. If you don’t know, I won’t have time to check out guesses. But I’d sure like to know.
And thanks to Rick Hellewell I know. You must click the nameless button on the upper left; mouse to the open recent posts item, but ignore what pops up when yhou hold the mouse over it; and CLICK on the open recent posts item. That will open a dialog that lets you click on the site name and refresh it. There’s even a counter for how far back you want to so, default at 50 but if you are on dialup it’s better to choose 20. And LO! Here we are. This is obviously a revision of the original. So it can be done and it is even rather logical once you think of it, but the convenient popup when you mouse the item confused me into not clicking on it. Ah well. My thanks to Rick for his patience. It took me about 4 tries to figure this out.
Attorney General and attorney client privilege
John Dean’s article on president and government lawyer attorney client privilege.
Bush Needs An Outside Attorney To Maintain Attorney-Client Privilege
Readers may wonder, why is Bush going to an outside counsel, when numerous government attorneys are available to him – for instance, in the White House Counsel’s Office <http://pview.findlaw.com/view/1505800_1> ?
The answer is that the President has likely been told it would be risky to talk to his White House lawyers, particularly if he knows more than he claims publicly.
Ironically, it was the fair-haired Republican stalwart Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr who decimated the attorney-client privilege for government lawyers and their clients – which, to paraphrase the authority Wigmore, applies when legal advice of any kind is sought by a client from a professional legal adviser, where the advice is sought in confidence.
The reason the privilege was created was to insure open and candid discussion between a lawyer and his or her client. It traditionally applied in both civil and criminal situations for government lawyers, just as it did for non-government lawyers. It applied to written records of communications, such as attorney’s notes, as well as to the communications themselves.
But Starr tried to thwart that tradition in two different cases, before two federal appeals courts. There, he contended that there should be no such privilege in criminal cases involving government lawyers.
In the first case, In re Grand Jury Subpoenas Duces Tecum <http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&case=/data2/circs/8th/964108p.html> , former First Lady Hillary Clinton had spoken with her private counsel in the presence of White House counsel (who had made notes of the conversation). Starr wanted the notes. Hillary Clinton claimed the privilege.
A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with Starr. The court held that a grand jury was entitled to the information. It also held that government officials — even when serving as attorneys — had a special obligation to provide incriminating information in their possession.
In the second case, In re Lindsey <http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=dc&navby=case&no=983060C> , Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey refused to testify about his knowledge of President Clinton’s relationship to Monica Lewinsky, based on attorney-client privilege. Starr sought to compel Lindsey’s testimony, and he won again.
This time, Starr persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to follow the Eighth Circuit. The court ruled that exposure of wrongdoing by government lawyers fostered democracy, as "openness in government has always been thought crucial to ensuring that the people remain in control of their government."
Based on these precedents, President Bush has almost certainly been told that the only way he can discuss his potential testimony with a lawyer is by hiring one outside the government.
Fascinating. I am no longer much of an authority on Executive Privilege, but I once taught Constitutional Law and I did have a couple of seminars on the subject – all long ago. Constitutional crises change things. Usually the change isn’t beneficial to the Republic. Hard cases make bad law.
I got this today:
Subject: Fw: The Mess (You need to read this slowly and REMEMBER WHAT YOU READ)
This tells the whole story, why Bush was so bad at the end of his term. Don’t just skim over this, it’s not long, but read it slowly and let it sink in. If in doubt, check it out!
The day the democrats took over was not January 22, 2009, it was actually January 3, 2007, the day democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress. The Democrat Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time, since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.
For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush’s Fault", think about this:
January 3, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress. At the time:
The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB GROWTH
Remember the day…
January 3, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd
took over the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!
Unemployment… to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!
Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the U.S. economy.
And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA
And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress
So when someone tries to blame Bush – REMEMBER JANUARY 3, 2007…. THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!"
Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January, 2007 is the Democratic Party.
Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 &2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.
For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budgets.
And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009.
If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.
If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is he inherited a deficit that he voted for, and then he voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20.
There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!
I haven’t had a chance to chase down every detail. I do point out that after Gingrich the Republican House spent a LOT of money. Obama spent more once he got in, but the House after Gingrich went on some mad sprees. And we now owe more than a year’s GDP. That cannot be good.
When you are deep in a hole, rather than argue as to how you got there and whose fault it is, the first thing would appear to be to stop digging.
Best Movie of 2012, so far.
Best Movie of 2012, so far.
"Serious" critics, and many who saw it and enjoyed the hell out it, may consider this as heresy, but so be it. I’ll be vastly (but pleasantly) surprised if it’s nominated for such, but right now I’m saying that "The Avengers" is it.
Paul Gordon ( http://paulinhouston.blogspot.com/ )
"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
(Robert A. Heinlein – "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress")
I don’t have a better candidate.
well…. dozens any way.
You write: "There is such a thing as intellectual property, and the current legal system isn’t doing too well with it."
I suggest that the issue isn’t the legal system, but rather the users. We did not have to rewrite the laws on trespass when the bulldozer was invented.
The issue, I think, is that despite our claims of American freedom and individuality, we’re used to the paradigm of "if you can do it then it’s legal, and if it’s legal you can do it". There’s nothing physically preventing me from making mp3 copies of the songs on a CD and then selling that CD on ebay; therefore, making copies of the songs then selling the CD must be legal. Somehow. We’re not quite sure, but if we weren’t *allowed* to do it then it wouldn’t *work*, right?
It’s like a fence. We all know what a fence means, and that acting to circumvent the access control implied by a fence is Not Allowed. Not that this means you *can’t* jump over a fence, or even that doing so would be particularly difficult. And maybe you don’t agree that the fence ought to be there at all. But nobody’s going to look at a fence and be completely unaware of the statement that fence is making about what’s on the inside of it.
And intellectual property has always had fences. Words like "copyright" and "trademark" and "all rights reserved" are what fences around intellectual property look like. The thing is, up until maybe fifteen years ago it was *hard* for the typical person to climb over those fences. And what that means is that nobody ever learned how to see the fences, or how to understand the size of them. Then when broadband started to become widespread, we all got metaphorical bulldozers and started driving them everywhere, and we started running over fences without even knowing that they *existed*, much less that we were crossing them.
What does it mean? Well, it means that people need to understand that "I can copy this without too much trouble" doesn’t mean that copying it is no big deal. It also means that, to the extent that the legal system has catching up to do, it’s going to be in the direction of *more* restriction rather than *less*–if people had started using bulldozers to smash down fences, the response would not have been to make fences illegal.
Although it’s also the case that if it’s critical to your activity that people not enter an area, then you’re likely to have more than just a knee-high fence and a "NO TRESPASSING" sign.
Mike T. Powers
I will point out that most of my books available on Amazon Kindle can be had in pirate editions by a bit of diligent searching, but my backlist sales are pretty good, and Secret of Black Ship Island has done well despite being pirated immediately on publication; we don’t need everyone to be honest, just enough good people.
Provider – Medicare
"… about an optometrist requiring a 30 page form to be submitted three times before Medicare/Medicare would accept his change of address. He goes months without getting paid for the work he has done. One presumes – but it is a presumption – that eventually he was sent the money owed him, but for months he could not get the government to note his change of address. Then he tells a story of going to a burger place and using a touch screen to order a sandwich, and says “Amazing” – as a contrast to business as usual with the government. It was a pretty good talk to a reasonable crowd. "
<GRIN> this is exactly my job at the moment… I’m the Medicare Provider Enrollment Manager (in other words, a bureaucrat) for Pinnacle Business Solutions, Inc., a Medicare contracted carrier. The doctor isn’t exaggerating, an enrollment or a change application (form CMS855), for a provider in Medicare is a 30+ page document – not to mention required attachments. AND, it must be newly and fully completed EACH time a change (address, bank, owner, etc) is done. The provider is, as well, required to revalidate (i.e. submit a complete, new, application) every 5 years, even if nothing has changed! However; the document is not difficult, instructions are complete and on the document itself. Additionally, the provider can elect to access the document online via the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) website and be prompted throughout the process. Before we go off into Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy, I can attest the application and process is as simple as possible to comply with law mandated by Congress (I do remember a time when the application was only a 2 page process). BUT, Congress, in its wisdom and fear and promises to cut fraud, has made the process onerous, capricious and punishing on well-meaning, lawful providers. Furthermore, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), further complicates this situation – it’ll get worse. I’m quite aware of many providers dropping out of Medicare or refusing to accept additional Medicare patients simply due to the onerous regulations/restrictions for participation and reimbursement. There are a seething mass of frustrated doctors out there who only want to be able to treat patients and be reasonably compensated for their labors/knowledge.
Cheap energy = prosperity!
Drill here, DRILL NOW!
As Adam Smith observed, every time two capitalist competitors meet they conspire to find a way to get government to prevent anyone else from becoming a competitor. Regulations and red tape, even if " the document is not difficult, instructions are complete and on the document itself. Additionally, the provider can elect to access the document online via the CMS" is a very good way to raise the requirements for a startup company.
Ironically, the stated purpose of Medicare administration is to INCREASE the participation of qualified providers to service the needs of Medicare beneficiaries.
ah well… indeed!
Cheap energy = prosperity!
Drill here, DRILL NOW!
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work
Subject: Maryland Library Can’t Use HP Computers – Nuclear Weapons Related
The Takoma Park, Maryland library needed new computers. New ones arrived, but they sat in storage for a while. The computers were made by HP, and HP works on nuclear weapons programs for the U.S. government. Takoma Park has been a "nuclear free" zone since 1983. Sigh.
The Takoma Park City Council voted a waiver on this allowing the use of the computers. Some wondered "about the soul of their city and if the vote signified a fundamental shift in its values."
The computers were probably made in China. Hence, (1) they have latent surveillance capability built into them, (2) come from the capitol of human rights violations, and (3) from the home of heavy metal pollution. None of that matters. What matters is that HP works on nuclear weapons (do they really?).
Comment is superfluous.
Wawa editted vs original; no ad to skip
We cannot blame Firefox for trying to make our web surfing experience better by blocking those confounded ads. I blame the advertisers themselves for constantly coming up with more annoying ways to put ads in our faces. Like your experience with an ad you have to watch before you see the content you want. Another annoying way they do it is place a small ad at the bottom and you have to search around to find the [X] or [close] to get rid of it, but that’s just how frustrating it’s gotten. By the way TV advertising is doing something like it by having ads pop up during a show but of course you have no way of killing those suckers.
Analyzing people who talk about AGW denialism
This would be amusing but its an extension of the mentality that creates bunny inspectors.
Sent to you by BobK via Google Reader:
Analyzing people who talk about AGW denialism <http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/19/analyzing-people-who-talk-about-agw-denialism/>
via Climate Etc. <http://judithcurry.com> by curryja on 6/19/12
by Judith Curry Sociologists and journalists are writing articles about understanding AGW skepticism and denialism. This latest article from Nature makes me think somebody needs to study these people who think that: Study 2 examined whether framing climate change action in … Continue reading → <http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/19/analyzing-people-who-talk-about-agw-denialism/> <http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=judithcurry.com&blog=15408089&post=8865&subd=curryja&ref=&feed=1>
You often say that we all can think of local equivalents to bunny inspectors,(http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/?p=1180 , [and for those that don't want a long walk down memory lane, bunny mention is 8 paragraphs down]) and just now I got to thinking about the Tax Payers’ Union. I have been vaguely aware that this group existed since I don’t know when. I am sure Paul Harvey (America’s first conservative commentator) must have mentioned them from time to time. For whatever reason I decided to take a look today, and I know your readership (is that a word?) will want to as well. http://www.ntu.org/ We don’t need to look for government waste, there is a professional organization doing it already.
Martin Lee Rose
"We have no public record of anyone, individual or organization, publishing an IDEAL Temperature of the Earth, nor do we have any criteria which could be used to establish such a temperature. Given MY choice, I would choose warmer over colder. To the extent, if any, that warmer could be expedited by increasing CO2 I would encourage it." Bob Ludwick I have waited a long time to be able to use that quote.
While looking for the most appropriate Bunny Inspectors link I came across http://www.scaleofuniverse.com/
Thanks. I am not familiar with the taxpayer’s union. It would seem to be more useful than the Welfare Recipients League, which I would think would be cheered on if it decided to go on strike…
Hi, Jerry, I’m no expert but your TV has all the symptoms of a failing join or cracked trace on the board: the cooler it is the wider the gap, which eventually "fixes" itself as everything warms up and expands to make contact once again. Back in the day it might have been worthwhile to examine everything with a magnifying glass and then do a touch-up if you found the problem, but today you’re probably stuck with just getting a new TV or living with the long warm-up.
I’m writing this on a new "Retina" display MBP, a really capable computer which to my mind completely erases the need for a 17" in the Apple line. WoW looks amazing at full resolution, and frame rates are plenty fast enough to not be objectionable. For other tasks the SSD drive, Ivy Bridge CPU, and nVidia graphics make for a pretty potent desktop replacement at under 5 pounds. Recommended if you need a portable capable of heavy lifting, otherwise probably overkill. But the screen is outstanding, going back to a normal screen now makes everything look fuzzy.
Thanks. My dying YTV had croaked, and will be replaced. I have a note from one reader that replacing some capacitors worked for his Samsung with a similar problem. Alas I am not going to try that, but I note it for the record, and perhaps I will attach a copy of some of the suggestion mail to the machine when it goes to the Good Will…