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WEEK 41 2005

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Saturday 15 October 2005

Saturday - on the road.

Friday 14 October 2005

Friday - on the road. From the other day, another "found" CD-

AOL CD in the dirt
I didn't know that AOL did music. Makes sense though.

Thursday 13 October  2005

Thursday - on the road.

I'll be visiting my Dad's, but also cat sitting at my sister's place, as she is going to Paris for ten days. Sheesh.

So, probably, light posting for a while.

Wednesday 12 October 2005

Wednesday - on the road. I hope to finish off the Benjamin Franklin biography, on tape, during the big drive north.

A bit of a rush leaving - I got a TIVO for my birthday a while back, and had to spend some time setting it up, then figuring out how to record stuff while I was gone. So, I was up late.

Also, as usual, didn't really do my packing/cleaning ahead of time.

I'd put together a bit of an earthquake kit for Dad, and had to store/load all that stuff.

Tuesday 11 October 2005

Tuesday -  I seem some law bloggers have come around, and aren't feeling so critical of Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee. Ann Althouse has mellowed, for example-

This lack of interest in theory has bothered a lot of lawprofs, including me. Conlawprofs are biased in favor of theory. If you are going to devote your life to the subject of constitutional law, as an academic subject, you are probably the sort of person who is attracted to abstractions, theories, and larger patterns and aspirations. You are going to tend to approve of jurists who have a similar frame of mind, a large capacity for theory, that makes you and the people you surround yourself with so impressive. Now, who is this Harriet Miers, this practicing lawyer, who presumes to go on the Court and write the opinions we must spend our lives reading and analyzing? Even when you have little hope that the nominee will decide the cases the way you want, you have a problem with the presumptuousness of putting a person like that on the Court. Roberts was one thing, but she is quite another. In him, we saw ourselves, but she is just an attorney. The very idea!

Thinking about it that way has begun to thaw my opposition to Miers. Why is it not a good thing to have one person on the Court who approaches constitutional decisionmaking the way a lawyer would deal with the next legal problem that comes across the desk? Perhaps the Court is harmed by an excess of interest in the theoretical. A solid, experienced lawyer like Miers, with no real background in constitutional law, might look at the text, the precedents, the briefs, and use the standard lawyer's methods to resolve the problem at hand. What is wrong with having that style of analysis in the mix? We need a safeguard against the excessively theoretical.

Then there is the Jonathan Wilde post at Catallarchy-

OK, part of what I find offensive in the attacks on Miers is this assumption that a Supreme Court justice has to be a philosopher-queen and a rocket scientist.

I think the court could be improved by an extra seat for a random housewife, or somebody who’s been in jail. Actually Miers is pretty close to a rocket scientist; she has a degree in math. My ex, before law school, started out in rocket science and switched to a double major in math and religious studies.

The constitution is this country’s instruction manual. If it is written in a dead language that can only be deciphered by handful of high priests, we all lose. We need someone on the court who can look at a set of facts, check the manual, and see what it says. Someone who can write one page opinions in clear English. We could use a few less Harvard grads.

Of course the people who came out violently against her, as George Will and Ann Coulter did, are unlikely to change their tune - once a pundit's staked out a position on this sort of thing it is hard to admit error, or even an over hasty judgement.

Monday 10 October 2005

Monday - meeting with various people, out of town.

Got back in time to see the San Diego Charger's lose by a field goal to the Pittsburg Steelers at the end of the 4th quarter. Sheesh.

I didn't get my hike in, but tomorrow I'll get a bit of bicycling, with any luck.

Sunday 9 October 2005

Sunday - laying about, trying to get well, watching various sports. The Angels lost, so that series against the Yankee's goes to game 5 here in Los Angeles. I hear the 49er's lost, again. Watched New England win, that was a good game. Washed the dished, washed the linen and clothes.

Over at Roger Pielke's Climate Science is a post from October 6th: "What is the Butterfly Effect". It's an interesting review of the 'butterfly effect' as it applies/does not apply to climate science.

There is a mention of Lorenz first using the flapping of a seagull's wing in 1963, to illustrate the influence of small perturbations in chaotic systems. He had transitioned to using a butterfly's wing by about 1972. I wonder if he was influenced by Bradbury's 'A Sound of Thunder', published in the R Is for Rocket collection, of 1960.

Down to Sand Canyon again tomorrow.

Picture of the Week
The Star of India, San Diego

Photo Notes: From street, the Star of India, dockside with sails up. The square sails are taken aback, but the staysails are full.

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