Friday, September 02, 2005

Must have been a lot of glassy-eyed candlemakers around

Nantucket sold 35,000 boxes of candles a year...

"Sperm oil burned clearer and brighter," Mr. Parker said. "Thomas Jefferson, for example, preferred sperm-oil candles."
The NYTimes reviews Nantucket's Whaling Museum,which recently completed a $12 million expansion.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"A Riot Primer" by Eugene H. Methvin

NRO has reprinted an old column by Methvin on preventing riots. It boils down to: When the problems start, arrest everyone in sight, and announce to all that they may be shot.

He provides some interesting examples.

It's a shame the pols in Louisiana and Mississippi haven't read it. Too late now.

This reminds me a bit of the actions by the Milwaukee Police Department when the Rodney King riots (I think it was) were taking place elsewhere. A small group of ppl were becoming "disorderly" in Grand Avenue Mall- the major downtown mall- so the police arrested them and ordered the mall closed. Result: no riot in Milwaukee.

Newspaper editorial reaction: The foolish Milwaukee police overreacted. Their proof: no riot took place.

No kidding.

Mapping US Supreme Court decisions and their precedents

Scholars have started mapping the precedental links between Supreme Court cases, and it looks kind of interesting. The Economist has the story :
One such map, of the network of links between United States Supreme Court cases, has been devised by Seth Chandler, professor of law at the University of Houston. Mr Chandler obtained some 26,000 opinions issued by the Supreme Court between the early 19th century and the present day. He treated each of these cases as a node and each citation from one case to another as a link. The result was a complicated web resembling a map of cities linked by dozens of airlines.
His results:
Intriguingly, the cases mostly come from an advanced and esoteric subject—the law of federal jurisdiction—that addresses structural features of American government, such as the relationship between the states and the federal government and the relationship between the courts and Congress.
Others are working on similar models, too, and have come up with some results which the critics of the Warren Court will likely be delighted with:
Related work, by James Fowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Davis, and Sangick Jeon, a political-science student at the same place, shows how Supreme Court jurisprudence has developed over time...

For a while, Supreme Court justices liked to cite opinions with many citations in them. By 1950, an average opinion cited about 15 other opinions, and each opinion was itself cited by roughly the same number.

The trend reversed, however, between 1953 and 1969, when the controversial Earl Warren served as Chief Justice of the United States. As that Court embarked on its activist, and mostly liberal, course, there was a precipitous drop in the number of citations it made, which implies that the Warren Court was less respectful, or perhaps just less interested, in precedent.
The whole thing is short and worth a quick read.

Thanks to ArtsJournal for the tip.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Charity Governance on the Milwaukee Public Museum

This is old (June 7) but new to me, and you may have missed it as well. Lots of interesting points about the "management" at the museum, and the Wisconsin Attorney General's office.

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One armed spiral...


It's a Cool Space Pic of the Day

"Officials Helpless Against Looters" in New Orleans

No they aren't. They CHOOSE to do nothing about looters. The idea that armed police are helpless is both false and offensive: They have been ordered to do nothing.

There is nothing simpler or less time consuming than controlling looting: Shoot looters on sight. Move on, find more looters. Repeat. Announce the results. Looting will stop very quickly.

As a number of ppl have pointed out, it is one thing for ppl in extraordinary circumstances such as New Orleans is going thru to appropriate- loot, if you will- food, water, diapers, and first aid supplies. It is entirely different to break into jewelry shops and electronics shops and steal the contents.

Kevin McGill, an Associated Press Writer, has one of the numerous reports on looting :

The Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart had been cleaned out by looters...

On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Miss., people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses. In some cases, the looting was in full view of police and National Guardsmen...

Other looters were seen leaving a store with armfuls of tennis shoes and football jerseys.
Uh huh. And tvs, vacuum cleaners, and other essentials.

Korean store owners knew how to stop looting during the LA riots.