Note to Self: Enable DNS over HTTPs

How to Enable DNS Over HTTPS in Your Web Browser

Chrome instructions didn’t work for me, but Firefox did.

Posted in Internet | Leave a comment

Understatement Indeed

Big

In a discussion of the (still totally theoretical) Alcubierre Warp Drive, the author notes that modern estimates of the energy needed to create a space-time bubble are down from the clearly infeasible “energy mass equivalent to the entire Universe.”

However, it goes on to note, the current estimate of  the energy equivalent of “a Jupiter-mass amount of exotic matter is still prohibitively large.”

Don’t plan to book your ticket for Alpha Centauri any time soon.

Posted in Science/Medicine | Leave a comment

The Case for Bernie?

Bernie Sanders is not my #1 choice for the Democratic nomination — I think Elizabeth Warren would be a much better President — but stories like this one really make the case for the abolition of billionaires.  (For the record: I’m not against billionaires per se, just for real progressive wealth taxes.)

Posted in 99% | Leave a comment

Closing in on Next Time

I was clicking about to see if there was a Miami chapter of Never Again Action when I stumbled on this gem,

“In the winter, 10% of U.S. Jews are in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties,” said Eva Shvedova, the museum store and group tour manager at the Jewish Museum of Florida, where I took in a tour during a Miami Cultural Crawl. “There are about 600,000, mostly in Broward County,” she said, “and 124,000 Jews in Miami-Dade alone.”

Why not? Jews are many things, but they aren’t stupid. With sultry temps about 80 degrees all week, plenty of action and the ability to make foolproof plans in the winter, Florida is a guaranteed warm and pleasant destination.

10%??? That’s too good a statistic to check for veracity. Although they did get the weather wrong as it’s only February, but rather than warm and pleasant it is already more like hot and humid — one might say, almost oppressive.

Which brings me back to Never Again Action, I didn’t find a local branch, but did find their bright yellow T-shirts. On the radio this morning they were talking about California’s apology for the Japanese Internment. Given the ramped-up national campaign against immigrants, and the policies of deportation and cruel detention, a T-shirt doesn’t seem like quite enough of a response somehow.

Posted in Immigration, Miami | Leave a comment

En Banc Bait

Today the 11th Circuit issued a per curiam decision on Kelvin Leon Jones, et al. v. Governor of Florida, et al., the Amendment 4 felon-voting case, which holds that strict scrutiny applies and that the Florida Legislature’s decision to require felons to pay all the fees and charges associated with their cases is, in the case of indigents, a violation of Equal Protection.

It’s a nicely done opinion but per curiam or not it has got en banc written all over it. The panel was Judge R. Lanier Anderson III (nominated — to the then-5th Circuit — by Jimmy Carter), Judge Stanley Marcus (nominated by Ronald Reagan to the District Court, and by Bill Clinton to the Court of Appeal), and Judge Barbara Rothstein (District Judge, Western District of Washington, sitting by designation; appointed by Jimmy Carter).

All three judges were appointed to their current seats by Democrats, but the 11th Circuit as a whole skews Republican. All three have senior status–I didn’t even know that appellate courts allowed a majority of senior judges on a panel, much less all three. One is a visiting Judge from Washington State (fresh from a visit to Washington, D.C., which may have lead to the incorrect attribution of her home court on the first page of the opinion). All this spells e-n b-a-n-c to me. So we haven’t heard the end of this case yet. That said, the panel’s affirmation of (most of) the injunction might last through to the 2020 election.

Posted in Florida, Law: Constitutional Law | Leave a comment

Coral Gables Commission Allows Remote Participation Via Cam or Cell Phone — If You Can Find the Link

According to a recent email newsletter from Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr.,

Live video commenting at City Commission Meetings is now possible. With the support of the City Commission, I passed a resolution that allows any resident with a webcam or smartphone to appear and give public comments at City Commission Meetings via live video feed.

Through technology, this new system further enhances transparency and public access in our City’s governance.

I encourage all wishing to comment remotely to visit our website before Commission Meetings to access the link to the Zoom meeting. (Note: When quasi-judicial items are heard before the City Commission, speakers will need to be physically present if they wish to offer sworn testimony).

I think this is a pretty cool idea. Alas, Commissioner Fors didn’t give a link and I can’t find any relevant info on the City of Coral Gables web site. I did find numerous offers to make an “e-comment” by text, but that comes with the following so-called “Disclaimer”:

Tell us what’s on your mind. Your comments and information will not be read during Commission Meetings, but will become part of the official public record. If you do not want your personal information included in the official record, do not complete that field.

The next Commission meeting is on Feb. 25th, so it can’t be that it’s too soon to have a link, can it? Maybe it’s only visible on the day? But at least they could tell us that. Or maybe I just don’t know where to look, although I tried the general City calendar and what seems to be the agenda for the next meeting of the Commission. (I say “seems to be” because it is hosted at “granicusideas.com” which calls itself “the most trusted marketing [sic] platform for government.)

What am I missing here? Is the idea that there’s some portal only available in real time? Even if that’s the case, they could explain that somewhere, couldn’t they?

Posted in Coral Gables | Leave a comment