Bingo

“If you think privacy is unimportant for you because you have nothing to hide, you might as well say free speech is unimportant for you because you have nothing useful to say.” (source)

I have seen this attributed to Edward Snowden but I’ve also seen it said that his original was “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” (Snowden in this reddit interview.) Either way it’s good.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Law: Privacy | 1 Comment

Beyond Trumperdome

This kind of talk, from a WashPo piece quoting supporters at yesterday’s rally, is what powers the Trump machine:

Cheryl Burns, 60, was on a road trip from California when she heard that Trump would be in Alabama. She turned her car around and got in line, warning people of what happened to states when liberals took them over.

“There is no more California,” Burns said. “It’s now international, lawless territory. Everything is up for grabs. Illegal aliens are murdering people there. People are being raped. Trump isn’t lying about anything — the rest of the country just hasn’t found out yet.”

Various online commentators have suggested that the two attackers of a homeless Hispanic man in Boston, who cited Trump as their motivation, are the forerunners of American Brownshirts. And, certainly, Trump’s weak initial reaction was yet another indication of his general ugliness. Trump did get around to a proper condemnation of the attack after two days; either Trump didn’t want to upset his base, or (equally likely) he’s terribly staffed: either is pretty bad.

As a big fan of It Can’t Happen Here, I’m always alert for those brown signals, but I didn’t find nearly as strong signal in the actions of a couple of thugs (so long as it remains just a couple…) as I do in quotes like the one above. If large numbers of voters are living a reality-distortion zone in which California is now Mad Max land, anything is possible.

Posted in 2016 Election, Politics: The Party of Sleaze, Politics: Tinfoil | Leave a comment

Cynic.al Indeed

The new Ashley Madison Hack lookup tool is at https://ashley.cynic.al/.

As the site notes, just because an email is in there doesn’t prove the person who uses it signed up. But I would find it at least suggestive once we have some evidence that the DB itself is the real thing. (I suppose this doesn’t suffice.)

Thirty-six million — 36 million! — names in the hacked Ashley Madison database? Perhaps North Americans really are not that different from the French when it comes to affairs, just sneakier.

That said, (unlike some and some more) I don’t look forward to an orgy of outing with much pleasure, and think it likely will hurt more people than it helps. I guess I believe that at least in some cases, although certainly not all, the pig really is happier than Socrates.

Posted in Internet, Law: Privacy | Leave a comment

Well, She Doesn’t Represent Me

The Buzz:

Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, tried to change a proposed redistricting map that would shift 35,000 black voters from the 26th Congressional, represented by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, into the 27th District, which is not represented by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami.

Freudian slip at the Tampa Bay Times?

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | Leave a comment

Wanted: Jotwell Editor for ’15-’16 Academic Year

nowhiringJotwell, the online journal of reviews of recent faculty scholarship relating to the law, needs a U.Miami law student editor for the ’15-’16 Academic Year. The ideal candidate will be organized, a careful editor, and enjoy reading legal scholarship. The workload typically runs 8-10 hours per week (maybe a little more right at the start), and is paid at the law school’s research assistant scale, which in most cases is $13/hr. Jotwell uses WordPress to publish, but it is easy to learn, so no experience needed.

If you are interested, please email your c.v. (aka “your résumé”) and a copy (unofficial is fine) of your transcript to me at Myfirstname.Mylastname@gmail.com (making the appropriate substitutions). Please put “JOTWELL 2015-16” and your name in the subject line.

Posted in Jotwell | Leave a comment

Y2K Watershed for Medical Studies

Scary news via Slashdot:

The requirement that medical researchers register in detail the methods they intend to use in their clinical trials, both to record their data as well as document their outcomes, caused a significant drop in trials producing positive results. From Nature: “The study found that in a sample of 55 large trials testing heart-disease treatments, 57% of those published before 2000 reported positive effects from the treatments. But that figure plunged to just 8% in studies that were conducted after 2000. Study author Veronica Irvin, a health scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, says this suggests that registering clinical studies is leading to more rigorous research. Writing on his NeuroLogica Blog, neurologist Steven Novella of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, called the study “encouraging” but also “a bit frightening” because it casts doubt on previous positive results.”

In other words, before they were required to document their methods, research into new drugs or treatments would prove the success of those drugs or treatment more than half the time. Once they had to document their research methods, however, the drugs or treatments being tested almost never worked.

According to the Nature article, the reason is this:

… by having to state their methods and measurements before starting their trial, researchers cannot then cherry-pick data to find an effect once the study is over. “It’s more difficult for investigators to selectively report some outcomes and exclude others,” …

But is anyone going back to review the last 40 years of studies with positive results? I doubt it.

Posted in Science/Medicine | 1 Comment

Thought for the Day

guns

via Crooks and Liars

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law | 3 Comments