Monthly Archives: August 2012

Your Evening Newsreel

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Would Take Us Back:

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Jotwell Needs a Student Editor

Apologies, blog readers, but this announcement is for UM Law 2L, 3L, and LL.M students only:

Jotwell, the online journal of reviews of recent faculty scholarship relating to the law, needs a third student editor. The ideal candidate will be organized, a careful editor, and enjoy reading legal scholarship. The workload typically runs 7-10 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 me your c.v. (aka “your résumé”) and a copy (unofficial is fine) of your transcript.

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Romney Revealed

It pains me to link to link to this guy, but “The Real Romney” is very funny. Do not read while drinking coffee. Yes, you might call parts of it sophomoric, but I think a good part of the humor is surprise — this is by conservative apologist and spinner David Brooks.

It begins:

Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired.

And it gets better.

(We didn’t get our paper today, so this is via Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

Posted in 2012 Election, Completely Different | 5 Comments

Tempting

I haven’t been tempted to give the Obama campaign any money this year; my mite seems better directed to House and Senate campaigns. But I have to admit that I like the look of this button lampooning the birthers, and am awful tempted to buy one. Or several. Or maybe the bumper sticker.

Spotted via Obama provides birth certificate — on a button.

Posted in 2012 Election | 1 Comment

Extreme Alert! (False Alarm) Shows Flaws in the System

So there I am at my computer, trying with some difficulty to set up two-factor authorization for my gmail account (the sticking point seems to be what I have to do to get it to work on my phone), when all of a sudden the phone makes a horrible loud noise, and a big scary popup appears warning me about an EXTREME ALERT.

Tornado Warning in this area til 10:15 PM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media – NWS

Sounds serious. Even though it’s not even raining out at the moment. Tapping it, then asking for “more information” is not much more informative.

CMAE category: Met
Response type: Shelter
Severity: Extreme
Urgency: Immediate
Certainty: Observed

So naturally, not having a basement to hide in (this is South Florida, there are no basements) I turn to Google, searching for tornado and Miami-Dade, but I don’t find much at first. Eventually I get to a page at, of all places, the College of Dupage, which says it is located at 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, and has has the text of an announcement from the National Weather Service, one for which I only later find the official site.

And it turns out that the tornado watch is real, but for areas well north of me:

TORNADO WARNING
FLC011-086-270215-
/O.NEW.KMFL.TO.W.0038.120827T0149Z-120827T0215Z/

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
949 PM EDT SUN AUG 26 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR…
SOUTH CENTRAL BROWARD COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST FLORIDA…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…PEMBROKE PINES…MIRAMAR…
NORTHEASTERN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST FLORIDA…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF HIALEAH…

* UNTIL 1015 PM EDT

* AT 947 PM EDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR OPA-LOCKA…MOVING
NORTHWEST AT 45 MPH. %%

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR…
MIAMI LAKES…
MIAMI GARDENS…
MIRAMAR…
INTERSECTION U.S. 27 PINES BLVD…
WESTON…
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SEEK SHELTER INSIDE A STURDY BUILDING ON THE LOWEST FLOOR…AWAY FROM
EXTERIOR WALLS AND WINDOWS. GET UNDER A WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF
STURDY FURNITURE. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY.

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STURDY REINFORCED BUILDING. TORNADOES ARE
ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS AT NIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD TO SEE. IF YOU
WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE OR HEAR IT COMING…IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A
SAFE PLACE! MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM OR HALLWAY ON THE LOWEST FLOOR.
LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES FOR REINFORCED SHELTER. STAY AWAY
FROM WINDOWS.

REPORT SEVERE WEATHER OR DAMAGE TO THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
OR YOUR COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT TO
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN MIAMI.

&&

LAT…LON 2599 8055 2612 8039 2590 8018 2581 8027
TIME…MOT…LOC 0148Z 136DEG 40KT 2588 8027

$$

BAXTER

I think this reveals two real flaws in the emergency warning system that is being pushed on to our phones (without opt-in by the way). First, if the alert-generating system can identify me by location as someone in the general area of the warning, why can’t it be more fine-grained and figure out that I’m actually several miles away from it? Second, I absolutely don’t see why the alert couldn’t have a hyperlink to the more detailed statement. Some day this is going to start a lot of unnecessary panic.

Posted in Miami, Sufficiently Advanced Technology | 2 Comments

Devo – Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed)

Just in time for the GOP’s Tampa convention: Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! by Devo.

Rolling Stone reports that the band claims, unconvincingly, that it’s not a partisan song, just a statement of the animal-lover perspective.

“This isn’t a red-state thing or Devo stumping for Obama,” [Devo’s Jerry Casale] says. “But I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney. It’s just a deal-breaker about the man. My God, the world is a scary place with seven billion people. What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core. I just don’t feel that Mitt does.”

Whatever it may be, it’s not the greatest song in history either, but I can see it becoming a catch phrase.

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Dodged That

Looks like Isaac is going westward of the previously foreseen track, and we’ll get tropical storm force winds at worst. Right now (mid-afteroon) it is at times very wet and blustery outside — a good day to be indoors.

UM has cancelled classes tomorrow in what may turn out to be an excess of caution, but I think they are still smarting from the day some years ago when they did not close early and staff were forced to drive home in dangerously strong winds. Miami-Dade schools are closed tomorrow, which is another reason I’m sure the U felt pressure to close — many staff will not have alternate childcare on tap.

The result for me is that my first Torts class will not be until Wednesday, by which time jet leg will just be a dim memory. The Oslo trip was physically tiring, but it was a good conference. It’s amazing how many scholars outside the US are interested in ICANN and related legal/political questions. Far more, I suspect, than in the US, even though (or because!) ICANN is based here, and the US government is more than primus inter pares in its oversight.

Speaking of weather, I’m told that I’ve was fortunate to enjoy exceptional summer weather there — it got over 60 every day I was there, and there were several hours of actual sunshine on Tuesday. But it’s true what they say about prices in Norway. Wow.

Posted in Talks & Conferences, U.Miami | Leave a comment