Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Take the George Washington Pledge

Harold Feld launches it:

“I pledge to give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. I pledge to work toward a world where everyone may sit under their own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make them afraid. A world that scatters light and not darkness in our paths, and makes us all in our several vocations useful here, and in due time and way everlastingly happy.”

Also 20 ideas on how to navigate the coming times from Yale History Prof. Timothy Synder. Here are just the first three:

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Trump | 2 Comments

Root for Reince

reince_priebus_by_gage_skidmoreUM Law alumnus Reince Priebus profiled in NYT Mag as Reince Priebus, Normalizer in Chief and in Miami Herald puff, Before making his name in politics, Priebus was a force at Miami law school . The Herald article includes this:

Without exception, more than half a dozen people interviewed for this story who knew Priebus during law school described him as affable, thoughtful and kind.

Andrew Moss, who was in the same first-year section as Priebus, recounted to a Miami Herald reporter an anecdote about going to grab a bite at Wendy’s with Priebus when they were working on a project. A homeless man lay outside. Priebus didn’t have much money, Moss said, but he bought two meals and gave one to the man.

Say what you will, he’s Trump’s least crazy appointee so far — by several miles.  Whether he’ll have actual power with alt-right Bannon down the hall remains to be seen.

Posted in Trump, U.Miami | 4 Comments

Back Up All Google Data

Google Takeout–I didn’t know this was even possible, but you can download a copy of your email,  contacts, calendar, google drive, and indeed everything google, in .zip format.  Alas there is no way obvious way to automate it.  So do it right away, or you’ll forget.

Thank you to Stefan Krasowski for the pointer.

Posted in Internet | Leave a comment

Medicare at Risk

medicare003Is Paul Ryan’s Dream of Gutting Medicare About to Come True?

The Donald Trump transition website states that the administration will “modernize Medicare”—a euphemism, according to Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young at the Huffington Post, that corresponds exactly to what Ryan has in mind.

I wonder how the maker of that sign is going to feel?

Posted in Trump | 1 Comment

Epigram For a Life

“A devious man, but when cornered a patriot.”  That was Henry Kissinger’s assessment of Melivin Laird, who died today, at least as recorded by William Safire in his book Before the Fall.

For some reason, that line always stuck with me.

Posted in Politics: US | Leave a comment

Soother

Allegedly, listening to this song “was clinically proven to reduce stress levels up to 65% in the people who listened to it.” Here’s the official video verion:

Personally I’d prefer something with a hammock (and no mosquitoes):

soothing-hd-wallpaper

Posted in Science/Medicine | Leave a comment