Category Archives: U.Miami

Hitting the Target

Moving Targets is a new blog by my colleague Mary Anne Franks. It has a very austere design, but the contents are fiery.

Some of my students were telling me today of what they called an “epic takedown” of an idiot on TV yesterday; you can see links and aftershocks to what I presume is the same event (could there be two in one week?) on her blog (Part 1, Part II).

Previously: Mary Anne Franks Profiled in Ocean Drive (May 9, 2013).

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I Guess This Means I’ll Have to Leaflet

“Generation Opportunity”–the people who brought you that hideous, weird, Creepy Uncle Sam Video–are coming to UM during Homecoming.

Yes, the Koch-bros-funded astroturf group that wants to persuade young people to forgo health insurance on the grounds that it costs money–and why learn to plan ahead for your future when they are working so hard to make sure you don’t have one?–are coming to Coral Gables. They are well funded (NYT):

Evan Feinberg, the president of Generation Opportunity, said in an interview that the group would spend “close to three-quarters of a million dollars” on the campaign, which will include not just online videos but also events at college football games, music festivals and other gatherings that tend to draw young adults. The group will ask young people to pledge not to sign up for insurance through the exchanges, Mr. Feinberg said.

And they’re coming here (emphasis added):

Generation Opportunity, which formed in 2011 and gets funding in part from the conservative Koch brothers, is about to embark on a tour of 20 college towns nationally, including a Nov. 9 stop at the University of Miami. The pitch is that you shouldn’t feel compelled by the government to buy insurance, and that it may be cheaper outside the marketplaces.

A blueprint for an upcoming tailgate calls for games such as beer pong and cornhole, free Taco Bell and beer. Pictures of people signing petitions to opt out would be sent over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I’m a big believer that ‘you start where you are’. So if these guys are coming into my back yard, I will probably feel compelled to do something. Leafleting on the importance of critical care insurance, and the lifelong value of knowing you have insurance even if you lose your job, seems a possibility.

Pointers to any good ready-made leaflets or graphics online gratefully accepted. I suppose if I were really going to get organized about this, I’d try to liaise with relevant student groups (college Democrats?), but that sounds like more meetings….

Posted in Health Care, U.Miami | 1 Comment

U Miami Cafeteria Workers Get a Raise

The union says it’s a huge victory. It’s a win, but I’d call it a medium win.

Below I reproduce the SEIU’s press release, then add some comments.
Continue reading

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QOTD

Found on one of UMiami Law’s very civilized web pages:

“Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other.”

- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian

(I hope no one on the Board of Trustees reads my blog. They have enacted all sorts of rules about when University funds cannot be spent on Intoxicating Liquors and the like. Perhaps books are next?)

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Research Assistants Wanted

Apologies, but this announcement is for UM Law students only:

I have three open jobs for research assistants, all starting when classes begin, or as soon thereafter as is practical. These jobs are for the entire academic year, although I don’t expect you to work during exams or vacations.

Job #1: Academic Research

This job requires 10-15 hours per week. The RA’s job is to help me with my research, which is likely to be focused on privacy, and internet law more generally, but may also include some robotics or torts. It requires someone who can write clearly, is well-organized, and who is really good at finding things in libraries and on the Internet. If you happen to have some web or programming skills (some or all of HTML, WordPress, MySQL, Perl, Debian), that would be a very big plus but it is not in any way a requirement.

Job #2: Jotwell Student Editor

This job requires 7-10 hours per week, although it likely involves a bit more in the first week or two as you learn the ropes. This job involves helping me manage and edit JOTWELL, an online law journal (see jotwell.com). You are a combination of managing editor and substantive editor so the job requires excellent organizational skill plus editing skills; some talent for diplomacy in dealing with authors would also be of use. Jotwell uses WordPress to publish, but it is easy to learn, so no experience needed.

Job #3: ‘We Robot’ Conference Organizer/Researcher

I need to hire one or more law students to help manage a major conference on legal and policy issues relating to robotics, to be held at the law school on April 4 & 5, 2014. There is intellectual work to be done to set up the event, notably writing online summaries of all the accepted papers. There are also some administrative duties, although the law school staff will shoulder the bulk of those.

The job involves a smaller amount of work now, and a larger amount of work in the weeks leading up to the event. You would also be asked to attend and assist with the conference, for example, liaising with speakers, and summarizing events online, on Twitter, and other media.

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In all three cases the hourly pay of $ 13 is set by the university, and is not as high as you deserve, but the work is sometimes interesting.

If you are interested, please e-mail the following to michael.froomkin@gmail.com with the words RESEARCH ASSISTANT (in all caps) followed by your name in the subject line:

1. A copy of your resume (c.v.),
2. A short writing sample (non-legal is preferred — in any case, please don’t send your LCOMM memo),
3. A transcript (need not be an official copy),
4. A cover note telling me
- which job or jobs you are applying for (if more than one, please state preferences if you have any)
- your phone number and email address.
- anything else about you that you would like me to know.
- if you are interested in the Robots job, whether in addition to variable duties before then you would be prepared to work up to 15-20 hours per week in March 2014 if necessary.

Saying you saw the notice here couldn’t hurt.

Posted in Law School, U.Miami | Leave a comment

Great University Presidents Understand the Importance of Feel-Good Stuff

A small example of how Donna Shalala is an excellent University President.

In the course of a 13-year tenure as President, the 2006 strike stuff seems increasingly aberrational. As the non-strike of 2013 demonstrated.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In today’s email:

UM to Migrate Email to New Cloud-Based System
The University of Miami has entered into an agreement with Microsoft to migrate its email to a new cloud-based system that will better meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students. Over the next 12 to 18 months, all current UMail email users on all campuses will be migrated to Microsoft Office 365. Your email address will not change.

Actually, I’m still on ALPINE, on a unix box. So my email just works … when it actually gets to me past all the filters, attachment limits, spam filters I don’t fully control, and erratic forwarding out of the Microsoft maze it has to navigate on its way to me.

My refusal to join the Microsoft ecosystem creates some problems when people try to send me meeting invites via Outlook, which I don’t even have on my computer. (“Friends don’t let friends use Outlook.”) The calendar requests are invisible to me. Other than that, I’m much happier than my poor co-workers who struggle with bad search, mailbox limits and other discomforts.

Supposedly 365 will make things better. It will certainly make all our email even more accessible to the NSA.

Posted in U.Miami | 1 Comment