Email to my usual UM Law address has been down for the last 24 hours due to multiple hardware failures of the law school’s network hardware. Barring miracles, latest projections don’t have it up until Monday if then.
If you need to reach me, or have tried recently to reach me, please use the following formula until further notice:
where you make the appropriate substitutions for “myfirstname” (michael) and “mylastname” (starts with an “f”).
Electric shock study suggests we’d rather hurt ourselves than others:
[A] new study that forced people into the dilemma of choosing between pain and profit finds that participants cared more about other people’s well-being than their own. It is hailed as the first hard evidence of altruism for the young field of behavioral economics.
Seems like every time the Miami-Dade Public Library system has a computer upgrade, their nifty search plugin gets lost in the shuffle. The MDPLS website recently had a major face-lift, with equivocal results on the desktop, but a much better look on my cell phone. And yes, again, the link to the search plugin vanished. And again I wrote in to complain. And again they were very very courteous in replying — I got three emails in less than two weeks, each apologizing for the delay in resolving the issue.
And now there is a new Library Tools page, with a link to install the MDPLS Quick Search browser plug‑in.
This is the same library system whose budget the Mayor keeps slashing by the way. The library is one of the rare cultural successes of Miami-Dade county — and if you live here MDPLS deserves your support.
Some Coral Gables residents are getting a Spanish alternative to the English-language attack ad aimed at Mayor Jim Cason. It’s clearly a targeted mailing as I did not get one.
I think this one is perhaps going to be slightly more effective than the English one:
The main message is more streamlined: Cason is a big spender.
The image at the bottom left on which “Coral Gables” appears (via Photoshop?) on the label of a liquor bottle is a particularly interesting touch. Are they trying to suggest Cason is living it up on the taxpayer’s dollar? Or that he’s a big drinker? Seems below the belt either way.
Note that this mailer, like the English-language one, is sourced to “Citizen Action Inc. 1172 S. Dixie Hwy #250″.
The Tampa Bay Times has a story about an “alternative spring break program” in which a group of UMiami Law students work in a mobile clinic to help undocumented long-time US residents get deferments from deportation. The story leads with my former Torts student and later research assistant:
Paulina Valanty arrived at the clinic for undocumented immigrants at St. Clement Catholic Church with more than a passing interest.
Valanty, 23, a law student at the University of Miami, used to live in the shadows, worrying about being deported.
“I was undocumented until I was 20. I was very afraid,” she said. “Any time I applied for anything and saw that little box that says ‘Social Security number,’ I was afraid. It was nerve-racking just looking at it.”
Valanty, who today is a citizen, regularly attends clinics like the one held at St. Clement on Tuesday to help young undocumented immigrants seek a change in their status.
Under a modification in federal laws last summer, undocumented immigrants who arrived here as children, brought by their parents, can apply for a deferment to avoid deportation.
Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch — who just a few days ago was still going, if a bit weakly — has died. The NYT has a very readable obituary, which notes,
Besides his sister, a former dean at New York University whom he saw regularly in later years, Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself, as an old friend put it a few years ago.
Koch’s generally successful tenure was buoyed by his outsized and quotable personality but stained by what could most charitably be called insensitivity to New York’s racial problems; to a distant observer that insensitivity sometimes looked more calculated. It’s odd to read again about the many scandals involving Koch’s associates that brought him down; that isn’t what sticks in memory nearly as much as Koch dooming his run for Governor by knocking upstate as too rural and Albany as devoid of a decent Chinese restaurant.