Monthly Archives: December 2015

Purely Hypothetical Questions

Suppose that one became convinced that a member of the Supreme Court was a racist, or had a bias either in favor of a particular religion or against a particular religious view. Would any of these constitute grounds for impeachment and conviction?

Would your answer to this question turn on whether the views manifested in judicial opinions, or only in in-court colloquies, or only in out-of-court writing or speaking?

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law, Law: The Supremes | 2 Comments

Mark Your Calendar

Feb. 5-6, Justice John Paul Stevens (Ret.), will be the keynote speaker at the UMiami Law Review Symposium: The Constitution on Campus. The symposium will “explore the recurring conflicts between administering institutions of higher learning and the constitutional rights of students. Panelists will provide an in-depth discussion of students’ due process, free speech, and Internet privacy rights.”

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

Darkness at Noon

Light is one of Miami’s signature characteristics. And lately we haven’t gotten much.

In Summer we enjoy a Caribbean sun; it can feel like a slap on the head when you step out of the shade. Then there is the Monsoon season, where it rains every afternoon. But in Winter, we are in a temperate Paradise: sunny, warm, bright.

But not this December, at least not so far. We have had unseasonable rain. Heavy rain alternating with blindingly heavy rain, and puddles so big they amount to small ponds. Thunderstorms. Daily. For a week. And the forecast is for it to continue. And when it’s not raining it is cloudy and dark. On Saturday I overslept badly–really badly–because the light I count on to wake me up on weekends never appeared.

I do grasp that many people reading this will be living in places where the sun rises late and sets early this time of year, and experience has taught me that such people are not in the main terribly sympathetic with complaints about our winter weather. But consider that this season is supposed to be our reward for the brutality of an August that usually runs from mid-May to some time in November, and perhaps you will see why I think Nature is not playing fair this year.

Posted in Miami | 2 Comments

This Is True

Ironically, modern surveillance states are baffled by people who change countries (Cory Doctorow).

Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment

Sorry About the Snow

No, I don’t mean the climatic conditions you may be experiencing while I endure temperatures of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24C-30C) at mid-day here.

I mean the symbolic stuff that fell on the blog today.

It seems that the Jetpack plugin I use has a snow setting and that something turned it on. The story of how I turned it off is a cautionary tale of a little knowledge being dangerous. Ignore the rest if tech talk bores you.

First thing I did was look at the code being served up by the blog. And sure enough, there was a call to a “holiday-snow” module in Jetpack. I turned to Google, which on what turned out to be a careless reading told me I should see a control in the Jetpack configuration settings. So I went to the (very extensive) Jetpack control menu and looked for a snow toggle. No luck.

Worrying it might be a hack I logged into the blog’s server and confirmed that there was in fact a jetpack module of that name sitting deep inside the code dropped in by jetpack.

Since I vaguely remembered running snow on purpose some time in the past, I started to worry that maybe I had hand-coded the call to the snow module. This is a bad practice, one I abandoned long ago for the much cleaner and safer method of using child themes, but maybe it was so long ago…? But, no, all the grepping I tried found no hard-coded calls to the holiday snow routine.

So after wasting a lot of time on this, I went back to Google. There I found that Jetpack works differently on wordpress-hosted blogs (the snow toggle is where you would expect it), and on self-hosted blogs like mine. In those cases, the plugin adds a snow toggle into the Settings > General menu of WordPress, completely separate from the Jetpack > Settings menu where all of its other options reside. I think that’s sort of sneaky, and uncalled for, but if I’d read the instructions I found the first time a little more carefully, I’d have saved half an hour or more.

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