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Abusing US Attorney Carmen Ortiz

I’ve been following some of the discussions about the prosecutorial conduct that may have lead to Aaron Swartz’s suicide, but I haven’t posted anything about it because it didn’t seem all that unusual, except for the suicide, which is not really all that unusual either. I didn’t initially understand why so many people are heaping […]

Addicted to Harlotry — Part 3: Capital Investment

In Part 1, I introduced the concept of rational addiction and argued that failure to account for it causes us to underestimate the benefits that other people receive from certain activities, which may lead us to believe that there is something unnaturally wrong about their high levels of consumption. Then in Part 2, I explored […]

Zero Dark Thirty – Short Review

Zero Dark Thirty is a terrific spy thriller. Almost nobody mentions that. Everybody talks about the controversial issues raised by Catherine Bigelow’s new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden — the use of torture, the slam at criminal defense lawyers — but if you can set aside your differences with the politics of […]

The Harlot’s Addiction — Part 2: Difficult Jobs

In Part 1, I introduced the concept of rational addiction and speculated that failure to account for it causes us to underestimate the benefits that other people receive from certain activities, which leads us to believe that there is something unnaturally wrong about their high levels of consumption. A recent example of this is NRA […]

Certificate of Greed

How screwed-up is the economics of our healthcare system? So crazy that stuff like this happens all the time: The proposal by Vista Health System to build a $131 million hospital in Lindenhurst would add more beds to an area that already has a substantial surplus, according to a report released today by the staff […]

The Harlot’s Addiction — Part 1: Rational Addiction

A few weeks ago, Maggie McNeill, the Honest Courtesan, wrote about the use and abuse of the word addiction: The belief that people can become “addicted” to things that do not produce chemical dependency (food, sex, the internet, etc) is fallacious in two ways.  The first, which we have discussed before, is a confusion of […]

Why I Prefer My Readers

Today I happened to read a tweet from @furrygirl: It may seem like a childish metric, but as a general rule, you know how effective your activism is by how fiercely the state comes after you. She should know. In 2011, out of curiosity, she sent off FOIA requests to several government agencies for her […]

I’m Sorry, But I Simply Can’t

Over at Defending People, Mark Bennett is explaining to lawyers how to decide when to reject a potential new client, and what to do about it. I have developed, and I suspect that most criminal-defense lawyers develop, an intuitive sense for when we shouldn’t take cases. I get myself in trouble when I ignore that […]

Racist Mental Violence

Every once in a while, some unknown douchebag (I don’t believe the email headers) sends me an email something like this: Hi Mark, Did you see this article? It’s about Racial violence over Christmas season — all over the country. More than a dozen episodes. All in the last month or so. Thought it might […]

Pow!

So, a six year old schoolboy makes the shooting gun gesture with his finger and the idiots at the Roscoe Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland decided to suspend him. They’ve now backed down, but there is apparently some controversy over whether he just pointed his finger or whether he also said “Pow!” Here’s […]