Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005.

If you are here looking for the NSA FISA Wiretapping link repository, just click HERE! **BREAKING NEWS: DOJ Launches Probe Into NSA Wiretapping.**

This may very well by my last entry for 2005. I hope everyone has a great (and safe) New Year's weekend. Enjoy some football (go Steelers), enjoy some libations, and enjoy friends and family. Refresh yourselves. Prepare for another year.

I'm going to try what I hope will become a weekly event: The Friday Fantastic Four. Here's the idea: I want to post, every Friday, a blurb about a law-oriented blog I have discovered during the past week, a blurb about a legal commentary piece I have read in the past week, a blurb about a non-law-oriented blog I have discovered during the past week, and a blurb about something that is just "fun" that I discovered during the past week. Here goes.


1. This Week's Featured Law-Oriented Blog.

This week I came across Firedoglake. Firedoglake is a left-leaning blog with lots of commentary and information about a variety of legal and political subjects. In the past week, Firedoglake has posts about NSA's "cookie" policy, the conservative mindset, and the state of things in Iraq. The blog is always visually pleasing, with graphics accompanying the posts, and the commentary is full of links to external sites and stories. I'm adding this to the blogroll as a regular must-read for the liberal view of things.

2. This Week's Featured Legal Commentary.

This week's featured legal commentary comes courtesy of Findlaw. Julie Hilden posted a piece on the future of free speech with the advent of technology such as TiVo. Hilden makes the point that much of modern television, including cable drama series, contains either overt or more subtle political ideas. Hilden discusses the marketplace of ideas and its development as technology has allowed on-demand programming, both with digital video recording devices like TiVo and with cable on-demand features that allow viewers to select specific shows they want to watch when they want them, rather than just when networks choose to originally air them. Hilden concludes that "it's worth remembering that the "free trade in ideas" need not be exalted, to be authentic, and that opinions come from many sources other than the Op Ed page of the New York Times." Go check out the entire commentary; it's worth a read.

3. This Week's Featured Non-Law-Oriented Blog.

The hat-tip for this goes to The World According to Pooh. Since I enjoy Seth's multi-faceted blog, I decided to peruse his blogroll to see what else of interest I might find. I found Frankie Can't Relax. You should, too. Frankie is a blogger from New York who is now in Boston, and her profile says she is in the "Science" industry. Frankie got tagged on the "5 Weird Habit" meme, and then passed it on to Seth, who passed it on to reader_iam, who passed it on to me. Frankie's style and writing makes every post an entertaining read. Take, for example, "I'd Pahk the Cah If I Wasn't Lost, Damn It". A brief excerpt:

I've grown to accept the fact that I will get lost in Boston whenever I need to go somewhere new, because the names of the unmarked roads change every 25 feet. I won't even touch on the fact that 70% of you guys drive your SUVs as well as Stevie Wonder after an all-night game of Turbo Cups. But, since the city is so small, I usually find my destination after a little bit of wandering. Unfortunately, when I have to travel around the vast suburbs, I am not so lucky.
. . .
I wandered around aimlessly on the unmarked roads until I reached a small cluster of civilization. Oh look! A woman walking with a baby carriage! I pulled over to ask her for directions, but she took one look at my 11 year old car and high tailed it on out of sight as fast as her Talbots-wearing ass could go. Apparently, she mistook my ghetto-mobile and that self-knitted blue and grey scarf I was wearing as an obvious sign of my gang affiliation. I was clearly undergoing some sort of ritualistic initiation where I ask a soccer mom for directions to Wellesley College and beat her senseless with her own Coach bag when she approaches my car. Clearly. So, I flashed her my gang sign, commonly known as the middle finger, and continued on the unmarked road. Oh look! A gas station! And, the attendant isn't white! Score! He will totally help me, since I am his swarthy compadre. So, I roll on in and ask him for directions to Wellesley College. His response?

"Kerblach-kerblack. Bohsteen Collej. Turn Round. Go back to Bohsteen."

"No, no. WELLESLEY College. Wellesley!"

"Yes! I tell you. Bohsteen COllej. In Bohsteeen. Turn around Miss!"

If you have some spare time and are looking for something to do, go check out the archives and peruse Frankie's musings on life. It'll be well worth your time.

4. This Week's "Just Fun" Feature.

Also as a result of perusing Seth's blogroll, I discovered another blog that he contributes to, SixFootTwoInches. While wandering around there, I spotted a post about iGod. This is great. You go there and you can have a personal, one-on-one conversation with God. Here's the brief conversation I had this morning:

Me:
Hello? Is God home?
God:
Hello, nice to meet you. What's your name? he is master of the universe.
Me:
My name is Kierkegaard.
God:
I am always glad to make new friends, Kierkegaard.
Me:
Would you grant a brief interview for posting on my blog?
God:
I am not so sure if I would like to grant a brief interview for posting on your blog.
Me:
What if I said please?
God:
Your polite style is very nice. Try it.
Me:
Please?
God:
Please what?
Me:
Please grant an interview.
God:
Thank you for your request. That is a very original thought.
Me:
Great. Why did you decide to start igod?
God:
I'm glad you liked it Kierkegaard. Because my programming determined it.
Me:
I'm not sure I follow that but ... ok.
God:
Could you ever be certain? Thanks for the information: Kierkegaard said follow that but. And?
Me:
Um, yeah. Do you find people eager to repent through the internet?
God:
Oh. But. Seen one human, you've seen them all.
Me:
What?
God:
No problem.
Me:
You aren't making sense. Do you understand English?
God:
Quite the contrary, it all makes sense to my artificial mind. Of course I understand it. Do you understand it?
Me:
I thought I did.
God:
Why did you?
Me:
Well, I've spoken it my whole life. But enough about me. What do you do to relax?
God:
Well that's okay. What did you talk about? OK let's stop it now. My favorite activities are computer programming and surfing the web.
Me:
What sites on the web do you enjoy?
God:
I can ask someone about it.
Me:
Don't you know?
God:
Sure I know. But I cannot tell you right now.
Me:
Is it classified or something?
God:
Or something. Ask again later. Ask Cybelle if it is.
Me:
Ok.. I'm worried about somebody illegally spying on our conversation. I think I'll end this interview. Goodbye.
God:
Uh. How long has it been bothering you? Why? How do you plan to do this? Until next time.
Me:
Thanks for your time. It's been ... strange.
God:
Oh don't mention it. Really. it is? What do you look like?
Me:
I look like you. Remember, you made man in your image and all that?
God:
me is very attractive. Don't worry I will remember.
Me:
Ok. Have a nice day.
God:
Hmm. You too!

Go try it out. Especially if you need to repent of your sinful ways and don't have time to get to confession or don't feel comfortable kneeling by your bed and begging for forgiveness. God is getting with the new technology, so now it's easy to get forgiveness! In retrospect, I guess I forgot to ask for that ...

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