16 April 2009

Tea-Smoked Sausages

Before getting into the miscellany, a note on the Google Book Search settlement: There's a decision deadline coming up on 05 May 2009. Don't wait until the last moment to opt out or file an objection. And, although this is not legal advice for any particular situation, I am unable to discern any set of circumstances in which participating in the proposed settlement by doing nothing makes economic sense... and that's leaving aside the serious legal problems with the proposed settlement. Unfortunately, due to behind-the-scenes machinations and conflicts created by past representation, I can't go into much more detail (in a forum like this, anyway) on those legal issues until after the "deadline" passes.

On to the sausage platter:

  • Some thoughts on "wetbacks" in the Cabinet... with the caveat that one gets a lot wetter across the Pacific than across the Rio Grande. This is a nation of immigrants, and the sooner the bigots who proclaim otherwise will acknowledge that, as Mr Egan says, "from a Native American perspective, those Massachusetts Bay pilgrims were illegals," the better. Except, of course, that they'd claim that it wasn't illegal — it was just something that the Iroquois (et al.) had never considered. That, too, is revealing of something else: That history is written by the winners.
  • Overenthusiastic fanboys are involved in more than just piracy of bad emo: They're pirating your phone calls. This is a surprise, particularly after the USA Totalitarian Regime Activity Incitement To Obscure Reality Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56?
  • Here's an example of everything that is wrong with legal and professional publishing, starting with the identities of the parties and going rapidly downhill from there. The real problem is that this has some interesting implications for trade publications... interesting in the sense of "may you live in interesting times." Ask yourself whether, in this instance, professors from certain law schools get book contracts because they're what passes for celebrities, which is admittedly more than a little bit pathetic.
  • Yesterday, it was income taxes; today, it's sales taxes. I prefer the income taxes... especially since sales taxes are all too often imposed on transactions that shouldn't be taxed at all (like purchasing books).
  • Snakes on a plane. But these were cuddly ones — they just want to give everyone a hug.