April 27, 2010
h/t Topless Robot
I was attempting to read through the Ninth Circuit's opinion regarding the grant of class status to all female Wal-Mart employees, past and present, but it's 138 pages and no. Just. No. I do not hate myself enough to slog through that long of a decision on the FRCP and class certification at this moment in time. Just. No.
Then I read through Judge Kozinski's dissent. One paragraph that neatly and utterly summarizes my view of the case. Read it. It's a thing of beauty. (All you have to do is go to the last page of the document)
I do think it's important to remember what was decided. All this decision is about is whether or not the class would be certified, not whether or not Wal-Mart discriminates against women as a corporate policy. This was a split ruling, the class sought was every woman who worked for Wal-Mart ever. The class certified was the current female employees with remand for further findings on the prior employees.
Here's my completely and totally uninformed opinion - look, statistically, some manager at Wal-Mart discriminated against a woman because she was a woman. The sheer numbers involved make that probable. I find it utterly improbable that there is a corporate policy to do this. It makes no financial sense. Lumping every single woman who works at Wal-Mart into one pool makes no sense. The job classifications don't mesh, the supervisory oversight, the competency of the employee and on and on are just too different. I cannot possibly see this withstanding scrutiny even under the ridiculously loose terms for class certification. Before everyone says "oh hey Ninth Circuit of course it will be overturned" remember that whichever side lost was going to take this up. If it was 6-5 the other way, it would still go up.
I cannot believe I'm defending the Ninth Circuit, but here goes. The case law on class certification is all over the place. There were rule changes that were supposed to improve things that just made it that much worse. The Ninth Circuit is pretty much betting on which way the Supremes would come down. Both sides have legal support for their positions. Bluntly, I would have made sure this was a 6-5 decision to kick the Supremes in the head to make them take the case.
I love that dissent though. That's bench slapping at its finest.
I know, I know, it's a very tired trope but imagine if this happened to Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, etc., etc. It would not be a funny story about how stupid Palin was to have her account so easily hacked. It would be A Tragic Story Of The Hate For Women and whatever.
The story is fascinating in that it appears that the defense is conceding that he did it. At least, that's how I take it. You know, this is actually a pretty serious thing. Hacking into someone's email is serious business, more so when it's a public figure.
So, yes, it'll be interesting to see what happens here. And to see if the media gives a crap.
What I didn't know is that he grew up dirt poor and hungry and became a decorated war hero before building a multi-million dollar empire of car dealerships from the ground up. This brief profile from the LAT is fascinating. I especially liked the story of his very first car lot.
(By the way, when I was a little kid, I quite innocently thought that the lyrics in his commercials were "Pussy cow, pussy cow, pussy cow," not the actual repetition of "Go see Cal." I have since found others who misheard the lyrics in similar ways.)
April 26, 2010
Editor gets his house raided.
Now, I guess one could argue that it was on suspicion of possession of stolen property? But if you read the whole story as presented by Gizmodo (clearly biased and pretty much douchebags most of the time) it seems they made attempts to return it as did the first guy.
So, law-talking peeps. What's the haps?
My personal theory is that anyone who has ever read Atlas Shrugged feels a burning need to get revenge on the society that allowed it to be published but thats just me. Matt Taibbi has a more nuanced view:
When the globe was engulfed in the flood of defaults and derivative losses that emerged from the collapse of the US housing bubble two years ago, few understood that the crash had its roots in the lunatic greed-centred objectivist religion, fostered in the '50s and '60s by ponderous emigre novelist Ayn Rand.Maybe we can burn her in effigy.
This was based almost entirely on the Randian belief system, under which the leaders of Goldman Sachs appear not as the cheap swindlers they look like to me, but idealised heroes, the saviours of society.
In the Randian ethos, called objectivism, the only real morality is self-interest, and society is divided into groups who are efficiently self-interested (the rich) and the ''parasites'' who wish to take their earnings through taxes. Rand believed government had virtually no natural role in society. She conceded police were necessary, but refused to accept any need for economic regulation.
I admit that I am not a Rand fan but that is because I find her entire philosophy amoral and at the same time hopelessly utopian. It's not because the idea of efficient self-interest, which is central to almost every economic school, except Marxism, is wrong.
There is a chance that some additional regulation may have avoided the worst of the abuses associated with the CDOs, but that isn't a given. If the banks were truly engaged in fraud and not just being criminally stupid they would have found another way to proceed.
But, if you read to the end, you might get a reward anyway.
Anyway. In the interests of blogging integrity, I will start with a disclaimer that I work in the video game industry. I'm also an avid gamer, so, aside from gaming being near and dear to my heart because it keeps the paychecks rolling in, I also just like to game. So I pay attention to gaming stuff.
Several states have tried to pass legislation regulating the sale of Mature rated games to minors. Every state that has tried to pass such legislation has been, in turn, bitch-slapped by State Supreme Courts, who have overturned the legislation under First Amendment protections. The working theory is, if we can't regulate the sale of movies, or music, or books, then we can't regulate the sale of video games. It is a protected form of speech. And, frankly, gaming is becoming more and more the societal norm. Not all gamers are pasty virgins living in Mommy's basement any more.
Let's take a look at that, shall we?more...
THE POWER OF BOOBS COMPELS YOU!
Look, this could be random chance so I believe the experiment should continue.
Dita agrees. (Of course it's below the fold, it's Dita though still KSFW)
Here. Let me contribute some more evidence to this experiment. Have some Rosario Dawson. (below the fold since KSFW)
Sadly, I'm not showing cleavage today as I'm at work and those bastards don't deserve my cleavage I'm a professional. I do plan, however, to honor the awesome power of boobs throughout the day.
Let's start with that Lane Bryant commercial, shall we?
April 25, 2010
But at this point, shouldn't he drop the "Power Glutes" nickname and go for the "Flabby Glutes"? I mean, he hasn't been missing many meals recently.
Possibly. I don't see how you can lay odds on that. All we have is a sample of one.
I do know that I wouldn't want to be on the planet where Earthlings landed.
We are not to be trusted.
Just ask the Iroquois. They thought they'd made some new friends.
I also don't know if they'd just plunder the Earth.
Gabe at Ace's is right, there are better places to get stuff, places like asteroid belts without hostile aliens (us) and a gravity well.
I think Gabe's wrong about space being too big. First, multi-generational, interstellar travel is possible. What if they sent a probe thousands of years ago, it checked out Earth and saw a nice planet without intelligent life, it sent something back with the message and now they're almost here?.
Or maybe faster than light travel is possible. I hope so.
Or they send something in suspended animation.
You can't really place odds on what they'll be like, but there's a few possibilities it seems to me.
1. They want to live here. That means they live with us either peacefully or enslave us, kill us; eat us or any or all of the 4.
2. They're interstellar traders and they just want to trade for stuff.
3. They're raiders. Imagine if the interstellar equivalent of the Dread Pirate Roberts just happened to end up here? They'd have a blast and we wouldn't know how to dial interstellar 911.
4. They're the galactic version of Jehovah's Witnesses and they just want to talk to us about Jesus.
5. James Hogan has a book about aliens sending out robotic factories that use the resources to make a lot of factories, spread across the planet and then send stuff back to the home world. Hopefully an alien civilization who made that would have the scruples to make sure it doesn't plunder places with life, but who knows?
I'm absolutely sure there's lots of aliens out there.
I think the universe is infinitely large so there are an infinite number of planets so there are an infinite number of planets with life on them so there are an infinite number of planets with intelligent life on them.
When we meet the ones close by, I want it as equals, not with us as planet-bound inferiors.
Well, I am all for saving a child's life, and if a tent helps in the process, all well and good. But I know of something that works better. Something that the eco assholes had banned from junk science and conjecture (gee, junk science and conjecture fucking things up in the name of some phony altruistic good? That can't happen, can it?). That thing?
Yup. You fucking eco assholes helped spread death and despair in Africa by getting DDT banned, primarily from a stupid fucking book. How do you feel, green goatses? You fucking happy that people are dying from a disease that could easily not be killing people, save your stupid fucking stupidity?
Or, do you not fucking care? Are the deaths of countless poor Africans worth some sketchy bullshit "science"? If that is the case, you lefties are fucking disgusting fucks. And you deserve to get fucked up your limp dicks with the very malaria spreading mosquitoes you helped protect by your bullshit.
Well, let me tell you why I don't care. Every time something like this happens, the publishing organization hears threats (Comedy Central in this case) but where is the wave of moderate muslims expressing their belief that hey, its okay. Freedom of speech is important and we, like every other religion, have a sense of humor.
So, how about this? We'll call off Draw Mohammed Day if we hear one, just ONE, major American Islamic organization express their support for South Park's right to free speech.
Otherwise, fuck them. I hope the kinds of people that would be offended by Draw Mohammed day ARE offended.
After all, nobody has a right not to be offended and we're not exactly doing this to make friends.
We're holding Camp OFA training sessions across the country, to make sure that OFA supporters like you have the skills you'll need to make it happen.Do the graduates get, say, uniforms? Or, at least, armbands?
Oh, daaaaaaamn! Suddenly Godwin, right?
(Although, if you want to send me an e-mail discussing terms—no, no, NO. I mean, wait, my parole officer says I'm not supposed to do that kind of thing.)
Anyway, I'm asking because you'd better find out whether or not they're being shown this fucking Marxist trash (the original, not the rebuttal) in their classrooms:
The other three parts can be seen here.
h/t Huckleberries Online
April 24, 2010
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