I’m on record as thinking that it’s inappropriate to blame Sarah Palin or any other source of fiery political rhetoric for the horrific shooting that took place in Tucson on Saturday. I said it in real time as facts were coming to light; I said it on Twitter.
There are any number of reasons why psychos like Jared Lee Loughner try to kill people. I don’t think political rhetoric is a useful reason to focus on. The long view of history shows that crazy people will twist any number of words into an excuse for violence.
You can’t talk to crazy. You can’t reason with crazy. You can’t know what crazy will do to your words. I mean, people have used the words of Jesus Christ (a hippie pacifist who hung out with prostitutes and lepers) as a call to violence, bigotry, and hate. If Jesus can’t craft an ironclad message that defies misinterpretation, how can we say that Sarah Palin somehow created a culture of violence? Sorry, but I refuse to live in a world where the rhetorical skills of Sarah Palin explain anything.
Instead, I’d like to blame a much more obvious culprit…
* Law students: when filling out end-of-semester course evaluations, refrain from telling the professor that she “is kinda hot” but needs to “[l]ose a few pounds.” [PrawfsBlawg]
* Speaking of hotties, Elizabeth Wurtzel actually likes Sarah Palin, and (accurately) observes: “The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans.” [The Atlantic]
* Five Michigan Supreme Court benchslap their former colleague, Elizabeth Weaver — who secretly recorded private court deliberations and is now releasing transcripts. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Advice from Asian-American attorneys: a report on the recent NAPABA convention. [Law Riot]
Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch, but she won’t be mistaken for a legal scholar either. In last night’s debate, when asked by moderator Nancy Karibjanian to name a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision with which she disagrees, O’Donnell came up empty. After Karibjanian noted the important responsibility that senators have to vote on appointments to the Supreme Court, this exchange ensued:
KARIBJANIAN: What opinions of late that have come from our high court do you most object to?
O’DONNELL: Oh, gosh, um…. Give me a specific one, I’m sorry.
KARIBJANIAN: Actually, I can’t, because I need you to tell me which ones you object to.
O’DONNELL: Um, I’m very sorry…. Right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot. I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.
Maybe this Mama Grizzly needs to crawl back to the den and curl up with some slip opinions?
But wait! We offer a defense of O’Donnell, who partially redeemed her initial flub, plus video — after the jump.
Earlier this year, David Kernell, 22, was found guilty of hacking into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! account and posting some of her emails on the Internetz. The Palins were pleased by his conviction.
One of the places where Palin’s correspondence wound up was the (enter-at-your-own-risk) message forum 4chan.org. During the course of the April felony trial, 4chan founder Christopher “Moot” Poole was called to testify. The Smoking Gun dug up and posted the transcript from the testimony yesterday. Federal prosecutor Mark Krotoski asked Poole to explain how 4chan operates and how it keeps track of its users. He also asked him to explain some “Internet speak.”
The testimony is a handy guide for those of you who get confused by the slang used in online comments sections. How does one define a “lurker,” “troll,” or a “b-tard”?
Arthur Culvahouse, chairman of O’Melveny & Myers, was in charge of vetting Sarah Palin and has been taking some heat.
But Culvahouse has more to worry about than the National Enquirer. Culvahouse is locked in a high-stakes political battle to keep his chairmanship at O’Melveny. O’Melveny’s policy committee, which recommends the chairperson subject to ratification by the full partnership, failed to select a clear winner over the past few weeks.
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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