iPads, banks, civil liberties, and rock

Tabbed browsing and the massive computing horsepower of today’s desktop computers are great, but for me they tend to produce the ongoing problem of large numbers of open windows that stay open day after day, week after week, waiting for me to read or blog or otherwise act upon them. Time for a little window cleaning. Here’s what I have open — and what I’m closing — now:

  • Ani DiFranco on Mountain Stage: A live concert which I listened to after seeing Ani live in Laramie, Wyoming, a few weeks ago, and being blown away by her performance. I think it was my sixth time seeing Ani live, and it may have been the best show of them all.
  • Music from Elevator Ride: He just released another great track and I’ve kept it open to stream at will. Of course, you can also download the tracks, which I have done and highly recommend, especially “No One Ever Talks Like This” and “Escondido.”
  • Because We Can: A little essay about why anything is worth doing disguised as an offhand thought about running.
  • Public Defender Revolution: The best new public defender blog I’ve read in years. I just keep it open to reload it every day in case there’s something new. It’s that good.
  • Work-Life Balance Is A Fantasy:
    “A lawyer gets out of balance when he prioritizes work above all else,” Dolan says. “This is a common response to pressure from the firm and within oneself. Work is a great hiding place. It is where many lawyers feel most alive and most safe. They succumb to the illusion of control while at work because there they are in charge. The work is a shield against the world of personal, intimate relationships or the mysterious, unwritten dynamics of marriage.”

    True. Important. Easy to forget.

  • Why We’ll Miss ‘Law & Order’: I just wondered, because I always found the show to be obnoxiously toxic and antisocial in its anti-defendant/pro-cop and pro-prosecution bias. According to Garrett Epps, I’ll allow I may have been mistaken. When did it change its focus to corporate/white collar crime?
  • Trails.com: Because I’m really craving a good hike.
  • A month with the iPad: Surprises and disappointments: I just want to be a well-informed potential consumer. It’s a cool toy. I don’t see how it would fit into my life at all so I don’t really want one (very much), but it’s still a cool toy.
  • Who are the real winners in Europe’s bailout?: You’ll be shocked to find the answer is: Big Banks! Why are people all over the world bailing out banks!? Hmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with the Shock Doctrine.
  • New target of rights erosions: U.S. citizens:

    The most recent liberty-abridging, Terrorism-justified controversies have focused on diluting the legal rights of American citizens (in part because the rights of non-citizens are largely gone already and there are none left to attack). A bipartisan group from Congress sponsors legislation to strip Americans of their citizenship based on Terrorism accusations. Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield and with no due process of any kind. The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow “public safety” exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduce legislation to bar all Terrorism suspects, including Americans arrested on U.S. soil, from being tried in civilian courts, and former Bush officials Bill Burck and Dana Perino — while noting (correctly) that Holder’s Miranda proposal constitutes a concession to the right-wing claim that Miranda is too restrictive — today demand that U.S. citizens accused of Terrorism and arrested on U.S. soil be treated as enemy combatants and thus denied even the most basic legal protections (including the right to be charged and have access to a lawyer).

    That’s a lot of what I find so incredibly disappointing about the Obama administration — its perpetuation and extension of Bush’s attack on the constitution. Check out Greenwald’s links to more info about the above, but only if you want to be incredibly depressed.

  • How to write a short story: On a lighter note because I’m still trying to figure this one out.

Cool links from cool people

Half of babies born in rich world will to 100. That’s going to be hell on social security. New York City’s PS22 Chorus is really surprisingly great. I especially love their version of The Cure’s Pictures of You. I guess Ashton Kutcher does, too, which means I am cool or a tool, and I am not asking you to decide which. Meanwhile, thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on. I never would have thought to put a hyphen in bumblebee anyway, so I’m not going to be a crybaby about it, and neither is my pot belly.

And just so you know, information really is beautiful — just look at where all our money goes. So basically, um, we give most of our public money to the military industrial complex and the banking/financial sector. These appear to be incredibly efficient means to transfer public dollars into private hands. OMG I love this country!

Speaking of which, whatever you think of President Obama’s Nobel Price, you have to agree with the U.S. State Department that we’re making progress when the world is throwing accolades at our leaders instead of shoes.

Also, They Might Be Giants are making music for kids and they performed and talked about it on Science Friday a while back. I did not know the sun was no longer a mass of incandescent gas, but now I do. This information makes me a little sad, but I think I will survive.

Oh, and also also, a year ago today I moved to Chicago. *sigh*

62 Tabs!?

Ok. I have a problem. I see lots of links and cool things online I’d like to read, link to, or otherwise enjoy, so I open them in tabs in Firefox. And then I see more cool things and open them, too. And then I end up w/62 open tabs and my poor little G4 iBook says, “What do I look like, a brand new Mac Pro?” So, here’s what’s getting closed (and trust me, you don’t want to read what follows unless you’re insanely bored; it was just something I had to do, some housecleaning, really. You don’t normally want to watch someone clean house, do you?):

  1. Confessions of a Burned Out Ex-Lawyer, an online novel/book I began reading months ago and to which I hope to return. I might have posted about it before but I really can’t recall. Great reading, though.
  2. The Underdog Blog’s comments on Barry Cooper’s Never Get Busted video. Looks like Cooper was the model of a bad cop. So is he different simply because he admitted he didn’t care about the law?
  3. Twitter, because it’s basically always open these days, just in case.
  4. Reasons prosecutors make me scream from Woman of the Law. Ditto! Amen, sister! One prosecutor in particular is always telling me how well he knows my clients — he seems to think he’s their best friend, he knows exactly what’s wrong with their lives and boy, does he know how to fix it! One of these days I’m probably going to punch him. If I don’t, somebody else will.
  5. A January 15 NPR story on the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments about an illegal search. I can’t seem to make NPR’s media player work at the moment, but I know it was a very interesting story, really. I promise.
  6. MOO MiniCards— I really want to order some of these and start giving them out instead of my normal boring business cards. On the back I’d like to print an advice of rights so my clients can keep my card and give it to the cops the next time they meet them. ;-)
  7. The Vow of Stability, a link I followed from my best friend’s blog. It’s a compendium of thoughts on travel, most tending along the lines of the following from R.W. Emerson:

    Travelling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the Vatican, and the palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.

    Sadly, I have not really had the opportunity to travel in close to a decade. I know Emerson is largely right (wherever you go, there you are), but still, my giant needs some air once in a while and it’s really beginning to feel like it’s time….

  8. Doubtslinger, both because it’s always good, and because I read it on my Treo daily and often just want to check out the real thing. And also, could there be a better name for a public defender blog? I, um, doubt it. (Please, though, why must people use black backgrounds!? Why why why? My eyes!)
  9. Don’t do what I did: An ABA Journal article about a 32-year old law school graduate crusading to convince people that they should not go to law school because the debt they will incur will shackle them to decades of servitude and they will be miserable and stressed and wishing they were dead. (I might be exaggerating.) Some interesting discussion in the 200 comments… (Yeah, I posted about this before.)
  10. The ABA Criminal Justice Blawg Directory. I commented on this before, too. Both tabs now closed, I swear!
  11. tough loss, a post from 1/10/08 on Curia Advisari Vult about how hard it is to lose when you are absolutely convinced of your client’s innocence. Tough, indeed.
  12. An obscure comment on Fight ‘Em ‘Til We Can’t about whether the Montana Rules of Ethics actually allow a lawyer to get paid for referrals.
  13. LibraryThing, which looks like a pretty cool way to catalog the books you’ve read or want to read or own. It also integrates nicely with blogs so you can easily share your catalog…
  14. War on Greed, a campaign to get presidential candidates to commit to closing tax loopholes that allow rich executives to pay less in taxes than do their impoverished employees.
  15. QOOP flickr fun — many different ways to turn your photos into cool stuff.
  16. Taking Care of Business, a book about the myriad evils associated w/the fact that corporations are treated as “individuals” w/rights by American law.
  17. A Rookie Guide to Digital SLR Cameras, because, well, I just was curious.
  18. Host, the David Foster Wallace essay I mentioned before and still haven’t read.
  19. Why I Do What I Do from The Saucy Vixen on Life on how tiresome it is to have to explain the work of a public defender and the one argument that actually works: “by defending the rights of the indigent, my cohorts and I are defending the rights of everyone.” Exactly so.
  20. An iPod charger/FM broadcaster from Buy.com that was only $12 when I first looked at it, and has now jumped to $32. :-(
  21. A Reader’s Guide to Infinite Jest from Amazon.com, because I still sometimes dream about being pseudo-scholarly.
  22. Elegant Complexity, a study of Infinite Jest, because, again, yeah, like I have the time.
  23. I know what you’ve been convicted of from the blog, “a public defender,” on the merits of putting all criminal records online in searchable format for anyone to browse on a whim. Generally not at all what I think was intended by the idea of making criminal records “public.”
  24. 500 GB hard drive I’ve been thinking of ordering b/c it’s a good deal and I need more storage. I have nightmares about hard drives crashing and not having backups…
  25. Journler, a journal application that looks pretty cool, if you don’t already have something like this.
  26. Shawn Blanc’s review of MarsEdit, a desktop blog publishing app.
  27. cameron i/o, a tumblelog that’s using the new chyrp blogging engine (see below). It’s a different way to blog, and perhaps more appropriate for what I find myself having time for these days. Experiments forthcoming, maybe.
  28. Chyrp. You know you want to.
  29. Amazon’s Best Books of 2007, as if I have time for that. See, lots of these links are about dreaming, aspirations, hopes, tangents, ephemera…
  30. Amazon magazine deals because I was thinking of subscribing to some magazines for our office’s waiting room.
  31. Snopes.com on Barack Obama — a friend told me he’s afraid of Obama being a muslim terrorist b/c of what he read on Snopes.com, so I wanted to see it for myself. It’s largely a fabrication and a smear. Obama is most certainly not muslim, although his father was.
  32. Another smear that Obama is Muslim, found in the same search session as above.
  33. Obama’s own website on whether he is a Muslim: No.
  34. FactCheck.org says Obama is not and never has been a muslim.
  35. Not for Sheep, because puppies are cute, super villains are cool, and my website is 75% evil.
  36. The source of the black heart I posted on V-day.
  37. Apparently we’re all liars: Another great post from Woman of the Law on the many frustrations and aggravations of being a public defender.
  38. Be the Boy, a blog I reached only god knows how.
  39. Myths and falsehoods about Barack Obama from Media Matters.
  40. Law & Order SVU Valentines. Sadly I didn’t find these until after V-day….
  41. Blonde Justice, an Explanation, in which she discusses how her move from public defender to private practice has been very much disappointing. It’s striking because I never would have dreamed from her posts while she was a PD that she was at all depressed or unhappy; perhaps she’s right that she needs to get back to doing what has meaning for her.

You know what? That’s so more than enough. You’ll just have to trust me that there were 62 tabs open. Thbbpt!