Links and Minifeatures 03 08 Thursday

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Wow. Just wow. Kevin Aylward of Wizbang! has pursued a precise definition of exactly what C-Span's policy is and will be in regard to its content. He won a very important liberalizing (in the enforcement sense) victory, as detailed in his post detailing the issues and the resolution.

Let all citizens stand and give Kevin a hearty "well done." Doesn't matter if you're left wing, right wing, or somewhere in the mushy middle. Kevin has won a victory for all of us.


I've started getting referral hits from craig's list in other cities. It seems other folks are using my articles as references to help people understand aspects of the transaction. The plus side is that this is good publicity, not that there is much bad publicity. The minus side is that my income from advertising and donations doesn't pay for the expenses of the site, and this is likely to unbalance it further by increasing my bandwidth bill. Must think about this.


Observations on Jury Duty

(not guaranteed to be original, or even of merit)

I basically go to downtown San Diego for one reason: Jury duty. I've been called seven times in the nine years since I left government employment, while only twice in the thirteen years before that. One would think that statistically, the government is avoiding calling calling folks they have to pay the salary of. Or, to put it another way, if you want to avoid jury service, work for the government.

Bluetooth has led to a dramatic difference in the dress of the people who wander around talking to voices that only they hear.

Jury service seems designed to force you to sit around without getting productive work done. When they're asking for eveyone's attention on the PA every two minutes and reading a list of three names, your train of thought is always getting interrupted. No biggie if all I'm doing is straight line deduction and awareness. But creative work requires my full attention. Can't they just read all the names of all the people who didn't fill out their jury service form perfectly all at once?

Voir dire needs to be fixed. The number of preemptory challenges the lawyers get is way too many. The jurors are supposed to represent the community, and pre-emptory challenges frustrate that. The lawyers can exclude anyone for any good reason, they only have to get the judge to agree. But given eight or ten pre-emptory challenges, it's not hard to see how they might use them to systematically exclude jurors whose profile might cause them to believe their sympathies ride with the other side. Well, hello! These people are nonetheless members of the community, and should be on juries. Reduce the number of pre-emptory challenges to one per side. Until and unless that's done, of course, the silver lining is that I'll never get picked for a jury. I don't have to lie, shade the truth, or do anything except what I do here, which is tell the truth as I see it. Like clockwork, one lawyer or the other will excuse me as soon as they have the opportunity. I'll bet I can spot the winning case by which lawyer isn't excusing the people with even a portion of a clue.

I'm in voir dire limbo, or even purgatory. Called for a panel at 2pm, it was 3:20 by the time they admitted us to the courtroom and started the process, and this judge either has political aspirations, or is in love with the sound of his own voice. Talk talk talk, and it could be said in a fraction of the number of words. After a little over an hour of this, the one thing I have made up my mind on is that I despise this judge who frivolously has wasted our time with his talking, even though I'd probably like him if we met at a party. But he isn't holding me a captive of the state at a party, and I also strongly suspect oral diarrhea was at least a contributing factor to the inefficiency of the courtroom in getting started. I'm not going to say anything about the case or even whether it's civil or criminal, but there is zero chance of me getting empaneled here. Certain of the questions they have asked indicate that in this particular instance and for at least one of the issues, I have a strong disposition to favor one side. However, they only want the top twenty four jurors to answer at this point in time, and I'm not that high on the list. If the judge hadn't talked the hind end off a donkey, we would likely have gotten far enough in the process to excuse me. The upshot is, I've got to waste at least half the day Monday (not Friday), always a hectic day anyway, coming back only to be told, "You're excused." Nor is there any give in my schedule Monday. I can't just work later. So a lot of stuff that needs to get done on Monday is going to spill over and be late on Tuesday, all because this judge has a recto-cranial inversion. If he didn't, I'd be done with jury service now. As would, I suspect, several others.

I did manage to make a Monty Python joke, sotto voce. At one point another court person interrupted to come in and have the judge a slip of paper. He had by this time said, "I don't know" or "we don't know" enough times to start a drinking game based upon that, if we were able and so inclined. So when he was handed the slip of paper, I asked, just loudly enough to be heard by my neighbors, "What is the terminal velocity of an unladen swallow?" My neighbor on the left had trouble containing himself. "African swallow or european swallow?" would have been better, I admit, but I got my point across.


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Yikes! I've been sending people to your site as well. Didn't realize that would cause problems.

Dan Melson said:

Not a real issue, and I thank you, Ruth. I'm just trying to think of some way not to lose money on the site that doesn't involve taking advertising from the scum of the earth. Even Google pay per click doesn't handle that well. BlogAds does, but so far there have been very few takers, IMHO because the only things these clowns can sell is negams to the unsuspecting.

I make about $25/month from Google, and bandwidth alone is about $30 for the two sites, of which this one is the lion's share.

Please be civil. Avoid profanity - I will delete the vast majority of it, usually by deleting the entire comment. To avoid comment spam, a comments account is required. They are freely available, and you can post comments immediately. Alternatively, you may use your Type Key registration, or sign up for one (They work at most Movable Type sites) All comments made are licensed to the site, but the fact that a comment has been allowed to remain should not be taken as an endorsement from me or the site. There is no point in attempting to foster discussion if only my own viewpoint is to be permitted. If you believe you see something damaging to you or some third party, I will most likely delete it upon request.
Logical failures (straw man, ad hominem, red herring, etcetera) will be pointed out - and I hope you'll point out any such errors I make as well. If there's something you don't understand, ask.
Nonetheless, the idea of comments should be constructive. Aim them at the issue, not the individual. Consider it a challenge to make your criticism constructive. Try to be respectful. Those who make a habit of trollish behavior will be banned.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on March 9, 2007 12:08 AM.

"You've Got Something I'm Interested In, But I Don't Want to Pay You" was the previous entry in this blog.

The Escrow Process and Reasons for Falling Out is the next entry in this blog.

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