January 28, 2012 archive

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Part 3 of 4 of the Season 2 Finale.  This weekend’s episodes originally aired February 25, 2005.

Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace

On this Day In History January 28

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 337 days remaining until the end of the year (338 in leap years).

On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominates Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. After a bitterly contested confirmation, Brandeis became the first Jewish judge on the Supreme Court.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Brandeis quickly earned a reputation in Boston as the people’s attorney for taking on cases pro bono. Brandeis advocated progressive legal reform to combat the social and economic ills caused in America by industrialization. He met Woodrow Wilson, who was impressed by Brandeis’ efforts to hold business and political leaders accountable to the public, during Wilson’s 1912 campaign against Theodore Roosevelt. Brandeis’ early legal achievements included the establishment of savings-bank life insurance in Massachusetts and securing minimum wages for women workers. He also devised what became known as the Brandeis Brief, an appellate report that analyzed cases on economic and social evidence rather than relying solely on legal precedents.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (November 13, 1856 – October 5, 1941) was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Europe. He enrolled at Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of twenty with the highest grade average in the college’s history.

Brandeis settled in Boston where he became a recognized lawyer through his work on social causes that would benefit society. He helped develop the “right to privacy” concept by writing a Harvard Law Review article of that title, and was thereby credited by legal scholar Roscoe Pound as having accomplished “nothing less than adding a chapter to our law”. Years later, a book he published, entitled Other People’s Money, suggested ways of curbing the power of large banks and money trusts, which partly explains why he later fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture. He also became active in the Zionist movement, seeing it as a solution to the “Jewish problem” of antisemitism in Europe and Russia, while at the same time being a way to “revive the Jewish spirit.”

When his family’s finances became secure, he began devoting most of his time to public causes and was later dubbed the “People’s Lawyer.” He insisted on serving on cases without pay so that he would be free to address the wider issues involved. The Economist magazine calls him “A Robin Hood of the law.” Among his notable early cases were actions fighting railroad monopolies; defending workplace and labor laws; helping create the Federal Reserve System; and presenting ideas for the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He achieved recognition by submitting a case brief, later called the “Brandeis Brief,” which relied on expert testimony from people in other professions to support his case, thereby setting a new precedent in evidence presentation.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, his nomination was bitterly contested, partly because, as Justice William O. Douglas wrote, “Brandeis was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible. . . [and] the fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court.” He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22 on June 1, 1916, and became one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the high court.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan


Space President Newt


       Making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, large posters at an Osaka department store trumpeted a “Fuckin’ sale” with everything 20 percent off.

   Also from the good people in Osaka, a burger joint was advertising a “Fuckin’ yummy hamburger!!” We’ll take two … fuck yeah!

   Coming of Age Day in Japan saw a record-low 1.22 million people who will turn 20 this year, the fifth straight year the figure has decreased.

   The decline marks the first time the number has been less than half the record of 2.46 million set in 1970.

   “The roughly 620,000 men and 600,000 women comprise 0.96 percent of Japan’s population, down for the eighth consecutive year,” according to an estimate by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

   An ornery 65-year-old Japanese man was arrested by FBI agents in Hawaii for assaulting a flight attendant on a Delta flight from Tokyo to Honolulu. Apparently, the guy “hit the flight attendant once with an open hand and once with a closed fist after drinking multiple glasses of wine.” So he hit the bottle then hit the stew.

   A court in Kobe found a former president of West Japan Railway not guilty of professional negligence over the 2005 high-speed train wreck in Hyogo Prefecture that left 107 people dead when a train hopped the tracks and hit an apartment building.

   The US magazine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which created the so-called “Doomsday Clock” in 1947, said in a statement there are still “approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons [in the world today], enough power to destroy the Earth’s inhabitants several times over.”

   A researcher in Hokkaido has concluded that marimo balls-“a type of green algae that grows in a round shape”-have been spread around the world from Japan through migrating birds.

   ANA passengers who flew on the airline’s Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” on New Year’s Day got a nice greeting from staff wearing long-sleeved kimonos while bearing gifts and souvenirs.

   A marathon in tsunami-hit Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture was held once again this year, attracting some 1,500 runners, although the course did have to be altered due to the events of March 11.

   A very pissed-off Chinese dude threw four Molotov cocktails at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul because, he says, “his great grandfather on his mother’s side died of torture while fighting against Japan’s colonial rule,” according to a report from the Yonhap News Agency.

   Three crew members from a disabled North Korean fishing boat found drifting off Shimane Prefecture were shipped back home via China. A fourth man, who had died, was also heading home in a body bag.

Popular Culture (Music) 20120127: A Brief History of The Who. 1975

If 1974 had been a bizarre year, 1975 was more structured in some ways.  Several events happened in 1975 that were important to their financial security, for both good and ill.

The most significant events of 1975 were the release of the motion picture Tommy, the release of The Who by Numbers, and the beginning of a huge tour of Europe, the UK, and North America.  Now, there were certainly some problems associated with all three of these events, but 1975 turned out to be a pretty good year for them.

However, Townshend was not a really good frame of mind for much of the year.  He was very unhappy with his place in the band and whether or not there even should be a band called The Who, at least with him in it.  It is sort of an interesting turn of events that kept them together, and there is more on that later.


How can it be illegal to live in a house before there was a law saying it was illegal to live in a house.

Simply because I present the evidence in a letter from Charlene saying she lived in my house in 1964 with three other families also living there that does not present evidence that these three families were not living there illegally even if I present evidence that there was no law saying that three families living in a single woodframe constructed building built in 1907 was not illegal in 1964.

Know it or not, like it or not your personal housing options have changed.

In-law apartments are “illegal”.  No, if you have space in your house and want to take care of Mom or Dad in their golden years,  fuggedabboudit.  There are far more costly options available to an industry which has targeted that most frugal and prosperous parents of baby boomer generation.

As to rules, building codes, fires, fire prevention and people, firefighters dying in “illegal” buildings well.  A death, anyone’s death in such an instance is tragic but allow me to submit the other motivational factor driving “safe” suburban American existence.

Profit margins of insurance companies.

We, statistically, used to kill 55,000 per year in America but that was before airbags, seatbelts and the saturation of road space trafficwise which prohibits attaining speeds fast enough to cause any damage in the first place.

Did your auto insurance rates go down?

Marriage rights in New Jersey: local voices

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to clear then Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act (S1 and A1, identical).  WHen Senator Kip Bateman, R-Somerville, voted No, a member of the audience yelled, “Chicken!”  There was a crowd of about 150 onlookers at the 4 hour meeting, with only about 25 against marriage equality.

At the same time as the meeting, Gov. Chris Christie was in Bridgewater calling for a voter referendum to be placed on the 2012 ballot, transparently trying to affect New Jersey’s voting for president.

And he actually had the audacity to say,

The institution of marriage is too serious to be treated like a political football.  I would hope the Legislature would be willing to trust the people the way I’m willing to trust the people.

Chris Christie

Republicans are all for letting the people vote on equal rights, unless they vote in some way contrary to what they want (see Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire et. al.).