97 thoughts on “June 8, 2012: A Fair Fight”

  1. In case anyone is interested, the ordination service tonight is being streamed live. Go here and click the link for the ordination service. The service starts at 7:00.

    1. just got home. looks like i missed the ceremony. hope everything went well (your holiness).

  2. Sheenie and I are headed up to Duluth around 330 today for the MS Ride. The forecast is now mid 80's to 90's with a 15 mph headwind both days. Thanks to all of you who have donated. It's great knowing there is such a caring community out there even if we've barely met.

    1. My SiL is doing that too.
      My wife may be there to cheer y'all coming back into the Cities or something. (Vague on the details. All I know is that I'm staying home with at least the youngest two kids.)

    1. I saw one in around...2005? 6?...in the Metrodome. There were a lot of "Let's go Cubbies" chants. The Twins won (and I think they swept the series) but the chanting continued on the light rail. When some Twins fans got surly and asked them to shut up, it quickly became this maudlin lovefest where everyone bonded over how much they hate the Hosers.

          1. Yes! I was there for that game. Freealonzo was as well, he's got there was a great pic of the street outside Wrigley crawling with Twins fans.

            Da Heckler was in attendance as well (as you know).

            EDIT - I gave free too much credit

            1. i think i went to the game after that one. and yes, wrigleyville was crawling with twins fans. bert randomly walked by us out on the street.

            2. I wasn't at the Milton Bradley game. I was at the game after. But there was a huge Twins contingent. Twins down by 1 run in 9th and with guys on base and there was a huge "let's go Twins" chant. Cubs fans around us were stunned.

    2. I went to a game the first time the Twins were in Wrigley (when Princess Di died) and I remember a squeeze play involving Molitor and Pat Meares. I also remember watching a person get robbed on the El.

  3. Grantland:

    LeBron James choked by scoring just 15 points in the second half, including a mere four in the fourth quarter, as Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat overcame his nervy effort to beat Boston 98-79 and force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals. In frustration, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra benched James for the final three minutes of the game in favor of Juwan Howard, who is no longer ambulatory.

    1. I posted this on bookface, but seems appropriate here as well.


      It would be fun to turn NBA commenters loose on a Rock-Scissors-Paper tournament sometime:




    1. I realize some will argue that I am not qualified for this position, but it would be just as easy to argue that no one is qualified for this position.

      I see his ability to properly appraise the strength of arguments has already failed.

    2. At The NYT Board Meeting:

      Member 1: We need a new ethicist!
      Member 2: The most important thing is to hire someone who will help us sell papers!
      Member 1: Wouldn't it be more ethical to find a person who knows what they're talking about?
      Member 2: I don't know, that's a question for our ethicist.

    3. This comment made me smile:

      Witty? Chuck Klosterman is what passes for witty these days?
      -kat OH

    4. Normally Moss would delight in such an evident train wreck. Unfortunately, in this case, there just may be people out there who give this tool and his writings undeserved credibility because of the imprimatur of the NYTimes, and in the sphere of ethics that could be downright dangerous.

      1. Yeah. This has really wrecked my morning for exactly this reason. I've been snarky in response, but actually I'm terrified.

        1. Well, apparently you're just what the readers are looking for.

          I like Klosterman's work, but I was really hoping The Times would reach out to some renowned ethics professors who would share with readers -- in an accessible, perhaps even witty way -- how some of our daily conundrums have been discussed or resolved by philosophers past and present. Chuck, please don't reinvent the wheel: Ask A Philosopher before you submit each week's column.
          -Christiana Mineola, NY

          1. I think there is a strong current in our society that says "ethics doesn't take practice, anyone can do it, and all opinions are valid." I think that's as foolish as saying "comedy doesn't take practice" or "anyone can perform surgery" or "all scientific theories are valid." Just like any field of thought or performance, practice, preparation, education and experience are all relevant to being good at what you're doing.

            Once upon a time I had a conversation with a cousin of mine who is studying to be a doctor. He thought the fact that he was a med student and knew people who were smart enough to professors - both of which clearly indicated general aptitude - meant that he was just as good, if not better, at bioethics than the actual bioethicists I encountered in law school (one of whom happened to be the head of the President's bioethics council, or whatever they called it). My cousin absolutely refused to back down from his position that med students - who didn't study the topic and discussed it marginally in the one class they were required to take on the subject - were just as good at ethics as ethicists.

            1. Well, those who aren't trained ethicians still ponder and practice ethics, whileas non-surgeons don't perform surgery and probably aren't thinking about the best way to cut into people as they fall asleep at night.

              Comedy is a more apt comparison, but you and I and others are constantly attempting comedy here and there. You may not be a professional comedian, but I found you and your pigeon funnier than the sum total of all Robin Williams material I have encountered since I reached the age of majority.

              1. It's not just about training, of course. It's about practice and exposure and such too. So yes, people who routinely pay attention to these issues and think about them as they fall asleep at night are going to be much better at it than people who don't.

                Really, the thing that makes a good ethicist isn't being "right" or "wrong" so much as it is being able to handle a wide range of issues and arguments with an appreciation for nuance and an ability to distinguish relative strength of arguments. Non-ethicists might still be just as right as an ethicist on an issue, but for a totally inferior reasons, and ethicists might come to a wrong result, but to get there they'd be examine far more relevant issues.

                1. I should probably say too that there's a reason I'm comfortable broaching this subject here - I expect people here will either be the type who actually think about these issues with some regularity, and therefore are better at doing so, or will acknowledge openly that they're not just as good as the experts. I'd say that personally, I fall into both classes. I've seen how good some of the ethicists out there are, and I know that I'm nowhere near that (especially since I've left school and I'm not routinely writing papers and reading books on the subjects, etc.).

                  1. All I can say is that I personally know the Ethicist at the New York Times. I'm not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by that. When you are, like me, from a very, very small town, it is always something when a local boy does good. I've always been happy for Chuck, even if I don't really understand why he's been so successful. I guess I'm just embarrassed for the New York Times.

                    1. That link was the first time in years I've read anything from the New York Times. Afterwards, I clicked on a few of the other links to see if I'd been missing anything. After reading the reader-submitted essays about whether or not to eat meat and seeing the result of the poll on which essay was the best, I really don't care what their new ethicist adds to the discussions.

                    2. I don't mean to besmirch Klosterman specifically, I just mean to suggest that ethics is a very real and important thing in which there are trained thinkers, and it troubles me that people tend to approach it otherwise, a problem which may be both borne out by and exacerbated by the NYT's decision. Who knows, maybe Klosterman will be fantastic in the role. I hope he is.

                2. OK, so now I've read the column. So, it's just like a Miss Manners column only with morals rather than decorum as a guiding principle? I remove any reservations I may have had. After being published in Spin and the Onion, this is just another odd feather in Klosterman's cap. Anyone writing in deserves whatever advice they get, but it good or bad. Nothing in the column itself bothered me, though I didn't give any of it critical though.

  4. My soon-to-be 17 year old son got a landscaping job for the summer making $15/hour. Which is more than my wife will make with a Master's Degree and heading up the preschool at our Church (something to start thinking about Strat).

    So my question: Should I be charging him just room or room and board both?

    1. Free do you have my e-mail? If so shoot me a note.

      Re the amount of cash your son is making is more than I've ever been paid at an hourly gig. Absolutely. Boo.

    2. You want me to head up the preschool at your church? Done!

      The girl is set to start at a Jardin Magico on Nicollet as soon as a spot opens. She is a Spanish-speaking daycare right now and she LOVES it: she specifically told us she wants to go to a school that has nice kids and teachers, a fun playground, where they speak Spanish.

      Say, is it Incarcation? That might check all the boxes too.

      1. I have a co-worker who goes to Jardin Magico and loves it too. My wife heads up the pre-school at Annunciation (54th and Lyndale). I don't think Incarnation has a school anymore but a different organization uses their facilities.

        Meat, I don't think I have your e-mail.

        You can e-mail me at my "handle" comcast.net

        1. It's great - the kids spend an hour outside everyday, all meals are prepared in-house from scratch, and per hour costs less than most everywhere we looked.

          My mom had a similar job at St Thomas (our church grownig up) and was working on her Masters before life got in the way. It's an admirable job, but their reward will have to be in heaven, because it sure ain't here.

      2. i worked at a montessori preschool right in your neighborhood. while i think it was a great place, i think the "wouldn't be a part of any club that would have me as a member" rule might apply.

    3. Wow, $15/hour. When my hourly rate hit that high, I was exempt and putting in 55-60 hour weeks. What in the heyull.

    4. My in-laws had this deal for my wife and I've heard others do it and we'll probably do the same for our boys. If they are in school of any kind, no charge. If they are out of school, then they need to start paying room & board or find their own place. We won't charge if they are on summer break but still planning on going to school in the fall, etc. Of course, car insurance, car payments, etc. are different issues.

      1. While I didn't have to pay room and board on summer break, I was expected to work full-time to help share some of the costs the next school year.

    5. I pay the neighbor boy that mows my lawn $25 a pop. We recently priced a pro company at $31. He brings his own mower and uses his own gas.
      Beginning this summer, he's had a friend do half of the work and now does a few more yards on the street. He emails me always like one or two days before I'd probably email him to mow, at the point where yeah, it's ready but it could wait a bit. One or two days trimmed off each inter-mowing period adds up to at least $100 extra for the summer.

      I quite enjoy his entrepreneurial spirit.
      Next summer, after his senior year in HS, he'll probably do the scheduling and collection, but leave the mowing entirely to others.

    6. My soon-to-be 17 year old son got a landscaping job for the summer making $15/hour. Which is more than my wife will make with a Master's Degree and heading up the preschool at our Church (something to start thinking about Strat).

      So my question: Should I be charging him just room or room and board both?

      I believe that this is a question for the Ethicist.

      1. Perhaps KISS has a song to address the situation. If not, where else will we be able to turn?

  5. pretty cool oral history of the wire (h/t gleeman).

    one of my favorite parts [massive spoilers abound]:

    Spoiler SelectShow
    1. I knew "of" them, but hadn't ever heard them until about 2 years ago. Caught part of a show one day and realized why my father-in-law raved about 'em. They are smart, funny fellas.

    2. It should come off as no surprise that other citizens are fans of this show but it is one of my favorite programs. I listen every week either live or on the podcast. Both my father and I will be bummed out by the news.

      xkcd on Car Talk.

  6. the Twins are playing team with a poorer record than them. Twins are 22-34. Cubs are 19-38.
    Twins still have the worst record in the AL, but only 2.5 games behind KC (24-31)

  7. I am watching this crazy Poland-Greece game. This ref is handing out cards like mad, and now ejected a goalkeeper. I have never seen that!

    1. Just to be clear, it is a design patent, not a utility patent. Moss, a patent attorney, frankly doesn't even understand design patents.

      In short, this is not something to get lathered up about.

      1. This is most certainly not my area of expertise, but if the patent is on the wedge design (appears to be from the drawings provided) and the standard is substantially similar... well, I'm not sure what the outcome is exactly but I reserve the right to get lathered up about it.

      2. I didn't realize there were design and utility patents. That's two things I've learned today!

    2. At least their rights aren't held for infinity - 1 day. Or include criminal penalties and statutory damages for infringers.

        1. I'm not a big fan of design patents, but they are (I think) for the most part pretty limited. Like Moss, I'm not really sure what kind of coverage that they provide. But, the right is 14 years from issuance. That's it. The patent holder has to sue and prove damages. There is no criminal prosecution.

          The world was a better place when copyrights had a finite term and things covered under copyrights actually passed into the public domain. Something is wrong when Joe Schmo can be hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties for illegally downloading a few songs. It's cheaper and less punitive to beat the hell out of someone!

          1. Yeah, the statutory damages for copyright violations drive me crazy. I took copyright my first year of law school and learned immediately that the whole system is a sham, designed to protect the financial interests of big companies and not to, as the Constitution says, "Promote the Progress of ... useful Arts."

            I'd honestly like to see a serious constitutional challenge to the current copyright scheme, premised on the framer's intent. It'd lose, but it might get some attention and cause some progressive momentum towards improving the current system.

            1. I suppose the costs of suing people into oblivion is cheaper than trying to find a way to modernize the distribution system.

              1. Ah yes... I remember now. We basically just sat around talking about why that case was wrong a whole bunch. I feel like my professor had a bunch of academic reasons why it could be tried again, with a better posture and such. It was a long time ago though...


                And now that I think about it more, I think the professor's position was that eventually congress would extend the term again, and at that time there was a good chance such a challenge would be more successful than it was in Eldred.

                1. Only if the court has a different make up, I would assume. I have no doubt but that the term will get extended again. That industry has bipartisan "support".

                  1. Anything more I would add would venture much too far into the forbidden topic. But... "yes."

          2. I'm surprised they haven't tried to modernize these codes at all. I don't think the laws were written to apply to a digital file that's being duplicated online.

            1. The copyright codes are "modernized" every time Disney's copyrights are about to expire. They're updated to extend the length of copyright and increase the fines attached to violating the laws. They system just keeps getting worse and worse.

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