August 20, 2005
August 19, 2005
August 17, 2005
[link via Charles Kuffner]
Part of the tort reformers' narrative is that greedy lawyers push clients into bringing marginal law suits. That may be true in some class action suits in which the lawyer is committed to a certain amount of work regardless of whether the class is large or small but in everyday individual suits, it is almost always the prospective client who is pushing the hardest for a suit to be brought.
The client has been told over and over by the tort reformers and the media that a jury may award him the riches of Croesus regardless of whether he has suffered significant damage and regardless of whether he has been wronged. It is not surprising that prospective clients are eager to collect.
If the tort reformers and the media provided a more accurate picture of the nature of the litigation system, fewer people would be so eager to sue. The tort reformers do not really care if people bring frivolous suits or potentially meritorious suits with small damages. The frivolous suits lose early and often. The trivial suits do not cost much. The tort reform lobby is quite willing to accept an increase in trivial suits if they can create a political climate that allows them to limit the exposure of businesses and insurance companies on the really bad cases. Perhaps the media should expose that game. It would not even have to make stuff up.
August 16, 2005
I'm sorry, but this just blows me away. My father, who died seven years ago at the age of 61, used to tell me anecdotes about his beloved Stars, and their manager during his boyhood years, Bobby Bragan. Bragan used to pal around with a young actor and baseball fanatic named Jack Webb, who according to an apocryphal tale, later decided to playfully wink at his buddy by giving a character he created, Joe Friday, a badge number that referenced a certain legendary baseball statistic. For a few seasons, the Stars decided to play a few games each summer in shorts, drawing the derision of much of the sports media in the country; Bragan was their manager.
In terms of having celebrity backing, the Stars made the Lakers seem like the Clippers. Besides the aforementioned Webb, Jack Benny, Gary Cooper, George Raft, Humphrey Bogart and Laurel & Hardy were regular fans; Elizabeth Taylor was even a batgirl one season. And of course, Raft wouldn't have been caught dead at Gilmore Field (next door to Farmer's Market and CBS-Television City) without his "associates", Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen.
Jeez, the guy managed Carlos Bernier. He managed against the late Gene Mauch, when Mauch was still a minor league player (with the L.A. Angels).
It's like finding out Al Lopez is still alive....
1. The use of racist and sexist vulgarities against non-white bloggers is always uncalled for, no matter what they write. And that even includes someone as racist and vile as Michelle Malkin. Just don't go there.
2. Those who are unwilling to repudiate the bigotry that streams out of websites like Malkin's and LGF have no credibility when it comes to speaking out on this issue. Go fart somewhere else.
UPDATE [8/17]: What he said.
She is Cindy Sheehan, the woman who symbolizes the crystalizing opposition to the war in Iraq. And, according to this blogger, she's doing it all to divert attention from...the Air America "scandal".
As long as we're on this point, why exactly should even the most frivolous, bad faith awards be detrimental to the economy? It's not as if the money leaves the country or disappears; it simply goes from one sector, corporations, to another, consisting of consumers. The ambulance-chasees, as it were, then spend their ill-gotten gains on items such as housing, food, and various consumer items, boosting the economy. The price of goods may theoretically increase to accomodate the higher legal costs, but if more consumers have more money to spend, what's the problem? Why is it more important to protect Exxon or Phillip Morris from boneheaded juries than it is to protect consumers from the same?
August 15, 2005
The Nationals have hosted every team in the National League this year, save Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Frisco, as well as two of the three AL expansion teams (Seattle and Toronto) since 1971. And of course, before moving to Arlington, the Senators played the remaining eleven American League teams. The catch: Washington played in the National League for a few years in the 19th Century; the Reds, Cards and Giants all previously visited D.C. the last time the city had a team in the Senior Circuit, in 1899.
So it's a bit of a disappointment to read Prof. Volokh's list of "supporters" of the insurgency in Iraq. Inspired by the death of an American journalist a few weeks back (originally attributed to the insurgency, but more likely the result of his having run afoul of Shi'ite bigots upset with his plans to marry a local), the professor recently asked his readers for examples of Westerners who support the Iraqi insurgents. By any fair meaning of the term, that should be limited to those who've provided rhetorical support not only for the insurgents' goals, but also those who have cheered their tactics, including the killing of American G.I.'s and murder of civilians.
Of the people mentioned on the site, they are either are marginal political wack-jobs, such as George Galloway, or some professor emeritus back east, or they are people whose past statements have been so blatantly taken out of context so as to earn the most scornful term that can be used by a blogger, "dowdification". That would include the most famous American on the list, Michael Moore, who is there because he compared the insurgents to the Minutemen and the Viet Cong, and predicted that like those forces, they would ultimately win. Anyone who has seen Fahrenheit 911 knows that although Moore opposes the war, he is not anti-G.I., nor has he glossed over the horrors of terrorism.
Another example concerns former British Cabinet minister Clare Short, because she supposedly told a Dubai "newspaper" in an interview that the cause Osama bin Laden was fighting for was "just", and that the insurgents were analogous to the French Resistance during WWII. Criticism of the latter is simply political correctness; the analogy she drew between the Resistance and the insurgents was that they were fighting an occupying army, not that their goals were equally praiseworthy. And the former statement was in reference to a book about bin Laden that Ms. Short was citing to the interviewer, and had nothing to do with whether or not she supported Al Qaeda. Had Prof. Volokh decided to do some actual research on the subject, he might have come across this article, written by the same Clare Short only a few weeks ago:
Well, if you believe the professor, it seems the Right Hon. Clare Short was a supporter of terrorism before she was against it. More logically, though, you could conclude that maybe her earlier remarks were jumbled, taken out of context, or even misquoted.
"Let it be proclaimed without qualification: the messianic millenarianism of Osama bin Laden is a form of fascism that has no place in any society that believes in or aspires to freedom.
But we need to think more ambitiously still. The objective should be to get an international consensus, including the leadership of the Muslim and Arab world, which places all attacks on civilians and non-combatants in a war situation beyond the pale. We have, fortuitously, a series of opportunities to advance this seemingly simple, but until now impossible agenda." (emphasis mine)
If guess if you try hard enough, and cherrypick your source material on Google, you can prove that anybody supports the terrorists. I just thought that wasn't the sort of rhetorical game a law professor ought to play.
NARAL's ad is the leftish equivalent of Roger Simon's blanket condemnations of "objective pro-fascists" behind every tree. It was a stupid, counterproductive ad, and did nothing to weaken Roberts.