Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"I'm a Tenth-Level Vice President!"

Lemme tell you: if I'd known that An Inconvenient Truth was endorsed by Bender, I might have seen it. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You Know What Never Gets Old?

Roman numeral humor.

You know why they call it the DMV? 'Cause it feels like your online for 505 years.

Work with me here, people.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Almaty's Out

2014 Winter Games finalists: Sochi, Russia, Salzburg, Austria, and PyeongChang, Korea.

How long, O Lord, must we wait for a Kazakh Olympics?

Transvestite Gangs of New Orleans

Sarah Celino at Trashy Diva eyes the door, ready to flip the lock at the first sight of the ringleader’s pink jumpsuit and fluorescent red wig.
Am I the only one reminds of the Batman tv series? (h/t: CAEI)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good News, Everyone!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where Have You Gone, Jane Jacobs?

A borough turns its lonely eyes to you. woo-woo-woo

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I, For One, Blame Bart Simpson

It's a Zoo Here

The Monkey does about 50% of the blogging around here. Just so you know.

Where in the World Are They Now?

Ever find yourself asking, whatever happened to Rockapella?

Wonder no more!

she put the miss in misdemeanor/when she stole the beans from Lima

I Was That Area Man!

Classic the Onion: Area Man Could Have Sworn Randy Newman Sang Welcome Back, Kotter Theme. Still, the Lovin' Spoonful (easily the dirtiest name of any band from the 60s) are pretty cool.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Playing with House Money

Ponder: Bernie Williams is the anti-ARod. That is, fans love him for his role in the championship seasons and have such low expectations of him (I, for one, thought he'd be retired by this point in the season) that basically anything positive he does is gravy. Alex Rodriguez, in contrast, has never won anything and makes so much money that if he doesn't go 2/4 with 2 rbi every game he isn't earning his keep. It's not just the slump he's in now; even in his MVP season, Rodriguez was still widely considered a bum.

UPDATE: I meant to add that the above should be considered in light of Matt Yglesias' thoughts on salary caps. Rodriguez might be better off in other respects if he were forced to take less than his market value for his services.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Jean-Luc, I Am Your Father

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Assorted Yankees Blogging

I know Derek Jeter's a gamer, but he's really doing damage the team by playing while hurt. For one, he clearly can't hit right now because of the injury to his hand, and no team benefits from having an automatic out in the lineup (especially one batting in the two-hole). In addition, because he can't field he's having to DH, which means that his presence in the lineup requires that either Andy Phillips or Jason Giambi (both of whom currently are hitting) ride the pine in any given game.

(And yes, I just saw Swisher's inside the park homerun. Cabrera really a good fielder, honestly.)

Better to Be a Big Fish in a Small Blog...

For reasons not entirely known to me, I have failed until now to link to Behold a Pale Horse, the fishing blog that a friend of mine set up a few months back. I mean: fishing! On a blog! C'mon! Until somebody I know starts up a bowling blog, this will be, without doubt, my favorite sports blog. So go, enjoy. But remember, if the post is shorter than three paragraphs, you have to throw it back.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

So Dark the Derb of Man

In which our author free associates.

This excellent Ross Douthat post got me thinking, of all things, of the book I would write if I were a professional historian and/or a pundit of some kind. It would be a comparative history of the Bush Administration's internal debate over torture post-9/11 and the development of Allied strategic bombing (culminating at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) during World War II. The basic idea would be that good people, when faced with an existential threat, when staring, as it were, into the stygian, Derbian depths of just how hostile and uncaring the universe can be, can talk themselves into acts they would have rejected categorically in their pre-crisis life. You don't need nefarious, moustache-twirling malefactors to get the torture of detainees or the deliberate bombing of civilians; it's a temptation to which all people are subject, and which all people have to guard against.

Anyway, read Douthat's piece.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lost (Warrantless) Weekend

Since I was planning to write my SAW on this subject, I thought I should blog on this: the California Supreme Court just ruled to allow warrantless entry into the homes of DUI suspects for evidence collection purposes. (h/t: Jay at Accidental Verbosity) In Colbertian fashion, I'm going to give the Golden State Supremes a combination tip o' the hat/wag o' the finger (that is, a mixed review). [And be warned in all below that I haven't actually read the opinion, just media reports thereof. Which, as we all know, are usually only 50-75% accurate. I will update if, on reading the opinion, I think an update needs to be made.]

Tip o' the hat: the basic idea is sound. States shouldn't treat Welsh v. Wisconsin (the 1984 Supreme Court case basically saying the opposite of what the Cal Supremes just ruled) as some kind of special carve-out for drunk drivers who manage to make it home. Welsh was premised on the idea that, because drunk driving was not a felony under Wisconsin law, traditional exceptions to the warrant requirement available when the underlying crime was a felony (such as "hot pursuit") did not apply.

So, cheers to the California Supreme Court for displaying some basic common sense: California treats DUI as a serious crime; it should therefore, like any serious crime, potentially serve as the basis for exigent circumstances justifying warrantless entry and search. (Particularly since it's a crime in which there's a 100% likelihood that the accused is engaged in the destruction of evidence, simply by metabolizing the alcohol in his system.)

But, my wag o' the finger to the Cal Supremes: from the media reports, at least, this seems like a pretty lousy set of facts on which to justify such a warrantless entry and search. The police were acting on a tip from a neighbor; based on this, they went to the accused's house and found her car there. This clearly isn't "hot pursuit"; they weren't the ones following the erratically driving Thompson to her home. It seems from the facts that to have applied for a warrant would not have substantially delayed their arrival or resulted in any meaningful loss of BAC evidence above what took place anyway. So while I think the court's general principle is correct, this was a lousy case in which to announce that principle. Even DUI-based searches have to comply with the basic rules governing warrantless searches; we shouldn't go from one unreasonable carve-out (protecting drunk drivers) to another (protecting overzealous police).

UPDATE: I should say that my imagined "good" case for such a rule would look something like as follows. Police come upon the scene of drunk driver A's wreck. Following tire treads and a trail of debris and damage, they come upon A's house, where A has partially wrapped his car around a tree. They then go into A's house without a warrant and find him drunk on the floor. They then arrest and administer a DUI test. The above strikes me as a reasonable description of what the outer limit of hot pursuit would look like in the DUI context. (Hotter pursuits include actually chasing a drunk driver to his door - surely nobody thinks that once he's crossed his threshold the police must give up pursuit until they can get a warrant.)

I also wanted to mention, briefly, the perverse incentives created by the Welsh scheme. It created a circumstance in which the rational thing for a drunk driver to do, once he got into an accident, was to start driving again. Once you got home, you were effectively safe from any DUI test, since you would have metabolized much of the evidence of your intoxication by the time any police arrived with an arrest warrant. And without a test that prosecutors can point to to say "his BAC was X over the legal limit" there's virtually no chance you'll even be prosecuted, let alone convicted. The Welsh rule effectively shields drunk drivers who manage to make it home from liability, creating real incentives for the intoxicated to drive more (which, whatever your view of the wisdom of harsh drunk driving laws, is probably not what we want them to be doing). That's why I think some version of what California's trying to do is sensible.