Is that a problem?

I don’t know much about the “likelihood of success on the merits” part, but I am impressed by the way another traditional element of the injunction question comes out–a little something we call “weighing of harms”:

In various countries, plaintiffs have sought court orders to halt the operation of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, with the most extraordinary of allegations: that the experiment may create a black hole that will devour the Earth.

Up until now, the various lawsuits filed against the LHC have faltered. But if the right kind of claim is filed in the proper court, a judge may soon have to face the question of whether an injunction might be needed to save the world.

That Eric Johnson knows how to get your attention.  Read the whole thing, while you still can!

Guide to haters

About a month ago I published a lengthy discourse, doomed to obscurity, in which in my somewhat pedantic way I tried to tutor my Dean’s World buddy, the often open-minded Aziz Poonawala, on what he should and should not be sensitive to–in his role as Islam’s ambassador to the rest of us, I suppose–in terms of what we Juice Jews consider a “blood libel.”  It came up in the context of Charles Johnson, Aziz himself and a tale he later regretted passing on that the Israelis were preparing biological weapons:

My point is this: Antisemitism is an important element of gentile anti-Zionism. They are not the same, but those who claim that they are unrelated are, well, antisemites, actually. And when Israel is accused of committing war crimes, or preparing to; and these war crimes are redolent of medieval accusations of well-poisoning as well as the classic blood libel, you can see a certain similarity: The Jews are claimed to be agents of not only mayhem but bearers of malefaction, poision, offal into the otherwise pure nature of things. This, then, is not such a nutty analogy.

You’ve got to understand these things.  In fact, the real dedicated anti-Semites do come in all sorts of sizes and varieties, much like a can of mixed nuts left out in the August sun for a couple of weeks.  And now, thanks to Meryl Yourish, they bloggy kind have been thoroughly categorized in a new taxonomy of online little Hitlers:

Eight years ago this spring, at the height of the suicide bombings of Yasser Arafat’s terror war known as the second intifada, I started blogging about Jewish and Israeli issues. This, of course, brought out the anti-Israel crazies. I came up with a corollary to Godwin’s Law to describe these trolls: “In any internet discussion area concerning Israel, politics, or religion, the probability of anti-Semitic comments approaches one.” (In fact, I’ve seen comments threads that have absolutely nothing to do with Israel, politics, or religion still devolve into anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing, but that’s a post for another time.)

And so, based on the thousands of comments and emails I’ve read over the years, both here and on other blogs and media sites, I present The Blogger’s Guide to Anti-Semitic Comments Trolls. Below are the some of the types of anti-Israel commenters I’ve identified over the years, but the list is by no means complete.

Bloggers:  Consider yourself guided!

What hump?

In certain cultures, lying is not an issue.

In most cultures, lying about Israel is not an issue.

But for Palestinian “leaders,” lying about Israel is the default position.

A new generation of barbarians

And I’m not talking about the left, people.

Sadly, not.

I wonder if perhaps William F. Buckley did die in vain.

Verizon agonistes

I have this new Verizon FIOS service at home. (I replaced our old proprietary — and incredibly costly — Internet filtering with free service from OpenDNS.)  After it was installed — well, after it was re-installed, the first installation having been done wrong — I have really enjoyed having that sort of broadband speed at home.

We’re not media downloading people, we Colemans, so it’s not that.  It’s just the browsing experience, and, for me, I can really experience true virtual commuting; using LogMeIn I can work at my office desktop from home with almost no perceptible lag.   I also really appreciate being able to upload big files fast, something I sometimes have to do when filing legal papers online by a deadline that is all of a sudden bearing down fast.  Not only this, but the pricing is great; with all that bandwidth I was able to completely drop my extra landline, which despite the best efforts at phone service discounting was so laden with taxes (“fees”) that it was an utterly unjustifiable luxury just for dedicated faxes to home.

If only Verizon didn’t so absolutely stink!

These guys are constantly, constantly pushing you to their incredibly powerful-looking customer-interfacing website for customer service.  Seeing as how you have to fence on the phone with a talking computer anyway, you give it a try.  And look at all the buttons to click!  It’s true one-stop shopping! Here’s the warning sign:  It only “really” works with Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Short of requiring you to get access to it via AOL, that’s about as grim a warning sign as you can get.

And so it goes.

Nothing — nothing — works on the Verizon site.  And when I say nothing, I mean of course pretty much nothing, or a majority of things you want to do once you get there.  THIS is not available “at this time.”  THAT is not available “at this time.”  THE OTHER just hangs up.  Please come back later.  Please try again another time.  Please call customer service.  Only not now, ok?  And so on.  And so on.  And so on.

I knew this already.  I knew it years ago.  I just kept hoping against hope that this offspring of the great Bell trust had really begun to understand how to serve customers, and that one of the main things you do to serve them is not make promises you can’t keep — including promises of things websites can do but which they really can’t.  And that one of the corollaries of that is not to push your customers to that resource when it is not even remotely up to the job.


Verizon is fast, all right.  But it seems that once a monopoly, always a monopoly.

Verizon is still just the phone company.

There’s no such thing as “underfunded” for our Uncle

Kenneth Anderson asks, are underfunded public pensions underfunded public pensions $2 trillion in “stranded” costs?

One question about these obligations is whether taxpayers will stick around to pay them, or instead will vote with their feet. . . . Many of these pension obligations have been incurred by municipalities and others by states, and in some cases the obligations are intertwined. But what happens if voters-taxpayers move out? The assumption has long been that taxpayers are stuck, on account of jobs and other circumstance. But query whether that is necessarily true as the baby boom generation retires.

That’s why the baby boom generation won’t ask us.  This will be will “resolved” by the stroke of a pen — the same moral hazard pen that bails out everything else; and why should state governments be worse than all the other failed states of corporate America?

Federalization, people.  We can run, but we can’t hide.  (Via Insty.)

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman