Following Up and Following Down: June 2022

High Summer in the ‘Hood

We’re halfway through 2022 and WC can’t even get the year right in his documents. Heck, half the time WC can’t even get the day of the week right. But, ready or not, it’s time to have a look back at the last month, touching on developments, worrying about missed stuff and working through whatever else the Magpie Principle lights upon. As ever, no journalism has been committed in writing this blog post.

Alleged human being and con artist Alex Jones is in even more trouble. His clumsy attempt to avoid trial on the defamation case brought against him by Sandy Hook school kids’ parents by putting his three businesses into bankruptcy was a complete failure. Even before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court could determine it was a bad faith filing – or force Jones personally into bankruptcy under the doctrine of substantive consolidation – the plaintiffs simply dismissed the business defendants and proceeded with their case against Jones individually. Now Jones’ lawyers want out, whether because they are sick of putting up with Jones’ antics or as another cynical ploy to delay trial,1 now set for July 6. Unless the current lawyers can find a sucker substitute, the current ones are stuck with their nasty little tar baby, at least through trial. Good luck with that.

WC notes that the Major League Baseball team the California Angels has fired its manager, Joe Maddon. The Angels, despite having an immensely talented team, had lost 13 games in a row. Maddon is modestly important to WC because he was the Chicago Cubs manager in 2016 when the Cubs finally broke their 108 year losing streak and actually won a World Series. WC was tempted to send the Angels owners a copy of a sign his former partner Dave Bundy had hanging in his law office: “The floggings will continue until morale improves.”

The effort by the New York Attorney General, Letitia James, to force dissolution of the National Rifle Association continues. Like all complex litigation, it’s messy in process. But the NRA’s counterclaims against NYAG James were dismissed by State Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen. The NRA was whining that it was selective prosecution and politically motivated. Judge Cohen found,

The investigation followed reports of serious misconduct and it uncovered additional evidence that, at a bare minimum, undermines any suggestion that was a mere pretext to penalize the NRA for its constitutionally protected activities

New York Supreme Court judge Joel Cohen

If you needed proof that the NRA continues to believe it is above the law, consider this: it is still represented by the very expensive, very unsuccessful William Brewer III, the lawyer who, for millions of dollars in fees, helped lead the NRA into the legal swamp in which it presently finds itself.

WC thinks every nature photographer lusts after a better camera. Certainly camera manufacturers do everything they can to create new products, with new and compelling features, as often as possible.2 But it is possible for those camera makers to go too far. An example of going beyond the pale would be Leica’s new gold-plated Model M10-P camera. WC isn’t making this up; for just $50,000 or so you can have a limited-edition gold Leica M10-P camera to celebrate the coronation of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Available with or without green crocodile leather accents. No, thanks.

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the iPhone. Few consumer convenience devices have had a more profound impact on our culture than Steve Jobs’ combined telephone, music player and internet browser (the camera wasn’t included in the first iPhone). It has changed photography, popular music, telecommunications and the world wide web, among other things. And spawned a news industry: the app store. We may not all have flying cars, but smart phones are a decent tradeoff. Is there an app for that?

WC earlier this month chided the Matanauka-Susitna School District for ignoring the real problems confronting their schools and students and instead wasting time and energy on a nonissue: the possibility of female trans students competing against “real” female students. WC should be clear that the Mat-Su school board isn’t the only governmental body attacking rainbows; the Idaho Legislature passed a similar ban. And there’s already expensive litigation over it. WC has never meant to imply that the Valley has a monopoly on stupid.

WC will have a longer post on this later, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v, Wade has to be mentioned. The decision is a permanent, festering wound in the credibility of the SCOTUS and the five justices who joined the majority. The opinion, authored by Justice Alito, is an insult to logic, precedent and the personal honesty of the five justices involved. The third branch of our federal government has succumbed to politics. The consequences are much worse than the attack on women and their bodies.

And we are interplanetary litterbugs. NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover photographed this:

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Zoomed in:

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s a piece of thermal blanket from the rover’s descent in early 2021. Blowing the in winds of Mars, fetched up against a rock. So we are evidently already trashing the Red Planet. You’d think those clever NASA engineers could devise a means of insulation that doesn’t generate windblown trash. Apparently not.

On a more cheerful note, WC can report that the average intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives took a small step up with the primary defeat of the detestable Madison Cawthorn, who will now have to exercise his vile fantasies somewhere else. WC has no illusions that Chuck Edwards, who defeated Cawthorn in the primary, will be that much better, if he wins the general election. But, thankfully, he won’t be Madison Cawthorn. WC compliments to the good citizens of the 13th District of North Carolina.

That’s a wrap. It’s high summer in Boise, Idaho. WC has to go huddle by the air conditioner vent now.

1 Smart money says it a ploy; Jones’ lawyers are about what you’d expect to be defending a douche bag like Jones.a

2 No, this isn’t a thinly disguised plea to Mrs. WC to buy the new Canon R3 mirrorless camera. Not only can WC not afford it; supplies are ridiculously constrained.

a WC’s apologies to douche bags everywhere.

One thought on “Following Up and Following Down: June 2022

  1. I would very much like to hear your thoughts on Roe – especially on Thomas’s concurring opinion and the right to substantive due process.
    Fan of the 14th Amendment


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