Morgenbesser was leaving a subway station in New York City and put his pipe in his mouth as he was ascending the steps. A police officer told him that there was no smoking on the subway. Morgenbesser pointed out that he was leaving the subway, not entering it, and hadn’t lit up yet anyway. The cop repeated his injunction. Morgenbesser repeated his observation. After a few such exchanges, the cop saw he was beaten and fell back on the oldest standby of enfeebled authority: “If I let you do it, I’d have to let everyone do it.” To this the old professor replied, “Who do you think you are, Kant?” The word “Kant” was mistaken for a vulgar epithet and Morgenbesser had to explain the situation at the police station.
- Three Google employees were convicted for failure to comply with Italian privacy code for a video that was placed on Google Video by Italian students. It seems kind of absurd and far away and not too serious, but it could have serious implications for the future of the internet freedom and innovation.
- Eugene Volokh advocates for simple language in legal writing. As someone who is currently reading a lot of legal writing, I have found I really appreciate when someone can use very simple language to convey very complex ideas. Quoted from one of Prof. Volokh’s later posts on the issue: “Smart writing generally stems from smart ideas, not fancy words.”
- Gordon Brown successfully makes the United States look immature and unsophisticated regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
- A really interesting case study in education is coming out of Central Falls (RI) High School. Here is the NYTimes story. And a three part Examiner piece. Just to pique your interest: they fired all the teachers and staff in the high school.
**Note: We at La Flog always appreciate reader input. At this time of year, with how busy we all are, we (especially me) would appreciate any contribution you would like to make to this blog. Even (especially) if you’re just sending me (sjfredericks (at) wisc (dot) edu) links to interesting news from elsewhere on the internet. My time for seeking out interesting articles in limited.