Random thoughts through September 3

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Sep 03, 2012 Random thoughts through September 3

On Sundays, I sometimes veer well beyond the law in my blog entries, including the following post that collects my week’s random thoughts on the law world and beyond from my Twitter postings at and elsewhere. Today’s random thoughts are being posted on Monday, Labor Day.


4th Cir. orders resentencing for trial court’s erroneous consideration of a murder that was not part of the conviction. U.S. v. Horton, ___ F.3d ___ (4th Cir., Aug. 30, 2012).

Maryland Court of Special Appeals allows a car stop where the defendant drove around a suspect who the cops reasonably suspected had drugs.

D.C. Ct. App. reverses murder conviction for improper removal of a juror, because the judge did not find the juror to have been incompetent nor to have committed misconduct.

Getting to Yes co-author Roger Fisher leaves his body. War taught him to seek reduction of armed conflict. I want all my opponents to read Getting to Yes, including its emphasis on negotiating on the basis of goals rather than on the basis of positions.

Federal court invalidates Texas voter ID law. See here and here.

Judge overturns New York City’s adult zoning law. A big First Amendment victory. For the People Theatres, et al. v. City of New York, et al.  Thanks to a fellow listserv member.


Videotape shows police kicking arrestee in chest and slamming his face into a car hood. Thank you, Jonathan Turley.

African-American CNN camerawoman assaulted w/peanuts for her race, at Republican convention. She makes it clear that the Democratic party is not free of racism either.

New Mexico RNC leader purportedly says Custer was disrespected for NM Governor’s meeting with American Indians.

RNC Chair Michael Steele utters “honest injun” on Fox in 2010.

Countering recent IQ MJ study is a 2002 study concluding that marijuana “does not have a long-term negative impact on global intelligence.”

Judith Clark has many supporters in her appeal for clemency for her 75 years-to-life sentence entered after refusing counsel and refusing to participate in her trial, portraying her metamorphosis since her Brinks murder conviction apparently as the getaway driver. Even if Democratic Governor Cuomo ideally prefers to reduce her sentence, he is likely to consider the political fallout for doing so. The combination of the murder conviction and Clark’s refusal to participate in her trial in “solidarity with anti-imperialist freedom fighters” likely give Governor more than brief cause for pause.


: “A lot of your emotional suffering is created by models of how you think the universe should be & your inability to allow it to be as it is.”

I self-learned at the August 28 Contemplative Lawyers Group gathering, during meditation guided by Mary Aubry, a federal prosecutor (I have mentioned that I can feel comfortable being with any opponent at these monthly gatherings), that meditation enables time and space at once to collapse and expand. The collapsing comes from my feeling more of a part of all time and space. The expanding comes from the feeling of the infiniteness of time and space.

Kristin Neff on self compassion, through her book’s website and videos here and here. Thanks to a fellow listserv member. See Kelly McGonigal’s blog on changing habits and other items, including willpower and mindful eating. Thanks to “chocolate shaman” Keith from Guatemala for a fascinating and uplifting cacao ceremony in Croom, MD 8/25/12. More on Keith is here. Although my jury is out on shamanic powers, Keith interacted wonderfully individually and collectively with the approximately eighteen attendees in showing the doorway to uncluttering the obstacles in our lives to reach our maximum potential. He talked of wild chocolate as having centuries-old benefits in bringing us that doorway, and made each of us a cup of wild Guatemalan cacao (carefully measurin the cacao quantity at a little over an ounce, saying that too much can act as an emetic), to which I added agave and chili pepper. Regardless of the spiritual benefits of such cacao, I enjoyed it. This is a much different experience than chocolate available even in most health food stores in the United States. At the August 28 Contemplative Lawyers Group gathering, I met Gretchen Rohr, Project Director for the DC Jail Advocacy Project.


Susan Kaiser Greenland on David Brooks’s TED talk: “Emotions aren’t separate from reason but the foundation of reason because they tell us what to value.”

My alma mater Tufts University does right by banning ROTC exercises, but not by being a major campus free speech violator.

Richard Arum — my fellow college alum — on Learning During Unsettled Times. Co-authored “Academically Adrift.”

The John Cage Centennial Festival runs September 6-10 in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. VegFest is Sept. 22 at the Southeast harbor.

The Natural Living Expo is Sept. 23 in Falls Church, VA.

Taijiquan Master Ben Lo teaches September 29-30 in Garrett Park, Maryland, for his last teaching visit to the area.

Lawyer Rich Roll is an accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete.

1974 John Cage interview for Archives of American Arts. He includes talk of the firm opinions Alan Watts and he had about each other.

Carlos Gonzales gives wonderful Native American blessing at gathering honoring the Tucson shooting victims. January 2011. The meaning behind Carlos Gonzales’s Native American blessing.

Britt Hume disses Carlos Gonzales’s Native American blessing, as does Michele Malkin. The Wild Hunt on reactions to Carlos Gonzales’s Native American blessing.

Rodger Kamenetz posts a great photo of the Dalai Lama tugging on Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi’s beard, apparently when several rabbis visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in the early 1990’s, in part out of his interest to learn about diaspora survival. The Dalai Lama has the playfulness of a child whereas Thich Nhat Hanh has a more serious-seeming serenity, even though he talks of the benefits of smiling.

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