The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sherpas, Death, and Anger on Everest : The New Yorker

Adding to Brice’s concern, some of his most experienced Sherpas, ordinarily exceedingly stoical men, approached him to say that the conditions on the mountain made them fear for their lives. One of them actually broke down in tears as he confessed this. So on May 7, 2012, Brice made an announcement that shocked most of the thousand people camped at the base of Everest: he was pulling all his guides, members, and Sherpas off the mountain, packing up their tents and equipment, and heading home. He was widely criticized for this decision in 2012, and not just by clients who were forced to abandon their dreams of climbing the world’s highest mountain without receiving a refund for the forty-three thousand euros they had paid him in advance. Many of the other expedition leaders also thought Brice was wildly overreacting. The reputation of Himex took a major hit.

After what happened last Friday, though, it’s hard to argue with Brice’s call. On April 18th, shortly before 7 A.M. local time, an overhanging wedge of ice the size of a Beverly Hills mansion broke loose from the same ice bulge that had frightened Brice into leaving Everest in 2012. As it crashed onto the slope below, the ice shattered into truck-size chunks and hurtled toward some fifty climbers laboring slowly upward through the Khumbu Icefall, a jumbled maze of unstable ice towers that looms above the 17,600-foot base camp. The climbers in the line of fire were at approximately nineteen thousand feet when the avalanche struck. Of the twenty-five men hit by the falling ice, sixteen were killed, all of them Nepalis working for guided climbing teams. Three of the bodies were buried beneath the frozen debris and may never be found.

via www.newyorker.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best of the Web Today: First Among Equals - WSJ.com

Clearest of all is Justice Antonin Scalia's concurrence in the judgment, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. "It has come to this," Scalia begins portentously. "Called upon to explore the jurisprudential twilight zone between two errant lines of precedent, we confront a frighteningly bizarre question: Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbid what its text plainly requires?"

via online.wsj.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Raced-Based Preferences Forever | National Review Online

Supporters of affirmative action are now signaling similar weakness. What was called “racial quotas” in the 1970s and has been referred to as “affirmative action” since the 1990s is giving way to a new term: “race-sensitive admission policies.” The language shift is telling — race-based preferences are losing intellectual, judicial, and political support.

via www.nationalreview.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Saint, He Ain’t - NYTimes.com

John Paul may be a revolutionary figure in the history of the church, but a man who looked away in a moral crisis cannot be described as a saint.

When the church elevates him, it is winking at the hell it caused for so many children and young people in its care.

A big holy wink.

via www.nytimes.com

The annoying Miss Dowd.

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Insiders: The president’s cynical Keystone XL strategy

On Friday, the State Department quietly released a notification that the Keystone XL pipeline decision is being delayed yet again.  The president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Terry O’Sullivan, called the delay “another gutless move” by the administration.  We could also dismiss the announcement as just more of the usual dithering from this White House.  I don’t think the delay is gutless or dithering, but a more sinister, cynical ploy by this administration to manipulate two groups into continuing to support vulnerable Democrats in an attempt to keep the Senate in 2014.

via www.washingtonpost.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scalia’s plain truth on affirmative action | New York Post

Few issues have tumbled more vertiginously from the top of the political agenda than affirmative action. There was a time when the topic of quotas and racial preferences partly dominated the discussion of domestic policy. That time has long since passed.

So it came as a bracing shock Tuesday to be reminded that the US Supreme Court is still adjudicating the issue. It issued a major ruling that upheld Michigan’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning the use of affirmative action as a factor for admission in the state’s public universities.

via nypost.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida Coastal Law School Asks Dean Candidate to Leave Midway Through Lunch Presentation for Raising Concerns About Plummeting Student Credentials and Job Placement

The editors of this blog have received disturbing reports from sources inside the Florida Coastal School of Law regarding its dean search. ...

via taxprof.typepad.com

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Obama Handles Russia Like Republicans: Overpromise, Under-Deliver, and Write Off - NationalJournal.com

President Obama came to office nursing dreams "of forging a new partnership" with a stubborn rival. When times got tough, he abandoned the relationship and adopted dusty zero-sum gain policies of his predecessors. To allies and rivals alike, he looks naïve, weak, and disconnected.

via www.nationaljournal.com

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sen. Harry Reid’s baseless ‘domestic terror’ accusations - The Washington Post

It was the federal Bureau of Land Management that provoked the confrontation — descending with 200 armed men, including some with sniper rifles, to seize the Bundys’ cattle on land their family has grazed since 1877. Whatever one thinks of the Bundys’ legal case over unpaid grazing fees — and the federal government’s desire to protect the desert tortoise — defending your property against a paramilitary force of armed federal agents is not the equivalent of blowing up a federal building or sending letter bombs.

via www.washingtonpost.com

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Teacher - Esquire

The best teachers are the ones who remain students at heart, the ones who keep learning from their students, and from the world around them, and from their own drive to know even more about even more things, and who then are able to transmit that knowledge—and more important, the drive to know more—to their students. That's how great teachers echo through time. That's how great teachers become immortal.

via www.esquire.com

This is an egregious puff piece about Professor Warren. I'm feeling too sick to say anything else about it.

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Conservative Case Against Obamacare: A Restatement | The Weekly Standard

All of this Democratic triumphalism makes it a good time to restate in summary form the conservative case against Obamacare.

via www.weeklystandard.com

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Failure Is the Best Thing That Could Happen to Google Glass | Business | WIRED

Today, for one day only, Google Glass goes on sale to everyone in the U.S. Everyone, that is, with an extra $1,500 to spare and a desire to become a guinea pig in a hotly contested social experiment. It’s not a stretch to say that this little test, the first that hasn’t been geared to the already converted, could steer what Google ultimately decides to do with the entire project.

via www.wired.com

I would certainly not allow them in my class, just because I don't like them.

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Capitalism and the Dalai Lama - NYTimes.com

Historically, free enterprise has done this to astonishing effect. In a remarkable paper, Maxim Pinkovskiy of M.I.T. and Xavier Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University calculate that the fraction of the world’s population living on a dollar a day — after adjusting for inflation — plummeted by 80 percent between 1970 and 2006. This is history’s greatest antipoverty achievement.

via www.nytimes.com

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Herr Doktor Professor is against income inequality and is well paid for it

Which I think is fine actually.  I just wish people who disagreed with him were as well paid.  I, for example. Not that I'm for income inequality exactly. It's just something that happens when capital gets allocated by what you can do with it instead of politics. What a weird wonderful world we live in.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

It beats the heckoutta Ross

Thus does Ross Douthat of the NYT admit he hasn't a clue who the GOP nominee will be.  Because it's Ross it's more complicated than that.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Now is a good time to enroll in law school

I realize I'm supposed to be part of the world is coming to an end for law schools crowd. And it may be. I think markets are pretty darn efficient (this is the pretty strong version of the ECMH) but obviously there's room for bubbles and their aftermath.  It wouldn't do much good to deny them at this point. But frequently the best time to go long is when everybody else is going short. Except, of course, when it isn't.  IMHO labor markets make capital markets look like an economic calculation problem, that is, they're really complicated. Far more complicated than are the theories of those predicting them, which worries me some.

Here is the article on law schools, via instapundit.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Election law blog fight

Just thought I would mention it. Via the instapundit which oddly seems better lately.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child - POLITICO.com

In a joint appearance, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that Chelsea is expecting her first child later this year.

via www.politico.com

Ahhh. I hope it's a little woman-baby.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Keystone decision delayed yet again - Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode - POLITICO.com

The Obama administration says it is indefinitely extending its long-awaited review of the Keystone XL pipeline — providing a Good Friday jolt to one of the president’s most wrenching environmental decisions.

Republicans in Congress immediately derided the move as a “shameful” concession to “radical activists,” while Democratic Senate energy Chairwoman Mary Landrieu called it “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”

via www.politico.com

This appears to be downright political.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

BBC News - Females have penises in sex-reversed cave insects

Neotrogla females insert the erectile organs into males' vagina-like openings.

The elaborate structure, dubbed a "gynosome", is used to suck out sperm and nutritious seminal fluids.

via www.bbc.com

I think I knew some girls like that in college.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

South Korea Ferry Sinking: Authorities Arrest Captain - WSJ.com

Police said Mr. Kang left a note behind that read: "Please hold me responsible for all of this. I pushed for the school excursion. Cremate my body and spread my ashes over the ship sinking site. I may become a teacher again in the afterlife for the students whose bodies have yet to be found."

via online.wsj.com

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Michael Medved: The 'War on Women' Failed in 2012 - WSJ.com

President Obama is suddenly upset about the alleged wage gap between men and women, but he's not responding to a national economic crisis. Instead, he is attempting to revive the "war on women" theme that, according to Washington wisdom, helped carry Democrats to victory in 2012 and might do again in 2014. If this narrative were true, the White House could spend the year demonizing Republicans as women-hating creeps, driving women to the polls in November and helping the party hold the Senate.

via online.wsj.com

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mitt Romney returns to political stage as Republicans prepare for midterms - The Washington Post

Insisting he won’t seek the presidency again, the former GOP nominee has endorsed at least 16 candidates this cycle, many of them establishment favorites who backed his campaigns.

via www.washingtonpost.com

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Could Silicon Valley Contemporary Be the Next Art Basel? | Silicon Valley Contemporary

The answer is yes and no. Let’s begin with why Silicon Valley Contemporary could be a success.

via siliconvalleycontemporary.com

I'm not that interested in contemmporary art, or any art for that matter, but I'm interested in money and culture, especially in California. It looks like having made its pots of money, the Bay Area and the Valley are starting to art themselves up. Not sure why the rich do that, but it's curious.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

RealClearWorld - Putin's Plan for Overturning the European Order

Russia's willingness to violate Ukraine's territorial sovereignty is the gravest challenge to the European order in over half a century. The conflict pits a vast nuclear power against a state equal in size to France, an autocratic regime against a revolutionary government. The Russian intervention in Ukraine raises questions about the security guarantees that the West made to Ukraine after the country gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, and it flies in the face of many Europeans' belief that, in recent years, a continental war has become all but impossible. The end result may be the emergence of a third Russian empire or a failed Ukrainian state at the center of Europe.

via www.realclearworld.com

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Eat Burger, Waive Right to Sue | Mother Jones

Mandatory arbitration agreements forcing people to give up their rights to sue are now standard fare in everything from cell phone contracts to Hooters' employment agreements. But the owner of an East Texas Whataburger has apparently taken arbitration mania to a new level. Every public entrance to the burger franchise displays a sign informing people that simply setting foot on the premises means that they are giving up their right to sue the company for any reason, even if, for instance, they get a little e coli along with their fries. Instead, customers will be forced to arbitrate their claims before the American Mediation Association, an organization that seems to consist of three lawyers in Dallas hired by the Whataburger (part of a 58-year-old fast food chain deemed a "Texas treasure" by the state legislature).

via www.motherjones.com

Hmmm. This is a little arbitrary.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue - NYTimes.com

Might downloading a 50-cent coupon for Cheerios cost you legal rights?

General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, “join” it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.

via www.nytimes.com

My cardiologist told me Cheerios were bad for me. I fired him, but for different reasons.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Behavior at Dartmouth tarnishing image of elite campus, college’s president says - The Washington Post

Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.”

via www.washingtonpost.com

It is a small college, but there are those who like to get drunk there.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yahoo spends $58 million to fire its chief operating officer

Marissa Mayer hired the top Google sales executive to revive Yahoo’s advertising not long after she left Google to take the helm at Yahoo in 2012.

via www.washingtonpost.com

Not Marissa's fault. $58 million won't make up for the hit to his ego.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Liechtenstein Gets Even Smaller - WSJ.com

VADUZ, Liechtenstein—Liechtenstein, the tiny principality wedged into eastern Switzerland, just got tinier. No one seems to mind.

via online.wsj.com

Do they have a law school?

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Portland water desacretated by vandals

A man was arrested for urinating into a Portland reservoir.  Portlandians freaked out.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

US to send helmets to Ukraine

This is a good idea.  Perhaps the helmets could have that little Obama symbol on them, the one with the sun rising or whatever.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another reason not to clean your garage

Something might be living in there.

Actually, I did clean my garage recently, but nothing more than the usual rats and mice were there.

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best of the Web Today: Judd Gregg Was Right - WSJ.com

Now ObamaCare is providing evidence that Gregg was right to worry about politicization of the census. As the New York Times reports:

The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama's health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.

via online.wsj.com

April 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

White babies just 15 months old show racial bias when picking playmates, study found | Mail Online

Toddlers show racial bias when picking playmates, a study reveals.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Loggers find face in a tree

A face carved into a tree trunk was discovered by forestry workers in a remote location up Toba Inlet. It had been staring down an ancient river valley in the rainforest for almost 200 years.

The recent chance discovery was made approximately 60 miles up the inlet and helped to silence a question of doubt regarding the geographic limits of Klahoose First Nation traditional territory.

via www.prpeak.com

That pretty much settles it.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Michael Bloomberg: 'I Have Earned My Place in Heaven, It's Not Even Close'

“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” he told the New York Times.

via www.breitbart.com

I think in heaven smoking will no longer be a filthy habit and drinking will just make you feel kinda frisky.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS's Case In Halbig v. Sebelius Is Crumbling, With A Little Help From Its Friends (UPDATED)

The IRS won at the district-court level thanks to an opinion in which Judge Paul Friedman concluded that Exchanges established by the federal government are “established by the State.” That’s not quite as absurd as it may seem at first. Congress could have deemed federally established Exchanges to be “established by the State” in which they operate, if that had been Congress’ intent. Indeed, that’s what Congress did with respect to Exchanges established by U.S. territories. But Congress did not do so for federal Exchanges. Thus we are firm ground describing Friedman’s ruling as absurd. Congress intentionally offered subsidies only in states that established Exchanges for the same reason it makes numerous categories of federal spending and tax benefits conditional on state action: to induce states to carry out federal priorities.

via www.forbes.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Legal Challenge to Obamacare You Probably Haven’t Heard of (And Why It Matters) | TheBlaze.com

Obamacare dictates that individual states can either set up and operate their own exchanges or the federal government will do it for them. Only 16 states and the District of Columbia currently run on their own exchanges. The remaining 34 states have elected to rely on the federally operated exchanges.

And this is where we run into an issue: Depending on various factors, including income levels, people signing up through the state and federal exchanges may be eligible for subsidies that could drastically reduce the cost of health insurance coverage. The little-known challenge being argued in the District of Columbia deals with the government’s definition of who is eligible for these tax credits.

via www.theblaze.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Will: Progressives are wrong about the essence of the Constitution - The Washington Post

The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

via www.washingtonpost.com

Yup.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Students Trapped in Sinking Ferry Send Heartbreaking Text Messages - ABC News

Heartbreaking text message exchanges between students trapped in the sinking ferry off the coast of South Korea and their anxious parents are offering a glimpse into the desperate situation in the crippled vessel.

via abcnews.go.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amazon Prime Was Too Good to Be True After All | Business | WIRED

The price of “free” two-day shipping is about to go up. That was the message from Amazon executives last week, who said that shipping costs would probably force them to raise the price of the company’s popular Amazon Prime program. Now $79 per year, the cost could go up $20 to $40 more.

via www.wired.com

o darn.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers | Science | WIRED

In Western Tanzania tribes of wandering foragers called Hadza eat a diet of roots, berries, and game. According to a new study, their guts are home to a microbial community unlike anything that’s been seen before in a modern human population — providing, perhaps, a snapshot of what the human gut microbiome looked like before our ancestors figured out how to farm about 12,000 years ago.

via www.wired.com

Maybe a startup selling their poop?

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Denver woman shot dead while on phone with dispatcher for 13 minutes | Fox News

"Any time a person dies while communicating with Denver's emergency services, we examine the circumstances to ensure that the incident was handled properly and we look for areas to improve upon," said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

via www.foxnews.com

When seconds count, etc.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rapper Andre Johnson severs penis, jumps off building, but survives - CNN.com

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rapper Andre Johnson severed his penis and jumped from a Los Angeles apartment building early Wednesday, police said.

Johnson was seriously injured, but survived the fall from the second level of the building in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Police Sgt. William Mann said.

Johnson, along with his recovered penis, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated, Mann said.

Details about what triggered the incident were not available.

via www.cnn.com

I think that's all the details I want.

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ukraine and the Crisis of the West | National Review Online

‘In a drop of rain can be seen all the colors of the rainbow.” This remark of the historian Lewis Namier is an all too apposite analysis of the current international crisis: Ukraine is the raindrop, and the colors of the rainbow are a spectrum of crises in Russia, Europe, the West (a.k.a. NATO), the U.S., and the American Right. The apparent stability of the post–Cold War world (1989–2014) has been shattered, along with its rules and conventions, by President Putin’s annexation of Crimea and subversion of Ukraine. We now live in a world determined by military force and economic competition. And it will take at least a decade to put Humpty Dumpty together again — if that is even possible.

via www.nationalreview.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Rule of the Lawless | National Review Online

Cliven Bundy may very well be a nut job, but one thing is for sure: The federal government wouldn’t treat a tortoise the way it has treated him. Harassing a tortoise is a federal offense. But harassing the country? That’s federal policy.

via www.nationalreview.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Asian American turn to the right? - latimes.com

The recent defeat of an effort to reinstitute affirmative action in admissions to California's public colleges and universities demonstrates the political power of Asian American voters and challenges the conventional wisdom about their partisan loyalties.

via www.latimes.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

William D. Cohan's Duke Lacrosse Case Book Gets Many Things Wrong | New Republic

 Sensational smears based on false information aside, the absence of new evidence does not deter Cohan from seeking to spin his own tendentious characterizations of old evidence—often contradicted by other evidence elsewhere in the book—into dark Nifongesque innuendos of sexual assault, or "something."

via www.newrepublic.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

SEE IT: Helmet cam captures fearless mountain biker’s death-defying ride down sheer ridge (VIDEO) - NY Daily News

Harrowing helmet cam footage captures a mountain biker's breathtaking ride down a narrow, near-vertical ridge during a Red Bull-sponsored event in Utah.

via www.nydailynews.com

April 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)