The Right Coast

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, October 31, 2015

5 Reasons 'Star Wars' Tanks Make Absolutely No Sense

There are no shortage of ways in which a person could take issue with the war machines in the Star Wars universe. But instead of the illogical design of the lightsaber or the TIE fighter, we want to focus on the armored vehicles. Even in a universe of magical space samurai and moon-sized space stations, tanks are ever-present as alpha predators of ground battle. Yet the way the filmmakers imagined them violates many tenets of common sense weapons design.

via www.popularmechanics.com

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Brooks and Shields (if you can stand it)

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge’s doubling of laughing defendant’s prison time upheld - SFGate

U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill had just sentenced Ochoa to a year behind bars for violating probation by disrespecting and arguing with staff in a halfway house, where he was being held after spending nearly six years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ochoa seemed amused. The judge wasn’t, and from his bench in the Fresno courtroom asked Ochoa why he was laughing. Ochoa said he was surprised.

“Well, you just talked yourself into more time,” O’Neill replied.

The judge accused Ochoa of laughing at the court and brushed aside Ochoa’s denial. He told the defendant he had just shown he “wouldn’t learn” unless he received the maximum two-year sentence for his probation violation.

via www.sfgate.com

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will the Roberts court abolish capital punishment? | TheHill

The high court under Chief Justice John Roberts has in recent terms agreed to rule on cases related to how states handle death penalty prosecutions and conduct executions, but has yet to weigh in on whether the practice violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

via thehill.com

The framing generation contemplated capital punishment. But even if you think "cruel and unusual" is a temporally relative term, capital punishment is not now cruel and it's only unusual because of the frankly abusive appellate process.

If a comet was heading toward Earth with extinction in tow, the last thing we should do before all the lights went out is execute everyone on death row. Well, that, and tidy up our yards.

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Health Republic's finances 'substantially worse' than reported | POLITICO

Health Republic Insurance of New York, the collapsing insurance company that is creating headaches for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, misled state and federal officials about its finances, and will not be able to remain in business through the end of the year as originally hoped.

via www.capitalnewyork.com

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hollywood Studios Are Self-Censoring Movies To Appease Communist Censors In China, Says US Report

As studios grow more dependent on ticket sales from the Chinese box office, filmmakers have become more willing to sanitize the content of their movies in order to appeal to the stringent sensibilities of Chinese censors. The People’s Republic of China, far from embracing the cultural mores of Hollywood, is actually changing the political complexion of American movies.

via www.ibtimes.com

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Owens Valley at mercy of LA, drought

OLANCHA . (AP) — Water in the aqueduct that helped fuel Los Angeles’ growth was flowing toward the city Wednesday for the first time in six months after workers removed an earthen and concrete dam that had diverted runoff to the parched Owens Valley.

via www.mantecabulletin.com

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man Killed When He is Ejected From Car onto California Freeway Sign after Crash - Yahoo News

“We have never seen anything like this, where a party was ejected and come to rest on a street sign,” Guin told INSIDE EDITION, saying the man was not believed to be properly wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.

via news.yahoo.com

Well, it was in LA.

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

'I do, I do, I do:' Brazilian female trio get hitched - Yahoo News

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Three's a crowd? Not in Brazil, where three women have defied deeply conservative trends in Congress and wider traditional mores by celebrating a polyamorous civil union.

via news.yahoo.com

I think this is wrong, but I might change my mind, depending on what happens to public opinion.

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Academia’s Rejection of Diversity - The New York Times

Unfortunately, new research also shows that academia has itself stopped short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity — the diversity of ideas — and that the problem is taking a toll on the quality and accuracy of scholarly work. This year, a team of scholars from six universities studying ideological diversity in the behavioral sciences published a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences that details a shocking level of political groupthink in academia. The authors show that for every politically conservative social psychologist in academia there are about 14 liberal social psychologists.

via www.nytimes.com

It's even coming to my little corner of academia.

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)