LawPundit Judicial Clerkship Posting Published in BlawgWorld 2007 by TechnoLawyer

BlawgWorld 2007 is an exceptional freely downloadable pathfinding legal e-book published today by TechnoLawyer, the leading internet law tech resource (over 15000 subscribers).

BlawgWorld 2006 has been downloaded by readers 45000+ times since its inception, so that BlawgWorld 2007 should surely pass the 50000 mark.

Compare the extensive reach and the easy availability of this avantgarde peer-reviewed e-book publication to the dwindling readership of the pay-based printed journals still being churned out in the legal field and in other academic disciplines, as if the internet did not exist.

We especially grate at an outfit called JSTOR, which, inter alia, often licenses – for an exorbitant fee – grant-financed or tax-financed articles, often derived from research conducted at donor-supported tax-funded institutions, and often written by employees (profs, researchers) who monthly cash in their substantial tax-funded and/or donor-enabled salary checks. In the end, the footer of the bill, the taxpayer, grantor or donor, is asked to cough up even more cash to read the actual results of what he has financed, or – as in the typical case of the archives of the Stanford Law Review of our alma mater law school – we find that JSTOR informs us to our amazement as follows:

The material you requested is included in JSTOR, an online journal archive made available to researchers through participating libraries and institutions. The publisher of this journal has not yet elected to make single articles available for purchase via the Publisher Sales Service, a publisher opt-in service facilitated by JSTOR.

Authorized users may be required to log in via their library website. For more information about obtaining the complete article, please see Access Options. The citation and first page are available below.

Jessica Shepherd in her February 13, 2007 article in The Guardian, Pressure is growing for academic publishers to put the fruits of publicly funded labour on the web, quotes Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust, the world’s largest medical research charity, on the above issue as follows:

We believe that the dissemination of research is just part of the research process. We give an academic a grant and pay for their time, accommodation and test-tubes. It seems strange, then, that after a year or two, the outcome is an article which the academic gives to a publisher and which we then have to buy back.

Shepherd writes further:

Ian Gibson, chairman of the science and technology select committee, says…. “Academics have got to start engaging with the world, not just 12 or 13 other people interested in their field.

If at our earthly location someone wants to read an article such as Mason Ladd’s review of Basic Problems of Evidence by Edmund M. Morgan, Stanford Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Mar., 1955), pp. 312-314, doi:10.2307/1226401, they are simply out of luck unless they happen to be or become a paid subscriber to that particular journal (and even this will not help for back issues no longer available) or unless they are willing to go to great pains in terms of time and expense to locate that particular journal issue in some distant library.

Let’s see. Log in to the internet to find out which library in your vicinity – IF ANY – subscribes to the journal – WorldCat might be a starting place, but this is a difficult task if you have ever tried it. If you live in a more suburban or rural location, drive for perhaps several hours to the next big city with a university-size library, spend another good part of an hour finding a parking space in a crowded college or similar environment, take another half hour at the library to access card or digital catalogues etc., presuming that access is not limited to a chosen few and does not require a library or other entitlement card obtainable (if at all) only after weeks of waiting. Take another part of an hour to figure out how the that library’s card catalogue works and if the required journal is available digitally, on microfilm, in the stacks or in the reading room or whether it is totally inaccessible as “loaned out” to someone else.

Fill out a reading request for the reading room. Give the librarian the requisite chit for someone to go into the stacks to get the journal issue which contains the article one has selected and which might possibly contain the information one is seeking – for which there is no guarantee. Wait for the journal to be delivered to your long-waiting hands. It may then be breaktime or lunchtime, and we all have to eat, so wait until the employees return from that to have your request fulfilled. The journal is then brought to the desk in the reading room. Wait to be called to get the journal. By the time you have found your information – or not – the day and a sizable amount of travel-induced cash expense and research time may have gone up in smoke.

That in its basic form is the research methodology of yesteryear, which in the digital age apparently does not disturb them – the many academic journal publishers or their authors. Indeed, we have even encountered academics who have chided us for not ferreting out their deftly submerged obscurely published alleged gems from the abzu depths of the library stacks – as if we had nothing better to do than to pander to ego-overinflated and antiquated fancies.

This absurd situation does disturb us – greatly. We do not have time to waste our life spending endless hours locating written material which could easily be made accessible on the internet if it were not for the greedy status quo of academic publishing – an $11 billion a year business whose main objectives seem to circulate around profits and academic career promotion rather than dissemination of resources and knowledge. Frankly, we are increasingly adopting the view that if your material is not sensibly available online, we are not going to read it and we are not going to cite it. Why should we give up our valuable time for no other reason than to keep alive an academic publishing system far behind the state of the digital art? At our cost.

By comparison, BlawgWorld 2007 is a very welcome carpe diem in its freely available scholarly form.

BlawgWorld 2007 – immediately available online for perusal – now contains more selected blog postings than the previous publication and also adds a new and useful “TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide” for practicing attorneys.

BlawgWorld 2007 features 77 selected postings from 77 law blogs (blawgs) – including LawPundit – all covering state-of-the art legal (or related) issues. The LawPundit contribution to BlawgWorld 2007 is a posting titled “Justices Opinions Law Clerks Chess and Appellate Delay”, about which Neil J. Squillante of TechnoLawyer has written to LawPundit (e-mail communication of July 30, 2007):

I agree that we need more law clerks. Plus, there is another benefit — there are more qualified law graduates than openings. Many law students, including those on law review, desperately want to clerk but don’t get the opportunity.

Note in this regard, for example, from Cornell Law School:

Each year approximately 10-15% of Cornell’s graduating class begin their careers with a judicial clerkship with a federal or state court.”

Neil’s comment thus points out an important economic aspect of judicial clerkships not covered in our original LawPundit posting. For more on judicial clerkships in the law, see generally e.g.:

Judicial Clerkships,
Northeastern Judicial Clerkship Handbook,
Indy Clerkship Guide,
clerkship links at JURIST,
judicialclerkships.com,
NALP,
Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring Plan,
Federal Law Clerk Information System,
Judicial Clerkships from Hell (the other side of the coin)

Although not in the public domain and with distributorship requiring contact first to TechnoLawyer, BlawgWorld 2007 as an e-book is downloadable by readers for free here.

A press kit for journalists, blogs, distributors and potential distributors is available from TechnoLawyer here.

Hat tip to Sara Skiff at TechnoLawyer for all the work involved in preparing BlawgWorld 2007, including the time-consuming task of checking and updating all the URLs in the blog posting(s). Thank you.

Ancient Seafaring More Far-Reaching and Older than Previously Thought

As always, it is a question of evidence … and its interpretation.

I will shortly be posting in English to LexiLine my originally German-language presentation at the Machalett Conference in May of this year 2007 in which I presented my view of how ancient seafarers surveyed Europe and Africa in the Neolithic Era, using astronomy as their triangulation measuring stick and megalithic sites as their survey markers.

Support for my general theory is found in a just published July 19, 2007 archaeology news report.

In an article at Yahoo News titled “Ancient mariner tools found near Cyprus“, George Psyllides, AP writer,
reports on new archaeological finds on the island of Cyprus which suggest that ancient seafaring was more far-reaching and much older than previously thought by the mainstream scientific community.

Psyllides quotes Colgate University’s Albert J. Ammerman, the survey’s director, as follows:

These are the people who are the pioneers…. All of what we see on the land is just a tip of the iceberg of what is in the water….

Psyllides writes further:

The archaeologists believe that tools found at the two sites were used by seafaring foragers who frequented the island well over 10,000 years ago — before the first permanent settlers arrived around 8,200 B.C.

They are thought to have sailed from present-day Syria and Turkey, at least 46 miles north and east of the island.

The dawn of seafaring in the region has been put at around 9,500 B.C. from evidence found 20 years ago at Aetokremnos, on Cyprus’ southern Akrotiri peninsula.

The finds indicate these early wanderers traveled more widely, and more frequently, than was previously believed, outside experts say.

“This just shows there is a lot more activity than was originally thought,” said Tom Davis, an archaeologist and director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute…. “We’re looking at repeated visits around the island.”

“These would be people stopping deliberately, coming to the island to use resources, setting themselves with a clear understanding of the landscape,” Davis said.

And if that is true, then they must have had means of navigation at sea, and this could only have been navigation by the stars – with megalithic markers as terrestrial and hermetic cartographic points – as above, so below.

Can 100 Million Votes Be Wrong? Layman Voters Choose Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are found described at Wikipedia.

100 million votes were recently cast however for an informal “updated” new list of Wonders of the World (we reported on this topic here at LawPundit previously) and the result … envelope please … shows … some good selections and some very questionable selections ….

We have been studying the ancient world for 40 years. What knowledge about ancient eras did an average voter in this case have and what possible competence did such an average voter have to select any world wonder as greater than another?

We also see for example the result of the democratic one-viewer one-program principle in television program scheduling around the world, where the prevailing program content is generally geared to channel selections made by the average viewer, whose standards of taste are more aptly mirrored by popular but crude entertainment figures such as Beavis and Butthead, Ozzy Osbourne, or Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Even things like the popular Dilbert Blog, whose main category seems to be “General Nonsense”, employ childish cartoons to woo an audience that apparently has never grown up.

The commercial success of such primitive figures seems to be based on a judgment by producers of such programs that the average IQ of the viewing audience is not particularly high – and they are surely right in this assessment if commercial success is any indicator.

Indeed, blog postings, podcasts and news reporting by mainstream news media seem to assume that the mass of viewers has strongly limited analytical faculties at their disposal – and this is what appears to make such broadcasts so very successful as spoon-fed pablum for the masses.

In fact, even alleged “documentaries” such as one we recently and unfortunately saw on TV here in Germany involving the alleged and in our opinion clearly erroneous identification of the mummy of Nofretete by the Egyptologist Joann Fletcher seem to serve pure entertainment purposes or are podiums for self-advertisement by Egyptologists rather than presentations of serious historical analyses.

Veritably, we see the common intellect paraded daily before us on our TV and Internet screens. Our intelligence (or lack of it) is in part revealed to us by what we choose to consume.

On the other hand, there is a part of the primitive brain which also is apparently capable of great achievements, as Sir Simon Rattle has stated regarding his incomparable Rhythm Is It:

One christmas, was I three, was I four? I don’t remember. My parents gave me a drum kit, and then, that was it. Lost forever. […] There is a part of the brain, the pre-civilised human parts of the brain, I mean almost maybe,whichever part is descended from the lizards, where rhythm is it. The first idea, I think, probably the first communication, was through rhythm, before words. And I think when you get that as a child, somehow you’re connecting with your primal origins. But I know from that moment, whatever it was, that connected, that was going to be my life.”

But we see minimal evidence of this genius in the new selection of world wonders. 100 million votes now cast for the allegedly “new” Wonders of the World leads to the remarkable result that the Pyramids of Egypt are excluded from this new list as a so-called “honorary member” of the list, to be replaced by such mundane things as a simple statue of a religious figure in Rio or by the historically less important Chichen Itza of Yucatan, Mexico, which is an integral part of a larger survey system guided by the stars in which, according to our currently provisional results, Chichen Itza marked the South Celestial Pole, whence its name as the “entrance to the well”.

As written at World Mysteries:

The ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza exemplifies the culture’s celestial orientation. The huge step pyramid (the pyramid of Kukulcan) that is the focus of the site has 91 steps on each of its sides, which add up to 364 steps. Adding the platform on top, there are 365 steps in total — the number of days in a year. Also, on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (the first day of spring and fall, when day and night are the same length of time), the sunlight works to create a shadow of a giant serpent on the staircase that faces north.

A building called the Caracol, believed to have served as an observatory, is also found at the site of Chichen Itza. The windows are set up to align with certain points of interest. Although the top is damaged, remaining windows point to the northern- and southern-most positions of Venus, the position of sunset on the Equinoxes, and the corners of the building itself point to the sunrises and sets of the solstices.

Chichen Itza is a fantastic site, but we would not include it in our own selection of the top seven sites since it is technologically preceded by the older Teotihuacan. The same holds true for Machu Picchu, which is an equally fantastic site, but certainly impossible to rank above Teotihuacan or the Pyramids. We also would not include religious statues, halls or buildings in our selection since this is a matter of religious choice. Nice yes but wonders not. Additionally, we do not think that ancient stadiums fit the bill.

Hence, the so-called “new” list of world wonders is a non sequitur (i.e. something which does not logically follow the task at hand, which is a selection of truly incomparable human achievements, regardless of faith or country affiliation).

Here is the LawPundit List of
The Seven Wonders of the World:

1. The Pyramids of Egypt (see NOVA Online)- These reflect an ancient sophisticated measure of the Earth and the Heavens (see Peter Tompkins and Livio Catullo Stecchini, Secrets of the Great Pyramid).

2. Stonehenge, Ancient Britain (see Stonehenge) – This is man’s first sophisticated Stone Age calculator of astronomical events such as solstices, equinoxes, precession and solar and lunar eclipses (see Gerald S. Hawkins, Stonehenge Decoded).

3. The Great Wall of China (see Great Wall) – This originally reflected a gigantic hermetic waymarking system which mirrored the Milky Way and the stars as the map above for the path below (see http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi360.htm). The Great Wall at its inception marked the first great “Silk Road” between East and West, oriented to the stellar heavens.

4. Teotihuacan, Mexico (see Teotihuacan) – Teotihuacan predates the astronomical technology of Chichen Itza and is comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt in its primordial astronomical function in the New World. As we have pointed out in other postings (Ancient Survey of the Earth and Teotihuacan, Panama Megalith) Teotihuacan was a major site for the ancient survey of North America by astronomical triangulation (see in this regard Vincent H. Malmström, Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization (Chapter 5). All other major and later sites such as Chichen Itza and Tikal are based upon Teotihuacan as the foundation.

5. The Rock Drawings of Tanum, Sweden (formerly Norway) (see Tanum)- The petroglyphs (rock drawings) of Tanum, Sweden are unique in their size and extent and as we have discovered mark a gigantic 6 by 12 kilometer map of the heavens in the Neolithic era at a time when organized astronomy of this sophisticated nature must have had its first beginnings.

6. The Cave Paintings at Lascaux, France (see Lascaux, also here) – The phenomenal prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux in our opinion form an astronomical planisphere (see Stars Stones and Scholars) . The major reason why this cave was selected by prehistoric man for astronomical painting has escaped the notice of archaeologists and astronomers, but Lascaux is located at 45 degrees North (and 1 degree East by current measure). This was in our opinion the original Prime Meridian of the Earth. That is why many of the figures in Lascaux are also painted at 45 degree angles (this explanation is presented here for the first time). See decipherment.

7. The Artifacts Found in the Tomb of King Tut, Egypt – The Ark of the Covenant?
The Tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt (see National Geographic presentation) and the King Tut artifacts now found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. See our interpretation of these artifacts at Ark of the Covenant.

I think these kinds of surveys should be run independently in Europe in the future to get a better balance of the sites that are really important.

Who Reads Law Pundit? June 2007

Who reads Law Pundit? Here are some selected stats for June 2007 that we have gleaned from Google Analytics:

Top 20 Countries (in the order of frequency of LawPundit visits): United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, India, Latvia, Australia, Ireland, France, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Mexico.

Top States of the USA (in the order of frequency of LawPundit visits): California, New York, Texas, Illinois, District of Columbia, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia….

National Football League Tackles Video News Clips of the NFL : Is it a Safety?

Is this the failed IP “Hail Flutie” of the NFL with respect to property, privacy and publicity, intellectual property and employment relationships, and freedom of speech and freedom of the press in sports?*

Greed is a dangerous thing.

The National Football League has thrown a strong and perhaps penalty-suspect NFL tackle at the broadcasting of football team video news clips prepared by the news media. Via the Trademark Blog, we read inter alia in Under NFL Rule, Media Web Sites Are Given Just 45 Seconds to Score by Paul Farhi at the Washington Post:

In a move designed to protect the Internet operations of its 32 teams, the pro football league has told news organizations that it will no longer permit them to carry unlimited online video clips of players, coaches or other officials, including video that the news organizations gather themselves on a team’s premises. News organizations can post no more than 45 seconds per day of video shot at a team’s facilities, including news conferences, interviews and practice-field reports….

The new policy covers everything shot by news organizations within team facilities. In addition to the 45-second-per-day limit, news organizations must also provide a link to NFL.com and a team’s Web site for any team-related footage shown on those Web sites. The league also prohibits news outlets from selling advertising tied to video gathered at a team’s facilities.”

The new NFL rule prompted a satirical video by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (hat tip to Patriots Planet) … with the following result as reported by AOL Sports

On Friday, the front page of the Houston Chronicle promoted a blog video by NFL columnist John McClain criticizing the new rules on non-NFL sources using off-season video. The video made fun of the 45 second time limit restriction using mini-interviews with different members of the Texans organization, including Texans owner Bob McNair. By the afternoon, the post and the video were off the Chronicle website, though you can still find the original if you have the original links. The above UnCut Video is a copy of it that made it out onto the internets.

The link to that satirical blog video is found at AOL’s Uncut Video showing how interviews with players, coaches and team owners will potentially be cut at mid-sentence by a stopwatch-holding assistant in order not to go over the NFL-imposed time limit.

This looks like an end-run touchdown at the wrong end of the field to us, i.e. a safety.
News Media 2 NFL 0. We definitely expect the rules to be changed.

Read the rules at the Tacoma News Tribune

Find more commentary at:
AOL Sports
WKYC
digg
ars technica
(Eric Bangeman discusses other cases and the future of sports-related content)
Lost Remote
WebProNews
Deadspin
Foul Balls
Wendy Seltzer

* In our view, the NFL rules touch upon a number of rights:

Copyrights: Videos made by news media are of course their copyright, but a taped interview for example can involve copyrights of both the interviewer and interviewee (see e.g. Copyright FAQ 1.20 at Author Services at Blackwell Publishing Online or Angelina Jolie).

Trademarks: Videos reproduce protected trademarks of the NFL or NFL teams (names, logos, symbols, helmet and uniform designs, etc.) What can be shown by the press and what not without the NFL’s permission?

Privacy and Publicity: When is a release required to publish videos or photographs of individuals or teams? whether in uniform or out?

Property rights and employment relationships arising from contracts: NFL teams can refuse noncompliant media access to team property as well as to officials, owners, coaches and/or players on that property. What about elsewhere? And what about the doctrines of compulsory licensing and essential access? Can comparable doctrines be applied to normal property law in this case? That last issue is more complicated than it looks. What if the NFL refused stadium access to news media who voted Republican? or who failed to pay $50000 a year to the NFL? Property rights would then come into conflict with other rights.

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press: What can be prohibited without violating the US Constitution? If access is given to NFL facilities, can the NFL limit the time to be devoted by news media to a given subject matter later as a condition of access? What if the President of the United States limited press conferences to reporters who agreed to limit their videos about those conferences to 45 seconds?

Does the NFL rule violate public policy and is it therefore legally unconscionable?

Besides, we find college football to be much more interesting anyway.

The Greatest Risk to World Security is a Confused Europe which sees USA as Stability Threat

Europe Relies Substantially on the USA for its Security

Modern prosperous Europe is the result of two key developments:

1) the economic and political policies implemented in Europe by the United States and its allies at the end of World War II
and
2) the military security which the United States has provided to Europe for the now more than 60 years since the end of that war.

But Europeans Erroneously View the USA as the Major Threat to Their Security

One now nevertheless reads – with incredulity – in the EU Observer, that an FT/Harris opinion poll shows that the United States is currently viewed by Europeans to be the greatest threat to world stability – the very same world stability which that same United States guarantees and without which the world – especially Europe – would be in a state of hopeless and violent chaos.

As Renata Goldirova writes in the EU Observer:

According to an FT/Harris Poll published on Monday (2 July), 32 percent of Europeans – coming from Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain – labelled the US a bigger threat than any other state, with the Spaniards (46 percent) most critical.

How is it possible that Europeans view the United States in this erroneous manner?

Europe and the Balkans

World War I began in the Balkans. The current festering situation in the Balkans (Europe’s Goals, America’s Troops) is just one example of a situation, which – without recent intervention – would surely have escalated into a larger European war. As it turned out, only the use of force by the USA’s alter ego NATO returned the region to an uneasy peace – and in this case it was Bill Clinton and not George Bush who was instrumental in exercising the role of the United States as the policeman of the world.

A Long-Term Understanding of World History is Lacking, Despite the Internet

In spite of the unprecedented amount of information available to the masses in the digital age, the reporting of current events concentrates on ephemeral and serendipity sensationalistic events of the day. A long-term understanding of the present state of the world is not always apparent among the members of Congress, among the general populace and among mainstream news sources.

The average man is swept like a leaf by news of the moment regarding problems in Iraq, Iran and in the Middle East, rather than by the long-term planning, strategy and tactics which are required for successful foreign relations. CNN and similar news media do not give us a true view of the world. Rather, they focus on selected commercially salable and often biased glimpses of that world.

Furthermore, our leading politicians are hardly experts on foreign affairs in the long term. What does someone like Hilary Clinton or the mass of her potential voters know about world history and about the forces that have forged that history? And yet, Hilary has a good chance to be elected the next President of the United States and to run American foreign affairs simply because she is a popular candidate, but not of course because she has any innate understanding of the essentials of the balance of world power.

We live in dangerous times. When Europeans do not know who their friends really are, then gains by their enemies are to be expected until the truth is found.