Friday, June 14, 2002

Dumb Volvo radio ad on WABC this morning.

Theme was "What would you do different if you travelled back in time (in your life). Illustrated by announcer's voice retrograding from maturity to infancy. Various car-related possibilities listed. One being something along the lines of "buy a Next Generation Volvo". This is in keeping with their current ad tag line.

One major problem. If you travel into the past, you can't possibly buy a Next Generation Volvo.
"All the great media adventures of the 20th century have been visual. Television, movies, the Internet, they're all visual mediums and I don't think people have time to sit down and read."
-ED NEEDHAM, the new managing editor of Rolling Stone magazine.

Spoken like someone who's never spent all that much time on the Net.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Antiquities Dealer Is Sentenced to Prison

In a case that has been closely watched by the art world, a prominent Manhattan antiquities dealer was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in federal prison and fined $50,000 for his role in a conspiracy to sell antiquities stolen from Egypt.
In a stern statement, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected the defense's arguments that Mr. Schultz was unaware of the legal risks and called him "an ordinary thief in every conventional sense of that word."

Yet another example of the modern tendancy to expand the definition of theft to cover a host of bureucratic offenses. Theft was called larceny
at Common Law.

Bouvier's (the Net's favorite legal dictionary) defines larceny as: The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away, by one person, of the mere personal goods, of another, from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to his, the taker's use, and make them his property, without the consent of the owner.

Well those who violate the antiquities laws of Egypt are not taking the personal property of another. These are administrative regulations which say no matter who owns an antiquity, they can't remove it from Egypt. No common law crime. A mere administrative violation. No moral turpitude attaches. You can't go to Hell. No 7th Commandment violation. No ordinary thief.
In an undeclared war, the US government imprisons a US citizen without trial "for the duration". Illegal? Probably not. Unprecedented? No.

The Union Army in the (undeclared) American Civil War imprisoned some 215,000 Confederate POWs "for the duration". Those prisoners were legally US citizens (that being the whole point of the war).

The Confederacy imprisoned some 193,000 Union POWs who were considered non-citizens of that nation.

So there is certainly loads of precedent for the practice.

[Thanks to the comment by a guy named Bruce ( to the most recent post on the detention of Al Muhajir for this thought]


Monday, June 10, 2002

Tyco CEO Resigns Amid Criticism

So New York State expects to try the CEO of Tyco for a sales tax violation.

How can they find a prosecutor, judge, or jury to try this case when every single person who is supposed to do those jobs has dodged New York State Use Taxes (the companion tax to the sales tax) and almost no one has ever filed a use tax form?

Is it just to prosecute someone for a crime that everyone in the state commits frequently and does not even consider a crime?