Law Prof Steven Bainbridge comments on the short unhappy
New Hampshire legal career of Daniel Hynes, who was recently convicted
of extortion. His plan for riches: threaten lawsuits against hair salons
with different prices for men's and women's haircuts. His letter in
one case said: "I demand payment in the amount of $1,000 to avoid
litigation." Instead he got arrested, and now faces possible fines,
imprisonment, and (hopefully) disbarment.
Prof Bainbridge points out that (in many cases) the problem is not mean and nasty lawyers, but mean and nasty laws that allow them to pull stunts like this. He also features an amusing excerpt from Much Onliged, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse on the difference between blackmail and extortion.
The Concord Monitor news story on Hynes' conviction is here.
Blog post title of the day: The
Day our Brains Stood Still.
Yet another post about Obama's race speech, but worth reading:
Danger at Luskin's Poor and Stupid blog, it's in "open letter
to Senator Obama from a Typical White Person" format:
Today’s failures are caused by you, Senator Obama. You caused this problem by not solving it, by blaming boogiemen, by using the power of words and an actor’s talent for preying on the anger and hurt of generations young and old. You are the cause because you perpetuate a system of failure. You actually figured out how to get more power by denying the real problems. You use your God-given brains and your Harvard education to snooker people far less gifted than you with the same old socialist bullshit. You’re not Moses; you’re Huey Long.
Want to hear a harsh reality about race in the minds of today’s rich, white people?
We want success for “the black community,” not failure. We want you to have better schools, better neighborhoods, and better lives. Want to know why? Because it's safer for us if you are more like us. But, that's not the only reason. It's also because we're mostly nice people and we want more niceness. It's why so many rich, white people support you, Obama.
Better than Twelve, not quite as good as Eleven. And I've nearly overdosed on George Clooney.
The thin reed of plot is that Elliot Gould has been screwed over by casino owner Al Pacino. The rest of the (charming, funny, harmless) gang of criminals comes together to help out their friend, and plot the inevitable ruin of this new thug. Amusingly, former nemesis Andy Garcia gets involved as a temporary (albeit untrustworthy) ally. Previous episodes' eye-candy, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones, sit this one out; their place is taken by Ellen Barkin, playing a tough-as-nails assistant to Pacino.
I've given up keeping track of character names here; it's OK, because their acting effort of the all-star cast is minimal. The heist itself is also by-the-numbers.
But it's fun, twisty, and very commercial.