Avengers - Kick 'em Hard

Apr. 30th, 2016 07:20 pm
cat_77: Katie being awesome (Katie)
[personal profile] cat_77
Kind of Avengers, kind of not. Basically, Darcy and Bucky because I've fallen in love with this pairing. Also, just a quick tidbit before I finally post one of the huge ones I've been poking at for far too long.

Title: Kick 'em Hard
Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Darcy Lewis
Length: ~2500 words
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Mild Violence, Kidnapping Attempt
Synopsis: Darcy Lewis is a (mostly) self-rescuing princess who really likes her new toy.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and am making no profit from this.

Also available on AO3.

Darcy ended her call and tried really hard not to roll her eyes. A few swipes of her thumb later and she had sent a very succinct message of simply the number four. She knew the recipient would understand. It was the annoyance that was about to receive a message of a different kind that she couldn't guarantee comprehension for.

She slid the phone back into her purse and grabbed another slim handheld device instead. Three steps, pivot, turn, and she jammed her handheld taser against her would-be attacker's neck. One idiot down at the price of the element of surprise.

The next one charged at her and she offered a charge of her own. He swatted her arm away and she let it continue the arc right back around to his thigh instead. It was only a glancing blow though, much like the punch he threw that barely grazed her shoulder. He wobbled as the electricity ran up his leg, but actually managed to maintain his footing for a good ten count. She used that count to jab her heel against the back of his calf to help him on the way to the cement. His hands flailed, her hands avoided, and he ended up with nothing more than a grip on the sleeve of her sweater for his troubles.

She pushed the switch on her taser again, quite pleased with its recovery time. She was totally going to have to write a field-tested review for Stark on this one. The guy's arm spasmed and his grip failed and she kicked him once in the temple make certain he stayed down this time.

That left her with two.

These guys decided on the paired attack. One made to grab at her that she easily avoided but the other managed to knock her new favorite toy from her hand at the same time. That one used the grip on her wrist to pull her arm around her back and hold it there. His free arm wrapped around her middle and held her tight against him and she was forced to give him credit for not making the obvious grope in the process.

The first one came sauntering back and she finally got a good look at him in the dim light from a semi-near streetlight. It was the asshole from the cafe, the one who looked far less at her face and far more below her neck. She had blown him off then and he had stomped away. Clearly he wanted more than a shared caffeinated beverage and the appreciation of some truly excellent cleavage.

"You had to make this difficult, didn't you, Miss Lewis?" he asked with the fake chiding bullshit that made her want to smack him out of principle.

"This is Plan B?" she guessed. "Was Plan A trying to roofie my macchiato?"

She shifted slightly, making sure she had a good footing on the uneven pavement. The guy holding her tightened his grip on her wrist and turned it slightly downward, the angle on the uncomfortable edge of the spectrum. The annoying one stepped forward, face right up in her own in a way that let her know he had really enjoyed Lucy's jalapeño cheese sauce with his pretzel.

He babbled something, she pretended to listen. He babbled more, she pretended to act timid and scared and looked down and away. He stepped even closer and reached out a finger as if to tilt up her chin, and she was thankful to finally move.

The hand in a human vice was used to squeeze the guy behind her right in the balls. Gross, but effective. When he flinched and yelped, she slammed her head back against him, her smaller size meaning she smacked him right in the nose with a satisfying crunch. She followed through with a head butt forward and managed to knock the annoying one a few steps back as he tried to regain his balance.

A twist of her wrist against the one guy's thumb had her hand free, a twist of her body and a well placed elbow had the rest of her free. Two kicks and two heads slamming against each other - theirs, not hers, though she helped in the matter - and both staggered semi-conscious to the ground.

Her bag had slipped down to be barely hooked around her elbow at the tussle, so she shouldered it up again. She felt the reassuring vibration of her phone within it as she gave the scene before her a critical once over.

Most of the men were down for the count, but the sauntering one without the broken nose was struggling to get to his feet. She stomped on his hand since it was so nicely splayed against the pavement, and then followed through with a kick just under his jaw. He flopped forward again, down but still not out, and she spared a glance to where her taser had fallen a few feet away.

She knew she over-relied on the sucker, but it was so nicely made and worked so well that it was kind of hard not to. Maybe, with the stunning review she was going to give it - pun so totally intended - Stark would finally make her one in her favorite shade of purple to match her phone. She could wonder about that later though as, for now, she simply shoved the charge against the no longer sauntering man's neck and shouted, "Stay down!"

He seemed to listen, as much as an unconscious man could, and she decided it was best to get while the getting was good lest she have to deal with several soon to be conscious men who would have a serious grudge to hold against her.

She made it all the way to the entrance from the alleyway to the street before a new figure loomed before her. Said new figure promptly crumpled at her feet, and was replaced by a far more familiar shape instead.

"Hiya, doll," Bucky drawled as he stepped further into the light. He was dressed in his standard black leather and, though there was only one visible weapon on him, she knew he was probably armed with far more than a taser and some hair ties. He glanced at the still twitching men behind her with an appreciative eye and smiled when he said, "Nice work."

There was a crash from the other end of the alley and she tightened her hold on her weapon of choice even though Bucky didn't seem concerned in the slightest. She turned to find Clint in a weird amalgam of tactical and casual wear that somehow made it look like he was just going out for the night. He let go of someone who didn't look familiar from her own fun and excitement, but he did so in a way that the man's head bounced off of the brick side of one of the buildings. He brushed his hands off as though he had done nothing more than take out the trash, and then offered her a wave in greeting.

"I totally didn't see either of them," she admitted wryly.

Clint shrugged like it was no big deal, but explained, "One on either end of the alley in case you managed to get away from the other four. Not a bad strategy, but clearly not the best."

"You handled four," Bucky reminded her. "One more wasn't going to stop you."

She brushed her hair out of her face and offered, "Let's just admit it might have."

"Not a chance," he said with far more conviction than she thought was strictly warranted. He grabbed her hand before she could lower it fully to her side though and pushed up her sleeve to reveal angry red marks that would undoubtedly soon turn to purple. His eyes narrowed at the injury before he raised his head to glare at the men behind her, like he could tell which one it was based on his fingerprints against her skin or some such thing. Then again, maybe he could since he really was staring at the right guy.

"None of that," she insisted. She pulled her hand from his grasp gently and let her shirt cover the worst of it for now. He could have very easily fought the motion, but didn't. Probably afraid of aggravating the injury. She wasn't big enough not to use that against him. "The man already paid by virtue of probably never being able to have children, if you get my drift?"

Clint made a show of wincing and pressing his knees together in sympathy, but he also totally kicked the correct guy casually in the head when he finished with his antics and stepped closer. He nodded in direction of the street, where a Stark security car pulled up as if on cue. It was not her, but Barnes that he addressed when he said, "Why don't you take her home and get some ice on that while we finish up here?"

She frowned at him, knowing what he was doing and appreciating it fully. She of course had to make a show of it though and asked, "I totally get credit for the four, right? Beats my previous record of three and I want bragging rights."

He took the taser from her hand and gently tucked it back into her bag before the possibly illegal weapon could be spotted by any bystanders. "Yes, Lewis, totally counts," he assured her. "Now get your ass out of here before someone thinks to question you. There's a pint of Haagen Dazs with your name on it."

She let Bucky guide her away even though he asked, "Haagen Dazs?"

"Awesome ice cream and comfort food. I'm going to eat my weight in it," she explained. "I have it on good authority that it helps to mitigate the freak outs."

He paused and looked down at her. "You freaking out, doll?"

"Big time," she admitted. The words came out far more high pitched and choked than she intended, but she figured it got the message across. "Going to have a full breakdown. Hopefully away from the eyes of the idiot with the camera over there."

He stepped forward in a way that blocked the would-be blogger's view and took her hand in his own, not even mentioning the way it trembled against the metal. "It'll be alright," he assured her. "You're safe, and I'm going to keep you that way."

She nodded even though the words glanced off the surface of her current state of mind. "You're totally not letting me go for a late night coffee on my own any time soon, are you?" she asked doubtfully.

"Not a chance in the world," he agreed in a heartbeat.

"You're totally going to make me get my wrist checked out before I get the Haagen Dazs, aren't you?" she asked with a knowing sigh.

"Yep," he said without pause.

"Then I up my request from ice cream to alcohol. Or maybe ice cream with a side of alcohol," she told him. "There's no way I can hold off the freak out for that long and I'll need something to wipe the embarrassment from my brain."

"There's no need to be embarrassed," he insisted. He tugged gently on the fingers of her good hand and she took it as the full body hug it was meant to be. "And your gin and tonic will depend on what the doc gives you for the pain."

She shook her head, mainly so he wouldn't see her roll her eyes. "Anything he gives me will burn right though this empty stomach and go straight to my head, voiding out the comfort of gin and ice cream," she protested.

He paused and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "You didn't have dinner? You were at a cafe."

"For coffee," she reminded him. "Lucy makes the best macchiatos and lets me curl up on the couch by the fireplace for hours if I want to. Bonus wi-fi without Stark screening my sites? Love that place."

"But you didn't eat there?" he confirmed.

"Cupcakes only. Tonight was supposed to be pasta night and I was promised some rigatoni."

He gave her a look like she was insane but she ignored it, more than used to it by now. "Doc, meds, rigatoni, ice cream, and maybe something with ice that's not in a pack?" he recited her full preferred game plan for the rest of the evening.

"And comfort sex if you're willing," she chirped, not sure if she was pushing too far or not. She could blame it on the adrenaline later. Or maybe the adrenaline crash. One of those.

His look changed from playful to heated and he leaned down to claim her lips with his own, the kiss expressing far more than pesky words could say. He broke away somewhat reluctantly and pressed his lips rather chastely against her forehead instead. "More than willing," he smiled, and she could feel his breath against her skin.

She tilted her head back so that he could slot his lips against her own again and, after a brief yet enjoyable delay, whispered, "Best boyfriend ever."

"Still making you get your wrist checked out," he whispered right back. He pulled away somewhat reluctantly, and she could tell that he was debating the merits of walking the few blocks back to the tower versus commandeering one of the security transports. With a definitive nod, he angled her in the direction of the cars. The driver didn't protest, but she felt the need to when he added, "Also? Still making you go to remedial self-defense training. You said it yourself, you relied on one tool far too much."

She had expected it, but that didn't mean she liked it. She pouted and he flicked her bottom lip lightly in response before he held the door open for her to get in. "At least I'm still alive and kicking?" she tried.

He slid in next to her, opting to actually trust the driver for a change in an effort to stay close and offer her comfort instead. He let her burrow in next to him and she could hear the approval in his tone as much as she could hear the humor when he agreed, "Yep, and you already learned the most important lesson for any altercation."

She looked up at him, knowing the confusion was writ across her features. "And what would that lesson be?" she asked doubtingly.

He pulled her close again and pressed his lips against the top of her head before he said, "Kick 'em hard."

Feedback is always welcomed.

Inside A Travel Guide to Vulcan

Apr. 30th, 2016 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] startreknews_feed

Back in January, StarTrek.com gave fans a First Look at Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan, an upcoming interactive guidebook from Insight Editions that explores everything Spock's home planet has to offer. Now, StarTrek.com is pleased to take you inside the guide, which is written by popular Trek author Dayton Ward, as we share an exclusive preview of pages from Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan.  

And, once again, here's the synopsis from Insight Editions:

Plan your next trip to the planet Vulcan with Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan! Find restaurants that serve the best fried sandworms and Vulcan port. Take a trip to the Fire Plains or experience spring break at the Voroth Sea. Learn all about the native Vulcan people and their unusual customs. Discover how to correctly perform the traditional Vulcan salutation (you really don’t want to get this wrong). Learn key Vulcan phrases such as Nam-tor puyan-tvi-shal wilat: “Where is your restroom?” Find out what to do if you suddenly find yourself host to a katra—a Vulcan’s living spirit—at an inconvenient moment. All this and more can be found within the pages of this essential travel guide to one of the most popular—and logical—destinations in the known universe.

Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan draws on 50 years of Star Trek TV shows, films, and novels to present a comprehensive guide to Spock’s iconic home world. Modeled after real-world travel guides, the book will explore every significant region on Vulcan with fascinating historical, geographical, and cultural insights that bring the planet to life like never before. Also featuring a dynamic mixture of classic Star Trek imagery and original illustrations created exclusively for the book, Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan is the perfect way to celebrate 50 years of Star Trek and will thrill pop culture fans and hardcore Star Trek fans alike.

Due out on July 19, Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan will be released as a paperback that measures 6 x 9 inches and runs 160 pages. It will cost $19.99. Go to www.amazon.com to preorder it.

Dept. of Saturday

Apr. 30th, 2016 06:30 pm
kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
[personal profile] kaffyr
 Finally, Some Relaxation

I'm sitting on the laundromat, washing the coverlet that one of the cats puked on (which is too large for our home washer), trying to dry off - it's been pouring cold rain much of the day - and recovering, not only from my earlier trip to Costco,but from two weeks of nonstop activity. 

I slept past noon today, which I apparently needed to do. Last night I went to a gathering of former (and current, of course) Pioneer people. It was a good evening; I ran into a woman who'd been an ad rep back in the first years I'd been with the company,back in 1983-84. We were both hired by Rocky, and we realized we probably went back further (farther? I can't remember) than anyone else there. I'd always liked her, and it turned out she'd always liked me; something that's always good to learn. 

I had to tell her about Rocky and Nick, while she had to let me know about the recent death of another old original, Lou Rubino, who'd managed our back shop. Getting old rather mandates those jobs, but it's always sad. I was very touched when she said she'd always thought of Nick and I as a team - perceptive woman - and that she'd respected what she called our passionate dedication to journalistic ethics. We didn't think "ad side" noticed. Silly us.

As I sit here, BB is going over the MCU/who crossover I just finished as a delayed fandom_stocking story. It topped 4,000 words because I can't do short, apparently. 

And tonight is steak, bubbly, BB, and more relaxation. 

I am grateful.

ten good things

May. 1st, 2016 12:13 am
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Rose lemonade. Read more... )

2. Pad thai. Read more... )

3. Orphan Black. It turns out that I am still very emotionally invested, okay: I have to keep pausing it to squeak. (I also paused it to stare, narrow-eyed, at the perplexing geology, and then to, um, take a screenshot. to keep staring at. later.)

4. Cyanocitta stelleri (Steller's Jay), and #dreamwidth, who identified the source of this image in particular for me. Excellent blue; ridiculous crest.

5. Aphelocoma californica (Western Scrub Jay). Also an excellent blue.

6. This hedgehog, which tumblr thought it was important for me to see.

7. A Brief History Of Tax Evasion In Britain (Or: Panama Is For Posers, Now Brick Up Your Windows).

8. Check, Please! fandom is giving me lots of people-adoring-each-other to roll around in, and is also giving me lots of really thorough and thoughtful incredibly iddy fic ([personal profile] staranise wrote a really detailed soulmates AU that I just want to smoosh my face on, okay?).

9. An amble round the charity shops in the sunshine this afternoon yielded a film and a gift, in addition to, you know, the part where I got sunshine.

10. I am having a possibly ridiculous number of Feelings about continuity-of-community and shit about this thing in passing, and I... really need to be asleep so I'm not even slightly going to go into the details in any depth now, but I've been having A Rough Week Or So on several related topics so this was A Good, alright.

ALRIGHT. Sleep. xx
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
[tumblr.com profile] longroadstonowhere said: prompt: jane and dirk, the little things, one of them helps the other recover from a bad mood? (sorry, less good at the scenario part of things)

Note: Oh look, it's more Alpha Timeline Fluff! And this one is genuinely and incontrovertibly fluffy! (...Pay no attention to Dirk's champion lying-by-implication near the end.) [~1000 words]

A Problem That You'll Understand )

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote a pesterlog! I think the character voices are slightly off, but eh. I'll do another editing pass before I stick this up on AO3.

April recs

May. 1st, 2016 08:31 am
iamshadow: Image of the letter A and dragonfly in pink with caption #REDinstead for Autism Acceptance Month (Default)
[personal profile] iamshadow
There's a mix this month, of Avengers recs, like usual, and a section of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. recs (the television series, NOT the movie). With the exception of a delightful fic that straddles both fandoms (to be found grouped with the UNCLE fics), you can easily find the fandom you're interested in by scrolling until you find it. I don't anticipate that amount of UNCLE fics being a regular thing in my recs post - for one thing, it's a tiny fandom with a closed canon, and I'm still very much a Marvel fan - but you might get a handful now and again.

Read more... )

FESC: Relax about Town of Gilbert

Apr. 30th, 2016 06:28 pm
[syndicated profile] rebeccatushnet_feed

Posted by Rebecca Tushnet

Enrique Armijo           Town of Gilbert: Relax Everybody   

Presenter: Derek Bambauer


Argues that criticism of Reedis overblown/misplaced; argues in favor of the outcome.  Cleaned up dicta that caused lower courts to conflate content and viewpoint discrimination. Gilbert two step: does the challenged regulation refer to content in its text?  If so, apply strict scrutiny.  If not, does the regulation regulate because of viewpoint?  If so, apply strict scrutiny.


Media commentators portrayed Gilbert as part of 1A tsunami crushing regulation.  Armijo says: chill. Actual effects of Gilbert in 3 areas: sign restrictions. Many regs that fail now would have failed under earlier regimes; will allow regulation where related to real purposes.  Commercial speech distinction remains alive and applies only intermediate scrutiny.  Moreover, forcing municipalities to remove content restrictions reduces discretion for local officials, which is an important purpose of the 1A.


Panhandling: begging is speech, but courts have long permitted bans anyway b/c they don’t like beggars. The bans now have to be more narrowly tailored to traffic safety etc. 


Consumer protection: doesn’t divest gov’t of regulatory power, but burden of proof rests w/gov’t.  Securities laws that mandate disclosure/bar fraud are clearly essential to a functional system.  Pressing state to link regs to verifiable harms imposes a useful restraint on gov’t power.


Argues: cleanly separated content and viewpoint discrimination is a good test.  Courts are properly cautious about their ability to detect hidden animus.


Treatment of content neutral laws leads to underprotection of speech: broad speech blocks are more likely to survive, like a ban on all lawn signs.  Current schema blocks skewing, but not silencing.  Content-specific bans can’t survive even if there are abundant alternative outlets.  Argues that there should be more protection for speech subject to content-neutral bans.


Comment: the shift of Gilbertis bigger than that. Courts may in hindsight have been wrong to use the viewpoint discrimination bad, content discrimination often ok framework, but the SCt let them do it for a while.  Gilbert injected strict scrutiny where intermediate scrutiny was used; likely to have a profound influence on future regulators even if courts haven’t yet done much. Change in emphasis as well as scrutiny; reliance on Sorrell, which moved commercial speech towards core political speech.  Scholars previously opined that regulatory skepticism in Sorrell  would be outlier; it would be a new norm.


Compelled speech is different: gov’t gets much more latitude in compelling speech in commercial contexts than suppressing, curtailing the parade of horribles.


Motive matters; looking for motive catches really clever and really dumb regulators. Gilbertforces stupid gov’ts to take bitter and sweet; sidelines clever gov’ts that appear to avoid malign purposes but still discriminate.  Panhandling is a nice illustration: not clear whether the issue is narrow tailoring, better lawyering, or both—and that’s b/c panhandling laws aren’t really about traffic safety.


It’s not clear how to measure the amount of affected speech, or balance benefits w/speech costs.  Time, place, manner: preserves people’s sleep, but we don’t know how many activists want a parade at midnight. Not clear whether we need more or less searching rule. 


Need theories of middle range linking gov’t purpose to distinctions.


Armijo: consider how you think about these following statements: There’s a local law about how long you can have a in your yard: in May 2017, a Trump 2016 sign should be finable.  1A should (or should not) require town to require near miss or accident before it can ban panhandling in the median strip. An application for state employment that disqualifies 4 African-American applicants for every white applicant violates the Equal Protection clause.  That’s Washington v. Davis; most people in academia think it’s wrong—they think you can presume discriminatory purpose when you have discriminatory effect. In 1A, we care too much about purpose. Reed minimizes use of purpose in resolving 1A questions = that’s a good thing.


It’s a fair critique that the paper underplays the effect of Reed. There are 100s of lower court opinions that are wrong b/c they look at purpose & approve suppressive effect, and those will have to go.  The other critique: what is intermediate scrutiny?  It’s now rational basis review, and that’s a problem; we need to do better if it’s to mean anything.  Who’s afraid of big bad strict scrutiny? What’s the actual effect? Requires the gov’t to draft carefully. All these interests are compelling (ok, most of them). These are about overinclusiveness, underinclusiveness, least restrictive alternative. We should want the gov’t to think about that before it regulates whenever it’s writing laws or regs to affect speech. 


Q (not mine): premise that Reed doesn’t change much of anything—there’s a line of cases that resulted in Reed; it wasn’t alone in treatment of content neutrality. But there already seems to be a change in the law from Reed, and that’s TM registration.  Norfolk sign case: one restriction there was on gov’t flags.  Lanham Act has a flag ban on registration.  We tried to make an argument to register DC flag, but couldn’t make a 1A argument that registration was allowed.  Reedoverturned that.  DC & Houston couldn’t register before; they could now, right?


Armijo: Stupid laws.  The voting selfie case: another example of a stupid law. Not moved by the supposed unfairness of forcing gov’t to show compelling interest.


RT: [I don’t think that’s a stupid law. It has an obvious point in preventing people from implementing a vote-coercing/vote-buying scheme by preventing them from getting photographic proof; the ban makes the scheme less likely to work and thus less worth engaging in. I also don’t think the flag registration ban is stupid. I don’t know why someone who admits he knows nothing about TM can judge whether the flag ban is stupid; these are complex regulatory schemes.  Why are judges good evaluators of the evidence here?  I don’t think that © and TM will be struck down, even though their details could not possibly survive strict scrutiny even if the overall idea of the scheme could (compulsory cable licensing, anyone?). But what I do think is that this very fact—© and TM are safe—is evidence of ugly things that go on in exempting certain rules from strict scrutiny/defining strict scrutiny down, just as Vince Blasi warned about many moons ago.  Stuff that the Court likes will survive strict scrutiny, just as Alito listed a bunch of obviously content-based rules as examples of totally fine sign regulations in his concurrence.]


Q: puts starch in standards. It’s just good First Amendment hygiene.  No parade of horribles will occur, but the problem is the euphoria of 1A folks who thought they could get rid of commercial speech, zoning. It’s important to make people show that there aren’t less restrictive means.  Courts may resist finding a violation b/c the consequences are so serious—the same thing goes on in the 1A context—the specter of strict scrutiny leads to courts evading it. Doesn’t have to invalidate © and TM—just give me a reason [that doesn’t sound like strict scrutiny]; did you consider alternatives that were less impactful on speech?  [P.S.: the answer with © and TM is: no.]


Armijo: Turnergetting intermediate scrutiny was ridiculous.


Q: effect or purpose as the crucial question.  Heffernan SCt case from last week: Someone who wasn’t intending to speak—he was demoted as a detective for picking up a yard sign for his mom; but they intended to demote him for exercising his right to speak. That’s the right decision.


Q: if Reed doesn’t strike down commercial speech regulation, why can’t courts just decide that Reed doesn’t apply to their situations too? Your argument is basically that courts will do that regularly, which also takes the wind out of the sails of your argument that gov’t will be held to its proof.


A: one of the main arguments is that the commercial speech doctrine is the last line of defense against a full-on Reed that applies to every conceivable reference.  If you look at what courts are doing, they are actually distinguishing Reed from commercial speech regulation, which seems right.


Q: But why don’t you think Reed should do away with the commercial speech doctrine. If strict scrutiny is so good, why shouldn’t we have it for everything, including commercial speech regulation?


A: there are good reasons to treat commercial speech differently.  Those reasons will continue to be sufficient.  [This raises the classic question of retail v. wholesale justifications for treatment.  Commercial speech gets shunted off from strict scrutiny at the wholesale level.  Likewise © does, and apparently the non-disparagement/scandalousness bars of TM too and probably things like TM priority and ITU.]


Q: so why not other things too, like the Chaplinsky categories?


Balkin: how much is this paper about the composition of the federal courts?  Lower federal courts might read Reed narrowly b/c they have a lot of Obama appointees. Significant chance that Scalia’s replacement will be less skeptical of the regulatory state. That would be a very good explanation for why we should relax; paper’s analysis would be helpful but not necessary.  If Ted Cruz stocks the Court with constitutional conservatives, then Reedwill mean a lot more.


Bambauer: Armijo takes preexisting categories seriously.  Conservatives could weaponize Sorrell too.  Legal Realist critique is a different matter.


Balkin: your point is there’s not enough evidence of which direction Reed will go.


Q: nonjudicial 1A roles—federal agency may be able to enhance 1A discourse, maybe even by funding broadcasters.  Commercial-adjacent speech—not a proposal for a transaction.  Gay conversion therapy: is it a content based distinction?  Under Reed, yes. But does it reach any of the reasons we created the content-based category? Or is it just a service you can no longer obtain?  Professional speech isn’t a formally recognized category of the same vintage as commercial speech.


Q: distinct 1A interest in that speech in Velasquez re: funding of legal services. 


Balkin: 1A protects professional judgment in some contexts, but gov’t can also regulate professional fields for quality.


Q: but every law is dumb some of the time. Banning gay conversion therapy outright can’t be the least restrictive means!  Making GPS provider liable if advice caused an accident: that’s content-based.  [And a less restrictive alternative would be counterspeech! Have the gov’t make its own GPS system and people can choose which to use.]


Balkin: very common to create regulatory rule that’s prophylactic. 


Armijo: but that allows the “no panhandlers in the median” rule too; that’s prophylactic.  Why not ban all people hanging out in the median? Current 1A law incentivizes “no one hanging out in the median,” which harms the political protestor as well as the panhandler.  [I’m not sure where to go from that.]


Q: Does any of this track the reasons we adopted the content based distinction?


Armijo: makes us more suspicious of the gov’t. 


Balkin: Bad motives; distorting marketplace of ideas. But how do you know what a nondistorted market looks like?  What you’re left with is that you’re worried about bad motives. If that’s the case, go straight to the question of the gov’t’s motives.


A: it’s usually hard to tell/well masked.  [Not clear to me that’s true.] Also, you have to worry about other justifications.  Require neutrality = you don’t have to do that.


Balkin: but there are many kinds of content or speaker based laws where one would not imagine bad motives. That would suggest that there are some classes of content regulation where you shouldn’t trust the gov’t.  But some you should.


Q: facial neutrality, by the same token, is no guarantee of anything good motive-wise.  Closure of a designated public forum is neutral, but bad.  Like closing the swimming pool to avoid integration.


Armijo: my aim is to reverse US v. O’Brien, and focus on effects and not purpose gets you there.


Q: but that was just the Court doing a bad job at purpose analysis.


Q: but there you have a plausible neutral reason for the regulation that the Court didn’t second-guess based on a few floor statements.


Bambauer: We have a bunch of special cases.  1A doesn’t apply to ©; not to cable (Turner).  Is it preferable to have special cases or just face it outright.


Q: the special cases are diminishing over time, just as unprotected categories have been narrowing over time.  [© is a counterexample, it seems to me; that was only invented in this century.] Incremental narrowing of gov’t latitude to regulate commercial speech—that’s In re Tam and Discovery Networks – you don’t get leeway to regulate if your purpose isn’t to deal with the commercial transaction itself. Zauderer makes it weird, but overall the special cases are narrowing more to a standard interpretation.  Reed doesn’t mean there will be no more incitement, obscenity, etc.


Q: disclosures: cigarette companies may be required to disclose when other producers aren’t required to disclose the same risk; it’s not b/c cigarettes are extra regulable for the very reason commercial speech is regulable—it’s not RAV.  Regulating particular speakers can’t be enough to invalidate a law—you can regulate disclosure of airline prices without regulating disclosure of all prices or all transportation. It’s just a feature of gov’t regulation that you can’t regulate everything at once.


Q: recent Heffernancase: the 1A focuses on the gov’t’s activity.  A justification for looking at intent.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Finally got around to watching Proof. The poem--I'm calling it a poem--that Gwyneth Paltrow's character read from her father's workbook, taken from the original play by David Auburn, made the whole experience worthwhile:
Let X equal the quantity of all quantities of X.
Let X equal the cold. It is cold in December.
The months of cold equal November through February.
There are four months of cold and four months of heat, leaving four months of indeterminate temperature.
In February it snows.
In March the lake is a lake of ice.
In September the students come back and the bookstores are full.
Let X equal the months of full bookstores.
The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four.
I will never be as cold now as I will in the future.
The future of cold is infinite.
The future of heat is the future of cold.
The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September.
Decided to give the movie a try today because it was on theme; last night my friend L. & I went to see The Man Who Knew Infinity, about Indian math prodigy Ramanujan and his unlikely friendship with English mathematician G.H. Hardy in the 1910s, because our former professor wrote the book it was based on and he came up for a Q&A with the writer-director and a local mathematician.

Like Proof, that movie was... perfectly serviceable. Both turn out to have been inspired by or based in part on Hardy's memoir, so that was neat. Jeremy Irons played him in Infinity: one of the strengths of the film. Dev Patel as Ramanujan was also lovely. I joked ("joked") with L. afterwards that I made my own fun during the enjoyable but formulaic--ha, math pun--story by pondering how much of the dialogue and how many of the nonverbal gestures between Hardy and Ramanujan and between Hardy and colleague Littlewood (Toby Jones) were meant to imply more than platonic intellectual relationships. There was some slashiness going on that has not been refuted by a quick perusal of magazine articles about the movie and the people being depicted in it, is all I'm saying.

Now off to friend C's for Crimson Peak and spaghetti. A much-needed screen-filled weekend to end April and Passover.

Three Vintage Postcards

Apr. 30th, 2016 10:45 pm
[syndicated profile] endpaper_feed

Posted by Callum

Three vintage postcards picked up today. The first, (above), because it just makes you smile. The second, (below) because of the delightful message on the back in which Grace tells Ciss all about her fancy dress costume. Real-photographic postcards like this one were produced by photographers who simply printed a photograph directly onto a stock postcard and so very often the one in your hand today might be one of only a handful ever produced and, one has to imagine, often the only one surviving.

"My Dear Ciss, Here I am in my fancy dress. The walking stick is the prize I won, second prize. We both did enjoy ourselves. All the beads are real amber, dad's gold silk curtains are around me, the scarf on my head is the blue one you bought at Mr Privett's sale. Don't you think I make a good East Indian Princess?"

The third postcard (below), has a slightly darker edge to it. It is written in pencil now too faint to decipher even for a German-reader, which I am not, for that is the language it is written in. The presence of the ink stamps saying "Abraham" all over it is horribly reminiscent of Jews in Nazi Germany having a "J" stamped on their passports, and having to change their names to either Israel or Sarah, though the postcard predates the Nazi era. It could simply be a child called Abraham with a home printing kit having fun. Any insight from FFEP readers is, of course, always appreciated.

Saturday Yardening

Apr. 30th, 2016 04:42 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today it is very soggy outside.  I managed to get out between rain showers and plant two of the plants I got yesterday -- a German thyme and a burgundy columbine.

My white columbine is blooming in the rain garden.

Also yesterday my parents gave me a belated birthday card listing a present which will arrive some time in autumn: 100 bulbs worth of flower garden.  :D  Daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, windflowers, and a few others. 

EDIT: This evening I went out to refill the birdfeeders.  I've been seeing more blue jays around the hopper feeder.  One of the lady cardinals immediately came to the suet feeder.

Frogs and toads are singing out where the fields are flooded with rainwater.

BINGO: line

Apr. 30th, 2016 04:40 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I have made bingo down the G column of my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters Bingo fest.  \o/

Adventures Elsewhere - March 2016

Apr. 30th, 2016 04:33 pm
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[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet (sort of) recently in March! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D

Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 30th, 2016 05:30 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia and two of her friends did a movie night last night at one of the friends’ houses. I was not clear on whether or not there would be dinner. Given that the thing was scheduled for 5:30 to 9:00, them ordering pizza or something seemed like a reasonable assumption, but I found out at the last minute that there would only be munchies, so I had to scramble to get dinner for Cordelia and her best friend who was over at the time— chicken patties and green beans. They apparently tried several movies, including about ten minutes of Sharknado 3 which they found too ridiculous to go on with.

Scott did the grocery shopping while the girls were out because we weren’t sure there’d be time today. He picked Cordelia and her best friend up around 9:00 and drove the best friend home before coming home and heading pretty much straight for bed. He was scheduled to work 3:00 to 7:00 this morning, and he fully expected to have to, but they called around 10:30 to say that they wouldn’t need him after all.

Mom didn’t arrive until nearly noon. She’d had a check tire pressure light come on just as she was setting out, and it took a lot longer to deal with than she expected. She was pretty unhappy about traffic on 94 because the slow lane was going along at 80 mph with cars in the fast lane still passing them.

We talked for a while then went to Saica for lunch. I’m still not 100% digestively speaking, so eating was a gamble. So far, I’m okay, but who knows? Cordelia tried a tempura California roll and concluded that she much prefers regular California rolls. Mom had some sort of soup that she enjoyed. It was both spicy hot and temperature hot. The latter gave her a good bit of trouble.

From there, we went to Book Bound. Mom bought Cordelia some books as an early birthday present. I think that might be the first birthday present my mother has ever given Cordelia which is kind of sad.

When we got back here, Mom almost fell asleep, and she decided that, given that, she’d better start back to Lawton two hours earlier than she’d planned. She wanted to get some coffee for the road, so we all went to the Espresso Royale near the Kroger. She took her own car because that was on her way out of town. Scott and I both got ginger tea, and Cordelia got a frozen mocha thing.

I’m trying to decide now if I can manage some writing of fic or reading of library books. I’m not altogether sure I can, but I would like to. I’m just more tired than I expected. I think maybe I should have gotten something caffeinated at Espresso Royale. But who knows? Maybe what I really need is to lie down for a while. I’m not certain that I’m not sick, after all, and we have to be up earlyish tomorrow.

We’ve decided not to try to get to the church for our niece’s confirmation, but we do need to go to the brunch after at Scott’s sister’s house. It’s the closest Scott’s family is going to get to a Mother’s Day thing this year given the timing of my colonoscopy. I’m a little worried that my body’s reaction to lunch today may mean that I can’t go. That would be the sort of thing that’s happened with those family gatherings consistently for many months.

Okay. Tylenol and then lying down for a little bit. I’ll see what happens.
liseuse: (reading in the dark)
[personal profile] liseuse
Crossed Oars

My boat throbbed in the drowsy depths,
willows bowed, kissing collarbones,
elbows and rowlocks – oh wait, yes,
all of this might happen to anyone!

Isn’t it all just trivial … a singing.
Isn’t its meaning – the lilac petals on
water, camomile’s sensuous sinking
lip on lip, into starry extinction!

Isn’t its meaning – clasping the sky,
arms embracing mighty Hercules,
isn’t its meaning – for endless lives,
squandering on nightingales your glory!

- Boris Pasternak

some things

Apr. 30th, 2016 02:21 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I considered having Post Amnesty Month for May, but it'd be boring: most of the pending drafts are from my having watched part of something months ago.

* The house has a front door that isn't coming unhinged! (There was a 1.5-cm gap between uppermost hinge and frame after Reason kicked in a glass pane at her knee level in January and slammed the door in anger a few times.) Now the door needs painting. *counts spoons* We'll see whether someone is willing to do such a small, inconvenient job; if not, I can do it, though I don't have or know about good primer. Suggestions welcome.

* I have a corrective-lens prescription that goes with my spine being in the right places! Glasses are on order. I will be so glad to put the interim ones into a donation box---hoping for less eyestrain with the correct scrip, and then someone with a smaller head can use my current frames....

* I also have a concern that the optometrist didn't share; since it's recurred for the third year running, next eye checkup ought probably to be with an ophthalmologist (last visited 25 years ago). Left eye has been receiving less light than right eye since my twenties, and the optometric one-eye-only tests suggest that the disparity has become more pronounced---shadows that I can't blink away. I try since last year not to drive at night. Eye pressure wasn't tested this time but was "basically fine" last year.

Well, keep wearing a hat outdoors, self. (Not mixing cataracts and glaucoma here. To the extent that genetics affect destiny, I'm likely to have both---long before I'm eighty, if I last---but cataracts are the one that a person can do a bit to stave off.)

* My aged uncle sounds better this year than last, clear of mind and voice. Though he groped for English words, he insisted on practicing English except for a few phrases. He tells me that my father said he was moving to another country (again). Has my father told me? He has not.

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] rebeccatushnet_feed

Posted by Rebecca Tushnet

Presenter: Deven Desai: Latest Trojan Horse in 1A law. §2(a) allows denial of registration for disparaging marks.  This piece of TM law is a chance to rethink the 1A in general.  The Washington football team & In re Tam.  Fed. Cir. drew on Reed to find §2(a) disparagement unconstitutional content-based regulation. Threatens the ability to have a proper regulatory state. The fact that the acid logic of current 1A protection makes the bar on registering merely descriptive terms even arguably unconstitutional shows that something has gone seriously wrong w/current law. Forcing TM law into strict scrutiny makes little sense and could do great damage in general.
Bar on disparaging marks has been justified in various ways: gov’t endorsement, gov’t resources, user’s continuing right to use.  There is enough gov’t involvement to be sufficiently like Confederate Veterans.  Is the only constitutionally sound purpose of TM law to improve the quality of the truthful/nondeceptive signals consumers receive?  Can our concept of quality include disparagement? Tam used unconstitutional conditions, but RT says that was wrong, b/c TM always involves gov’t intervention into the speech market.  We’d like to appropriate ROOT BEER or BARQ’s for root beer, but we can’t; PTO would rightly deny registration.  Deception-adjacent bars would be suspect/fail under the Tam approach.  There’s an easy way out under commercial speech doctrine under Friedman, but b/c so much has changed since 1979 there’s a problem.
What would happen if we gave full 1A scrutiny to TM? These bars would all falter/crumble under real 1A scrutiny.  Key point: denying registration isn’t a punishment. Lack of sufficient justification to grant the private right in the first place. This is what we need for a regulatory system.  If you say that other marks should have been denied; we have inconsistency in regulatory systems, and this isn’t a ban on speech.
Is this viewpoint discrimination? No, it’s equal: you can’t disparage any group with your choice of mark; we don’t care what the speaker thinks.  Straightforward.  We also make decisions about subject matter protectability in ©.  To have a regulatory state, we need to do certain things. The FDA has to manage drug labels. Debt collection practices. Registering TMs—economic regs assaulted by modern 1A theory.  We should embrace ordinary economic regulations with content regulation involved.  That’s what the regulatory state is supposed to do when it works well.
What content-based determinations are legitimate? We might have to leave it to the legislature.
RT: Thanks to Deven and the participants!  I know I’m a bit of a contrarian.
Balkin: This is different than other kinds of regulations.  Characterize what the nature of the regulatory practice is to fit it into 1A thought. First cut: this is a close cousin of the regulation of commercial speech. Either part of that or close cousin. There, our basic goal is to promote truthful, nonmisleading information for the purpose of improving cultural competence.  It’s really a form of market behavior we protect b/c in essence it throws information into the system. Much market behavior isn’t protected b/c it isn’t info producing. Tries to influence desire by reshaping culture.  [those two things aren’t the same, desire and info]  But why don’t we allow TM registration for everything? The gov’t must have a view that there are certain registrations that will produce a certain kind of market that’s desirable: but what is that?  Once we know what the gov’t’s goals are, the real test is whether there is a rational relation b/t organization of the registration system and the kind of market we want.  If true, that’s just Central Hudson, which is reasonableness under the circumstances.  If it’s truthful or not misleading, we do intermediate scrutiny. The distinction between viewpoint based and content based is not part of the test, just a means-end rationality test.  Must be an allocation of economic power somewhere (rights or no-rights) and the gov’t’s choice among them just has to be reasonable.
Desai: constitutionally sound purpose of TM/harm done to significant segments of the population—need to develop that more in the paper.
Tamara Piety: On misleadingness, case law has assumed that if it’s lawful or that a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t make an assertion about truthfulness meets that prong; elides disputes about what constitutes misleadingness or truthfulness. Doesn’t fit neatly in to truthfulness/nontruthfulness. We could place this dispute in (1) or (2) of Central Hudson.  State action problem: Gov’t’s thumb on the side of a matter of public concern. But it would be if they had the registration too! Gov’t’s doing so in a regime that if they get the right they get to suppress others’ speech. What’s the justification for that?  Market-making v. gov’t’s desire to avoid identification with disparagement.  1A discussion seems to be at the first level of taking a side on disparagement rather than what TM as a regime does.
Andrew: not a TM expert: struck down disparagement bar in toto. But doctrinally: other ways that might attack disparagement bar.  I don’t like Confederate Veterans: majority opinion has difficult-to-foresee implications; giving up on Finley—gov’t doesn’t want its hands dirtied by art it doesn’t like.  One thing you might draw on is admin law: idea of Congress not delegating this power to this group to make this decision.  Petition for cancellation is an interesting mechanism: Washington team already had a registration; Tam didn’t have a registration—is there a difference/vested right?  King v. Burwell—why would you let the TM office make a disparagement determination? There’s no way that moral adequacy questions would ever be delegated to the PTO.
RT: reminds me of talking about © 15 years ago. [Congress was super clear about delegation.]
Vision of market making: Civilizing commerce.
Kate Klonick: even though we keep talking about avoiding deception, honest info flow—the other question is why do we want that to be the marketplace? It benefits consumers and companies in general (market for lemons)—that’s also why we allow the TM office to regulate speech that is derogatory.  We want to protect users.
RT: issue: continuing right to use; can the market take care of it?  Not always! Doux-commerce: a market can segment so that the racists are enough to support the product.
Annemarie Bridy: Source identification is not a semantic function—when the gov’t is regulating whether or not it will give you a mark, it’s only regulating whether it will approve of that as a source identifier.  Does that mean it’s content neutral, b/c what you’re regulating is the source identification function?
RT: not under Reed’s excitingly broad definition of “content based,” but that’s silly—it’s a perfectly sensible content-based regulation.
Balkin: RAV.  Scalia would say: imagine two different products: Happy Jew bagels; Smelly Jew bagels.  According to Scalia, you can’t register one but not the other.  Exception: where the distinction is related to the purpose of the regulation itself.  If you accept that disparagement is part of a special master plan of sweet commerce, that would be ok.
RT: deceptive marks: a ban would be effective; refusal to register by hypothesis is not b/c it’s material to consumers, thus helping to sell the product; why would the applicant stop using?  So unless something about the regulatory system is important to distinguish it from a ban, gov’t should have to use a ban instead.
Piety: external justification for regulation: since you’re handing a potential stream of income to someone. Materially different from a speech ban. 
Priority rules—why aren’t they suspect under the 1A?  ITU, foreign rights owners, etc.  Even if the common law were a neutral baseline, that isn’t the common law.
Analogy to names: gets past the commercial speech issue; doesn’t have to be commercial speech for the gov’t to be able to regulate it in this particular way.  [avoid the Central Hudson question of reasonable basis if it’s a general regulation that goes beyond commercial speech]
Consider Gallo v. Gallo and other personal names cases: courts have not to date seen a 1A problem in barring use of personal name (though query whether that should continue—here we have the private speech v. private speech issue not directly presented by TM registration)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
... I've announced the next contributor weekend, which is running on the 14th and 15th of May!

If you have requests for specific flavours of cake, now is a good time to make them :-)
nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
[personal profile] nanila
Mine, all mine
Keiki and "his" box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Thanks to him, I have discovered that if you manage to prise the leftover milk from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of your possessive baby's fingers and add it to your morning cup of filter coffee, you can create a pumpkin spice latte.


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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