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October 13, 2007


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It's not a post on Texas justice without a link to the ultimate classiest state government web page ever: http://web.archive.org/web/20031202214318/http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/finalmeals.htm

Noel Maurer

I think the world missed a great opportunity to strike a blow against racism and Anglocentrism when the United States annexed Texas.

Would have sucked for the Texians, I know.

What would the regime of Hugh Ralph Keys look like? Sometimes I regret SHWI's passing.

Will Baird

This is a desktop prototype. The next step will be a Pain Ray with a range of tens or hundreds of meters. Someone's going to make a lot of money selling that one.

Oh. Doug you're not up on the militaria bits are you? They have a pain ray. The problem is that the military is too scared to use it. Reason being it might be considered, y'know, bad press and outright torture. I know...I know...




Not quite a TASP (???) but on the way...

Will Baird

Completely OT, but, what do you all econ types think of the following blogs:



I know enough econ to get me into trouble, but not enough to save me from untruths at higher levels. I got a nice refresher when Lyuda took her micro and macro econ courses last year, but that's hardly as deep as what you here know.


Just to make sure we're on the same page, Noel: Hugo Rafael Claves? or some other HRC?

Texan redistributive populism. It's got a nice beat, but can you dance to it.

Will, The Economist's View often has good stuff. Haven't seen Vistesen's site before. I should really beef up our sidebars.

Noel Maurer

Hugo Rafael Chávez. "Chávez" derives from "chaves," which means "keys" in Portuguese.

He would certainly be an interesting character. Texan oil revenues have soared from $5 bn in 1998 to $20 bn in 2006. Since an independent Texas would like have a much smaller population, it would make a great party.

Dennis Brennan

I quickly blew through a digest of the Medellin case (slow day at work today, does it show?)

It seems to me that both the ICJ ruling and the Bush memo are non-sequiturs. Isn't the issue really as follows:

Fact: Texas court convicted Medellin. Said conviction violated the Vienna Convention, which being a duly-ratified treaty, is the supreme law of the land. Therefore, either:

(A) In the absence of any specific treaty language providing otherwise, the Texas courts get to decide what effect the Vienna Convention violation has on the validity of Medellin's conviction, therefore Medellin fries, QED; or

(B) the Vienna Convention violation, in and of itself, renders the conviction a legal nullity, so Medellin gets a new trial, QED.

Again, I haven't read the briefs, so what am I missing?

Sir Francis Burdett guest-starring as himself

"Next, we have a short article about a pain machine. Touch it, and it causes unbearable pain -- without doing any actual damage. This is a desktop prototype."

well I _did_ learn something today (which of course comes harder for me than most)


The Gom jabbar is ""The high-handed enemy; that specific poison needle tipped with meta-cyanide used by Bene Gesserit Proctors in the death-alternative test of human awareness."

NOT as I had mis-remembered the name for the pain causing nerve induction box that the character Paul Atreides is subjected to by Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in "Dune".


Um. 'Keys' is probably a folk etymology. More likely it came from Arabic shabb, meaning 'a young man'.


Ah. "Adjetivo ('joven') que parece reflejarse en la documentación antigua de la zona noroccidental de la Península Ibérica, vgr., ES Ero Hab (por Xab); DS Xabe, Xab, Scape, Xape, Xapiz, Xabez, fem. Xaba, Scapa; IM Xabe; HG el Xab, el Xabes, Axabe. En cuanto a MCR Yahie Xabeb, es probable se trate de shabbab 'flautista'."

And Ghalib 'conqueror' got turned to Galve, hence Gálvez. (But probably _not_ al-faris 'the knight' to Alvarez, unless there was a Mozarabic Nabokov who did it to assimilate. The etymology of Álvaro is pretty well attested. It's from the Visigoth, and means 'all-guard'.)

Sorry, minor hobby-horse.

Noel Maurer

Another thing that I didn't know and should have! An Arabic derivation makes more sense, anyway.

Hugh Ralph Youngman, President of the Free Republic of Texas, the adjective "Free" having been recently added. (We could get cute and make it "The Jeffersonian Republic of Texas.")

In fact, Youngman sounds much better.

Not that I'm ever going to do anything with that idea.

Syd Webb

Love the Batman link.

Doug wrote: "But Texas justice is a joke around the world, and doubly so when the accused is Mexican. And the US shouldn't be able to sign treaties, then ignore them when it's inconvenient. On the other hand, the US has a federal system; how does the President tell a Texas state court what to do?"

A couple of disclosures: IANAL and I oppose the death penalty.

But one of the things worse that the death penalty is the death penalty without due process. If the USA has signed onto the Vienna Convention then the court processes in the USA must reflect the Convention. This should apply to courts at all tiers of government in the USA, not just the Federal level.

Of course it would be open to a determined federal government to use their treaty making powers to encroach on states' rights. As an example from a non-US federation the Tasmanian Dams case is instructive:

Noel Maurer

Carlos: Your hobby-horse is shared. I'm sitting here with "The Black Dahlia" on HBO, idly half-watching while I try to compose as essay, and I hear Scarlett Johannsen's character say, "Back in the day."

The movie is set in 1947.

So unless somebody tells me that the phrase dates back before the 1980s, I'm going to lose interest right quick.

Etymology is important.


Maybe they thought he said New Mexico.

Bernard Guerrero

I am gonna _love_ being a Tejano.


Until the ethnic cleansing, of course.

Noel Maurer

I lost interest. Carlos, was I justified?

Bernard, you can't be a Tejano. Texan, yes. Tejano, no.

Are you moving to Texas?

Bernard Guerrero


Yep, end of month. DFW-way.

re: Tejano vs. Texan, my understanding was that the former could be applied to anybody of Hispanic descent, whether or not they came through Mexico or had roots in the state prior to entry into the Union. No?

Not a biggie either way, but I'll feel odd saying "Yo soy un Texan" to Mom. Sounds like "Como se dice icecream en inglés?", know what I mean?

Bernard Guerrero


C'mon, you know I'd never ethnically cleanse anybody.

Bernard Guerrero


C'mon, you know I'd never ethnically cleanse anybody.

Noel Maurer

Hi, Bernard.

Thing is, in my limited El Paso-centric experience Tejanos from West Texas don't generally use "Tejano" to apply to recent immigrants --- like, those who've only been in America for two generations --- let alone Cubano posers.

But mileage varies.

As for the other issue, assuming that you care --- and there really is no reason to, at worst you'll cause some momentary confusion, and probably not in Dallas anyway --- you could tell your abuelita, "Vivo en Tejas," same way you'd say "Vivo en Florida" or "Vivo en New Jersey," not "Soy Floridiano" or "Soy Newjerseño."

The move is a good thing, right? Because the area around Arlington, Texas, is one of the parts of the United States that I personally would least like to live in.

Bernard Guerrero

"like, those who've only been in America for two generations --- let alone Cubano posers"

No, no! The Guerreros have been bouncing back and forth between the States and La Perla del Sur for a good couple of centuries, now, though not so much on the maternal side. Still, I would have figured that having a state in Mexico named after us would be worth a little cred. ;^)

"The move is a good thing, right?"

Oh, surely. More money, shorter commute, better school, cheaper property, startup potential. It's all good, apart from the complete lack of winter. I did manage to unload my snowblower for a nice sum, though.

Not Arlington, though. You don't like the Rangers or something? My old man was a Cowboys fan back in the Staubach days.


Noel, I love James Ellroy's stuff (although he peaked around American Tabloid), but that version of The Black Dahlia was kind of a mess. It's a Brian de Palma movie filmed in Bulgaria that happened to be based on a book by James Ellroy. (The period cars were immaculate. We all have different things which kill our suspension of disbelief.)

If you're watching it for Scarlett Johansson, it's also not very good. But Mia Kirshner and Hilary Swank get to vamp it up.

Noel Maurer


Scarlett, of course. Match Point is a great movie.

But "The Black Dahlia" will kill you if you have a high disbelief-suspending threshold for period dramas. Especially ones set within many people's living memory.

The dolorous list:


I can forgive the stop signs, and if they had a low budget I'd also give 'em the guardrails. But the rest ... bah.

A New York City Math Teacher

Bernard, you gotta go to Il Cenacolo before you leave NY. Just saying.

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