Thursday, July 23, 2009

Park vents on NASA, twice?

IPBiz was wondering what Bob Park would say about some of things coming from NASA and from former astronauts.

Park's post of July 17 had a predictable message, but seemed oddly unedited (or tediously repetitive):

This is the 21st century. Telerobots have been invented. Our two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are merely robust extensions of our fragile human bodies. They don't break for lunch or complain about the cold nights, and they live on sunshine. They do suffer the afflictions of age. Their teeth are worn down from scraping rocks, and one has an arthritic foot that he drags behind him. But their brains are still sharp since they are the brains of their PhD handlers. No need to bring them home when they are no longer able to explore, they will just be turned off. Bolden also said he wants to go to Mars. How incredibly old-fashioned! We are on Mars now. This is the 21st century. We have discovered robotics. More than that, we have telerobots. Spirit and Opportunity are merely robust extensions of our fragile human bodies. They don't break for lunch, or complain about the cold nights, and they live on sunshine. We have been on Mars for more than five years, looking for evidence of water and life. A human on Mars would be locked in a spacesuit with only the sense of sight. Our rovers have better eyes than any human, and we don't have to take their word it; everyone can see what they see. How wonderfully democratic! Moreover, they have the IQ of their PhD operators back on Earth

Park's post look like a "Sikahema in the making." Meanwhile, IPBiz had been looking (without success, so far) for (former) Judge Mathesius's article "Reflections of a Disreputer ", which once was in New Jersey Lawyer. Electronic vestiges of that may have been Sikahema'd. NJ Lawyer wrote in Dec. 07:

Mathesius had been suspended without pay for a month in a November 2006 Supreme Court decision. Two of his sins were asking a jury "What the hell" it was thinking in acquitting a defendant and sending a letter to an Appellate Division judge highly critical of her for writing an opinion that reversed an armed-robbery conviction in a case in which he presided.
He was told by the court "to reflect" on his actions. His response was the lengthy and sarcastic "Reflections of a disreputer," published by New Jersey Lawyer in June.
In it, he accused the high court of an "assault on judicial independence" by "the dangerous, repressive and chilling practice of disciplining judges who write opinions with which one or another or all justices disagree."

L'affaire Mathesius has entered the realm of law reviews. See BRUCE A. GREEN AND REBECCA ROIPHE, 64 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 497 (2009) for the text:

For example, in contrast to opinions recognizing the legitimacy of judges' personality and of their diverse judicial philosophies, the New Jersey Supreme Court opinions have emphasized the need "'to subordinate one's personal pulls and one's private views.'" In re Mathesius, 910 A.2d 594, 614-15 (N.J. 2006) (quoting Dunlap v. Friedman's, Inc., 582 S.E.2d 841, 850 n.4 (W. Va. 2003) (Davis, J., dissenting) (citations and internal quotations omitted)). Likewise, that court has emphasized the importance of preserving "the independence of the judi-ciary" as an institution (as distinct from the independence of individual judges) by disciplining judges whose conduct undermines public confidence in, and respect for, the judiciary. Id. at 608 (quoting In re Seaman, 627 A.2d 106, 121 (N.J. 1993)).

Green and Roiphe didn't say anything about "Reflections of a disreputer." There has been a "sort of" comparison of Mathesius and Posner. LBE has met both. Evokes Senator Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.

For all those who thought patents were a priority in the Obama administration, recall NASA guy Bolden was nominated long before Kappos. Park noted: While most of the media must have been at the tedious Sotomayor confirmation, Andrew Lawler of Science was covering the smooth Senate confirmation of Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden as NASA Administrator.


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