Court Rules on Heat – Sensor Searches. A home marijuana grower was convicted after a search occasioned by a heat-sensing device detected the heat of his grow-lamps through his walls. Now the Supreme Court upholds his contention that the search violated his privacy; that it was more like an unreasonable search and seizure than it was like merely seeing something from outside the house. This surprising pro-privacy ruling came from a 5-4 majority which crossed ideological lines, uniting Scalia (who wrote the opinion) and his shadow Clarence Thomas with liberals Ginzburg, Souter and Breyer. The cynical, conspiratorial me suspects that they shuffled the alliances on this one — relatively inconsequential, in that it doesn’t hamper law officers with heat-sensing equipment too much to get a warrant for such a search — to deflect criticism about how fundamentally inflexible and divided the Court is. New York Times

The Court also ruled that, while a child born to an American mother is automatically a U.S. citizen, no such automatic right devolves upon a child born to an American father. As NPR put it, this was the first time in decades that the Court ruled along lines of a gender stereotype.

Can he do that? “An increasingly

controversial Texas

judge orders a man not

to have sex until he’s

married.” This is the same district court judge “who made a name [yes, the colloquial name for a relative of the donkey. -ed.] for himself earlier this month after ordering registered sex offenders to identify themselves with signs in their yards.” Salon

Questions for Jeffrey Baxter: Crossover Artist: Explains how he got from a “tokin’ , takin’ it to the streets” Doobie Brother to a Republican chauvinist national missile defense advisor…

Would you give up rock ‘n’ roll to save the world?

Of course. I have been blessed to grow up in a country where I can pick up a

guitar and be able to pay the rent. But I could certainly have a full-time job in

the national security area and still play the guitar. A lot of people in Washington

play music.

Who on the Hill has chops?

Orrin Hatch is a very good songwriter. Congressman Collin Peterson is a good

guitar player and a really fine performer. Chris Cox is a fine lyricist.

Does he care how seriously the interviewer takes him? Be sure to read all the way to the end of the interview for Baxter’s cocky putdown of him. New York Times I wasn’t aware of “Skunk’s” new role, but here’s a Google search on “Jeffrey Baxter” and “missile defense” for some context. He’s identified these days as a missile defense consultant to the Defense Dept. and the Lawrence Livermore Lab, he’s got ties to conservative “freedom-fightin’ ” California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, and he’s a boardmember of the “Safeguarding America For Everyone Foundation” which lobbies for the deployment of NMD. In a 1999 New Republic article entitled “Bottom of the Barrel”, the California Republican party is described as “desperate enough” to attempt to draft Baxter as a Congressional candidate. [Oh, well, how much can you expect from a Doobie?]

The mind, the body – and how to talk yourself out of an illness. Because of accumulating data about the physical substrate of mental activity, essayist Robert Matthews thinks Susan Aldrich, whose new book Seeing Red and Feeling Blue he’s reviewing, had a brilliant insight in asserting that talk therapy must cause brain changes when it works. But this has been apparent to psychiatric practitioners and theorists for a long time, and research evidence is not new. Matthews is right about one thing, though; that , although these challenges to Cartesian mind-body dualism are compelling, it is a deeply engrained attitude in commonsense consciousness. But positing instead an unsophisticated holism is little better. Telegraph UK

Mobile Messaging: Not in the USA. “Yes, people in Europe and Asia can’t live without their short message service.

No, people in America can’t have it.” Lack of intercarrier interoperability and the pricing structure of cellular use in North America are the culprits. Wired