What Is Happening Here?

Well done, you've found the website of Jeremy Modjeska, uppity bicycle snob, opinionated dilettante, voracious user of the Oxford comma, and all-purpose nerdboy. You might find some articles related to amateur commentary on legal affairs I don't fully understand, as well as some Excel and web hackeries that people occasionally find useful. For a more current and substantially less verbose window into my world, follow me on Twitter.

Posts

I spend a lot of time advocating for and worrying about the future of cycling in Seattle. Despite the gradually-improving bike infrastructure here, and the growing adoption of cycling as a way of life, we’re still a car-centric city where riders are largely unseen by drivers and bike facilities are a funding afterthought.

On a recent tour through Yunnan province in China, I saw what cycling looks like as a way of life. Cycling doesn’t belong to hipsters, or exercise fanatics, or scofflaw messengers. Everyone does it, and it’s so deeply integrated into every aspect of society that most people don’t give it a second thought.

Farm Bike, Dali

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Posted in Travels  |  No Comments

April 27th, 2011

The Privilege of the Writ

“The Privilege of the Writ: The Supreme Court and Post-9/11 Detainee Habeas Corpus Entitlement” is a paper I wrote in 2010. In some ways it is a follow-up to my 2009 Kiyemba posts, Parts I and II. But mainly it’s a survey of Habeas Corpus law before and after 9/11. The full paper can be accessed on SSRN.

Abstract: Habeas corpus is the right to challenge one’s detention in a court of law. Prior to 9/11, habeas corpus jurisprudence erected a framework of entitlements that vary according to a person’s location, citizenship, and alleged crimes. Plotted on a timeline of American history, many of the landmark cases that progressively articulated this framework are clustered around wartime, and the entitlement conventions that obtained reflected the terminology of traditional warfare. After 9/11, as the nature of warfare and enemies evolved, and the Executive claimed unprecedented authority to detain enemy combatants, Guantanamo Bay became the extraterritorial detention facility of choice. Beginning in 2004, the Supreme Court responded with a series of cases that created a minimal but definite foundation of habeas corpus entitlement and due process for Guantanamo detainees. This article looks primarily at these post-9/11 cases, the traditional notions of habeas corpus upon which they are predicated, and the possible shortcomings they evidence relative to Guantanamo and to other extraterritorial detention facilities. Full text on SSRN.

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Posted in At Home, Politics  |  No Comments

April 26th, 2011

Contract Law Flow Chart

Contract Law FlowchartThis ridiculous flow chart is a study tool I made for a business law class I took a while back. It covers the basics of contract law in the United States, including common law contracts, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) contracts, and the basic requirements and terminology associated with contracts. My main sources were Clarkson’s Business Law: Text and Cases and the U.C.C.

Warning: I disclaim any and all expert and non-expert knowledge of all laws of any kind, real or imaginary, especially contract law. Do not, under any circumstances, use this document for any consequential matters. As with everything else on this blog, it is posted for the sole purpose of my own entertainment.

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Posted in At Home  |  15 Comments

This is the first draft of a little project I hacked together in Python. Everything I know about Python I learned today, so let’s all go ahead and agree that this is the worst code ever written except for the large parts I stole from Old Nabble. It probably won’t work for you, and no I don’t know how to fix it. I’m just hoping some smart people will think this is a good idea and make it better.

What I’m doing is creating custom window decorations for an instant messenger contact list window. In this case I’m using Empathy. However it should work with any contact list window. In fact, if you make the background the right size, this would work with any window at all! Really? No. Maybe, in theory. I have no idea. Anyway this isn’t a skin, but it might be a step in that direction.

Code after the fold, still very much in development.

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Posted in Code  |  4 Comments

The Guantanamo detainee case Kiyemba v. Obama is a potentially landmark separation-of-powers case headed for the US Supreme Court in March 2010, with major policy issues and the futures of 13 detainees at stake. In this multi-part story, I will try to dig into the background and questions raised by the case. This is a follow-up to Part I: Jamal Kiyemba’s long journey home.

Part II: New borders

Judge A. Raymond Randolph wrote for the majority:

Seventeen Chinese citizens currently held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, brought petitions for writs of habeas corpus. … The question is whether [they] are entitled to an order requiring the [US] government to bring them to the United States and release them here.

This opening paragraph of the decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in February of 2009 introduced a document that dramatically altered the fate of those seventeen men. The men had previously been ordered by a lower court to be freed inside the United States, but the Executive branch appealed, saying the lower court had no such authority. Subsequently, the question that Judge Randolph introduced above was answered: no. No, the seventeen men will not be released into the United States, and unlike Jamal Kiyemba, they can not go home because they fear persecution by the Chinese government. There are thirteen of them now; four were released to Bermuda in June. They wait, still at Guantanamo Bay, for the slow wheels of American justice to make one final revolution as their case heads to the Supreme Court.

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Posted in Politics  |  No Comments