January 5 roundup

  • Big business vs. free markets again: light bulb makers “fuming” over GOP effort to restore consumer choice [Sullum] Large grocery chains like DC’s bag tax [Tim Carney]
  • Eeeuw! Bystander can sue train fatality victim whose body part flew through air and hit her [Chicago Tribune]
  • “Recommended Cell-Phone Ban Comes as ‘Shocking,’ ‘Heavy-Handed’ To Some” [Josh Long, V2M]
  • “Exploding churros are newspaper’s fault, Chilean court rules” [AP]
  • In New Jersey and North Carolina, GOP friends of trial bar block legal reform bills [Armstrong Williams, Washington Times]
  • Kozinski vs. ill-prepared lawyer in case of Sheriff Arpaio vs. newspaper that covered him [The Recorder; Phoenix New Times case]
  • Federal judges block cuts to in-home personal care services in California, Washington [Disability Law, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED]


  • My city, Sunnyvale CA, just introduced a ban on plastic bags, and a 10 cent tax on paper bags. Many left-coast cities are doing this.

    I’m one of the greenest people around; my office is 4 blocks north of my house and I walk to work every day. My house has PV (Solar Electric) panels, and my utility bill for the year is a net “zero”.

    But because I walk a lot, to work, etc, I love those plastic bags! Now I can’t walk to the supermarket and get lunch unless I remember to take a bag with me before I leave.

    The reuse of bags, especially to carry food that will be eaten without cooking, is also very unsanitary. There’s likely to be some number of illnesses and perhaps even death because of people reusing dirty bags.

    I hope someone fills in the gap caused by this ban. Perhaps standing on the sidewalk in front of grocery stores and handing out free plastic bags with advertising on them! (Like how in Japan, they hand out tissue packets on the street with advertising because public restrooms generally have no tissues, and food stands don’t have napkins. On my frequent trips over there, I’ve learned to always take a tissue packet whereever they’re being handed out!)

  • Eeeuw! Bystander can sue train fatality victim whose body part flew through air and hit her

    I bet she will be suing him for an arm an a leg. đŸ™‚

  • The train thing actually makes some degree of sense. It’s not as though body parts just go whizzing around all willy-nilly.

  • Remember that the train ruling is just reversing a motion to dismiss. The appeals court didn’t rule that the track-crosser’s actions were negligent, just that the plaintiff has the right to try to make that case. I think the plaintiff’s lawyer got it right; this is a straightforward negligence case with tragic facts.