Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphereThe BitsBlog Nightly Ramble

This is the “Bread, MIlk and a Sixpack Edition”

  • Publius/Whalen Redux: By way of James Joyner, I see that the English courts have ruled that Bloggers don’t have a legal right to anonimity.

    .A British judge has ruled against a blogger who sought an injunction against having his secret identity published in the Times.

    Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday. In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog. The officer, Richard Horton, 45, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, had sought an injunction to stop The Times from revealing his name.[…]

    In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”. The judge also said that even if the blogger could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, the judge would have ruled against him on public interest grounds.


    The action arose after Patrick Foster, a Times journalist, identified the NightJack blogger “by a process of deduction and detective work, mainly using information on the internet,” the judge said.

    James Joyner

    James Joyner

    It’s hard to argue against Eady’s reasoning here. The journalist found Horton’s identity through legitimate means and there was a genuine public interest in learning who this cop was who was revealing all manner of juicy inside details about the police force.

    Well, look, James… forget “Public Interest’. It’s the ‘Public Interest’ argument that leads us down the merry path of Kelo V New London. We know where THAT leads. My concoern would be the invidual’s interest. for example, Ed Whalen.  Unlike that case, which was one individual against another, we’re arguing here in this case, that a government sympathetic entity… the Times…  wants to remove the cloak of anonimity from a  blogger so as to not allow said blogger to make the government look bad, really. That strikes me as a rather totalitarian move. James says:

    I would add, however, that some motivations for revealing the identity of anonymous (or, as in most of these cases) pseudonymous bloggers are more noble than others.

    Well, this raises the question, though of how one deals with nobility of purpose as a matter of law. And who gets to decide what is and is not ‘noble’?

    And back to the individual. “Publius”, call your office. I mean, was he ‘noble’ in his attacks on Whalen? And who gets to rule on THAT? More to the point how does one as a matter of law protect indivduals from anonymous attack while not applying that same protection to government? I’ve no problems with Whalen outing Publius, as an example, but the Nixon administration outting ‘Deep Throat” by virtue of the same law is inherrently dangerous, in my view.

  • A Shortage of WHAT???  The Dallas Morning News  and their supurb Automtive Reporter, Terry Box, is reporting today that dealers are running short on SUV’s.  Yes, that’s right… SUV’s are selling. Selling like crazy, in fact. In combo with manufacturing shutdowws, taht means short supply.  Proving once again, as we’ve been saying at this blog for years, now, that given the chocie Americans simply will not buy the kind of vehicles the left wants them to.
  • Affair of the week:  Sentaor John Ensign, last night decided to spill the beans about an extra marital affair.  You knew this was coming, when someone labeled him as havinga  reasonably fair chance at a White House run.  I doubt he’d have gone very far in such efforts, anyway, but be that as it may,, there was some blackmail involved, apparently.
  • 10% unemployment?  Well, that’s what Obama’s saying now.  I think we can pretty much figure on it going far higher, given three factors… an aversion to truth that makes him look bad, Obama economic policies, and the fact that he’s already predicted we’ see no higher than 8%.  We see how that worked out.
  • Iran Blogging: Michael Totten is doing it just as well as I’ve seen anyone do it. He was on Rick Moran’s show last night, too. Very informative.  To the point, in fact, where I’ll take the unusual step of making it available right here:

  • Krugman gets a visit from the ghost of postings past: Courtsy of  Megan McCardle. Says Krugman

    The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

    Clearly, Krugman got what he wanted. Once again the problem was government meddling in the market. It’s seldom that an economy falls down on it’s own… it’s usually pushed off that cliff by ideological elements within government, with the full coercive power of government backing them. And now we understand whose ideology brought this one about, don’t we?

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