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Seeking a haven for guns and liberty The Free State Project, a third-party movement that’s been picking up members in cyberspace over the past two years, has set Sept. 22 as its deadline for ballots. Members are voting on which state they’ll move to, having narrowed the candidates to 10 that have small populations, libertarian tendencies and generally look ripe for a grassroots takeover. At the group’s Web site, proponents for each of the 10 states make their case. For example, Idaho offers a sunny climate and a strong job market. Its “liberty-friendly political environment” includes “a competitively elected supreme court, which could help us achieve our agenda, gun friendly laws including shall-issue concealed carry (and no-permit concealed carry outside towns) and virtually no restrictions on home schooling.” Results are to be announced on Oct. 1. New Hampshire and Wyoming are considered front-runners, but should Idaho win, it may be because it has the ultimate icing on the livability cake: “Idaho has the fewest trial lawyers per capita of the FSP candidates.” ‘Round and ’round One can only fantasize what some of the more rollicking members of the bench-say, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Alex Kozinski or District Judge Samuel B. Kent of Galveston, Texas-would have done with Lincoln Loan Co.’s brief. Lincoln, a Portland, Ore., mortgage lender, filed in the comparatively sober Oregon Supreme Court. So in a Sept. 5 opinion, Justice W. Michael Gillette bypassed the yucks in favor of just pointing out the irony in Lincoln’s attempt to outlaw the state’s Court of Appeals. In the underlying case, David and Tanja Carey sued Lincoln over their mortgage. When Lincoln won, the Careys appealed. The appeal should be dismissed, Lincoln responded, because the appellate court, having been created under an illegal 1910 initiative, shouldn’t exist. Unsurprisingly, the Court of Appeals disagreed. Lincoln then petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene by issuing a writ of quo warranto. That extraordinary proceeding, traditionally used to challenge the authority of a usurper, is authorized, Lincoln argued, by “Article VII (Amended), section 2, of the Oregon Constitution.” The catch is that the purportedly illegal 1910 initiative created-you guessed it-Article VII (Amended) of the Oregon Constitution. Citing a “plain anomaly,” Gillette ruled that the Court of Appeals stays in business. Art unconfined “Poignant” says a New York Times art critic. “Ordinary household items have never appeared more fantastical,” according to the Boston Globe. “A destabilizing pause in the plausible,” adds the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition, on display through February at the North Adams, Mass., museum is a collaboration between Temporary Services, a Chicago artist collective, and a long-term federal inmate in California with the alias Angelo. It’s unclear how many of the gadgets are routine nor how many are confected for the first time from Angelo’s diagrams. Among some 80 devices are salt and pepper shakers made of Chap Stick tubes, bologna jerky baked on a light bulb, dice made of toilet paper and sugar water, metal tabs from a notebook rigged with rubber bands and hot sauce bottles made into shower heads. “This gives a glimpse into the everyday lives of the outrageous number of people we have in our prison system,” says Angelo’s pen pal for the last 12 years, Mark Fischer of Temporary Services. So much, adds Fischer, for the movies’ depiction of prisoners who “only create things to escape, get high or kill each other.” And, yes, there’s a book: Prisoners’ Inventions.

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