30 March 2023

Common Misconceptions About Law

This is a list of common misconceptions people have about the law (to be clear, every statement below is false):

Sources of Law

* The law is mostly the same everywhere.

* The law is the mostly the same everywhere in the U.S.

* Legal terms almost always mean exactly one thing no matter where they are used.

* The law mostly fits a criminal law paradigm of statutes that prohibit you from doing something and impose a punishment if you do that.

* The constitution tells you everything you need to know about the law.

* Only the U.S. Supreme Court has jurisdiction to decide the constitutionality of something.

* Usually, a determination that something is unconstitutional involves finding that a treaty, statute, ordinance, or regulation is unconstitutional.

* The law is mostly contained in statutes.

* It is rarely necessary to look at case law or regulations to determine the meaning of a statute.

* The "common law" is the same in every state.

* Only one state or country's law applies to a business operating on the Internet. In a variant of this, the most important way to determine which law applies to a business on the Internet is where its servers are physically located.

* The law is static and has changed only a little over time.

* Modern U.S. law is very similar to modern English law.

* The Declaration of Independence creates enforceable U.S. law.

* The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights creates enforceable U.S. law.

* International law consists mostly of legal rules that can be litigated in international courts producing judgments that matter.


* Judges are heavily influenced by their personal feelings about litigants and their personal relationships to litigants and are strongly biased against particular people.

* Judges can do whatever they want and the person who wins is mostly determined not by what the law says but by which side has the best lawyers which is mostly a function of much each side spends on their lawyers.

* Family court judges are intentionally or ideologically biased against men.

* Judges are basically umpires with no independent ability to interpret the law in different ways.

* A judge's political philosophy and judicial ideology have no impact on how a judge rules in a case.

* Judicial decisions are purely a matter of legislating from the bench.

* Judge are being dishonest when they utilize "legal fictions."


* Criminal defense lawyers are bad people who unethically try to make it possible for people guilty of serious crimes to avoid responsibility for their actions by being acquitted at trial of all of the charges against them.

* It is unethical to represent someone you as a lawyer know is guilty or liable for wrongdoing.

* Pleading not guilty in a criminal case when you are guilty is perjury.

* Lawyers are allowed to lie.

* Prosecutors are routinely punished when a court determines that they withheld exculpatory evidence from a criminal defendant in a case.

* Negotiated compromises are dishonest.

* Cops are legally required to tell the truth to criminal suspects.

* Cops almost always tell the truth in court.

* Cops are routinely punished by their employers or a court when a court finds that they violated a criminal suspect's constitutional rights.

* Perjury in court is frequently prosecuted criminally.

* People are more likely to tell the truth when they are under oath or are making a statement under penalty of perjury.

* You can make an evidentiary objection to testimony presented in court on the grounds that the person giving the testimony is lying.


* The law mostly involves general principles that can be stated at a high level of generality and logically applied to any new situation.

* If you know the facts of a case with perfect certainty you can know the legal consequences of those facts with certainty. Conceiving of the law as rules rather than standards.

* The law has a clear answer to every hypothetical situation one can imagine.

* Legal questions that don't have clear answers are rare.

* Traffic laws clearly establish that one person is at fault and another person is not at fault in a car accident most of the time.

* Jury trials are highly accurate at reaching outcomes consistent with the true facts and the law.


* Arbitrators have to follow the law based upon the facts presented to them the way that judges do.

* Arbitration awards can be reviewed on the merits in an appeal.

* Arbitration is usually less expensive than going to court.

* Arbitration is usually much faster than going to court.

* Arbitrators are not more biased in favor of one side over the other than judges are.

* You can only be compelled to arbitrate a dispute if you sign a contract agreeing to arbitrate the dispute.

* Only contract disputes are subject to arbitration.

Criminal Justice

* Criminal cases can be filed only if the victim files a complaint with a law enforcement officer.

* People who are released from prison after having their convictions overturned are automatically entitled to substantial compensation.

* People who are acquitted in criminal cases usually receive compensation for their legal fees and the disruption that their lives experienced.

* The police and prosecutors have an enforceable legal obligation to prevent, investigate, and prosecute crimes committed against you, if they can.

* People who commit crimes other than murder are usually caught and punished for their crimes.

* When a criminal law is repealed, people incarcerated for violating that law are routinely released from prison.

* The fact that a witness recants testimony provided in a criminal trial that gave rise to a criminal conviction makes it highly likely that the person convicted will have their conviction vacated and be released from prison.

* Prosecutors routinely cooperate in having wrongful convictions which they secured overturned.


* Mistaken findings of fact made in a trial can usually be corrected in an appeal.

* Mistakes made in hearings and trials can usually be corrected later, and information provided in hearings and trials can usually be supplemented after the fact. 

The Value Of Legal Training

* Lawyers are mostly charging people for the written documents that they produce.

* Any reasonably literate person can quickly learn what they need to know to effectively act as their own lawyer with a modest amount of self-study on the Internet.

* Doing legal work yourself saves money while also giving rise to few risks.

* Non-lawyers can learn to be competent judges with tens of hours to a couple hundred hours of training.

* When you have a dispute with someone, you can have a lawyer write the person you have a dispute with a letter for a minimal fee or no legal fee and the other person is likely to concede that you are right and cooperate.

* People who win legal disputes usually have their attorney fees awarded to them in the United States.

* A large share of losing lawsuits fit the law's description of a legally frivolous, groundless, or vexatious lawsuit.

The Effectiveness Of The Law And Justice

* The law is self-executing.

* People rarely get away with breaking the law.

* People almost always conform the behavior they would have taken otherwise to what the law requires. The law powerfully influences everyday behavior.

* The law almost always produces fair outcomes, unless someone incompetently makes a mistake in applying it.

* Every wrong has a legal remedy.

* All violations of constitutional rights and obligations have a legal remedy.

* There is always someone who is legally liable for the harm caused by an accident.


* Economic pressure is enough to make a contract involuntary and invalidate it.

* Statements made by someone involved in a circumstance that gives rise to a legal case that aren't corroborated in writing aren't "proof."

* Contracts are never binding unless they are in writing.

* Contracts are only binding if you have read them and understood their terms.

Miscellaneous Other Specific Legal Issues

* Obligations to a child depend on the nature of the events that led to the child's conception and the relationship between the parents.

* Children must always take the surname of their father.

* In the United States, illegitimate children can't inherit from their fathers.

* You can't be an intellectual property infringer if you don't make a profit and give credit to the source of the work.

* Bank deposits are basically currency in a safe waiting for you to need to use it.

* Debts for fraud and other willful misconduct are automatically non-dischargeable in bankruptcy without any need for the creditor to take legal action to establish the nature of the debt in the bankruptcy case.

* Non-citizens don't have legal rights.

* The doctrine of "corporate personhood" usually hurts the average person in a legal dispute with a big business.

* People who engage in criminal conduct or civil wrongs in the course of their employment by a corporation are immune from liability for their actions.

* The U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence create a legal right to overthrow an unjust government.

* Texas has a right to secede from the United States.

29 March 2023

School Shootings Remembered

It isn't an easy task to remember the many school shootings that the United States has experienced. Each one will be remembered for a long time where it happened and among the people who lived through it. 

If we can find the political will to stop them, they will become quaint hallmarks of an age that has become as unthinkable as the age when children worked in dangerous sweatshops in the early 19th century (as they have already become in most of the world). 

Hubbard Woods School
Kent State
Robb Elementary School
Thurston High School
Columbine High School
Heritage High School
Deming Middle School
Fort Gibson Middle School
Buell Elementary School
Lake Worth Middle School
University of Arkansas
Junipero Serra High School
Santana High School
Bishop Neumann High School
Pacific Lutheran University
Granite Hills High School
Lew Wallace High School
Martin Luther King, Jr High School
Appalachian School of Law
Washington High School
Conception Abbey
Benjamin Tasker Middle School
University of Arizona
Lincoln High School
John McDonogh High School
Red Lion Area Junior High School
Case Western Reserve University
Rocori High School
Ballou High School
Randallstown High School
Bowen High School
Red Lake Senior High School
Harlan Community Academy High School
Campbell County High School
Milwee Middle School
Roseburg High School
Pine Middle School
Essex Elementary School
Duquesne University
Platte Canyon High School
Weston High School
West Nickel Mines School
Joplin Memorial Middle School
Henry Foss High School
Compton Centennial High School
Virginia Tech
Success Tech Academy
Miami Carol City Senior High School
Hamilton High School
Louisiana Technical College
Mitchell High School
EO Green Junior High School
Northern Illinois University
Lakota Middle School
Knoxville Central High School
Willoughby South High School
Henry Ford High School
University of Central Arkansas
Dillard High School
Dunbar High School
Hampton University
Harvard College
Larose-Cut Off Middle School
International Studies Academy
Skyline College
Discovery Middle School
University of Alabama
DeKalb School
Deer Creek Middle School
Ohio State University
Mumford High School
University of Texas
Kelly Elementary School
Marinette High School
Aurora Central High School
Millard South High School
Martinsville West Middle School
Worthing High School
Millard South High School
Highlands Intermediate School
Cape Fear High School
Chardon High School
Episcopal School of Jacksonville
Oikos University
Hamilton High School
Perry Hall School
Normal Community High School
University of South Alabama
Banner Academy South
University of Southern California
Sandy Hook Elementary School
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School
Taft Union High School
Osborn High School
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts
Hazard Community and Technical College
Chicago State University
Lone Star College-North
Cesar Chavez High School
Price Middle School
University of Central Florida
New River Community College
Grambling State University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School
Ronald E McNair Discovery Academy
North Panola High School
Carver High School
Agape Christian Academy
Sparks Middle School
North Carolina A&T State University
Stephenson High School
Brashear High School
West Orange High School
Arapahoe High School
Edison High School
Liberty Technology Magnet High School
Hillhouse High School
Berrendo Middle School
Purdue University
South Carolina State University
Los Angeles Valley College
Charles F Brush High School
University of Southern California
Georgia Regents University
Academy of Knowledge Preschool
Benjamin Banneker High School
D H Conley High School
East English Village Preparatory Academy
Paine College
Georgia Gwinnett College
John F Kennedy High School
Seattle Pacific University
Reynolds High School
Indiana State University
Albemarle High School
Fern Creek Traditional High School
Langston Hughes High School
Marysville Pilchuck High School
Florida State University
Miami Carol City High School
Rogers State University
Rosemary Anderson High School
Wisconsin Lutheran High School
Frederick High School
Tenaya Middle School
Bethune-Cookman University
Pershing Elementary School
Wayne Community College
JB Martin Middle School
Southwestern Classical Academy
Savannah State University
Harrisburg High School
Umpqua Community College
Northern Arizona University
Texas Southern University
Tennessee State University
Winston-Salem State University
Mojave High School
Lawrence Central High School
Franklin High School
Muskegon Heights High School
Independence High School
Madison High School
Antigo High School
University of California-Los Angeles
Jeremiah Burke High School
Alpine High School
Townville Elementary School
Vigor High School
Linden McKinley STEM Academy
June Jordan High School for Equity
Union Middle School
Mueller Park Junior High School
West Liberty-Salem High School
University of Washington
King City High School
North Park Elementary School
North Lake College
Freeman High School
Mattoon High School
Rancho Tehama Elementary School
Aztec High School
Wake Forest University
Italy High School
NET Charter High School
Marshall County High School
Sal Castro Middle School
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Great Mills High School
Central Michigan University
Huffman High School
Frederick Douglass High School
Forest High School
Highland High School
Dixon High School
Santa Fe High School
Noblesville West Middle School
University of North Carolina Charlotte
STEM School Highlands Ranch
Edgewood High School
Palm Beach Central High School
Providence Career & Technical Academy
Fairley High School (school bus)
Canyon Springs High School
Dennis Intermediate School
Florida International University
Central Elementary School
Cascade Middle School
Davidson High School
Prairie View A & M University
Altascocita High School
Central Academy of Excellence
Cleveland High School
Robert E Lee High School
Cheyenne South High School
Grambling State University
Blountsville Elementary School
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
Prescott High School
College of the Mainland
Wynbrooke Elementary School
UNC Charlotte
Riverview Florida (school bus)
Second Chance High School
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Williwaw Elementary School
Monroe Clark Middle School
Central Catholic High School
Jeanette High School
Eastern Hills High School
DeAnza High School
Ridgway High School
Reginald F Lewis High School
Saugus High School
Pleasantville High School
Waukesha South High School
Oshkosh High School
Catholic Academy of New Haven
Bellaire High School
North Crowley High School
McAuliffe Elementary School
South Oak Cliff High School
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sonora High School
Western Illinois University
Oxford High School
Bridgewater University
Robb Elementary School
Covenant School

What If The Sea Level Rose 100 Meters?

The sea level is not likely to rise by the 100 meters shown in the map above ever. This is probably more than the maximal amount it could rise is all of the ice caps on the planet melted (which is about 58 meters and would take centuries, or even thousands of years, to happen). If all of the ice caps melted, it would look like this:

But global warming is likely to cause sea levels to rise somewhat (perhaps two to three meters by the year 2100), and it is also likely to cause storms and peak flooding coinciding with high tides to become worse. In that case it would look like this:

The counties in the U.S. affected by 2100 (with only a two meter sea level rise) would be:

Even when places are not actually underwater all of the time, places that are less than 100 meters above sea level are still facing an elevated risk of natural disasters like serious storms (including but not limited to hurricanes and tornados) and floods for the foreseeable future. And, the places that will be hardest hit are easy to identify as places at an elevated risk, due to their low elevation.

What is likely to happen?

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (as of 2022):
Sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10 - 12 inches (0.25 - 0.30 meters) in the next 30 years (2020 - 2050), which will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years (1920 - 2020). Sea level rise will vary regionally along U.S. coasts because of changes in both land and ocean height.

Sea level rise will create a profound shift in coastal flooding over the next 30 years by causing tide and storm surge heights to increase and reach further inland. By 2050, “moderate” (typically damaging) flooding is expected to occur, on average, more than 10 times as often as it does today, and can be intensified by local factors.

Current and future emissions matter. About 2 feet (0.6 meters) of sea level rise along the U.S. coastline is increasingly likely between 2020 and 2100 because of emissions to date. Failing to curb future emissions could cause an additional 1.5 - 5 feet (0.5 - 1.5 meters) of rise for a total of 3.5 - 7 feet (1.1 - 2.1 meters) by the end of this century.

UPDATE with Bonus content: 

The images below are basically impossible but worth of considering for fantasy and science fiction worlds.

At 200 meters of sea level right, the Northeast Corridor and the greater Mississippi Valley are inundated and California and Oregon have impressive inland seas:

At 400 meters of sea level rise, the Eastern U.S. has been reduced to an island chain and Washington and Oregon share a major, far inland sea:

This is what it looks like when the Las Vegas strip has oceanfront beaches nearby and the Appalachian mountain chain starts to resemble New Zealand or the Philippines:

It would look like this when beachfront property was available not far from Denver - all of the Eastern U.S. and most of the land in the Pacific states is underwater at this point:

Against Buying American Or Buying Local

The protectionist and mercantilist approach to international trade (and even domestic trade) that favors "buying American" and "buying local" is bad policy that makes us poorer and for the most part, less secure. Self-sufficiency doesn't work and neither does a zero-sum game understanding of the economy.

Quote Of The Day

The NRA is a joke. 1% of Americans are members and that number declines every year. They aren’t pro gun anymore, they are pro GOP. They currently donate to zero democrats in the house or senate. Almost all of the NRA $$ comes from companies and government trying to create culture wars. After they were forced to shut down in NY because they were caught funneling Russian $$ into our elections, how did they get to persist?
- Nicholas Anthony St John on Facebook on March 29, 2023. 

The NRA isn't the political powerhouse it used to be anymore.

Ukraine War More Or Less Stalled Territorially

Lots of soldiers on both sides and lots of Ukrainian civilians are still dying, and lots of military equipment is being destroyed. 

But the lines of control on the ground have been more or less static for more than three months of the 13 month old war. Russia has held 7% of Ukraine's territory since 2014, briefly controlled another 15% at its peak about a year ago, and has gradually lost about a third of those more recent gains since then.

Kherson remains the place where it seems mostly likely that Ukraine could make progress. But not particularly strategic Bakhmut and its vicinity seems to continue to be the site of the most actual fighting and massive casualties for few gains for either side.
The latest from Bakhmut: The situation in the eastern Ukrainian city, where fighting has raged for months, remains "under control," the Ukrainian military said. . . . Russian forces still control access to both Bakhmut and the nearby town of Avdiivka on three sides. They have made marginal gains in recent weeks but have been unable to encircle Ukrainian troops in either place. Most of the eastern front lines have changed little in the first three months of this year.

From CNN

The map below is from about three and a half months ago and demonstrates the slight gains that Ukrainian forces have made in that time period, mostly west of the Dnipro River near Kherson and just west of Luhansk in the northeast.

This can be compared to the map below (from here) which shows the percentage of people for whom Russian was their primary language in 2001:

Future Prospects

If places where a majority of people claimed Russian as their primary language in 2001 is a good indicator of an equilibrium outcome (which is a plausible assumption), then we would expect some modest additional Ukrainian territorial gains, but probably not for Ukraine to reclaim any significant part of its initial territorial losses from 2014, or a fair share of the additional territory that Russian has gained control of along the Aral Sea. 

Ukraine might have a decent shot at regaining half of the reclaiming half of Russia's remaining post-2014 territorial gains (about 5% of its territory), but will likely have a much harder time reclaiming the 7% of its territory secured by Russia in 2014, and another 5% of its territory gains in the last 13 months that is heavily ethnic Russian.

The prospects that Ukraine will regain control of Crimea, in particular, seem dim. And, honestly, the combination of removing the most heavily Russian enclaves from Ukraine and the shift in attitudes towards Russia and the West respectively that the war has engendered, shifts Ukraine from being on a political tightrope between the West and Russia to being solidly in the pro-Western camp. So, covertly, regaining all of Ukraine's territorial losses would actually probably weaken the Ukrainian government.

A Russian Fighter-Bomber Was Shot Down Today

Kyiv said it shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber near Bakhmut this afternoon. CNN cannot independently verify the claim. 

This Russian fighter-bomber has a top speed of Mach 1.6, a combat range of 615 km, a crew of two, a 23mm canon, and nine hard points that can carry up to 8,000 kg of bombs or missiles. There were about 1,400 of them produced from 1967-1993 and it entered service in 1974.

Substantial numbers of ex-Soviet Su-24s remain in service with KazakhstanRussia, and Ukraine. In 2008, roughly 415 were in service with Russian forces, split 321 with the Russian Air Force and 94 with the Russian Navy. The Russian Air Force will eventually replace the Su-24 with the Sukhoi Su-34.
The Su-24M variant that was shot down was manufactured from 1981–1993, while the original non-prototype version was produced from 1971-1983. So, the one that was shot down today was 30-42 years old.
The Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) is a supersonic, all-weather tactical bomber developed in the Soviet Union. The aircraft has a variable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its crew of two. It was the first of the USSR's aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation/attack system.

The SU-24 started development in the early 1960's and entered full production in 1967. Production ceased in 1993. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force, Syrian Air Force, Ukrainian Air Force, Algerian Air Force and various other air forces to which it was exported.

From here

The Su-24 is comparable to, but a little smaller and less capable than, the roughly contemporaneously introduced U.S. F-111 bomber (of which 563 were built from 1967 through 1976) with a 14,300 kg payload and March 2.5 top speeds which started service in 1967 (rather than to the long range, heavy U.S. B-1 bomber with a 23,000 kg payload). 

The F-111 was retired as a fighter-bomber in U.S. service in 1996, retired in an electronic warfare configuration in the U.S. in 1998: 
The F-111 was replaced in USAF service by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer
The F-111 was retired from Australian military service in 2010.

Why Was Russia's Air Force So Weak?

In the bigger military picture, one of the greatest mysteries of the Ukraine War has been the utterly ineffectual role played by the Russian Air Force. It should have been vastly superior to Ukraine's and secured air superiority in Ukraine at the outset. 

But, due to some combination of Ukrainian anti-aircraft weapons Ukrainian fighters defending its airspace, and a Russian Air Force that is a paper tiger without the training, readiness, and resources to operate at anything close to full capacity, this hasn't happened.

Russia has certainly has certainly lost some warplanes, like the latest Russian Su-24 that was shot down today, as has Ukraine. 

But the number of planes lost has been nothing remotely approaching the losses of tanks and other personnel and equipment associated with ground forces. Russia has lost a much smaller share of its warplanes than it has of its tanks, armored personnel carriers, troops, logistics vehicles, and artillery batteries, for example.

Russian Aircraft Losses

On paper, on the eve of the Ukraine War, Russia had 427 ground attack fighters like the Su-24 and 185 air superiority fighters, in addition to a small fleet of long range bombers and its naval aviation aircraft (none in the Black Sea fleet, however).

Now, Russia has lost 78 fixed wing aircraft including 12% of its "on paper" fighter aircraft (15 in the last four months) broken down as follows: 15 air superiority fighters, 59 ground attack fighters not including the one shot down today, 2 long range bombers, and one transport plane), 80 helicopters (9 in the last four months) consisting of 18 transport helicopters, 56 attack helicopters, and 6 helicopters of unknown type), combat unmanned aerial vehicles (3 in the last four months), and 198 reconnaissance  unmanned aerial vehicles (53 in the last four months). The 78 fixed wing aircraft shot down are more specifically: 

  • 1 MiG-31BM fighter aircraft
  • 1 Su-27 multirole aircraft
  • 11 Su-30SM multirole aircraft
  • 2 Su-35S multirole aircraft
  • 29 Su-25 close air support aircraft
  • 1 Su-24MR tactical reconnaissance aircraft
  • 9 Su-24M/MR strike/tactical reconnaissance aircraft
  • 19 Su-34 strike aircraft
  • 1 Su-34M strike aircraft
  • 1 Tu-22M3 strategic bomber.
  • 1 Tu-95MS strategic bomber
  • 1 Il-22 airborne command post.
  • 1 An-26 transport aircraft

Ukrainian Aircraft Losses

On paper, on the eve of the Ukraine War, Ukraine had 14 ground attack fighters, 70 air superiority fighters.

Ukraine has the following verified aircraft losses so far:  62 fixed wing aircraft including 69% of its "on paper" fighter aircraft broken down as follows: 27 air superiority fighters, 31 ground attack fighters, and four transport planes, 30 helicopters  consisting of 5 training helicopters, 21 transport helicopters, 1 anti-submarine helicopter, and 3 attack helicopters), 17 combat unmanned aerial vehicles, and 76 reconnaissance  unmanned aerial vehicles. The 62 fixed wing aircraft shot down are more specifically: 

  • 18 MiG-29 fighter aircraft
  • 9 Su-27 fighter aircraft
  • 16 Su-25 close air support aircraft
  • 15 Su-24M strike aircraft
  • 2 Il-76 transport aircraft
  • 2 An-26 transport aircraft
The Military Impact Of Russia's Anemic Air Force

As a result of the lack of Russian air superiority, the Ukraine War has been a war dominated by artillery duels targeted with small reconnaissance drones, satellites and forward observers. Artillery has been the most viable means of attacking at a distance in the absence of effective air power for either side, limited cruise missile supplies, and the vulnerability of armored vehicles at closer ranges.

The lack of Russian air superiority has realistically meant the difference between mostly winning and mostly losing for Ukraine in this war.

Ground Force Equipment Losses

On paper, on the eve of the Ukraine War, Russia had 2,927 main battle tanks, while Ukraine had 858 main battle tanks.

Russia reported that they had 2,600 tanks available at the time of February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and it has lost about 2,000 tanks since then (including about 500 in the last four months) of which 1,901 have been independently verified, although some additional tanks (mostly old and in poor condition) have been pulled out of deep storage and a modest number of new tanks (probably not more than 200-300) have been built in the meantime. So a verified 73% of the claimed original force of Russian tanks (65% of the on paper number) is now gone and the total is probably closer to 77% (i.e. 2,000 tanks).

Ukraine has verified losses of 487 tanks which is 57% of its "on paper" numbers. 

This is a significantly lower percentage than the Russian losses (particularly considering that probably at least 300 Russian tanks are needed outside of the Ukrainian theater for other conflicts and to maintain strength for conflicts that could arise in the future). But both sides have lost a majority of their tanks and tank losses continue to accrue.

The two sides combined have verified losses of 2,388 tanks and this probably underestimates the total which is probably at least 2,500 tanks. This is a large share of the total number of tanks in Europe.

In addition to verified losses of 1,901 tanks, Russia also has verified losses of 818 armored fighting vehicles, 2,253 infantry fighting vehicles, 311 armored personnel carriers, 45 mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) Vehicles, 188 infantry mobility vehicles, 235 command posts and communications stations, 298 engineering vehicles, 38 self-propelled anti-tank missile systems, 96 artillery support vehicles/systems, 191 towed artillery, 370 self-propelled artillery, 189 multiple rocket launchers, 17 anti-aircraft guns, 24 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 104 surface to air missile systems, 26 radar and communications systems, 30 jammer and detection system, and 2,380 trucks, vehicles and jeeps.

In addition to verified losses of 487 tanks, Ukraine also has verified losses of 269 armored fighting vehicles, 519 infantry fighting vehicles, 236 armored personnel carriers, 46 mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) Vehicles, 289 infantry mobility vehicles, 9 command posts and communications stations, 48 engineering vehicles, 21 self-propelled anti-tank missile systems, 23 artillery support vehicles/systems, 118 towed artillery, 128 self-propelled artillery, 40 multiple rocket launchers, 4 anti-aircraft guns, 5 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 87 surface to air missile systems, 52 radar and communications systems, 1 jammer and detection system, and 544 trucks, vehicles and jeeps.

Naval Losses

Russia's has lost 12 naval watercraft from its Black Sea fleet including 1 Slava-class guided missile cruiser (Moskva), 5 Raptor-class patrol boats, 1 high-speed assault boat, 2 landing ships, 1 landing craft, 1 minesweeper, and 1 rescue tug. 

This still leaves Russia with multiple submarines and surface warships in its Black Sea fleet. But Ukraine's capacity to cause these losses, together with Russia's loss of control of a key island naval base in the Black Sea near Odessa (after it captured it from Ukraine) has prevented Russia from being able to mount amphibious assaults and has prevented Russia from using its ships to support its ground warfare operations. It's navy can effectively interdict shipping in the Black Sea but it doesn't have much use in the larger war.

Ukraine has lost 25 naval warcraft (essentially all of its Black Sea navy and coast guard), including its only Krivak III-class frigate (Hetman Sahaydachniy), 5 Gyurza-M-class gunboats, 15 patrol boats, 1 Centaur-class fast assault boat, 1 minesweeper, 1 Amur-class command ship (Donbas), and 1 seagoing tugboat.

28 March 2023

Who Has Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapon, And Nuclear Powered Watercraft?

Countries with nuclear power but not nuclear weapons (by number of nuclear power plants):
  • Argentina 3
  • Armenia 1
  • Belgium 7
  • Brazil 2 - it is in the process of constructing one nuclear powered submarine.
  • Bulgaria 2
  • Canada 19
  • Czech Republic 6
  • Finland 4
  • Germany 9 - it had a nuclear powered merchant ship from 1968-1979.
  • Hungary 4
  • Iran 1
  • Japan 48 - it had a nuclear powered merchant ship (which never actually carried commercial cargo) from 1970-1992.
  • South Korea 23
  • Mexico 2
  • Netherlands 1
  • Romania 2
  • Slovakia 4
  • Slovenia 1
  • South Africa 2
  • Spain 7
  • Sweden 10
  • Switzerland 5
  • Taiwan 6
  • Ukraine 15
Australia will imminently have an undetermined number of nuclear powered submarines, but not nuclear power plants. 

See generally here regarding nuclear powered submarines and here regarding other nuclear powered vessels.

Countries with nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants with number of operational nuclear power plants shown:
  • China 56 (also has sixteen nuclear powered submarines with two more under development of which seven carry nuclear weapons)
  • France 56 (also has nine nuclear powered submarines with one more under development and one retired, four of which carry nuclear weapons, and one nuclear powered aircraft carrier with one retired)
  • India 22 (also has two nuclear powered submarines which both carry nuclear weapons with five more under development and two retired)
  • Pakistan 6
  • Russia 37 (also has twenty-nine nuclear powered submarines with many dozens retired of which 6 carry nuclear weapons, one nuclear powered battle cruiser with two retired and one undergoing a refit, one nuclear powered merchant ship, and seven operational nuclear powered icebreaker ships with five retired). Russia/USSR also formerly had a nuclear powered naval command and control ship but it has been retired. Russia is currently developing a nuclear powered and nuclear armed unmanned underwater vehicle. Russia is the sole successor to the USSR's nuclear weapons.
  • United Kingdom 9 (also has ten nuclear powered submarines with an undetermined number under development and many retired, four of which carry nuclear weapons)
  • United States 92 (also has sixty-seven nuclear powered submarines and many retired, and is developing a new class of nuclear powered submarines (14 of which carrier nuclear missiles and 4 more of which were designed to do so but no longer do so), and eleven nuclear powered aircraft carriers and has retired one nuclear powered aircraft carrier; it formerly had nuclear powered navy cruisers from 1961-1999, all six of them have been retired. It had a nuclear powered merchant ship from 1962-1972).
Countries with nuclear weapons but not nuclear power plants or nuclear powered vessels:
  • Israel 
  • North Korea 

Nuclear Powered Surface Ships

Three of the four nuclear merchant ships ever built, and six nuclear powered U.S. naval cruisers were retired due to high operating costs.

Russia is the only country in the world with civilian nuclear powered ships - one merchant ship and seven ice breakers.

Russia (with one operational nuclear powered battlecruiser), the United States (with eleven nuclear powered aircraft carriers), and France (with one nuclear powered aircraft carrier) are the only countries in the world to have nuclear powered warships.

Nuclear Powered Submarines And Nuclear Weapons

China (16-7), France (9-4), India (2-2), Russia (29-6), the U.K. (10-4), and the U.S. (67-14) are the only countries with nuclear powered naval submarines, although Brazil and Australia will soon join those ranks with nuclear powered naval submarines that do not have nuclear weapons. 

There are a total of 37 nuclear powered submarines from six countries that carry nuclear weapons in the world - Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel have nuclear weapons but not nuclear powered submarines that carry nuclear weapons.

China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. have nuclear power and nuclear weapons, while Israel and North Korea have nuclear weapons but not nuclear power. The number of warheads for each of these nine nuclear armed countries is as follows:

Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Ukraine formerly had nuclear weapons. 

Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey are NATO "nuclear weapons sharing" states. 

Countries With Nuclear Power Only

Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Ukraine have nuclear power but don't currently have nuclear weapons or nuclear vessels.

Countries With Some Nuclear Technology Outside Of Europe:

North America: Canada, United States.

Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

East Asia: China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan.

South Asia: India and Pakistan.

West and Southwest Asia: Iran and Israel.

Africa: South Africa. 


There are no other applications other than scientific research for which nuclear fusion or nuclear fission other than natural radioactive decay are used than those described above. 

Natural radioactive decay of certain atomic isotopes is used in small scale medicinal and imaging applications, in smoke detectors, in atomic clocks, and as a form of "nuclear battery" for various applications.

27 March 2023

Colorado Has Authorized Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals

Colorado's Supreme Court has adopted a new set of court rules that allows licensed legal paraprofessionals to operate independently to represent parties to a limited extent in certain kinds of cases. The scope is limited to fairly simple family law matters and does not involve serving in a role similar to a lawyer in an evidentiary hearing. 

The first rule of the set explains the scope of this practice:

Rule 207.1. Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals’ Scope of Authority to Practice 

(1) Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals (“LLPs”) are individuals licensed by the Supreme Court pursuant to this rule to perform certain types of legal services only under the conditions set forth by the Court. They do not include individuals with a general license to practice law in Colorado. 

(2) An LLP’s scope of licensure is limited as follows: 

(a) An LLP may represent a client to perform tasks and services identified under section (2)(f) of this rule in a legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, or dissolution of a marriage or civil union. 

(b) An LLP may represent a client to perform tasks and services identified under section (2)(f) of this rule in an initial allocation of parental responsibility (“APR”) matter, including parentage determinations, that is not part of a dissolution of a marriage or civil union. 

(c) An LLP may represent a client to perform tasks and services identified under section (2)(f) of this rule in a matter involving modification of APR regardless of whether the initial APR was part of a dissolution of a marriage or civil union, or modification of child support and/or maintenance. 

(d) An LLP may represent a client to perform tasks and services identified under section (2)(f) of this rule in any of the following matters: protection orders, name changes, and adult gender designation changes. 

(e) An LLP’s authority to practice law under any section of this rule includes filing and responding to motions for remedial contempt citations under C.R.C.P. 107. 

(f) Even if an LLP is authorized to represent a client pursuant to sections (2)(a), (2)(b), (2)(c), (2)(d) and (2)(e), an LLP is not authorized to represent a client in any of the following: 

(i) the registration of foreign orders

(ii) motions for or orders regarding punitive contempt citations under C.R.C.P. 107; 

(iii) matters involving an allegation of common law marriage

(iv) matters involving disputed parentage where there are more than two persons asserting or denying legal parentage

(v) matters in which a non-parent’s request for APR is contested by at least one parent

(vi) preparation of or litigation regarding pre- or post-nuptial agreements

(vii) matters in which a party is a beneficiary of a trust and information about the trust will be relevant to resolution of the matter

(viii) matters in which a party intends to contest jurisdiction of the court over the matter

(ix) the preparation by the LLP of a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) or other document allocating retirement assets that are not liquid at the time of the matter; 

(x) the preparation by the LLP of documents needed to effectuate the sale or distribution of assets of a business entity or commercial property

(xi) matters in which an expert report or testimony is required to value an asset or determine income due to the inherent complexity of the asset or income at issue; or 

(xii) issues collateral to, but directly affecting, a matter which falls within the LLP’s scope of practice when such issues require analysis and advice outside that scope of practice, such as immigration, criminal, and bankruptcy issues that could directly affect the resolution of the matter

(g)Within the types of matters and authorizations to practice law identified in section (2)(a), (2)(b), (2)(c), (2)(d) and (2)(e) of this rule, an LLP who is in good standing may represent the interests of a client by: 

(i) establishing a contractual relationship with the client; 

(ii) interviewing the client to understand the client’s objectives and obtaining information relevant to achieving that objective

(iii) informing, counseling, advising, and assisting the client in determining which form (among those approved by the Judicial Department or the Supreme Court) to use as the basis for a document in a matter, and advising the client on how to complete a form or provide information for a document; 

(iv) preparing and completing documents using forms approved by the Judicial Department or the Supreme Court, including proposed parenting plans, separation agreements, motions or stipulations for child support modification, child support worksheets, proposed orders, nonappearance affidavits, discovery requests and answers to discovery requests, trial management certificates, pretrial submissions, and exhibit and witness lists; 

(v) obtaining, explaining, and filing any document or necessary information in support of a form or other document, including sworn financial statements and certificates of compliance

(vi) signing, filing, and completing service of documents

(vii) reviewing documents of another party or documents and forms prepared by a pension or retirement plan which allocate pension or retirement benefits pursuant to a decree of dissolution, and explaining them to the client

(viii) informing, counseling, assisting and advocating for a client in negotiations with another party or that party’s representative and in mediations

(ix) filling in, signing, filing, and completing service of a written settlement agreement in conformity with the negotiated agreement

(x) communicating with another party or the party’s representative regarding documents prepared for or filed in a case and matters reasonably related thereto

(xi) communicating with the client regarding the matter and related issues; 

(xii) explaining a court order that affects the client’s rights and obligations; 

(xiii) standing or sitting at counsel table with the client during a court proceeding to provide emotional support, communicating with the client during the proceeding, answering questions posed by the court, addressing the court upon the court’s request, taking notes, and assisting the client in understanding the proceeding and relevant orders

(xiv) providing clients with information about additional resources or requirements, such as parenting education classes, and filing certificates of completion with the court; and 

(xv) advising clients regarding the need for a lawyer to review complex issues that may arise in a matter. 

(h) An LLP is not authorized to conduct an examination of a witness. The LLP may only address the court pursuant to section (2)(g)(xiii) of this rule. 

(i) Limits on the activities that can be performed or matters that can be undertaken by an LLP under this rule do not, by themselves, require the LLP to withdraw from the representation of a client if the LLP can provide authorized services to that client. Nothing in this rule precludes a client of an LLP from retaining a lawyer or acting pro se in the same matter in which the client has retained an LLP when an activity, task or issue is outside the LLP’s authorized scope of practice.

According to a Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulatory Counsel email newsletter:
LLPs must satisfy the admissions requirements set forth in the rules, including those in C.R.C.P. 207.8. That rule provides for a degree-plus-experience track or a longer experience track, but either way an LLP must take a legal ethics class and pass both an ethics exam and a family law exam. The Advisory Committee on the Practice of Law and Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (“OARC”) are starting the process of assembling the infrastructure for those exams.

The LLP program is the culmination of years of studying the issue of unrepresented litigants in family law cases – around 75 percent of the parties in such cases – and the programs in other states that have authorized non-lawyers to provide certain services. These licensed paralegals/paraprofessionals often charge hourly rates roughly one-quarter to one-half the typical rates of attorneys.