Dr. Ronald B. Standler
personal website



c.v.     my professional website     my essays at my personal website     Contact


Who is Dr. Standler?

By way of introduction, here is a terse synopsis of my career: On a personal note, my principal hobbies are writing parodies or satires, and arranging baroque or classical keyboard music for small wind/string ensembles.   I also spend hundreds of hours each year writing and revising essays at my websites.

go to my professional website

If you are seeking either my essays on: or information on my services as an attorney or consultant, then please go to my professional website.

My curriculum vitae gives full details of my credentials, including a bibliography of my publications.

How to contact me.


My Essays

I have organized my essays at my personal website into sections:
  1. miscellaneous (e.g., favorite links, computer hardware and software)

  2. education

  3. politics and law

  4. legal history

  5. subhomepage: history and photographs of old buildings in northeastern USA

terms of service

I have posted my essays and webpages here for people to enjoy, but for neither copying nor distribution.   It is a violation of copyright law to make or to distribute copies of any material here without my written permission.   Terms of Service

My disclaimer for errors and disclosure that I have no financial interest in any suggestions or links that I make in these pages.


1. Miscellaneous Essays

My annotated list of my favorite bookstores and sources for sheet music, links to information about my favorite baroque and classical instrumental music, my collections of links to my favorite websites, and my comments and suggestions on computers and software that use Microsoft Windows.

My favorite software and hardware for the Apple Mac OS 9, with emphasis on wordprocessing, music notation software, and utility programs.   I have a separate webpage on Apple OS X.

My hints for writing webpages in HTML.

Some personal recollections on the history of computers and computing since 1968.

My personal testimonial about Prof. Mario Iona, who greatly influenced me during 1967-71, and my memory of him continues to inspire me.

People who live in northern climates often complain about snow in winter. I posted a webpage about the snow in Concord, New Hampshire during Dec 2007 to April 2008.

My subhomepage with links to my webpages about history, especially for old buildings in the northeastern USA.   I hope that my photographs preserve some history and that my webpages inform people of some historical details.


2. Essays/Handouts on Education

My essay about creativity in science and engineering, with emphasis on personality attributes in highly creative people, and suggestions for education and management of creative people.

In 1988, I wrote a discussion of essential mathematical skills that are needed by physics and electrical engineering students, as a guide to the development of curriculum in mathematics departments in high schools, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges.

My handout, Technical Writing, contains style that physicists and electrical engineers need to know (e.g., use of numbers in sentences, scientific units, equations in text) for technical writing. This handout also includes general material that all writers need to know (e.g., common misuse of words in American English, use of hyphens). I wrote the first draft of this handout in 1978, when my engineering students needed help with writing style.   I have also posted More About Writing that contains links to other websites on writing style, my recommendation of books about grammar and style, some comments on differences between American and British English, the use of the subjunctive mood in English, and other topics.

My essay on Technical Babble discusses the misuse of scientific or engineering terms by laymen, with examples from judicial opinions in the USA.

My terse guide to legal research, format of citations, and style in legal writing in the USA. As a resource for students and professors, I have posted at my professional website my collection of links to legal resources in the USA.

My brief essay on Why Attend College? in which I urge broader goals than merely acquiring vocational skills or increasing one's earning potential.   Earlier, I wrote a separate essay on the value of a liberal arts education for someone intending to earn a doctoral degree in science.   I have also posted lessons that I learned from experience, as advice for students.

My essay, Evaluating Credibility of Information on the Internet, discusses how readers can make their own evaluation of credibility of sources of information, instead of blindly relying on peer review, or instead of ignoring non-peer-reviewed sources.

As a resource for journalism students and law students, I have posted at my professional website examples of prejudicial pretrial publicity in newspapers for both (1) the 1954 trial of Sam Sheppard and (2) the arrest in 2004 of Joseph Smith, who kidnapped, raped, and murdered a girl in Florida. These two sets of examples support my long, technical legal essay Pretrial Publicity Prevents a Fair Trial in the USA.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. Government gave generous financial support to physics professors for scientific research and encouraged young people to become scientists and engineers. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. Government annihilated research funding in physics and electrical engineering, leaving tens of thousands of doctoral-level scientists and engineers unemployed. I have posted an essay that sketches the history of funding for science and suggests reasons for the drastic change in U.S. Government policy.

I have posted two provocative essays, one suggesting that the recession of 2009 is partly caused by the lack of funding for scientific research, the other explaining reasons for colleges' financial problems in the USA.

In considering many examples of criminal or unethical conduct by educated people and their subsequent specious excuses, I wondered if more education makes people less moral.   My essay on morality reviews some examples, discusses the issues, and concludes that education has no effect on moral behavior.   In particular, I am skeptical that teaching ethics will affect behavior.

My essay on propaganda and how to recognize it.

My terse essay on what is history and why history is important.

My tutorial on photography, including a comparison of film and digital photography, and a list of links to other websites.

My collection of interesting meteorological surface pressure maps, showing intense pressure gradients.


3. Essays on Politics and Law

During the security hysteria after 11 Sep 2001, I wrote a brief essay on the Value of Dissent in a democracy.

In September 2005, during the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court, I wrote an essay, Is "Judicial Activism" Bad?, that argues that interpreting the U.S. Constitution according to the original meaning of its authors in the year 1790 is undesirable.

My brief essay on How to Select a Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court reviews some history and gives my opinion.

Syrian Civil War
War in Iraq Against ISIL

There has been a civil war in Syria since March 2011 that diplomats have been unable to stop. On 8 Sep 2013, I decided to collect and preserve some of the historical details of the removal of chemical weapons from Syria and the futile peace negotiations. See my separate annotated list of my twelve essays on Syria, which also includes links to copies of historical documents, a table of the number of people killed in the Syrian civil war, a table of dates of delivering chemical weapons, and a table of major OPCW deadlines. Beginning in June 2014, I also chronicled the dysfunctional government in Iraq, U.S. military involvement in fighting ISIL, and some atrocities by ISIL.

4. Essays on Legal History

As a resource for students, and other people interested in legal history, as well as citizens who want to understand how government really works, I have posted:

Surveillance Law

During August-September 2007, I wrote my essays on FISA, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the history of the PATRIOT Act, and began my essay on modifications to the FISA statute. In 2007, I hoped these essays would attract paying work as an attorney. However, I have never had any paying work in either surveillance law or privacy law. As a self-employed attorney and consultant, I can not afford to do many hundreds of hours of legal research in areas of law that are not income producing. Consequently, I turned my attention to other areas of law where I have paying clients who appreciate my advocacy. That is why I have neither updated nor revised my essays on surveillance law.

In May 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed classified information on illegal surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency of telephone calls by U.S. citizens. While some people were outraged, both the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Attorney General failed to stop the unlawful surveillance by the Government.



My Humor

Note:   I have posted my essays and humor here for people to enjoy, but for neither copying nor distribution. It is a violation of copyright law to make, or to distribute, copies of any material here without my written permission.   Terms of Service

My annotation of Der Froschkönig, a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, to show the underlying lesson in law. There are both serious and humorous points in my annotation. There is another fairy tale about The Elves and the Shoemaker, to which I have added an algebra problem.   <giggle>

Here is my parody of the Millennium celebrations planned for 1 Jan 2000.

Thinking of attending school for a year to earn a MBA degree? Save your time and money — instead, read my two pages of Rules of Management!

My favorite Christmas card was drawn by Sandra Boynton in 1980.

My favorite comic strips in American newspapers.

Formal writing by attorneys is often pompous and pretentious, which makes an attractive target for parodies and satires. <grin> Here are some of my legal parodies:
  1. An agreement between the Easter Bunny and me for the distribution of candy to women in blighted areas, such as the law school.

  2. The Statute of Trolls, which regulates the placement of Trolls beneath bridges, complete with annotations to court cases and a legislative history.



Copyright 1997-2014 by Ronald B. Standler

This document is at     http://www.rbs0.com/index.htm
first posted 5 Jan 1997, revised 15 Nov 2014

Terms of Service


How to contact Dr. Standler.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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