A probate judge ruled on Monday that there is no need to rush a challenge of the competency of Viacom executive Sumner Redstone's decision to strip his companion of the authority to make health care decisions for him.

     After a holiday weekend teeming with protests, a judge set bond at $1.5 million on Monday for the police officer accused of murdering Laquan McDonald.

     Can't we all just be people?
     That would be nice, but apparently it's not likely to happen anytime soon. The Census Bureau is considering adding even more racial categories to its analysis of the population.
     People who were white before, e.g. Arabs, now may no longer be white. And, according to The Associated Press, one possible change would allow "Latinos to give more details about their ethnic backgrounds."
     It seems that some Latinos check the box for white and others check the box for American Indian.
     As far as I can tell, box-checking doesn't transform humans in any way, but the news story (and headline) warns that this change could hasten the moment that whites in the U.S. become a minority.
     At least among box-checkers.
     In other words, this in no way affects reality - just our perception of reality.
     I have no idea why this should be important, but I guess if I were a racist I might be concerned.
     Race classification can be pretty subjective, after all. In "Between the World and Me" Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about people who consider themselves white - and they include racially black people. It's more a state of mind than a physical characteristic.
     So maybe it would make more sense for the census to tally our states of mind rather than our physiology.
     Box-checking categories could include: Happy; Sad; Indifferent; Rich; Poor; Envious; Asshole; Racist; Self-Righteous; Criminal; Obsessive-Compulsive; Liar; Snob; Guy-Who-Won't-Leave-Parties; Diffident; Confident; Bully; Coward; Hero; Nerd; Geek; Jock; Paranoid; Sexy Superstar; Dork; and Miserable Failure.
     We'd get a much more accurate picture of the nation that way.
     The problem with this, of course, is getting people to be honest about themselves. I still tell myself I'm not fat and I know I'm lying.
     So maybe what's really needed, rather than an army of census numbers collectors, is an army of psychoanalysts.
     They could go to door to door and figure out what kind of person lives in each house or cardboard box. If they manage to offer some therapy along the way, society could benefit greatly.
     Fun With Captions. I spotted this fascinating list of plaintiffs on a Los Angeles Superior Court complaint last week: "Scott Kye, and MOES 1 through 1,000, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated."
     The others, I assume, are non-Moes.
     This was not a typo - the defendants included "DOES 1 through 15." Moes were the injured parties. Does were the wrongdoers.
     I was happy to see this, since I've long been an advocate for more interesting fictitious names. If you're going to use fake names, why not use some imagination and make them descriptive?
     I like "Moes," but I have to admit it was a tad ambiguous. Should I be picturing grumpy tavern owners or battered Stooges? They could be either one.
     My recommendation is that fictitious lawsuit names follow the example of the census category box checks.
     For example, a better name for many groups of defendants would be Jerks 1 through 15. Not only does this provide more information, but it allows your client to vent.
     Polluter defendants could be Gasbags 1 through 1,000.
     Financial fraudsters - Charming Devils 1 through 200.
     Personal injury defendants - Trapsters 1 through 20.
     Discriminators - Bigots 1 through 50.
     Assaulters - Bullies 1 through 10.
     Stalkers - 1 through 10,000 Maniacs
     Negligent drivers - 1 through 3 Blind Mice
     Harassers - 1 through 12 Angry Men
     Noise polluters/Nuisances - 1 through 76 Trombones
     I could go on and on.
     Someone please stop me ...
     Alternatively, if race and ethnicity are so important, we should be adding many more categories.
     After all, there's a pretty big difference between a recent immigrant and a third -generation kid.
     There's a pretty big difference between a fundamentalist Christian and a guy who'd rather watch football.
     There's a pretty big difference between a Zionist and a self-loving Jew.
     There's a pretty big difference between a Republican and a Democrat.
     There's a pretty big difference between a Shi'ite and a Sunni.
     Does it make sense to lump those people together?

     After days of deliberations, a federal jury convicted New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver on Monday of seven counts of fraud, extortion and money laundering.

     The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that more ethanol must be blended into the nation's fuel supply next year, but the increase remains below target levels set by Congress.

     Texas has threatened to kill funding and sue social services organizations if they defy Gov. Greg Abbott's refusal to accept Syrian refugees -- an order Abbott issued without the legal power to do so.

     Seeking details on the CIA's now-defunct rendition program, civil libertarians flagged redacted sections of the Senate torture report in a new federal complaint. 

     The Texas Ethics Commission may approve guidance for indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept money from out-of-state donors to defend himself from felony securities fraud charges.

     Addressing criticism over the 2008 bailouts of AIG, Citigroup and others, the Federal Reserve approved a rule Monday that limits its emergency money-lending powers.

     California officials will monitor six troubled cities after a report by the state auditor tabbed them as being at high risk of financial failure due to fraud and mismanagement.

     A California attorney who'd lost his license and moved to Las Vegas pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

     Using multiple names, a particularly nasty dating service took thousands of dollars from Texans and threatens them with "financial ruin and criminal prosecution" if they complain, the Texas attorney general claims in court. 

     A "paltry" donation to a dubious conservation group is all it took for a circus to bypass federal law on the import and export of endangered Asian elephants, an animal rights group claims in court. 

     Trial court judges are seething over what they describe as a "naked power grab" by the statewide bureaucracy of the California courts -- a proposal to strip trial courts of the authority to hire their employees.

     Though the legislation hurts his efforts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, President Barack Obama signed the military-spending bill Wednesday.

     The Hubble Space Telescope caught our "curious galaxy ... dancing the crazed dance of a galactic merger," the European Space Agency said Friday.

     Plans for a massive shopping mall next to the Mets' Citifield got a boot after the New York Court of Appeals agreed to hear a legal challenge.

     A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed with leave to amend a class action claiming Ford, Toyota and General Motors made their cars vulnerable to hackers. 

     Thanksgiving came and went with no trace of the 82-year-old hunter missing since Nov. 15 in New York's Lake George Wild Forest near Lily Pond.

      GoTech LLC filed a half-dozen federal complaints on Thanksgiving eve, accusing Target, Walmart and others of selling "selfie sticks" that infringe on its patent.

     Hereditary chiefs of the Gitanyow challenge the Canadian Minister of Forest's right to make rules governing their traditional moose hunts without consulting the tribe, in British Columbia Supreme Court. 

     For the second time, the Ninth Circuit on Monday reversed a federal judge by finding that the Housing Authority of Los Angeles failed to adequately inform Section 8 tenants of an impending rent increase. 

     In the wake of the Paris terror attacks earlier this month, the Obama administration said Monday it will overhaul the program that allows 20 million people to come to the United States annually without a visa.

     Three conservative justices dissented Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in the confrontation-clause relief for a convicted murderer. 

     Sonoma County sheriff's officers illegally confiscated and destroyed a Native American church's sacred marijuana plants, two members claim in court. 

     The fatal shooting of Tamir Rice was "unjustified and entirely preventable," experts hired by attorneys for the 12-year-old's family reported a year after the tragedy.

     A federal judge has again dismissed an antitrust class action claiming Quest Diagnostics monopolizes medical testing in California. 

     A former government employee cannot collect nearly a decade's worth of insurance that an agency refused to give his husband before a landmark Supreme Court decision, a federal judge ruled. 

     Shorter days trigger aggression hormones in female hamsters, according to an Indiana University study that researchers say could help better understand human aggression.

     Delaware's high court must decide if a Citigroup shareholder has a direct or derivative misrepresentation case over an $800 million downturn, the Second Circuit said Wednesday. 

     Residents of a Boston suburb bolstered their efforts to halt a city plan to wipe out 279 residential properties as part of the city's "Union Square Revitalization Plan." 

     A Louisiana man whose divorce papers contained his son's pornographic drawing can sue the website that published it, a state appeals court ruled. 

     The target of a Pennsylvania pollution action can file its own claims against a manufacturer that later took over the site, a federal judge ruled. 

     A federal class action claims United Technologies Corp. thermal expansion valves used in HVAC systems are contaminated in manufacturing, causing coagulation buildup that rapidly leads to system failure. 

     2-Way computing claims Cisco Systems, AT&T, Verizon et al. violate a patent on audio communications, in six federal lawsuits. 

     A federal judge refused to block his injunction against Minnesota's unconstitutional civil commitment program for sex offenders 

     Cumulus Media and WPLJ Radio misclassified workers as interns to deny them a minimum wage, a woman claims in a federal class action. 

     Taxi companies complain in court that Jersey City lets ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate outside the law. 

     A 21-year-old Chicago man was charged Monday afternoon with threatening to murder students and staff at the University of Chicago. 

     The European Commission on Monday cleared the way for people peeved at how Hungary has handled the Syrian refugee crisis to collect signatures to bring a constitutional action against the former communist nation.

     Shareholders have challenged the latest newspaper merger, a $280 million deal that would sell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and 12 other dailies to Gannett for $12 a share. 

     A California Institute of Technology astronomy professor says he may have found the most concentrated mass of dark matter in any known galaxy.

     Citing improperly excluded testimony, the Ninth Circuit ordered a new trial Monday on claims that Chevron overcharged for California real estate. 

     A federal judge has dismissed claims that Ford Motor Company should have disclosed a problem with "cracked tailgates" and that the defect posed safety risks. 

     A porn production company accused of trashing a historic mansion in California while making a video denies the claim and says the property owner was on site during the shoot.

     A federal judge dismissed an environmental nonprofit's claims that the Environmental Protection Agency improperly authorized a power plant in Contra Costa County that could destroy butterflies. 

     A federal judge approved Hitachi's $19 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over corruption charges linked to its South African subsidiary. 

     Visa and MasterCard conspire to restrain trade by fixing fees for use of their debit and credit cards, NewEgg claims in a federal antitrust complaint. 

     The United States sued CMS Energy Corp., CMS Land Co., et al. in Federal Court, for the cost of cleaning up a 1,000-acre quarry and cement processing site in Resort Township, Mich. 

     A patient claims she was sexually assaulted by her counselor at Auburn Counseling & Associates in Michigan, in Genesee County Court. 

     Drexel University "raided" the Capital Institute for Neurosciences and repackaged it as the Global Neurosciences Institute, Capital Health System claims in a federal complaint. 

     The Friedman & Feiger law office sued Deion Sanders, seeking to garnish his bank accounts for the $1.2 million it claims his ex-wife owes it in attorney's fees, in Collin County Court.