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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Good News

Although today we have some bad news about some marines who apparently snapped after their buddy was killed by insurgents and went on a killing spree, there are still encouraging things in Iraq. Here's one thing that I noted with interest and hope. Apparently religious freedom is growing in Iraq. To me, religious freedom is one of the greatest indicators of the health of a nation, especially in Islamic countries, where it has has often been anathema.


At least Posner has the decency to call them nerds.

Judge Posner has reviewed two new books on Supreme Court clerks for The New Republic (registration required, but worth the two minutes of your time), Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk by Todd C. Peppers and Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court by Artemus Ward and David L. Weiden.  While he deems both excellent:

"They are depressing to read, though. They put one in mind of Max Weber's image of the "iron cage" of modernity, in which the progressive bringing of all activities under the rule of reason--their subjection, in other words, to the rational methods of bureaucracy--robs life of its romance and its savor. For the implicit theme of both books is the bureaucratization of the Supreme Court. And this bureaucratization seems not to have improved the Court's performance, something that would have left Weber scratching his head in puzzlement." 

I found the review worth reading mostly for the history of the institution and the players' roles that Posner provides rather than for the comments on the books themselves, since there is little chance that I will read them (especially given their price, $55 and $39, respectively). Whether you intend to or not, by the time you read this it will probably be too hot to go outside, so give it a read.  

(ht Will at Crescat)  


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh the issues our courts are faced with...

Here’s one:

"A man serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife is asking a federal judge to order the state to pay for a sex-change operation for him, saying that denying him the surgery amounts to cruel and unusual punishment."

Now, a U.S. District Court in 2002 ruled that this guy was entitled to "treatment" for what is termed "gender identity disorder", but did not order the state to pay for the operation.  I am not sure, and really cannot tell from the article, whether this entitled him to undergo the operation at his own cost.  I won't dispute that this guy has serious problems (he already has breasts from hormone therapy, and he's doing this in a prison), but I would guess that his claim this time is a bit of a long shot.  Then again, you really never know.  The article does briefly discuss the other issue: If he does have the surgery, which prison should he be in?


Back in the Saddle: A Post About Nothing

I started summer classes today, one of which is Evidence.  In honor of this happy day, I will (re) offer for your consideration The Hearsay Exception Movie! (you might have to turn your volume up a bit)

Turns out both real Christianity and The Da Vinci Code (yes, I know, it's fiction) have it all wrong.  Not only was Jesus married, it was to a Japanese woman, his brother took his place on the cross, and he is buried in Japan.

But the real question for those of you taking Family Law is this: If Jesus had lived in Pennsylvania and filed for divorce before he died, disregarding the whole resurrection thing, could that divorce have been finalized AFTER he died.  

What if he had a prenuptial agreement (premise wearing thin) WRITTEN IN BLOOD?

Off that line, but back on to religion.  Specifically, the politics of kneeling in the Catholic church.  Apparently at some point it became a contentious issue, to the point that some priests have deemed it a sin of the rebellious sort.  Go figure.  I won't go into a huge critique of the article (and don't even get me started on the constant need of news articles to mention the DVC), but I think it would be fair to guess from some of the lines that the author is not Catholic.  One line:

"One flashpoint involves the Agnus Dei. Traditionalists say the faithful must then fall to their knees in awe for several minutes, believing that the bread and wine are literally the body and blood of Christ."  

It isn't the Agnus Dei that is at issue, nor transubstantiation, merely whether one should kneel at that point in the Mass.  

Come to think of it the article's treatment of Vatican II is a bit questionable as well.  I could go on and on, but it would probably bore most of you…

I saw this on Southern Appeal and The Corner a day or two ago, worth a look.  I think whatever your opinion of reproductive choice you have to acknowledge that this is a frivolous, foolish, and cruel use of it.  Since this was in Britain, you might want to look at this (though I can't attest to its accuracy, so do your own search to check if you'd like) for the relevant legal background there.

And this, like the invisibility cloak before it, is just simply awesome.

Less awesome is the passing of veteran character actor Paul Gleason (of "This is some pad Wilder... Decorated in early f@$%!" and some movie with Emilio Estevez back in 1985, fame).  

More awesome is this interview in Der Spiegel, where the interviewer sets Iranian President Ahmadinejad straight on history.  I won't post any of it here, you really need to read the whole thing.

Less awesome is that this guy is President of Iran.  


Monday, May 29, 2006

Free from the Law, Oh Happy Condition!

Well, I'm done for the year. Hurray. Now I'll be back to updating much more regularly. Aren't you lucky people!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm sorry,

but there is no word to describe this except AWESOME.


Monday, May 22, 2006

On perverse incentives.

Ilya Shapiro, Russian immigrant (legal), attorney, and TCSDaily commenter, points out a real flaw with the several proposed changes to our national immigration policy:

"If Congress ever passes its immigration reform, I'm giving up my legal career and getting a job that actually lets me become a U.S. citizen. Like gardening. Or construction.Because I'm sure not going to get a green card the way I'm going: English-speaking, highly educated, law-abiding, patriotic."



Come on, would an English major be that hard?

I've been scrounging for something interesting to post on, what with the current cease-fire and all (Ivan explains, or rather, doesn't, if you follow the link), and here's one thing that I found terribly amusing (from the WSJ, ht Fraters Libertas):

"Those of us saddened by the declining fortunes of the newspaper industry had hoped that shrinking newspaper staffs would have at least one salutary effect: fewer journalism-school graduates. This has not proved to be the case. In 2005, newspapers cut 2,000 jobs; this spring more people graduated from journalism schools than ever before."

This isn't so much about disdain for journalists, I just never really took journalism programs (the reporting variety at least) that seriously.  My impression was that a lot of the people in them didn't either, or worse, went entirely the other direction.  Nothing worse than a j-schooler who thinks he can save the world.    


Friday, May 19, 2006

I don't have the energy for this.

You know what I love about American politics? The way we can treat something as a massive national crisis, score all of the right points, and still refuse to do anything about it.  
Look, I don't particularly like paying almost three dollars for a gallon of gas, but I'm not so sure it's the end of the world either.  But let's assume for now that it is a real problem.  Pols from both parties have been tossing around ideas to "do something" about it, but most of the ideas have been shortsighted, misguided, or just plain stupid.  Bill Frist wanted to give ME one hundred of YOUR dollars.  I'm not sure what that was supposed to accomplish, but I probably would have blown it on booze and cigarettes.

Finally, Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) introduces a measure to lift a moratorium on offshore (everywhere except energy exploration and drilling that has been in effect since 1981.  I bet you can guess what happened.  

"Drilling for natural gas means drilling for oil," argued Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., citing industry pronouncements that where there is gas, often oil is found and probably would be developed. "Drilling three miles off our coast will not lower gas prices today or anytime in the near future."

So we shouldn't look past next week, Lois?  

"People don't go to visit the coasts of Florida or the coast of California to watch oil wells," Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., said.

Well Sam, a lot of people, when visiting your beaches, don't look much past the beach.  And if gas prices (and thus transportation costs) keep getting higher, they might just decide to go somewhere else.  Of course, later on in the article the truth comes out:

"Lifting the moratorium wouldn't mean drilling right away, he said. The presidential moratorium would not be affected by the congressional action, he said. And President Bush has said he has no intention of tinkering with the moratorium, which also had been the policy of his two predecessors."


"Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., was more blunt. 'Our coasts are simply too valuable to risk this. I can't depend on the president. The president is an oil man.'"

If only that were true.  Here I see two possibilities.
1.) W is not actually an oil man.
2.) W is so afraid of the oil man accusation (that gets hurled anyway) that he is afraid to do much of anything in that area, even when he knows it would be the right move.

Of course, the measure was voted down.  For all of the complaining about the current high prices and all of the talk of "energy independence" our track record is horrible.  

-We refuse to allow exploration on our continental shelves.
-We refuse to allow for exploration in ANWR.  
-We have not opened a new oil refinery in the U.S. in almost 30 years.
-We have not built a new nuclear power plant since the 1970's.  The Watts Bar plant in
  Tennessee opened in 1996 (well, half of it); construction began in 1973.  
-We make ethanol from corn, and subsidize the hell out of it. Politically smart,
  energetically stupid.  
-We continue to place a substantial tariff on foreign ethanol, which is often made from
  sugar cane. Guess we don't want to upset big corn and big sugar.  

Now, there's probably something funny about a conservative complaining about a lack of innovation and the country being stuck in the past.  Too bad.  



Not to be a "gloomy gus", because I know everyone is having a great summer vacation, especially those of us trapped in the vicious mill known as petitioning, but did anyone see this story? Apparently, the Iranian government is close to deciding to mandate Islamic clothing for everyone in their country. At first glance, this is just the norm in Middle-Eastern Islamic Fascism. Except this is actually a bit worse, because the government would also mandate that non-Muslims wear identifying marks on their clothing. Jews would wear a yellow stripe, Christians a red, and Zoroastrians a blue. The thought that a country such as this possesses nuclear weapons chills me to the bone. If Hitler's heavy water experiments would have worked, millions more could have died, and we all could be goose-stepping right now. In other news, the prisoners at Guantanamo are rioting again. Perhaps a page of their sacred book was flushed down the toilet again (or for the first time). It's just so sad the religious persecution people face in the United States. Actually, I can't even persist in making such an argument with a straight face. I know the U.S. has problems, but to be frank, I don't think religious intolerance is high on the list. When the biggest show of religious intolerance is an easter bunny outside someone's office, I think we're fine. However, it is also at times like these that I kind of wish we had not gone into Iraq. Perhaps we should have been saving our bullets for this new threat. All I know is that the whole Middle-Eastern region is descending deeper and deeper into turmoil. A lawyer shot a justice of Turkey's highest court the other day. And, I don't see a solution unless hearts are changed. Despite what some people think, aid and diplomacy won't do it. Frankly, neither will bullets (though those are often better ways to minimize risk to ourselves in the short term). The only way to stability is through one of two ways. Either Islam finally gets a moderate voice, wakes up, realizes it ain't the twelfth century, and joins us all in the cynical post-modern world. Or, Islam declines sharply in popularity, and is replaced by another religion. Because any other religion would be preferable to Islam right now, in my opinion, and it ain't even close. Of course, I'd prefer it to be Christianity, but even Buddhism, or Hinduism, or anything else would be better than what they have now.


Thursday, May 18, 2006


I can't help but feel like this is at least partly my fault, since I was often in the library or elsewhere at 7p.m. on Mondays, and usually forgot to set my VCR (yes, that's right, I still have and use, a VCR).  


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Take 30 seconds away from your petition

and watch this.


Maybe Mel Gibson could star in the movie?

On Tuesday the DoD released footage of the September 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon pursuant to a Freedom of Information act request by the conservative Judicial Watch.  Apparently they were trying to show conspiracy theorists the error of their ways.  Of course, it didn't work: these people are nuts. They point out supposed holes in the government's "case" (yes, that's what one of the foil-hat crowd called it), while ignoring the gaping holes in their own.  Cruise missiles? Tell it to Ted Olson.  


Maybe I should go pick up that petition packet.

Two of my favorite TV shows had season finales tonight, Scrubs and Boston Legal, and I have nothing else to post on right now, just TV.  At least I have better taste than Ann Althouse.  Here's my question: why must season finale's be longer than normal episodes?  The first hour of the 2-hour Boston Legal finale conflicted with the hour-long Scrubs finale, so I chose Scrubs.  Granted, it wasn't too hard to catch up, but it was annoying.

Boston Legal
Before you tell me that Boston Legal isn't what real lawyering is like, save it, I understand that.  Growing up I watched a lot of Law & Order; I stopped because it became so very predictable and took itself too seriously.  I shied away from lawyer shows after that (with an exception for NBC's Ed), but I got into Boston Legal because it was so un-Law & Order.  It definitely doesn't take itself seriously. Tonight's episode included a handful of references to finales and sweeps weeks and such (I guess you had to see them).  They've also done well on the guest stars front, with Jeri Ryan, Michael J. Fox, and Parker Posey just tonight.  Fox and Posey have had recurring roles, as did Tom Selleck a few weeks ago.  Anyway, the show's forays into contemporary politics aside, it comes down to the only thing that ever really matters: personal taste. And I think it's funny.

Same rationale as above, I think it's funny. Unfortunately Scrubs will not be in NBC's fall lineup, but apparently will return at some point.  What bothers me is that they held it for January this year, and yet the season finale was this week, just like series that started in the fall.  Sure they ran a full 23 episodes, but the January-May calendar left little time for reruns to allow busy people to catch up on episodes they happened to miss.

As for other news in the fall TV lineup, Anne Heche has a show that's set in Alaska called "Men in Trees". Given that Northern Exposure was the best show ever (or at least from 1990-95), the setting alone gives it potential, so I will probably watch at least the first episode.  Oh, and Veronica Mars, which was my favorite new show this year (because I missed the first season, but caught it in reruns at the end of the summer), has been renewed for another season (a 22 or 13 deal).  Tina Fey has a show, "30 Rock", slated for the fall NBC lineup.  That sounds all well and good, until you see that she will star as "the head writer of a frenetic late-night television variety show."  Can we really call that acting?  


Advice for 0L's

Ivan over at Joint Strike Weasel has posted advice for incoming law students.  Worth reading, and hey, they allow anonymous comments, so if you have anything to add you can, even if you don't have a blogger account.  I already threw in my two cents, and no, it wasn't much.  


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'll Have the Motivation, Please!

Today I visited Stillwater Prison with some people from my crimlaw class. And it was fun. So fun, that I wanted to stay, and not ever think about petitioning again. As regular readers of this blog know (if they exist outside of my own mind), I have very little chance of making a journal that puts any priority on writing ability. But still I struggle on, boats against the current, etc. On a lighter note, a college newspaper ran some offensive cartoons aimed at Christianity. Although some Christian students complained, and asked for the school to revoke funding for the publication, there were no violent riots. Nice people don't usually get what they want. It'd put me in the mood for some violent riots in favor of limited government, and all my other pet ideas, but I still have some vague memory of the crime of "incitement", and the interior of Stillwater prison, so I think I'll pass. Maybe, instead, I'll write a strong letter.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Ah yes, I'll have the "two weeks of hell", with a "two weeks of hell" chaser.

We haven't had a post since last Tuesday; funny what finals can do to a blog.  I had my last final on Friday, so by now I've mostly recovered from finals and recovered from recovering from finals.  Then again, I haven't started my petition (journal write-on) yet, and I'm sure that once I do any post-finals relief will evaporate quickly.  I have half a mind to reflect on the year gone by, to wax nostalgic and reminisce and such, but for now, let's just try to break the slump, shall we?

President Bush has some kind of big address on immigration tonight on TV.  I may or may not watch.  There have been a number of interesting comments on The Corner today.  On the speech generally, KJL relays a friend's comment: "Tonight could be the first fully televised political suicide in history."  Too true, or at least too likely, unfortunately.  My favorite though is from John Derbyshire:

I'm baffled as to why anyone would want to hire these temporary workers.
The entire point of illegal immigrant labor is that it's cheap *B*E*C*A*U*S*E***I*T*S***I*L*L*E*G*A*L*. If you legalize it, it ain't cheap any more. You've got minimum wage laws, workmen's comp, benefits regulations, etc., etc. to comply with, and all sorts of litigation possibilities (harassment, discrimination, etc.) to hedge against. You might as well hire Americans.

JMag just sent me this link, video of the whole BBC mistaken-pundit-identity thing.  What makes it funny is that THIS is the guy they were supposed to have.  

On a more serious front, Judge (, lecturer, and prolific author) Posner has a piece on OpinionJournal calling for the creation of an American equivalent to the British MI5.  A preemptive response to the inevitable response:

"The objections to creating a U.S. counterpart to MI5 are shallow. The FBI notes that Britain has only about 50 police forces and the U.S. 18,000: How could a U.S. domestic intelligence agency staff 18,000 field offices? It couldn't, of course. But neither can the FBI, which has only 56 field offices and an attitude of hauteur toward local police. Some fear that a domestic intelligence agency would be a secret police, spying on Americans. But like MI5 (and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), such an agency would have no powers of arrest, and no greater authority to "spy on Americans" than the FBI now does."

On the "other" domestic surveillance story from last week, John Hinderacker of PowerLine makes a good point:  

"[I]t's obvious that what the NSA does with this vast amount of data is to run it through computers, looking for suspicious patterns, especially involving known or suspected terrorist phone numbers. I did a quick calculation: assuming that there are 200 million adult Americans, each of whom places or receives ten phone calls a day (a conservative estimate, I think), it would require a small army of 35,000 full-time NSA employees to pay a total of one second of attention to each call. In other words, lighten up: the NSA obviously isn't tracking your phone calls with your friends and relatives."

Then again, lawyers (and law students, law professors, etc…) aren't notorious for their math skills.  As a case in point, my Property textbook had a case, In re Marriage of Graham, 574 P.2d 75, where in calculating damages the court reduced a life-time earning increase from an advanced degree earned during a marriage to a present value, determined the percentage to which the wife was entitled, cut out that dollar amount, and determined that it should be paid in equal monthly installments over the course of 27.5 years.  The editors of the book caught that one with a "Do you have any criticism of the trial court's valuation method?-Eds.", but didn't explain (typical for that book) what it was that the court had done wrong, so I'm sure most students missed it.  The same book (when did this become about the book?) also screwed up an explanation of future discounting, instructing unsuspecting law students that at a 6% interest rate, 100 dollars a year from now would be worth 94 dollars now.  Close, but not quite, unless you're generous with the rounding, which I would guess parties to a lawsuit are not.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I would guess that Hinderacker is about right, but if you want to check his math, you go right ahead, just admit that this isn't "the Bush administration listening to our phone calls" already.  

More important than any of that, Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy fame, is hosting a Minnesota high school quiz bowl program called Face Off Minnesota.  Rock on Ken.  There was a time during his streak that I thought he was being set up as Alex Trebek's successor.  On that note, I'm off to the Jeopardy website to figure out how to audition.  


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Am I a 2L yet?

Three finals down, one to go.  Now that I've reestablished (at least temporarily) contact with the rest of the world, here's what's going on:

From Reuters:
"Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, recovering from a head injury caused by a fall last month in Fiji, has not suffered brain damage, a spokeswoman for the band said on Tuesday."

Any how would anyone be able to tell if he had?  

From the "why the hell would we do that?" file:

"While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen -- and telling the Mexican government where they are."

Why don't they just tell the Mexican government where the Border Patrol will be while they're at it?  

From the "good news that will probably be denied by the left" file:

"The Dow pressed toward its all-time closing high although investors anxiously awaited the Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates when policymakers meet Wednesday. Many on Wall Street are hoping the Fed will signal that an end to its rate tightening is near.
But analysts say the Dow is poised to break its record and could push higher. Ken Tower, chief market strategist for Schwab's CyberTrader, said investors appeared increasingly optimistic about the market, especially after stocks held onto their sharp gains from the end of last week."

Or they might bring out the "where are the jobs?" line.  Too bad unemployment is pretty low at 4.7%.  Maybe the new story will be why unemployment is so high among African American teenagers.  (the article actually is worth reading, though there are a lot of possible contributing factors not mentioned)  

Oh, and the most interesting thing I read today, other than the hypotheticals on my final of course, was that Eugene Volokh spent the spring break period writing on to the UCLA Law Review.  As mentioned in the comments, at least he didn't pull a Kathleen Sullivan and fail at it, while others have gone the "why don't you pick on someone your own size?" route.  I for one think it was a pretty cool idea on his part, even if it does add to his making the rest of the world feel lazy and inadequate by comparison.  

Actually, for my part, I think it would be cool if from time to time professors took each other's exams and submitted to blind grading.  I don’t know how well it would work, since some professors would probably be able to pick out an answer written by another professor, but it could give the grading professors an extra reason to grade exams carefully, and it would give the professor taking the exam a little reminder of what a great, "intellectually-rewarding" experience (come on Ann, you're way off) exam taking is when you're on the servient tenement side of things.      


A Martial Mood

Well, I prepare to face crimlaw in an hour or so. And all this talk about grievous bodily harm has me in a bloodthirsty mood. So, I'm going to mention an interesting article on Volokh on the forgotten verses of the Star Spangled Banner. Personally, I've always been opposed to efforts to wussify our national anthem, to include more "positive aspects of our heritage" like the color of our waves of grain, and the percieved regalness of our strangely colored mountains. Without further ado, here are the three other (real) verses of the SSB.

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream
:'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

My personal favorite is the line "their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution". I'm in a similar mood. Here is the adapted third verse of the SSB, modified to fit my upcoming crimlaw exam.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the property test and con law's confusion
A place in the class should leave me no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution!

Amen and Amen.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Probably at 2006 right about now.

We've just crossed 2,000 hits on our sitemeter account.  
Not bad considering:
1. We've been active since then end of October.
2. James put the meter on the blog sometime during February.
3. I managed to unintentionally remove it at some point in February.  

1. This would qualify as a good hour for Volokh or a good 45 minutes for PowerLine.
2. This includes a lot of click-throughs from places like Brazil.
3. We have yet to have a visitor from Alaska (at least to my knowledge).
4. I want to go to Alaska, ideally to work.  
5. I really shouldn't care right now, given my Crim Law final in less than 12 hours.

In other news I got a papercut while I was doing some printing earlier.  First I thought "man that smarts" (but more colorfully).  Then I thought "this is probably the worst thing that can really happen to me in this field" (at least in terms of work related accidents). Then I went to Chipotle.  


The Alcatraz of the Rockies

From the AP: "Moussaoui wishes to withdraw his guilty plea because when he entered the plea his 'understanding of the American legal system was completely flawed"

You don't say?

From "America, you lost" to wanting to withdraw his guilty plea within a week of his conviction?  Zacarias Moussaoui must have caught word about how awesome spending the rest of his victorious days in ADX Florence will be.  (tip to Nick on the prison situation)

I for one hope the appeal is denied, though I will admit I don't necessarily understand the issue or how it will be dealt with, simply because we don't need crazed Frenchmen from the al-Qaeda JV squad wasting time in our legal system.  


Grouches are a sometimes food.

In honor of tomorrow's criminal law exams, I will steal this hypothetical wholesale from the VC for those of you who missed it.

     "Bert and Ernie are walking down the street from the local bar, when they see their old nemesis the Count. Drunk and a little paranoid, they conclude that the Count is trying to kill them, so they decide to kill him to prevent that from happening; but they don't want to confront him directly.

     Fortunately, they see Oscar sitting in his trashcan. "Help us out, Oscar," they say; "come up to the Count and ask him to count your trash bag collection." "No!," says Oscar, annoyed by the request. "You'd better do it, or else we'll beat you up." "Okay," says Oscar, and does what they ask of him.

     While the Count is distracted, Bert pulls out his handgun and pulls the trigger; but it turns out that Bert had forgotten to load the handgun. Bert and Ernie then run away, but Oscar isn't as fast. The Count jumps on Oscar and tries to kill him by drinking his blood, but the police come before Oscar is entirely drained, and save Oscar's life.

     What crimes have been committed, or may have been committed, here? Apply the Model Penal Code as well as the various common-law rules that we've studied."

Oh, and once you've thought it over, read the comments too.  


Friday, May 05, 2006


Well, I had the conlaw exam today. And it killed me. But I'm still here for the readers. All two of you. And I want you to know that if examsoft hadn't of messed up my computer, I also would have posted during my conlaw exam. I've really nothing much to say. I went to see Charles Murray speak on wednesday, which was great. He has a huge, grandiose, brilliant, yet simple plan for turning the world around, eliminating poverty except by choice, and also eliminating the welfare state. It basically revolves on eliminating all entitlement grants, and instead giving everyone ten grand a month. It's an interesting idea, though I think it rather infeasible. I just enjoyed hearing a reasonably fresh idea, rather than the stale ones currently being tossed around in the Congress. (And speaking of stale, how conventional do you have to be there, Patty O' Kennedy? Couldn't you have least made it a ganja related offense? And don't think I'm falling for the "gastric condition" or prescription meds, either.) Anyway, on the way back from Charles Murray, I and two friends of mine were debating whether Christianity could co-exist with libertarianism. The friend then sent me a link to this article as an example for his side (or at least one of the articles in this ongoing debate). I still don't see a disconnect. I'll explain at more length at some later date. My fingers are still sore from conlaw. Not from all the typing I did. But from repeatedly punching the desk, wishing fervently that I could do bodily harm to the sadist who had written the exam. Not that the feeling persists. I now harbor no ill will, being resigned to my fate like a spartan.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hey buddy, way to play into a stereotype.

Drudge has one of his "developing…" blurbs up right now.  Apparently Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted, was involved in a bit of a car wreck.  Like father like son?  Apple doesn't fall far from the tree?  



I was this on The Corner and decided that all of you non-Corner reading, "oh man, I have so much studying to do" law students (and others, of course) could really use a diversion.  Seriously.  


People from Europe are wetbacks man...

Watch the video, the text doesn't really get down to what went on too well.  Overall a pretty fair story from Channel 5 (ABC) here in town.  Do I think De Leon should be fired? Not really, she probably doesn't make enough from teaching here (though for the life of me I cannot find the actual amount) to justify the expense of the lawsuit and circus that would surely ensue.  


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Not law related, move along...

Fox 9 just had a report on some cleaner called Fabuloso, which apparently looks like a drink.  So they tested it on kids.  I can't tell how old the kids are, I didn’t happen to catch that part, but the reporter did a little test with children in a school, showing multiple bottles, some conventional cleaners, some drinks (Gatorade, etc…).  

Here's the thing: they showed the Fabuloso bottle SIDEWAYS, so the label was impossible to see (the kids didn't handle the bottle).  

Toward the end they showed one little girl the bottle head-on and pointed out the MOP on the front, and guess what, she understood that it was cleaner.  Now, I can't say that kids couldn’t be confused; it does look like a Gatorade knockoff of some sort, but honestly, you're doing this on TV, I'm not blind, and I doubt every single kid would have picked it as a drink (which was how the story was presented) had they been shown the bottle head on, as the other products were.  


Thirty-nine hours until round two.

How about a quick roundup of what's going on out there?  

Zacarias Moussaoui avoided the death penalty and was given life in prison.

Commander-in-Chief was not as lucky. (anyone who thinks this isn't a permanent axing can go ahead and leave comments; I'm pretty sure this is it, even if ABC does air the last 3 episodes later this summer)

Jonah Goldberg runs through a Bush-Nixon comparison on NRO:

"There are other problems with the comparison. The economy was a mess toward the end of Nixon's term. It's going gangbusters now."

I will link to almost anything that uses the word gangbusters.  BUT:

"But there is one area where we can make somewhat useful comparisons between Nixon and Bush: their status as liberal Republicans.

Nixon has a fascinating reputation as one of the most right-wing presidents of the 20th century. This impression is largely a product of the fact that few presidents have been more hated by the Left. But simply because the left despises you doesn't mean you're particularly right-wing. If LBJ were alive, you could ask him about this. Or just take a look at poor Joe Lieberman."

Finally, because I am absolutely sick of studying Substantive Due Process for my Con Law final this Friday, here is what Justice Scalia had to say about SDP in a speech last year:

"What substantive due process is, is quite simple, the Constitution has a Due Process Clause, which says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Now, what does this guarantee? Does it guarantee life, liberty or property? No indeed! All three can be taken away. You can be fined, you can be incarcerated, you can even be executed, but not without due process of law. It's a procedural guarantee. But the Court said, and this goes way back, in the 1920s at least, in fact the first case to do it was Dred Scott. But it became more popular in the 1920s. The Court said: there are some liberties that are so important, that no process will suffice to take them away. Hence, substantive due process.

Now, what liberties are they? The Court will tell you. Be patient. When the doctrine of substantive due process was initially announced, it was limited in this way: the Court said it embraces only those liberties that are fundamental to a democratic society and rooted in the traditions of the American people.

Then we come to step three. Step three: that limitation is eliminated. Within the last twenty years, we have found to be covered by Due Process the right to abortion, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for two hundred years; the right to homosexual sodomy, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for two hundred years.
So it is literally true, and I don't think this is an exaggeration, that the Court has essentially liberated itself from the text of the Constitution, from the text, and even from the traditions of the American people."


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


First, I've finished one exam, so there are but three to go in my 1L year. Will I miss this year? I can't imagine it'll get tougher, but the 2L's and 3L's assure me that it will be so. Whatever. All I know is that I have conlaw on friday.

Second, I came across this interesting bit of propanda from the 40's the other day. It was an interesting reminder of a different time, a time that certainly was by no means perfect, and had many less desirable aspects than the time we live in. This clip just reminded me of a time when people realized that sometimes military force was necessary. But, I'm certainly not in favor of blindly accepting government propaganda, and in fact, I don't like propaganda as a form of disseminating information. The same bombastic and propagandistic tone of that clip, however, still exists. And it's echoed in the latter part of the cartoon. Taxes, not to build guns, nor to bury the Axis, but to conquer hunger and poverty, here and in all parts of the world, should be gladly given. I don't like the blind trusting of government to take care of our problems. When those problems can only be taken care of militarily (and sorry, those problems do exist and will never cease to exist), government is our best way of organizing resources to fight. But problems like poverty, hunger, and ahem, gas shortages, cannot be fought by government. And yet people buy the blind propaganda. Eliot Spitzer is using misinformation and bad economics to scare people into buying a stupid plan. So is Dick Durbin. And so, unfortunately, is our President. I still think economics should be mandatory for public officials. And if only our public school system hadn't robbed most of our voting citizens of the ability to think logically or with common sense about the issues of the day. Oh well.