Friday, October 31, 2003

In Honor of Halloween

Legend of the Grey Man: The story of South Carolina's most famous ghost. The Grey Man roams the beaches of Pawley's Island to warn residents of impending hurricanes. Is he real? No one knows for sure, but if you do happen to see him, head for the hills.

Legend of Boo Hags: A partticularly gruesome vampire native to Charleston. Are they figments of your imagination? You can only hope.

Alice Flagg: The most famous ghost from the Grand Strand.

Haunted Places of South Carolina: a comprehensive list.

Sleep tight, guys and ghouls.



Career Advice From SpongeBob
SpongeBob: Let's think of some ideas to sell the chocolate bars.
Patrick: I know, let's get naked!
SpongeBob: No, let's save that for when we sell real estate.

If selling real estate was really like that, I never would have quit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Spring Schedule

For anyone fascinated by the minutae I tend to post here from time to time, I have just registered for my final semester's classes. They are... (I know you're anticipatiing)

Civil Pre-Trial Procedure
Legislation
Federal Courts

I am strongly considering enrolling in the Litigation Clinic for two reasons; one good, the other better. First, I could use the added practical experience. Secondly, I highly respect and personally like Prof. KcKee who approached me about doing it last spring. The only drawback is getting the Virginia Third Year Practice Certificate. It's no problem to qualify for, but I have such a hang up about establishing another root in Virginia. It's the good South Carolinian in me. It's scientific name is Otherus Statis Repulsivus. It seems to affect many from the Palmetto State.

Oh, and if any readers ar still with me, I promise to blog less on my law school experience in the coming days as I'm not going to be so bogged down in this Trial Class--at least until the 17th when I have to do it again. Hopefully, I'll finally post those comments about Tucker Carlson's book I read a few weeks ago. Just to tide over the curious until then--I liked it
.


Re: Radio Silence

I haven't blogged in a while because of the mock trial I had been preparing. Well, I tried it this morning and the jury returned a verdict in my favor. Generally, the professor's critique was positive, although he did comment that i was on the verge of jumping into one witness' Reeboks with her during a particularly uncooperative witness. Perhaps i need to tone in down a notch for the final trial.


Monday, October 27, 2003

A Christian Warrior Under Fire

Defending General Boykin: Pat Buchanan and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but he is absolutely on target with his defense of General Boykin. There is no reason to slam a military officer for expressing personal convictions within the bounds that the General did.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

The Fightin' Fish Win It All

Florida Marlins 2
New York Yankees 0

Florida wins the series 4-2.

What a fantastic game. The Marlins not only won, but made the Yankees look incompetent doing it. With the way he pitched tonight, Josh Beckett is going to be a superstar. Baseball buffs take note--Florida has won two world championships without ever finishing in first place. Instead, they went from the worst record in baseball to the best post-Allstar Break record. Quite impressive for a team of young, no name upstarts with a 72 year old manager.

I do wish in some ways that Roger Clemens could have ended his career on a more positive note, but like Nolan Ryan, great careers don't always end on high notes. I suppose Don Zimmer could tell you the same thing, but he's probably too busy charging some loud mouth infielder less than half his age--and probably winding up on his can in the process.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Old Friends and New CD Players

Last July's South Carolina Bar results were posted this afternoon. My old roommate did not pass; one of my colleagues from College Republicans did pass.There was one Regent almumnus who took the bar exam in South Carolina. He did not pass, either.

I bought a new CD player. Luckily, I found one that had been slahed dramatically in price because of a clearance sale. The store was making room for Christmss stock. it was a steal, according to the sales clerk. Yeah, maybe. Either way, I bought it and The Best of the Eagles, a new compilation to go along with their farewell tour. I'm still miffed i couldn't attend one of those concerts over the summer. I'll never get a chance again.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

JVC CD RIP

As I feared, my CD player has bitten the dust. I put a CD in the other night, and it promptly slid off the tray and into the back of the player. A terrible indignity for a Mary Chapin Carpenter CD, but it could not be helped. I eventually retrieved the CD with a bent coat hanger--without scratching it, no less--but the motor on my playe is shot. The laser has been skipping on it lately as well. Since I've had it four years, and it was a gift in the first place, I'm not too uptight about it I am, of course, in dire need of a new one, which I shall have before the weekend is over.
Bodies in Motion

Yes, I'm back to my insomniac pattern of crashing at odd hours. It always happens when I'm in the middle of a big project,

The pre-trial conference was yesterday morning. The defense team filed four motions in limine to suppress evidence, so my partner and I split them two and two to argue. For some reason I have not gathered, the Professor 9in the role of judge here) has an ax to grind aainst my partner. I went back and forth with one of the defense team on the first issue, but when it was time for Mike to argue the second, the judge cut him off. "We'll deal with that one after haring the evidence at trial." That sort of thing happens, so no harm, no foul yet.

I go up for the third argument against the other defense team member and at one point, I draw a complete blank on a Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE 801(2)(d)--a hearsay exception allowing for co-conspirator statements to be allowed if they are against self interest, if anyone is interested, I looked it up.) Mike tried to interject to get me off the hook, but the judge cut him off at the knees.

The final argument was to be Mike's as well, but when the judge asked for it, he looked straight at me. When Mike started presenting it, the judge cut him off and made his ruling. Actually, he not only made his ruling, he altered the Federal Rule and forbid us from using the proper law and gave the defense a special jury instruction to ensure we followed the rule.

(FYI-This is a murder trial. The defendant has a previous conviction for aggravated assualt and spent two years in jail. In federal court, you can can bring up a previous conviction and ask any questions about it you wish. Virginia state lsw, however, will only allow you to mention the conviction as an attack on the credibility of the defendant. We are in federal court, but thanks to the jury instruction do not get to exercise the federal privilege.)

I suppose this is going to be a practice of what goes on in real life: a judge's vendetta can affect the whole kit and kaboodle.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Recapping Our Top Stories

Friday morning, I met with Heather to map out our plan of attack on our upcoming mock trial. We agreed she would handle the breach of contract dispute and I, being the Tort Meister that I am, would handle the damages aspect. Apparently, I have a developed a knack for illiciting six figure awards out of a jury. I hope I can keep that up after I pass the bar, when we'll be talking real money and I can actually get a sizable chunk of that. We had yet another heat to heart. Heather is a person who has a dire need to always be virtuous and on the path of righteousness. I knew we'd never be able to move on from our previous spat until I took all the blame for it, so I bit the bullet. I can deprecate myself if it'll get the job done. Let's hope it finally has.

Saturday night, I was invited to a birthday dinner for Peter's cousin. It was a nice seafood restsurant, which was nice. I enjoy seafood, but haven't had any in quite awhile. Ironic, since I live near the beach. They had a disco dancing event while I was there and customers were welcome to humiliate themselves if they felt so inclined. I thought, "Ah, what the heck." I hadn't done the Hustle since Sissy and I parted ways those many years ago. I had a good time, even if I am no John Travolta.

I'm going to spend Thanksgiving in Texas with Peter and his parents. I think that will be a fun and interesting time. I like them all. Even though I've had relatively little contact with them, they've made me feel like part of the family. It's nice that they've taken in an orphan like me.

I bought and read Tucker Carlson's new book, as I said I would. A review shall be up in a while. I know you wait with baited breath. But for now, I'm headed off to read for tomorrow. I have a ton of things to do before things really tighten up in the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Jamie's Rule # 431

When a girl casually mentions that she has recently stopped taking her pills and now feels such a "flurry of colors and one-ness with the universe," you need to avoid her from that point on. Ignore my advice at your own peril.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Interesting Bit of Judaica

The Last Jews of Libya: The story of the Jewish struggle to get the land taken from them when the Qaddafi regime came to power.
The Fighting Fish

Florida Marlins 9
Chicago Cubs 6

The Marlins pulled it off and became National League champs. We'll wait and see who they'll face in the World Series. I expect a Marlins-Yankees match up. Obviously, I can't pull for a team called the Yankees.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Battle for Terri Shiavo

Terri Schindler Schiavo's death by starvation and dehydration is scheduled to begin at 2:00PM today. Despite a Friend-Of-The-Court brief filed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida courts have refused to block the removal of Terri's abdominal feeding tube.

Bravo.

Michael Schiavo says he is carrying out his wife's wishes that she not be kept alive artificially. Terri's parents say she responds to them and could be rehabilitated with therapy, despite testimony from court-appointed doctors that she will never recover. For my part, I tend to believe the husband, partly because the court agrees with him after seeing all the available evidence, and partly because I can't believe, absent more than mere speculation, that her husband would fight so hard for her death if she was actually alert and responsive.

Yes, the husband wants to marry a new woman, whom he's lived with for 7 years, but his wife dropped into this state thirteen years ago, and the husband waited until 1998 to file the petition to remove feeding. That doesn't seem like an outright callous decision to me. As for the new girlfriend, after 4, 5, or more years of living with your husband or wife in a vegetative state, I imagine that a great number of people might be ready to move on with their lives.

The only real issue now in this matter is Terri's wishes. Her husband now says "she wanted to die with dignity". When he was on the stand in the malpractice suit, he said "she wanted to get better." This should stress the importance of living wills to all. Everyone needs to have their wishes put in writing, should they ever be incapacitated.

Ms. Shiavo has been in her current state for 13 1/2 years now. It is medically safe to say that if you haven't recovered in 13 1/2 years, you aren't going to recover - this is as good as she's going to get. Even if she did, the brain damage from years of incapacitation would be catastrophic. She can't feed herself, can't speak, can't move voluntarily, and does not have the brain activity associated with conscious thought.

The courts in this case have heard sworn testimony from all of Schiavo's caregivers, that universally said they observed nothing indicative of conscious thought from her over many years. The court-appointed doctor agreed that she's in a persistent vegetative state. Now, because she likely did not specify her wishes, her family had to fight over her wishes.

The court got this one right, but I wouldn't risk this type of suffering for anyone. Make sure your wishes are clearly spelled out, in writing, for just such an event.










Monday, October 13, 2003

I Ought to Write a Letter

I don't know whether to blame the US military's "letters to the editor" scandal on media's bias against the war in Iraq or their sheer stupidity. In my (limited) experience working in political campaigns, I saw scores of letters being written for supporters of my candidates to mail to their local papers. Virtually every organization from AARP to the First Church of the Declawed Hamster gives its members sample letters to sign and send in urging one cause or another.

Why is this scandalous? Maybe because the only thing the bottom-feeding, bias-riddled press corps can cover is scandal. And if they can't find one, they'll invent one.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Franken v. Carlson

I was flippng channels on the idiot box hoping to take in some sweet cathode rays when I ran across Tim Russert's show on CNBC. Normally, Russert bugs me with his soft ball questions, and he often let's his guests (who are usually diametrically opposed) do battle with one another as though he is not even there. One should have control over his own show. However, this time around, he had on Al Franken (boo, hiss) and Tucker Carlson (one of my few role models). It was great, because true to form, Russert sat dumbfounded while they attacked each other.

Tucker has honed his draft arguing with former Clinton aid Paul Begala and Clinton campaign advisor James Carville on Crossfire. Franken went for a few laugh lines, but had little substance to offer. Alas, as a liberal, he doesn't have to. Regardless, my man on the right was in his usual entertaining and skillful form.

Now that I'm aware of Tucker's new book about his experiences covering national politics, I'm going to have to seek it out.
The Long, Twilight Struggle

"Now the trumpet summons us again: not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though in battle we are; but as a call to bear the burdens of a long, twilight struggle--year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation--a struggle against the common enemies of man--tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself." --John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Kill Bill Review

I tried to sleep, but it isn’t working for me. I’ve got way too much on my mind, so I figured I’ll just sit here in the middle of the night and write a movie review. Fortunately, I happened to see Kill Bill tonight.

I quite liked it. Even though it was only half a movie (volume two will be released in January) all the elements of a good story were there to make it a good film in itself. This is the first Quentin Tarantino movie in six years, and he pulled out all the stops for it. It stars Uma Thurman as an assassin who decides to get out of the business, get married, and settle down. Instead, she is attacked by her former associates on her wedding day. They believe she has been killed; instead, she is in a coma for four years. When she awakens, she has only one thing on her mind—revenge.

As you know, revenge is a dish best served cold, and Uma (known only as the Bride) goes after her prey with cold blooded efficiency. This movie is shockingly violent, yet so cartoonish with the violence, I spent a good bit of time wondering if I should be repulsed. For instance, the Bride kills one of her attackers in front of the attacker’s four year old daughter. I didn’t ponder how they got away with that one long, as long blood spurting fantastically from other victim made me not take things too seriously.

And the blood does spurt. Tarantino used the same method Hong kong movie producers have used for years: condoms filled with fake blood that burst on impact. It’s quite impressive. The snappy dialogue that is a Tarantino trademark is engrossing, but not on par with Pulp Fiction or From Dusk ‘til Dawn. And the music is fantastic. Usually overlaying some really violent or exciting bit of film is some forgotten song that somehow adds a panache to the scene, or even tones it down to an acceptable level. I think Tarantino’s films are scored almost perfectly.

I enjoyed Kill Bill. I eagerly anticipate part two.
Which Sci Fi Character Are You?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


Capt. John Sheridan

An experienced survivor who has maneuvered around many obstacles, you are looked up to by those who rely on your good judgment.

"In the last few years, we've stumbled. We stumbled at the death of the president, the war, and on and on. When you stumble a lot you tend to look at your feet. Now we have to make people lift their eyes back to the horizon and see the line of ancestors behind us saying, "Make my life have meaning," and to our inheritors before us saying, "create the world we will live in."


Capt. John Sheridan is a character in the Babylon 5 universe.


Thursday, October 09, 2003

Fall Break

Fall break started today. I could barely stay awake in Business Associations waiting for that clock to tick over to 10:10. Even then, i had to stick around for an Editorial Board meeting for the International Law Journal. To pass the time, I sat in the cafeteria having breakfast. I would up holding court (no pun intended) for a group of first year law students. Much like the situation when I was a 1L, they had rarely--if ever--gotten to really talk to a 3L, as we are ofte scurrying about like we're on a mission from God. (And as Regent students, we are.)

They made me feel so...old. Law school changes you. It makes you much more analytical, cautious about your words, and argumentative. I found myslef wondering if these guys and girls could possibly understand what's going to happen to them. The changes are gadual and subtle, but at some point, they will hit you right between the eyes. Regardless, I ried to answer thei questions honestly, ainly because no one did that for me when I was in their shoes. I never could figure out why everything other than the first year experience had to be a secret. I've probably done them more harm than good.

As far as the journal meeting, I've been moved up to Articles Editor and have taken over article acquisition. That's a promotion in the sense of, "twice the work, half the glory." Self inflicted, of course.


Arnold's Clear Victory

Quite a few Lefty pundits are dismissing Arnold's gubernatorial victory because he won less than 50% of the vote. Let's look at the numbers: Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 got 3,624,154 votes and 48.3%. Gray Davis won the 2002 election with only 3,141,349 and just 47.3%. In other words, Schwarzenegger would have beaten Davis last year with these numbers. That doesn't take into account the 134 opponents Arnold defeated on Tuesday. Mathematically speaking, Arnold had a larger margin of victory than Reagan had in his 1984 thrashing of Mondale.

Soo, not only did Arnold win, he has a mandate. Let's hope he doesn't squander it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

California Election Results

Arnold Schwarzenegger 1,660,036 48.9%
Cruz M. Bustamante 1,073,420 31.6 %

Schwarzenegger is the new governor of California.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

To My California Compadres

Yes on the recall; yes on Arnold.

In a perfect world, I'd say yes on McClintock instead, but as you are well aware, it is a far from perfect world.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Signs That the Armageddon is Upon Us

Boston Red Sox 4
Oakland Athletics 3

Could it be? Is it possible that there will be a World Series matchup between the Chicago Cubs, with no play-off advancements in 95 years until last night, and the Boston Red Sox, who have never shaken the Bambino Curse for trading Babe Ruth those many years ago? Such an event could very well rip the space/time continuum and destroy all life as we know it. Only Dr. Stephen Hawking--and maybe Dusty Baker--know for sure.

(Oh, yeah--Let's go Marlins!)

Repairs

This morning, my trial partner and i discussed matters and decided starting again with a clean slate is best for both of us. I figured there is no sense in being a jerk about things. I've seen too many people eaten alive by personal grudges. By watching these grudges, I've also learned a truth that so nearly universal: the person you are holding a grudge against doesn't have the first clue that you are.

So, to hold animosity is a waste of energy--particularly when there are much bigger jerks in the world you're going to have to deal with. Of course, there is also the ultimate conclusion: how can we expect Christ to forgive us, when we do not forgive others?

I am sorry, Heather. I will not react the way I did again.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Playing With A Post-Modern 'Intellectual'

If you really believe in moral relativity, ("What's morally right for you may not be right for me.") then you are stating that "everything is relative." In making a broad, all inclusive statement, you are declaring a universal truth ("Everything is relative.") To say "everything is relative" is to declare an absolute. One can only assume then that only absolutes exist (such as the Natural Law Theory) and Relativism is a false concept created by a corrupt society wishing to justify it's own fallen desires?

(That was met with dead silence, by the way. No one appreciates the classical views anymore.)
The Rundown

This afternoon, I sneaked into a theatre where i knew no one would recognze me, and engaged in the guilty pleasure of a silly action movie. I got what I expected--a movie aimed at 13 year olds that seemed to be written by one, too. regardless, I enjoyed myself--akin to a pig rolling in mud, one assumes.

The WWe wrestling star, the Rock, plays Beck, a bounty hunter who really just wants out of the business to start his own restaurant. He's a gourme, you see. Beck agrees to go on one last score--retrieve his boss' son (Travis) from a Brazilian jungle where he is searching for a priceless artifact. Travis has cut a deal with the movie's bad guy mine owner to split the value of whatever he finds. Rosario Dawson is a rebel leader who also wants the artifact, because it's sale price will help free her people who are enslaved in the mines.

Got all that?

Don't worry if you didn't, because at no point in this comic booky thriller does anyone other than Dawson take thing seriously. This was slam bang, "how in the world are they not now crippled" action from start to finish. It doesn't tread any new ground, but I can see how the Rock is becoming a box office draw. He's great in this film. Now, i'm no fan of wrestling, so I have no idea how this character relates with his wrestling persona, but i am assuming he's a lot edgier than Beck. That makes this character all the more enjoyable.

The stunt work was done in the exaggerated Matrix style, addin to the enjoyable cartoon feel. This was a pretty neat way to kill a Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Secret Cat Diary


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DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from shredding the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant and cough it up on the carpeting.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed (again).

DAY 762 - Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good
little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan...

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth and the tiny bit of flesh under my claws.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird on the other hand has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

ISTJ - "Trustee". Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 6% of the total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Capone's Axiom

I haven't written in a few days, but I've been neck deep in a Machiavellian affair. My second partner in trial practice apparently wasn't too happy to be paired with me and evidently needs a little more time to teach, poor, incompentent little Jamie how to be a lawyer. She decided to volunteer us to move to a completely new trial a little later down the road. Of course, she made sure this was fine with all parties involved--except me. No, I get the announcement in class in front of God and everybody.

"Gee, you don't mind , do you, Jamie?"

"Noooo, of course not," I spit out through gritted teeth, which everyone else seemed to notice except her. I had to rectify that situation.

Anyway, I tracked her down and we had a little heart to heart regarding arrogance, condescendion, and the general state of affiars. I've put up with it for two years now. Enough is enough.

Hence, I have discovered Al Capone was right. You can get more reslts with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with a kind word alone.
Ann Coulter on General Clark

From her column today:

Clark is for abortion, for tax hikes, for affirmative action and against the war in Iraq. But he served in Vietnam. So he's basically Howard Dean with scarier flashbacks.

I love her.