Sunday, February 29, 2004

Sour Grapes

Dean Didn't Want to Be President: In different conversations and in different ways, according to several people who worked with him, Dean said at the peak of his popularity late last year that he never expected to rise so high, that he didn't like the intense scrutiny, that he had just wanted to make a difference. "I don't care about being president," he said. Any parent will recognise this as the usual 'I didn't want it anyway' routine most kids spout when they lose. "It's okay I didn't want to be Class President/Quaterback/etc anyway." If i were as Dean supporter, I'd be upset that $40 million went to his Dadaist experiment. (Registration required to read the Washington Post. It's annoying, but free)

Saturday, February 28, 2004

I Admire Tenacity, But...

World's Most Stubborn Man Dies: He fell in his yard and insisted he was fine--for days. Happily the world's most accomdating woman survived. The two of them have some pretty sharp neighbors, too, huh?
Gaming

I managed to waste an obscene amount of time today playing Mario Kart: Double Dash. How can you expect me to resist spending the afternoon with a game featuring a turtle as its best driver? I'm not made of stone, although it has been speculated that I have a heart of pure granite. I don't count that, of course. I did go grocery shopping, so I guess the day wasn't a total loss. But it's nice to see that Saturdays can still be fun regardless of your age, no?

Yes, I'm 27. Hush.
Open House

I crashed aftr coming home from classes today for a lot longer than I expected. Almost three hours longer, in fact. Now I’m wide awake at the time of night that I’d normally be winding down or already conked out. It seems like a perfect time to update this puppy. It’s mostly the same old same old.

Sure enough, i was on the hot seat in Federal Courts for the second time in a week. For some reason, I seem to have a target on my back in that class. The subject is so theoretical and nebulous that I often can’t make heads or tails out of iy even as I’m analyzing it in front of everyone. At least most everyone else in the class is in the same boat that I am and the professor is sympathetic.

There was an open house in the Dean’s office all day long. I dropped by his office for moment, as the prevailing assumption is that virtually no other classmate would. Friday’s a bad day for such things, no? We had a short conversation regarding some of the issues I’ve been dealing with lately involving my injury and my mother’s death. I expressed my concern that I think I’ve been insulated from how much I’ve lost back home while being in Virginia. I’ve spent less than a week in South Carolina since Mother died last March. It’s going to be a new experience to go back there permanently. We prayer about things together, which was a nice touch.

This leads us to the bit where I crashed and thought happy thoughts in la la land for a few hours. It’s one of the virtues of Friday afternoon, now that I think about it.

I forgot to send in my Columbia House selection of the month for the fourth time in seven years and for the third time, I’ve been happy with my mistake. I’m currently playing thr spoils of my irresponsibility, Lonestar’s Greatest Hits. As sick as I am of hearing I’m Already There it’s even tolerable among the other gems on the CD. I especially like their cover of Walking in Memphis It’s quite good.

I think i’m going to head off and warp my little fragile little mind with a Mario Brothers video game.

Friday, February 27, 2004

It Was An Honest Mistake

Yesyrtday, U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown (D-FL) caused a stir with her attacks on the "racist white men" in the Bush Administration. The person she was attacking, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, is actually Hispanic. When this was pointed out, she replied "you all look alike to me." Will the Democrats denounce Rep. Brown for her ignorant and racist comment? Naaaah. You probably haven't even heard about the incident until now.


Pack Your Bags

Because the United States has lifted the travel ban on that lovely paradise known as Libya. It should be a popular destination for those who enjoy sand and loney terrorists. I don't think the babes wear burkas, either, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I bought my ticket. Haven't you? Oh, I'll betcha they get a Starbucks before the end of summer. You don't want to miss that.

Blogging was nonexistant today because I was out having a blast. More fun than a Libyan holiday, even. Things should return to status quo once lthereal world creeps back in.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

For the Fans of Irony

As if that last post wasn't enough to make you keil over. Aibohphobia is the fear of palindromes. Now, my question is how do you go about informing the poor person who has it without him running off screaming into the night? Whoever is in charge of naming phobias has a twisted mind. I'll bet there's a name for that, too.
So It Is NASCAR Nation Now?

Go to Ask the White House and your question will be answered by a top administration official. Scratch that. It's an election year that may turn on NASCAR dads' votes, so for now your questions will be answered by NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip. Say, do you think Tony Blair should have a Bend It Like Beckham section on his web page, too? Nah. It would probably end up in a screaming match just like the real Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Random Thoughts

Just some quick ramblings, as I am bleary eyed beyond belief. My professor for tomight's class decided to describe his first job, buying his fisrt house, and how his salary grew exponentially within a three year period to pay for it. What did this have to do with Pre-Trial litigation? Diddly that I could tell. But since he used the actual dollar amounts (tacky, if I may say so) it seemed like mostly ego stroking. But hey, I gave the cat diary the benefit of the doubt, so why not a professor?

President Bush came out in gavor of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This was largely done to put Democrats on the defensive. Now they have to reconcile being against both gay marriage and this amendment. That civil union cop out won't fly. Civil unions are gay marriages without the official title. If civil unions are condoned, how long will it be before some put forth an equal protection claim that it should be called a marriage just like everyone else's? Regardless, the President hss nothing to do with amending the Constsitution. Thr amendment has to be passed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and ratified by three-fouths of the states. A daunting task indeed. I wonder if our country is too historically illiterate to know what happened to ancient Greek society when faced with a similar question and it chose poorly.

I need to skim Federal Courts and stroll off to la la land.
All Ya Gotta Do is Ask

The Hobbesian Conservative has expressed trepidation about his lofty perch among the law blogs. As I do not wish to force him into a life of vodka over indulgence, I have relocated him to the grab bag section. I accomodate all my fans.
Maybe ThIs Whole Blogging Thing is Getting Out of Hand

Ripley's Blog: I see three possibilities here. First, this is a joke that you smirk at once, and never think of again. Second, it's a brilliant commentary on the lack of substance many blogs contain. Finally, it is run by someone with way too much time on his or her hands. Maybe a combination. For the record, I smirked once and will give the benefit of the doubt on the other two.


Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm the Finger On the Pulse of Legal Education

Then again, maybe I'm not. I imagine he most disappointed visitor to my blog came from this Google search. Sorry, pal. Be careful about making those "appeal to authority" logical fallacies when making a big decision on graduate legal education.
Stick a Fork in It

My article is done. More precisely, I have turned it in. It actually has to make it through another round of editors, so it is quite likely that I'll be burning the midnight oil yet again again making changes. The good news is that the entire human rights themed issue of the Regent Journal of International Law must be at the printer by March 15. I can't be given too much of a runaround with that definite a schedule.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

But...But That Could Lead to President Pamela Anderson

Schwarzenegger: Let Foreign-Born Seek White House: Does he makea compelling argument? Not really. The foreign born statesmen he mentions (Kissinger, Albright) both served as Secretary of State. They specialized in foreign policy, not executive leadership. I'm am trying to recall if there have been many foreign born politicians high profile enough to have ever run for president. Currently, Gov. Granholm, born in Canada, would be on Kerry's wishlist (yes, in more ways than one. Get your mind out of th egutter.) so Arnie's wish isn't too farfetched. i wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

Oh, and Arnie claims he has never thought about running for president. He has. in fact, maintained his Austrian citizenship all this time. It has long been rumored that he has done so to keep open the possibility of running for president there. With the right-wing shift there under President Hader's government, it didn't seem like too much of a longshot. It looks like Arnie has set his sights a little higher these days.
Re: Article

I'm almost finished editing my article. The job noew is really deciding which editorial suggestions to follow and which to toss. The editor who first got my submission is a newl minted second year student who managed to iss the entire point of the article.

You see, it's about 'comfort women." These are mostly Korean women who were forced into brothels to serve at the pleasure of the Japanese Imperial Army. The Tokyo Tribunal never addressed forced sexual slavery as a war crime, even though thousands of women had been enslaved and brutalized. Japan has considered the matter closed as of the peace treaty signing. My article examines the international law principles existant at the time and the humanitarian treaties Japan was a party to in order to establish it's liability regardless. That part was successful.

But my article further details how a number of former "comfort women" have filed suit in the United States under the Alien Torts Claims Liability Act. That was a useless move, as Japan refused to forgo its soveriegn immunity, as any logical person could foresee. I took the opportunity to subtley criticize the ATCA. It's bad in a number of ways, such as how it would effect international relations, how it would entangle our courts in foreign matters, and how our beliefs and values may not gel with other countries. This was a rabbit trail for the "comfort women" and I tried to make it appear so.

The editor wants me to alter that, and make an argument in favor of ATCA. No can do. The point of the article is that Japan has violated internation law and internation pressure should force them to answer for it. The U'S. courts shouldn't be a venue for foreign claims anymore than Belgium could indict members of the Bush Administration for perceived "war crimes," as they tried to do months ago.

I may have to make a case, but I'm not changing the position on ATCA.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Is Nader Running? One Can Only Hope

Nader Will Announce 2004 Presidential Bid Plans This Sunday: All signs point to yes. Surely he won't go on TV just to say no. It's interesting that this news item refers to Nader as an egomaniac just before saying that DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe pretty much groveled to convince him to stay out. That wouldcertainlyappeal to an overblown ego. Nader will be without a party, making fundraising and getting on the ballot in all fifty states tough, but this is still bad news for Democrats. Nader has a loyal following, and I'll bet many Dean refugees will jump into his corner.
Neither Seen Nor Heard

Convention Plan Puts Protesters Blocks Away: I'm all for protest, and one of the few things I dislike about Bush is the "management" of dissent crowds at his appearances. It's one of the only legitimate complaints Democrats have against Bush. Now, they no longer have the moral authority to complaint about that, either. At this point in history, Democrats are the weakest they have ever been. They have lost the White House, both Houses of Congress, the majority of Governorships (including the largest states), most state legislatures, and there is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court (or so I'm told.) They really don't need to weaken their position further by alienating their power base--indenty politics backers who know nothing but protest and aging hippies who haven't gotten over the Summer of Love. Have you no shame, Sen. Daschle?

Friday, February 20, 2004

Couldn't We Finish the 2004 Election Frist..er..I Mean First?

Frist May Make 2008 Presidential Run This really isn't much of a surprise. In fact, I half expected Frist might replace Cheney on the ticket in 2004 id Cheney's negatives got to be an issue. (Cheney would retire for 'health reasons," naturally.) It still may happen. I could see Frist taking the VP spot in 2006 or so as an opportunity to look "presidential." It was clear the GOP was grooming Frist, since he was the clear choice to replace Trent Lott as Majority Leader after Lott's snafu at Strom's birthday bash. The Senate is a good old bys club, and everyone minds the tules. Seniority is the ruile of the day, except when big plans are in store. Bear in mind, then, that Sen. Frist is a relative newcomer to the Senate.

If health care continues to be the big issue that it is now (and it will be) look for the former heart surgeon to make a big splash.
Housekeepng

Looking back over the last few days of entries, I've discovered some awful grammar and spelling mistakes. Most are the result of hit-and-run posting with no time to proofread. I've gone back and fixed the most glaring ones. I'm sure there are more, but I'm going to move on from this point unless I run across an error that is just way too humiliating to let go. I'll try to be more careful in the future. An illiterate writer is no fun, although Christopher Hitchens has proven one can still make a decent living despite. I've also updated the links sections. No surprises that some errors crept in there, too.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Huh?

Shot By a Loose Conan: A Canadian columnist suspects Conan O'Brien is a CIA agent. If so, then Triumph the Insult Dog is the next Erma Bombeck. What are our neighbors to the north smoking?
Blog Bankrolling

Blogs Pump Bucks into Campaigns: Blogs and other online resources are becoming a big source of grassroots fundraising. It's not exactly the legacy he wanted, but it was Howard Dean who opened the door to the concept.
The Red and the Blue

Zogby Electoral Poll: The results of this poll show why the VP selection may be a bigger factor than normal. Just as in 2000, the country is almost evenly divided. Bush leads in the red states and Kerry leads in the blue carried by Gore. While there is still plenty of time for that to change, anything could put one over the top at any time. The question is who will have the edge come November?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

VP Poker

It seems fair to say that John Kerry will be the Democratic nominee for President. While Edwards' surge last night in Wisconsin created a buzz, he still only came in second. It is true he will do well in Georgia, but New York and California, the two biggest prizes remaining , are clearly in Kerry's column. Now keery has to start thinking about who to select as his Vice Presidential candidate. Frankly, i can't see how anyone can add much to the ticket. look at the top choices:

John Edwards-- Sure he's popular among Democrats, but his biggest appeal would be the possibility of making inroads in the South. Unfortunately for him, the South is solidly Bush country. He couldn't even carry his home state.

Howard Dean--Okay. He's not even a remote possibility. I just wanted to mention that the kook finally got the message that it's over. Everybody now: Sha na na, na na na...

Hillary Clinton--She might help create wider margins of victory in states Kerry will already win, but won't add any new ones into the wins column. One suspectsshe doesn't want Kerry to win, leaving the field open for 2008. I can't pictue her playing second fiddle (again) until 2012.

Max Cleland--War hero, as far as De,ocrats are concerned. He actually lost his limbs in a non-combat accident. Still, he couldn't carry Georgia in his Senate reelection campaign, so forget any leeway in the South.

Bob Graham--Florida is the only southern state that is competitive, but no one is enthusiastic about Graham.

Dick Gephardt--Might please the unions, but they'll vote Democrat regardless of who runs. Plus age is a factor. After missing out on the Presidency twice and never being House Speaker, playing second fiddle can't be appealing.

Bill Richardson--He's Hispanic, which is a huge block of votes. The problem is that Hispanic voters often espuse traditional Catholic values, which is more in tune with conservatives. Regardless, I think curently Richardson has got to be the top choice.

The only thing certain at this point is the uncertainty. Would anyone have said Dick Cheney and Joe Leiberman in 2000? Who saw that coming?


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Changing Horses in Midstream II

Returning visitors will take note of the new color scheme. It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that the old scheme was identical to Professor Wagner's Ninomania. As I loathe to be unorginal, I have decided to go with basic black. Nifty, no? Please don't be in any hurry to point out any blogs that go with the new scheme, or I'll just have to go postal.

The new Civil Pretrial professor is going to turn the class into the practical experience I was hoping it would be. Not only that, but he is dispensing with the Virginia rules in favor of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Bravo. I am now officially satisfied with all of my classes. Scratch that. I am somewhat depressed that I have to waste blog space talking about them. At least I'm not a whiney sixteen year old goth showing off my jadedness.

I haven't worked on my article yet. I need to do that soon. It's a doozy of a job.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Speak of the Devil

Vote France Off the Island: The Thomas Friedman column I mentioned below is posted online. This is the one that prompted me to look back on my materials regarding United Nations Security Council reform. Nice to know I'm not the only person who thinks India should replace France, athough a decent argument could be made for Japan, as well.
No Comfort Zone

It has snowed yet again. Rather than sound like a broken record, I'll refrain from waxing bitter on how much I dislike Virginia weather. The good thing is that the snow canceled classes this morning. That meant no Federal Courts today, but it also means there will be a make up class at some point. Just like last Friday, it will probably mean two hours early some morning. You just can’t look forward to that.

My meeting with the higher up editors wasn’t canceled, however. My “comfort women” article is pretty clean, but they would like for me to redraft a paragraphs to increase the flow of the piece. I have until Monday in order to fix everything, so that probably means my weekend will be largely shot. Knowing me, virtually every sentence will get a makeover. But like I said last post, whatever it takes to publish, that’s what i’m going to do.

I sent off a check to the BARBRI bar review program today. The expense of studying law never seems to end, whether it’s financially, emotionally, or physically.

I did have more free time today than I normally do, I read some of Thomas L. Friedman’s Longitudes and Attitudes. It’s a collection of his columns for the New York Times spanning September 11, 2001 to Operation: Iraqi Freedom. Friedman specializes in writing about the Middle East, and this book is a fascinating look at the turbulent region in this turbulent time. Reading it renews twinges of international law and relations. Too bad I’m going to wind up some ambulance chaser in the middle of South Carolina instead.

Reading did prompt me to sort through some old files on my laptop to find the research I’d done on reforming the United Nations Security Council. I never did get to write that article, and from looking back, I think it’s good that I didn’t. I think one of my best suggestions was booting France off the Security Council and replacing it with India, Japan, or Brazil. It seem that I might have been riding the “Freedom Fries” wave just a little too enthusiastically. That does not a legal scholar make, no?

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Intolerable Cruelty

I vegged out this afternoon and watched Intolerable Cruelty. It's a pretty forgettable movie, but there were a few laugh out loud moments, especialy Billy Bob Thornton. It's too bad his role was so small. He plays a fantastic Southern caricature whenever he is allowed to go wild with it. Clooney was trying a little too hard to play the smarmy divortrce lawyer, and Zeta-Jones just didn't come across as the golddigger her character was supposed to be. Maybe id the plot had been fleshed out more, the movie would have been more enjoyable. I expect better from the guys who gave us Raising Arizona.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting with the higher up editors regarding the changes that need to be made in order to finalize my article for publication. What do you want to bet I have to butcher it? Actually, at this point I couldn't care less about anysense of creative integrity. if they ask me to put Henny Youngman one liners in, I'd do it just to get the thing published. I do not look forward to any major overhauls of the article.

I read my Federal Courts assignment earlier today. It was a Supreme Court case regarding state sovereigm immunity. As i was trudging through, it dawned on me (not for the first time, mind you) that I am going to spend a large chunk of my life handling thr three D's-dog bites, divorces, and DUIs. Doesn't it seem odd to be studying something as high concept as sovereign immunity at this point? Am I losing perspective here in the waning days of my studies? i wonder if I am also losing myself in a maelstrom of cynicism.
Oh, What a Night

And it wasn't even late December, 1963.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

That's Encouraging, No?

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whose mother is Mexican and resides in Mexico City, is increasingly talked about as Kerry's running mate to attract the expanding Latino vote. Kerry-Richardson would be the first national Democratic ticket without a Southerner since Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro lost 49 of 50 states in 1984.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Good Run of Bad Luck

As I predicted last night, I was called on in Federal Courts today. I had to fumble through yet another case. That makes twice this week. Surely that violates the cruel and unusual punishment prohibition of the Eighth Amendment. What’s worse is car was covered with ice this morning. Even the door was stuck. I was outside, shivering my rear end off while scraping the windshield and prying the door open with a cake knife. This was fyrher complicated by the fact that I had just cleaned my glasses in a rysh, so the lenseswere still damp. Yep, they froze over, too.

I gave a Valentine’s gift of a teddy bear to KDR. I knew she wasn’t really expecting it, and her reaction was priceless. I propped it up in front her books when she wasn’t looking. She jumped when she turned around to see it.

“He’s homeless. Would you like to have him?” I said. Ah, you should have been there. Like I said, it was priceless.

We had a power blackout earlier this afternoon for nearly an hour. It was probably just a reminder that today is Friday the 13th. Miraculously, nothing really bad happened. I assume it’s because my luck is so rotten most of the time, Friday the 13th can’t be that bad for me. It must be some balance of te universe sort of thing. Any metaphysics gurus want to tackle that one for me?
Tax Policy

The results of a tax policy generator: I'm not entirely surewhat to make of my results. This test is skewered in one direction or another. It's interesting nonetheless. Try it yourself: Tax Policy.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Raising the Bar

I was still awake at 3:00 AM last night talking to Pete and one of his classmates. If Pete hadn't hinted he needed to go to bed, our guest wouldn't have left until daylight. You've got to love MPA students. They don'tseem to have a care in the world. Do they even go to class? This fellow has caught the lawschool bug, but I've gotten the distinct impression it is more out of a fear of the real world than any true desire to practice law.

Speaking of which, I have discoveredseveral other classmates who ae opting to take public service jobs and forgo the bar altogether. This is cannot figure out to save my soul. Maybe they do feel a calling elsewhere, but at leasst take the bar. If for no other reason you can draft an estae plan or contract every now and then to supplement your income. There is no way I would have gone through all of this ordeal and not practice law. i can't fathom why someone would.

It is true that a good many of my classmates have been attracted to the Common Good. That's an attempt to create a political party/interest good that is less conservative than the Christian Coalition. I've only had brief encounters with the group, but i sense its lack of focus. The group's leaders are too idealistic about how an interest group should work. They espouse positive message, but they are not willing to take some of the necessary steps to make it in the political arena. They need a Ralph Reed, but they discourage anyone who might step into that role. I'm not optimistic about this group. I'll have to stick my allegiance with the GOP.

Actually, I really just think I'm disappointed by classmates I like chasing rainbows. It's selfish, I know, to worry about how these strange idealistic crusades reflect on Regent and my degree, but I do. Maybe i'm being cynical again about who does and does not have the juice to be lawyers. That's weighed on my mind as classmates opt out almost daily.

I have to prepare double for a make up Federal Courts class in the morning. I've got a feeling i'm going to be called on.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Confirmations

I've been checking my bank account over the phone for the last few days. My application check for the bar exam hasn't been cashed yet. This naturally had me worried. I called the Bar Examining Board. The gentleman who answered the phone acted as though I was bothering me immensely and said,"We haven't run across your name." Now, as I was laying on the floor hyperventilating in a fetal position, he explained that they cash the check as they process the applications and use the postmark date to determine if the application is in on time. Sheesh. Freak me out, will you? They may not even look at the darn thing for months.

I've wondered today, looking back, how much I've changed. I wonder if it's that change that law school supposedly brings about. It supposedly makes one more aggressive and argumentative. I was already those things in abundance, not to mention nihilistic and bitterly cynical. Now I think I'm worst. Has it been school, or has it been life in general? Many rotten things have happened in the last few years. I'd like to know.

My neice came to Williamsburg with her AP History class. They got off the bus, tasted Virginia, and got back on the bus much quicker than they had planned. She said,"Virginia weather sucks." She's right. Virginia's weather does indeed suck.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Trials and Tribulations

It looks like we are switching horses in midstream. my Civil Pre-Trial professor has a new job teaching CLE (Continuing Legal Education) classrs to judges. He'll be heading up to Richmond in order to do so. he was always sort of a lacadaisical professor. this new fellow teaching the course certainly is not. He is an experienced litigator and seems to know what life in the trenches is all about. hopefully that class will now become what I expected it to be.

I talked to Chandra for the first time this semester. This is the first semester we'have not had a class together. Thsat was normally a comforting expectation, but is no longer there. Actually, many comforting things are no longer there. Anyway, she has decided to not take the South Carolina bar. Chalk up another one who will bypass the Palmetto State.

I also saw Laurie tonight. She had her baby with her. That was the first time I have met him. We recalled our time in the Trial Practice trenches last semester. I reintereated that i felt more antagonistic with my partner than with her as my opponent. She knew exactly what meant.

We're definitiely heading towards the end. Conversations now involve where one is planning to take the bar, who has a job, and the like. There is a mix of happiness and melancholy in the air. It's an interesting atmosphere.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Casus Belli

What Every Rational Person Should Know About Iraq: Finally, it's all written down in one place. Read this, and you'll be glad Saddam got whacked.
Well, Phooey on You Then

Kristina said today she'd like to read my paper on compensation for Japanese war crimes victims (namely those taken as "comfort women") but has zero interest in my paper on fraud in estate planning. After all, the second topic involves something as mundane as the actual practice of law. Why would a third year law student want to read that drivel, no? ;) At least she does want to read the published one. My ego can't be bruised too hard.

For an explanation of the sad case of "comfort women,"click here.
Close Call

I'm glad I took the time to read the assignment for Federal Courts. I was called on to analyze the second case we had to read. I fumbled my way through it to the professor's apparent satisfaction. Thus, I called it a day and a job well done.
Holding the Line

It's after 1:00 AM, I've got class at 8:25 AM, and i haven't read the assignment yet. Federal courts is a huge ordeal. I still can't decided why Ithought it was a good idea. Oh, well. I'm really just writing this entry as an excuse to not read for class. You, my astute readers, have figured that out already.

I boght South Park: the Complete Third Season yesterday. That season is my personal favorite. I think the show hit its aprex that year. My favorite episodes were "Starvin Marin in Space," "Mr. Hanky's Chriatmas Sing-a-Long," "The Red Badge of Courage," and the two epiodes whose titles escape me--the one with Jennifer Anniston taking the kids to a concert in Costa Rica. There she s sacrificed by the natives (where'd she get the cheerleader outfit in the rainforest?) Also the one with Cartman's quest to find the Brown Note in order to gain revenge on some bullying kids from New York. I cackled like an old hag brewing over a cauldron watching those.

I also pulled in for my monthly haul of comics. I've given Bruce Jones well over a year to have something exciting happen in the Hulk. It hasn't happenedy et, but I can't tear myself away from it. There's just something compelling about his train wreck style of storytelling. Still, I miss the high adventureaspects of the Hulk. Thank goodness there are other comics out there to hold my attention. Sad that comicsstill thrill me now as much as they did when i was twelve. of course, since politics does, too, I don't feel quite so odd. Part precocious, part reverting. That's me.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Julius Schwartz (1915-2004)

One of the founding fathers of both science fiction and comic book fandom has passed on.
Democratic Ticket 2004

John Kerry/Max Cleland. Whatcha think?

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Homo Homini Lupus Est.

From John Derbyshire:

At a friend’s house the other day, I was introduced to an elderly female relative of his. The family is Jewish, and this old lady was born in Poland in the 1930s. Was she there when the war broke out? I asked, once sufficient acquaintance had been established. Yes, she said, she had. But how on earth had she survived? I asked, knowing that it was in Poland that the Final Solution was brought closest to finality. Well, she told me, she had left Warsaw and stayed with family friends in the countryside. These people, who were Gentiles, had kept her hidden through the whole of the war. After the war she had got out and come to America.

What a story! We all know this stuff, of course, but it is still very moving to hear it from the lips of an eyewitness. Well, later in the evening, the old lady now off in another room, my host cornered me and asked what I had been speaking to her about. I said she had told me the story of being hidden by Gentiles during the war. My friend nodded sadly. “That’s her cover story,” he said. What did he mean? “Well, when the war started, her family actually fled from Poland to the USSR. They had a hard enough time there, goodness knows — WW2 in the USSR was no picnic. But when she came to the States, the Cold War was on, and she was afraid that if she said she’d been living in the USSR, she’d be deported as a suspected communist. So she made up the other story. Still, today, she doesn’t feel totally safe, so she still tells people that story.”

In a way, the old lady’s little act of fearful deception is more telling about the state of affairs in the middle of the 20th century than the original, made-up, version. That fear — mainly fear of communism, but also a generalized fear of any state authority, even America’s — had sunk so deep into her very bones that she clung to her invented tale fifty years on, rather than take the chance of being informed on and deported. Good grief! What a safe, secure, smug, careless world we have the wonderful good fortune to be living in! Somewhere in our conversation the old lady had mentioned the monument to the dead at Dachau, which bears the inscription Homo homini lupus est — “Man is a wolf to man.” Is such evil really part of our human constitution? Yes, it is. May we never forget it

Friday, February 06, 2004

I'm Sure Someone Will Miss Him

You remember Randall Robinson? He was the head of TransAfrica, in Washington, who went on a hunger strike in order to get President Clinton to invade Haiti. He did. Robinson is also a major, major apologist for Fidel Castro, perhaps his favorite world leader. Well, he has now left the United States and written a book about it: Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from His Native Land. He went to St. Kitts, where his wife was born. Why did he leave America? He told an interviewer, "America is a huge fraud, clad in a narcissistic conceit and satisfied with itself, feeling unneedful of any self-examination nor responsibility to right past wrongs, of which it notices none. It's the kind of fraud that simply wears you out."

Well, I'm sure America is now slightly less fraudulent without Randall Robinson in it.
Marbury v. Madison

Why take Federal Courts and Legislation? Because you get to hear the true story of Marbury v. Madison.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Lag Time

I have an early morning class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that ends at 10:10. My next class isn't until 4:30 in the afternoon. While that seems like a long time, I find that is doesn't feel like enough time to actually start any sort of activity. Thus I wind pittering around on nothing particularly important. I doin't really even feel likereading for tomorrow morning's class since I have an intervening one. Yes, i know this is a weird thing to mention, but if one cannot be self indulgent on his blog, where can he?

I received a copy of the Ultimate Guitar Handbook earlier. it's an interesting and extremely comprehensive guide. i bought it mostly for the chord charts, but I have found the rest of the topics fascinating, even the technical aspects of amplifiersand such. I've spent most of my time with the chord charts, though. I've been practicing the left haand finger movements, which are even tougher for me than i thought they would be. i am still determined to learn how to play.

I had a flash of inspiration for a story this morning and quickly fleshed out some ideas. I might be able to get a framework for it sometime this weekend. This weekend will be busy otherwise, too. I have a list from the University of South Carolina School of Law of law firms seeking new associates. i'm going to whittle that list down and prepare resumes and cover letters for them. It's getting close to crunch time.
Housekeeping

I've finally gotten around to adding links to other blogs and columnists offerings on Caiviar for the Mind. My blog always seemed a little naked without connections to other spots, so here they are. I'll be addng more as time goes on. If you are interested, there is a much wider assortment of links on my home age, also linked off to the side.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Rev. Al and the GOP

Al Sharpton--Republican Stooge? A Village Voice investigation finds that his presidential campaign is being financed and staffed by Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative. Article details some interesting financing arrangements and reveals that Stone has bragged that he gave Sharpton the ax handle he waved at a NAACP meeting to denounce Democratic racism. Sharpton wants to teach the Democrats a lesson (as he did in helping to elect Republican Mike Bloomberg mayor of New York), and Republicans are anxious to help create a division with black voters.

It didn't help him much in my home state, where he was supposed to pick up delegates but got nary a one.
Primary Colors

Everyone in the country knows it's over except Dean, Edwards, and Clark. Do we really want to elect a man president who can't figure out something that elementary?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The Bellicose Curve

How many Times Has the United States Gone to War Based on Faulty Intelligence?: I'm not saying we've done it in Iraq, and I'm not sure I buy every example listed here, but it seems to have happened more often than we'd like to admit.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Zo, Are You Ein Loyal Member Uf Zee Party?

The South Carolina state Democratic Party has decided to force every voter to sign a pledge swearing that they are true Democrats I'm not so sure the Democrats' loyalty oath is even legal. South Carolina code 7-11-20 deals with primaries vs. non-binding "advisory" votes. If it's a primary, it must be held according to state law, which means no loyalty oath is allowed. Since delegates will be apportioned based on the outcome of Tuesday's vote, I don't see how the SC primary can be considered merely "advisory."

I'm no specialist in Constitutional law, but this doesn't sound kosher. Since it's liberals running the show, i doubt anyone will challenge it. Has the ACLU, et al, ever jumped in where they were really needed?
Well, I'll Be

My bar application made it in under the deadline with everything intact. That's such a rare occurence, I'd thought I'd share it with the blogosphere. Well, for that reason and I really don't want to get started on the two pleadings I need to write for tomorrow night's class. One must have priorities. Publishing one's thoughts is a higher calling, after all.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Satire is Dead

Bush and Blar Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: All right. I'm an ardent Bush supporter. I voted for him in 2000, and I'll vote for him in November. I whole-heartedly support the war on terror. What's more, I think Saddam was an evil man who never gained a weapon he didn't use, so a war to oust him before getting WMD is a great idea. But, as much as I thought the war was necessary and proper, I cannot say it deserves a Nobel Peace prize.

Was 2003 really that rough a year for peace?
Super Bowl XXXVIII

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Good game, though. I suppose getting to see Janet Jackson's boob come out of her outfit was worth sitting through, too. I wonder if that's the first bare breast Justin Timberlake has ever seen?
Super Bowl Prediction

My Panthers are coming in as underdogs, but they've got heart. I'm predicting they'll pull the game out over the New England Patriots in a low scoring squeaker. I have a few errands to run before I can settle down to watch the game, but I'll be there.