Singing Loudly: October 2004

Singing Loudly

Sunday, October 31, 2004

What will I do on Monday night?

I have two invitations. The first is to go to the Human Rights Campaign Fund Raising Gala at the Crow Center for Asian-American Arts.

The other option was emailed to me this weekend and involves seeing President Bush. Here is a copy of the email:

The Republican National Committee has rented Moody Coliseum on Monday evening for a campaign rally featuring President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush, in addition to several local candidates and statewide officials. There are a limited number of tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be obtained at campaign headquarters at 9667 North Central Expressway, near the intersection with Walnut Hill. The hours for distribution of SMU tickets are Saturday and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. An SMU ID will be required, only one ticket will be given to each person, and tickets are not transferable. Tickets will be distributed at the discretion of the Dallas County Republican Party. Tentative plans are for the doors to Moody to open at 7 p.m. for security screening; however, this is subject to change. Updated information will be provided, as necessary.

Place your bets fast!

When Roethlisberger Takes Down Another

I wish that I could say there was some sort of a battle today when Pittsburgh ended the 21 win streak of the Patriots, but it was clearly a demolition of a giant.

The rookie, Roethlisberger, took on Brady and won. I'm sure there are many who are surprised, but I'm not. I predicted that New England would fall to the spectacular offense of Pittsburgh.

Today he took down Tom Brady, but this wasn't the first well-known QB Roethlisberger has taken on.

Rather, this past draft there was a rivalry that developed between Roethlisberger and Eli Manning over who would secure the higher draft.

Roethlisberger doesn't come from the QB background of Eli Manning. He didn't start playing the QB position until his senior year of high school. He went to Miami of Ohio for his undergrad football career where he played through his junior year.

As it turned out, Manning was drafted ahead of Roethlisberger by the San Diego Chargers. Part of what NFL experts claimed was that Manning was the more polished QB. He was considered, by many, to be less of a risk, although, both players were thought to be safe picks. Subsequently, Eli Manning was traded to the New York Giants where he was expected to learn from Kurt Warner for a few weeks and then ease into the role of head QB.

But was there something more to San Diego taking Eli Manning with the first pick? In 1998 Peyton Manning was considered less polished, but potentially a stronger player than Ryan Leaf. Peyton was picked 1st by Indiana while Ryan Leaf was picked second by the San Diego Chargers.

Does anyone know what has happened to Leaf? I'm sure you could look it up and figure out what he's doing, but the fact is being polished in college doesn't guarantee you'll be a great professional quarterback. Peyton Manning won that contest in both the first draft and being the more successful QB.

Now we see a similar situation emerging in that the less polished, or riskier, QB is taking off. Today we see that while Roethlisberger might have lost the initial fight with Eli Manning, he was talented enough to take down Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Eli Manning has not had the opportunity to take the role as head QB for the Giants. Perhaps when the Pittsburgh meets the Giants on December 18th, the two young QBs will be able to square off against each other to settle the dispute.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Comfort Factor

I love my newest pair of shoes. It's a rare day when I buy shoes, but I was needing some that were a casual brown suede to go well with a few of my shirts when I go out.

Look here.

Need a reason to become a lawyer?

Severina Vuckovic is some sort of a pop Croation star, I'll take their word for it, and is in court over a sex video. She's claiming that because it is her sex tape, she has the copyright. Anyhow, the bottom line is that she is asking the Judge to be able to show the sex tape in court..


Friday, October 29, 2004


This makes me want to get satellite radio.

Best of all, it comes with a 30-minute buffer so you can pause or rewind the song. That's just what you need when you get a phone call, miss a cool part of the song while kissing your significant other on Lover's Peak, stop at the fast food restaurant, or get pulled over by a police officer.

Now I need to save up the $129.99 to buy it and the $69.99 install kit.

Song Lyrics

I love bands, like Drive By Truckers, that can tell such beautiful stories through their lyrics. The energy in the song is just as compelling when they perform it.

Mary Alice had a baby and he looked just like I did
We got married on a Monday and I been working ever since
Every week down at the Ford Plant but now they say they're shutting down
Goddamned Reagan in the White House and no one there gives a damn

Double Digit unemployment, TVA be shutting soon
While over there in Huntsville, They puttin' people on the moon

So I took to runnin' numbers for this man I used to know
And I sell a few narcotics and I sell a little blow
I ain't getting rich now but I'm gettin' more than by
It's really tough to make a living but a man just got to try

If I died in Colbert County, Would it make the evening news?
They too busy blowin' rockets, Puttin' people on the moon

Mary Alice quit askin' why I do the things I do
I ain't sayin' that she likes it, but what else I'm gonna do?
If I could solve the world's problems I'd probably start with hers and mine
But they can put a man on the moon
And I'm stuck in Muscle Shoals just barely scraping by

Mary Alice got cancer just like everybody here
Seems everyone I know is gettin' cancer every year
And we can't afford no insurance, I been 10 years unemployed
So she didn't get no chemo so our lives was destroyed
And nothin' ever changes, the cemetery gets more full
And now over there in Huntsville, even NASA's shut down too

Another Joker in the White House, said a change was comin' round
But I'm still workin' at The Wal Mart and Mary Alice, in the ground
And all them politicians, they all lyin' sacks of shit
They say better days upon us but I'm sucking left hind tit
And the preacher on the TV says it ain't too late for me
But I bet he drives a Cadillac and I'm broke with some hungry mouths to feed

I wish I'z still an outlaw, was a better way of life
I could clothe and feed my family still have time to love my pretty wife
And if you say I'm being punished. Ain't he got better things to do?
Turnin' mountains into oceans Puttin' people on the moon

Turnin' mountains into oceans Puttin' people on the moon

What I'm seeing on TV...frankly it scares me

I get home this afternoon and turn on the TV to get my fill of news. I am a little frightened today with what I have seen on TV.

First we had Elton John attacking Madonna in early October:

Madonna, best fucking live act? Fuck off. Since when has lip-synching been live? That's me off her fucking Christmas card list but do I give a toss? No.

Now Avril Lavigne is "dissing" Ashlee Simpson:

You know what? There are a lot of people out there today, who have become stars or famous musicians -- I wouldn't really define them as a star -- with a record only because they have connections and only because they have money and for the wrong reasons

What kind of a world of entertainment have we come to when the guardian of music's respectability include a guy who sings cheesy songs and wears bright colored suits and a girl who writes songs in instant message speak?

2004 NFL Regular Season Week #8

Sunday, October 31

NY Giants at Minnesota: Minnesota
Baltimore at Philadelphia: Philly
Green Bay at Washington: GB
Jacksonville at Houston: Houston
Arizona at Buffalo: Buffalo
Detroit at Dallas: Detroit
Cincinnati at Tennessee: Tennessee
Indianapolis at Kansas City: Indy
Atlanta at Denver: Atlanta
Carolina at Seattle: Seattle
New England at Pittsburgh: Pitt
Oakland at San Diego: SD
San Francisco at Chicago: SF (Ed. Dear Lucky Fan in Section 117, Row 10, Seat 15: You have been selected to be this week's BANK ONE(TM) BEARS QUARTERBACK OF THE WEEK. Please come down to the locker room and suit up for today's game.)

Monday, November 1st
Miami at NY Jets: Jets

Presidential Elections and Popular Music: Which influences which?

Recycled from 8/6.04

From the coming Billboard Music Hot 100 chart the top song is:

Over And Over, Nelly Featuring Tim McGraw.

Best case scenario, this means that Bush and Cheney are over and the nightmare of this election cycle is also over. If you think this method of election prediction is silly, then read all the previous election year's songs of the week.

I wanted to look at the top songs on pop music radio the week of various elections to see if there is any correlation.


The disputed election that matched George W. Bush against then VP Al Gore found Nsync - It's Gonna Be Me as the top song. At the end of the election week both candidates were telling America that it is gonna be me when the election dispute was settled. Ultimately, of course, Bush won the electoral college vote.


Was a fairly unremarkable election contest between Senator Bob Dole and the incumbent President Clinton. Ironically, it was the Alanis Morisette - You Learn that plagued the airwaves that election week. Perhaps the Republican Party learned not to put such an uncharismatic candidate up against the likes of Clinton. Maybe Bob Dole learned that he should relax and be himself instead of falling off stages.


Governor Bill Clinton decided to take on President Bush in this election. The charts were filled with prophesy with Boys II Men - End of the Road signaling just that for Bush. Unfortunately, it was not the last we saw of independent candidate Ross Perot, who took awhile to realize that he had no road.


Vice President George Bush took to the campaign trail against Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts. The hit song that week was Steve Winwood - Roll with It. Following in the footsteps of President Reagan, Bush had no problem just rolling with it against a rather weak opponent.


The typical causes of the parties were swapped in this election as Senator Mondale accused incumbent President Reagan of horrendous budget deficits. The radio was flooded with the gentle sounds of Stevie Wonder - I Just Called to Say I Love You, which was the American public. The voters showed up to the election and gave President Reagan an 18 point margin win.


Incumbent President Carter was matched up against Governor Reagan from California in this election. Supertramp - Dreamer was the song flooding the airwaves. I think that the whole idea of a "misery index" was a bit of dreaming from the Republican party, however, Carter and the Democrats weren't savvy enough to defeat that and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Of course, there are also dreams of some massive conspiracy surrounding the hostage situation as they were released when Reagan took office. Could it have been planned that way or are people merely dreaming?


Incumbent President Ford (never elected President or Vice President, correct?) faced opposition by both Governor Carter of Georgia, and, in the primaries, from Governor Reagan. It came down to Ford and Carter at the elections while Chicago - If You Leave Me Now was ruling the radiowaves. Of course, as Reagan suspected, Ford did leave us after asserting the false claim that Eastern Europe was free from Soviet control. It was a narrow victory but Carter won.


Nixon went against the non-opponent of George McGovern. McGovern was soon depicted as a radical leftist and had no chance. Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now came true when Nixon had to step down from office.

Interesting if nothing else.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Answering my post below

I asked if there was anyone who still supports Bush. I wasn't surprised when the New Yorker endorsed Kerry, and condemned Bush. However, I'm a surprised The Economist has switched from endorsing Bush in 2000 (and Dole in 1996) to Kerry in 2004.

Stuart Benjamin at Volokh writes:

This strikes me as more significant than most endorsements, both because they endorsed Bush in 2000 (and endorsed Dole in 1996) and because they are very smart small-government types. And it is particularly striking because they supported the decision to invade Iraq.

I've stated before on this blog and in private conversations that Bush is a big government President. He isn't spending money wisely and is going to cause a major blowup if he continues for four more years.

As stated in the New Yorker's endorsement of Kerry:

just after Bush’s inauguration, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office published its budget outlook for the coming decade. It showed a cumulative surplus of more than five trillion dollars. At the time, there was a lot of talk about what to do with the anticipated bounty, a discussion that now seems antique. Last year’s federal deficit was three hundred and seventy-five billion dollars; this year’s will top four hundred billion. According to the C.B.O., which came out with its latest projection in September, the period from 2005 to 2014 will see a cumulative shortfall of $2.3 trillion.

The New Yorker shows enough evidence that Bush and his group are incompetent, and The Economist definately agrees.

Bill Emmott, the editor of The Economist says that Bush is "incompetent". And continues the criticism by saying that one of the biggest problems is that Bush's administration refuse to admit, and subsequently learn from, their mistakes.

Can Anybody Still Support Bush?

This is both damning and scary that Bush could have led an *unnecessary* campaign so poorly that Iraq is on the verge of a civil war and tons of explosives disappeared. All of it under the watch of our fearless (and witless) commander-in-chief. Look at the photographic evidence that follows...

From 5 Eyewitness News KSTP-TV Minneapolis/St. Paul:

President Bush says no one knows if the ammunition was taken before or after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003 when coalition troops moved in to the area.

Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne Division, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has determined the crew embedded with the troops may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where the ammunition disappeared. The news crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa, and drove two or three miles north of there with soldiers on April 18, 2003.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labeled "explosives." Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get into the bunkers and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.

"We can stick it in those and make some good bombs." a soldier told our crew.

More photos

[From: Counterspin Central]

Getting My Costume

This year it's going to be more difficult for me to come up with my Halloween costume, because my friend has moved. My friend was this younger theater major, Sarah, who was super hip. Somehow I convinced her, last year, that we should go as sort of a two-part costume. I dressed like good old Abraham Lincoln, while she went as a top hat. It was a hit. Now she has moved away because she didn't like the theater program.

What the heck am I supposed to do for a costume now? If I could give myself a tracheotomy, I would be able to go as Chief Justice Rehnquist*.

*I'm sorry, that was uncalled for and foul, but it has made people laugh around here, so I'm sticking with it.

Chop Chop

President Bush, in his typical delivery, fumbled over his words as he tried to shift the blame from his dangerous incompetence to Kerry's holding the commander-in-chief accountable for the military mistake,

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander-in-chief."

Quick! Someone get Kerry a jumps to conclusion mat!

Maybe he'll land on "Oh, you did fuck it up Bush" space.

Where Did All The Reviews Go?

I just got a call from my friend, Maggie, letting me know that the opening night of my play was successful. I've mentioned how she is in the cast and how awesome she is, so I wasn't surprised that she called me tonight.

Thanks for taking awhile before going out to the opening night party (lots of companies have multiple parties -- opening night, closing night, and just for the hell of it parties -- to celebrate the show they have staged) that is going on right now. I wish that I could be there for the party, but I'm not too upset about missing the play.

In the past I have gone to see a couple of my plays, but I don't travel to see them. Weird. But the odd dissociation doesn't end there. I know that many artists claim they don't listen to, or read, the reviews of their work. I'm now exception. It just doesn't interest me in any way.

Maggie's review was nice to hear tonight. The theater was sold out, people were engaged, they laughed at the right parts, and by the end she said there were quite a few people with tears in their eyes.

Maybe I should try to find a review of this one, since I haven't seen it in full production.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Now I'm Hungry

My friend sent me a picture of my favorite fast food hamburgers. I guess she wanted to taunt me since I can't buy them here in Texas.

Ethical Question

Imagine that you've just left one of your favorite bars. You've had a bowl of queso, too many chips, and a couple pitchers of beer with one of your best friends. You have gotten your fill of talking about the things that matter: girls, sports, and cheesy jokes. You walk out into the parking lot and get cut off by your car by a homeless guy. He says to you, "I'm sorry to bother you, I've got a rag in my bag that could clean your car, I missed my bus and need a few dollars to take a cab home."

Typically I don't like to give money to homeless people, because I would rather contribute money to charities that actually help them. I think that is a much better use of my money, and helps the homeless people who actually want food, assistance, or shelter. Whereas the people you give money to directly can use it for whatever use they want. I don't care if they want to drink or not, but I'd rather not fund it. I'm dumb that way sometimes.

The question is what do you say? Do you tell them you don't have any money on you, which could be a lie? Is it alright to lie in these situations? Do you just say you don't want your car wiped with a stupid rag? What about when they counter by saying that they aren't "below taking pennies"? Do you give them some pennies or hold to your claim that you don't have any money?

It upsets me when I turn down people who are homeless. Is it alright to lie to homeless people when you truly believe that lie will be more helpful in the long run? What about when you just don't want to deal with it but have no intention of donating money to charities that help homeless? Is it better to lie or to say you'd rather not give them money?

Monday, October 25, 2004

CDs I'm Enjoying

The last time I talked about some of the music I was enjoying it seemed to be well received by at least one person, so I am going to do it again.

Elliott Smith

Smith's music bleeds a certain sadness. His unfortunate death was on one hand unexpected while on the other hand nothing too surprising. The music he writes is nothing less than beautiful tragedy. Through all the sadness, all the despair, and the anger in the music there still exists a certain beauty that fills your soul as you listen to the chords strummed and vocals falling over the microphone.

The Pitchfork review put it better than I can when they described this album,

Like nearly all of Smith's records, From a Basement covers his despair in sweet, perky, folk-pop kisses; and yet the album is still the saddest thing you'll hear all year. Smith's gloom may be romanticized into gold, but what's ultimately most harrowing about his unhappiness is its nastiness-- and that same gritty, uncompromising accuracy is also what makes his records so impossibly urgent, so uncomfortable and desperate. Reality is splattered all over From a Basement on the Hill

Listening to the songs takes me back to all the times in my life where I've felt surrounded by pain; times when I felt like there was no reason to continue on. It also reminds me of what the world has lost which is harrowing. Elliott Smith was an integral part of what made Good Will Hunting so beautiful, his individual cds changed many lives, and his kind words at concerts brought untold joy into lives filled with despair. A year ago that ended because somewhere along the way Smith didn't receive the same reminder of how important we are to other people. He filled so many lives with joy found through his painful, heartwrenching music all while never finding the joy for his own life.

Matt Nathanson

I don't know what to say about this album besides he's a very talented singer-song writer. I would describe his sound as a mix between David Gray and Counting Crows. I found a copy of one of his concerts and loved his personality. He seems like a really fun guy. His songs are upbeat and often funny. Suspended and Bent are a couple of really good songs. However, I like that this album just flows together so well. It's not a collection of singles that would make him a mainstream hit.


This band is the fucking shit! This albums isn't as full as some of the more recent albums, but I still love it for the grittiness. Their sound mixes all the greatness of folk, country, and those fun spanish love songs that you hear at your favorite mexican food restaurant. It's great music.

Cloudy Minds Can't See

I would like to believe that this article, 100 Facts and 1 Opinion, would be enough to convince some of the uninformed Bush supporters to do something to help this country. However, it seems that many of these uninformed Bush supporters are unwilling to listen to facts. Instead they will hold tight to a President who, good intentioned or not, is actively hurting our country, because he is saying the things they want to hear.

It seems that many of the Republican Party supporters, who are well informed, have decided to vote against Bush because he is bad for the country and probably bad for the Republican Party. Just in the blogosphere there have been Republicans such as Professor Drezner and Laura from 11d who are looking at the real impact of this administration and voting for what they think will be better for the country and probably the Republican Party.

Perhaps a few of the undecided voters will read those facts, supported with credible sources, and vote for Kerry.

[Sources for articles: Leiter Report and Volokh]

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Two Jump the Shark: or Ashlee Simpson pulls a Milli

You can see the video from the SNL mishap last night. I suppose that mishap is a light word to use in this situation. This is a major fuck up for both SNL and Ashlee Simpson. I don't give a shit about either of the Simpsons, but especially not Ashlee.

I watched her show and thought she was just a whiney, immature girl. Seeing this clip it certainly seems that she hasn't grown up any since her MTV series. It doesn't surprise me at all that she lip synchs to her music. I hope that people who wasted their money buying tickets to her concerts are given refunds if they don't want to go and see it. Instead of being honest about the lip synching she blamed it on the band playing the wrong song.

I guess that we shouldn't be surprised because Ashlee has obviously lied to us before:

From Lucky Magazine interview:

LM: What are your takes on lip-synching?

AS: I'm totally against it and offended by it. I'm going out to let my real talent show, not to just stand there and dance around. Personally, I'd never lip-synch. It's just not me.

Indeed, Ashlee. Indeed.

It's a little upsetting that SNL has foregone their policy of not allowing lip synching. I guess that they decided that if they were going to bring in the "popular" acts they have to allow them to lip synch.

One thing good to come of this was that SNL brought us the funny again.


Girls Against Boys

I went to a wedding with three girls yesterday and took note of how different we saw things. All of us were happy that the actual wedding lasted no more than 30 minutes. That was absolutely perfect. I see absolutely no reason for the long wedding that drones on and on and takes up a few hours of my day.

When we left the wedding it seemed evoke quite different emotions. The girls were all talking about how weddings made them sad, because it signaled that other people in their group are getting married. Even though they didn't really *want* to be the one getting married it made them sad. Erin showed this too when she recently posted about first dance songs at weddings. I wouldn't have even thought about what the first dance song is going to be. There isn't a chance I would even take notice of the first dance song. One of my best friends got married last summer, and I couldn't begin to remember what the first dance was, and I was on the dance floor by the band watching them dance. Erin seemed to think about it because she was thinking about what she would do when she gets married.

I don't think many guys do this. I know that when these girls were talking about how sad they were, I was thinking about how much I didn't want to get married. My thoughts centered around how boring the wedding was and how silly the entire process is. My guess is that most guys don't think about weddings as something that makes them long for their own wedding.

Just for the record, I did take note of the introduction and first dance songs for this wedding. They were introduced to sign, sealed, delivered. Then their first dance was to Ben Fold - Luckiest.

I don't get many things right the first time,
in fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,
and falls brought me here
And where was I before the day
that I first saw your lovely face,
now I see it every day
And I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

What if I had been born fifty years before you
in a house on the street
where you lived
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize

And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

I love you more then have
ever found the way to say
to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
passed away in his sleep,
and his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away

I'm sorry I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong,

That I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

Like Erin, I would critique this song choice because who the hell thinks they are lucky when they are signing their individuality over to another person.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Better than Oscar Wilde

"People are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling."
-Dr. Cox, Scrubs


Friday, October 22, 2004

2004 NFL Regular Season Week #7

Sunday, October 24

St. Louis at Miami: STL
Tennessee at Minnesota: Minnesota
Detroit at NY Giants: NYG
Chicago at Tampa Bay: TB
San Diego at Carolina: SD
Buffalo at Baltimore: Buffalo
Philadelphia at Cleveland: Philly
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: Indy
Atlanta at Kansas City: KC
NY Jets at New England: NE
Seattle at Arizona: Seattle
Dallas at Green Bay: Dallas
New Orleans at Oakland: Oakland

Monday, October 25
Denver at Cincinnati: Denver

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Let's go out to dinner and see a movie

There are quite a few movies in the theater that I want to catch, so I'm going to make a public list. In order of priority.

1. I Heart Huckabees

"It's filled with characters who, desperate to feel deep, want answers to life's big questions. And watching it, you, also desperate to feel deep, will want answers to big questions like, 'What's this all about?'" -- Allison Benedikt, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

2. What the Bleep Do We Know

"An impenetrable human parable and a hallucinogenic animated cartoon." -Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

3. The Motorcycle Diaries

"As this soulful and reflective film, as gentle as it is potent, ably demonstrates, transformation is no less convincing for being a gradual process that comes on its subjects all unawares." -- Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES

4. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

"Class-A eye candy." -- Paul Clinton, CNN

5. Shaun of the Dead

"If the zombie genre steadfastly refuses to die, we can be grateful to Shaun of the Dead for breathing fresh, diverting life into the form, with subtle visual humor and a smart, impish sense of fun." -- Ann Hornaday, WASHINGTON POST

6. Sideways

"This excellent adventure affords a hilarious and excruciating bout of bachelor bonding." -- J. Hoberman, VILLAGE VOICE

And for us they will wave little flags

While it sounds like a skit on SNL, it appears that before the invasion of Iraq President Bush was certain the troops would be warmly welcomed. So much so, in fact, that the US wanted to smuggle hundreds of little American flags into Iraq, so that the citizens of Iraq could be equipped with flags to wave.

Michael Gordon of the NYT's reports that unnamed intelligence officials said the CIA would capture this on film and beam it throughout the world.

Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of allied ground forces, quickly objected. To avoid being perceived as an occupying army, American forces had been instructed not to brandish the flag. The idea was dropped, but the CIA's optimism remained.

It's too bad that all the ridicule of this administration have come at a cost of over 1100 soldiers lives. I wish that I could say that I feel safer under this war president, but logically there is just no way I can feel secure. Accountability doesn't exist, debate is closed, and his judgments are almost always dead wrong.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Goodnight A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez,

I saw the look on your face as the Boston Red Sox stormed the field. Four games in a row they beat you. The overall scores of your two teams weren't even close. I know that when you left the Rangers you were doing it because you wanted a championship...a pennant. After all, the best player in the MLB deserves nothing less, right?

Tonight you see that the Yankees aren't any better than the Rangers. You might have made it to the playoffs, but you lost four games in a row. Four. You consistently lost to the Rangers. I'm sure you're pleased with your change of teams.

Now don't get me wrong. The Rangers don't want you back. We proved this year that we don't need you. Our team is better without you. I'm sorry that things didn't work out for your ego this year, but you always have next year.

Enjoy the humiliation you felt in front of your new city. NYC is a lot harsher than Texas. You aren't the hero there that you were here. Make the best of a bad situation if you can, but do keep in mind that you aren't wanted here.

Enjoy the losses,

Attention Scrabble Players

Franklin has begun selling a handheld player's electronic dictionary for about sixty bucks.

Based on the Merriam-Webster's The Official SCRABBLE® Player's Dictionary, 3rd edition, this helpful handheld device will be invaluable to players at all levels, who want to master the SCRABBLE® game. It can solve disputes by instantly validating over 100,000 words and providing brief definitions.

Personally I enjoy having a little dictionary by my side to look up words. It sort of like looking at the actual statute in the books rather than online. The pages, the layout, and finding other words you get to learn when you're looking for the disputed word.

It does look nice though...

[From Engadget]

How about three?

Am I correct in assuming it's a very rare day when Dylan agrees with two posts that day?

Texas Weather

Fuck this...

Currently 61 with a high of 94. NINETY-FOUR and it's getting to be late in October. Why can't we send some of our heat to people who need it?

In case you don't believe me that the weather could be this irrational and cruel.

You Gotta Have Heart

A wonderful post at Panda's Thumb, Social Darwinism and "The Political Brain" takes on the claim that "liberals are not very bright" (Dick Armey) by showing that really it might be that liberals have more sympathy.

What, then, is the difference between a liberal and a conservative? My educated guess is that one main difference is sympathy or lack of sympathy for people who are not close to them in some way. Thus, a liberal feels compassion for the poor, the underprivileged, the oppressed, whereas the conservative feels compassion primarily for those people like him or her, or close to him or her in some way.
This idea is supported with neurological evidence:

In his splendid book Descartes’ Error, the neurologist Antonio Damasio (1994) shows that it is impossible to make a rational decision unless you have some emotional involvement...Damasio showed what he calls “disturbing” photographs to patients who had sustained damage to certain parts of their brains, and also to normal controls. The controls showed a “skin response,” or increased electrical conductivity in their skins, when viewing the disturbing photographs, whereas the patients showed none...In further experiments and in real life, Damasio found that the brain-damaged patients were unable to make what the rest of us would call “rational” decisions. Since the patients were otherwise normal, Damasio attributed this inability to their lack of emotions.

and with corroborating evidence:

E. J. Dionne wrote a syndicated article entitled “Heart Trumps Ideology”...[that argued]...the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, has adopted a live-and-let-live attitude to homosexuals and homosexual marriage. Cheney’s allies on the far right were outraged, and it is puzzling why Cheney, the quintessential right-wing hard-liner, would adopt such an, um, liberal position.

Why indeed? Because his daughter is a lesbian...Cheney has sympathy for his daughter, so he adopted a view that is wholly inconsistent with his overall message and with the views of his political allies.

Read further at Panda's Thumb.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Death to the Death Penalty?

From the Reuters news story it appears the US Supreme Court continues to grant cert to death penalty cases. Yesterday the court agreed to hear Deck v. Missouri, 04-5293, which presents the issue of whether a defendant forced to wear shackles during the penalty phase of his capital trial "violated his rights to due process, equal protection, confrontation of the evidence, a fair and reliable sentencing and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment."

Deck's attorney said the high court has set those two standards for use of restraints during the part of the trial to determine guilt or innocence, but has yet to address whether they also applied to the penalty phase in a capital case.

My guess would be that the same standard would apply to the penalty phase of the trial. After there is a conviction the jury is able to hear any mitigating and aggravating factors that apply in the case. I would think that the being shackled would be a particularly damning aggravating factor imposed by the court.

As the public defender said,

Shackles and other restraints tacitly communicate to the jury that the court believes the defendant is still so dangerous that he must be restrained even in the confines of the courtroom

The State Supreme Court argued:

a trial judge has discretion to impose security measures, including the use of restraints, necessary to maintain courtroom order and security...[snip]...The state high court ruled that sufficient evidence in the record supported the use of restraints, such as the assumption that Deck, a repeat offender, was at risk to flee.

Perhaps the court should up it's security if it really believes defendants are going to be able to run out of the courthouse and get away unless they are shackled.

I do find it interesting that the Supreme Court, in the past few terms, has a renewed interest in death penalty cases. I don't believe the D.P. will be held unconstitutional any time soon, but I do see that the court is willing to provide more rights to defendants.

Calder to Hirst and the world of modern art

I'll admit that I'm a fan of modern art. I love Calder's beautiful mobiles that hang in a suspended elegance from metal pedistals or from the ceiling of galleries. Which ultimately led to why I like Damien Hirst.

In high school I fell in the love with the artwork,

and artistic philosophy, of Damien Hirst. Last night Sotheby's sold a lot of his artwork for just over $20 million.

He became famous for large scale works of art that incorporated our notions of every day life with that of the sublime.
One work of art was a sheep encassed in a glass frame that was stored in formaldehyde was vandalized by someone who poured ink into the presevation.

Hirst has been attacked by people who don't care to understand the intrigue many people have with modern art. People who are willing to pay millions for some of these ideas and visions. However, Damien Hirst have become one of the most famous living artists in the country through a shocking and unconventional approach.

Hirst is one of the three highest-priced artists of his generation in the world, according to Sotheby's. Just a few years ago his work was selling for around $30,000 but now similar works are earning over $200,000.

I might not always understand the reason behind the works, but I think they are often quite beautiful.

The October Surprise

Atrios asks about possible October Surprises from Karl Rove Inc. It's clear that Bush is going to come out a few days before the election to let us know he's now a dictator.


When You're Considering Grad School

Don't let this law professor who writes stupid posts like this and offers very little by way of intelligent substance sway you from law school. Most of the law professors I have been in class with are intelligent, friendly, and open to other viewpoints.

Perhaps when he steps away from his computer he is less of an ass.

Monday, October 18, 2004

It's a Redsox Filibuster

Look Redsox, we realize that you have to win tonight, but this has just become ridiculous.

12th inning...1:11am...this isn't a political filibuster, although, I have been bored to tears. Just hit a home run and get the ball game over with.


12:25 CST: Thank you David Ortiz for ending this five hour match.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Defeating Bush with Strategic Voting

The voting system has become a pile of shit where most people's votes don't count. Through clever redistricting the two major parties have effectively eliminated the power of an individual vote.

However, the two parties are inept to the power of the internet. I encourage you, if you wish to make any vote besides Bush, to check out this website. What they will do is pair you with someone in a swing state or safe state so that Kerry your choice will go where it matters.

In vote-pairing, swing-state progressives whose first instinct might have been to vote for Nader, Cobb or Badnarik are paired with Democrats (and others whose first choice for President is Kerry) in 'safe' states where either Bush or Kerry has a decisive lead. Paired voters can communicate with each other and decide to vote strategically: swing-state participants for Kerry and safe-state participants for Nader, Cobb or Badnarik. As a result, the paired voters' support for progressive third parties is recorded in the popular vote and their preference for Kerry over Bush finds voice in the Electoral College.


Question about Football

I'm watching the 4th period of the Minnesota/New Orleans football game, and wondered something about reviewing the plays. The Saints reviewed the placement of the down and the ref went to his little box to look for where the runner was downed. The announcers were showing the replay with the yellow line imposed. When the ref is reviewing does he have a feed that has the yellow line imposed or is it just the camera angles?

The Yankees suck

Fafnir and Giblets at Fafblog attempt to explain why the Yankees suck so much. My favorite part...

"But Giblets why would so many sucky Yankees be beloved by so many New Yorkers?" says me. "An why would so many sucky Yankees be rewarded with so many pennants?"
"There is no such thing as suckical subjectivity!" says Giblets. "The Yankees suck no matter how much society has approved of and rewarded their sucking!"
"Maybe objective sucking does not really exist," says me. "An we are makin false statements when we say that a team sucks or rules."
"How can you say sucking doesn't exist!" says Giblets. "That would mean George Steinbrenner could not suck!"
"It's true that we want to say that George Steinbrenner sucks," says me. "But maybe when we say he sucks we're just expressin our very strong emotional dislike of George Steinbrenner for bein a bastard an firin Billy Martin five times."
"Well Giblets does not want to live in a world without laws of objective truth!" says Giblets. "A world where the Yankees don't suck is a world of celestial anarchy!"

They really ought to be charging for admission.

The Tucker Carlson and Jon Stewart cat fight

I personally think Tucker Carlson is an idiot who likes to whine whenever he finds out he's not liked. I didn't see the show, but I read the transcript last night and thought the entire thing was senseless.

Jeremy's Weblog posted that you can find some interesting things online:

Yesterday, Jon Stewart went on Crossfire, and told the hosts they were partisan hacks (and that's just the beginning). The video is here. This is really funny, and it's really illustrative of why The Daily Show is good and CNN is bad. If you watch only one 13-minute video clip today, this should be the one you watch. Really, this is worth watching. Go watch it.

Or, if you don't do video, the Washington Post has an article about it. But the video is better.

Carlson, I would guess, underestimated how sharp and intelligent Stewart really is with politics.

Hating OU Fans

After driving around a bunch of OU fans, I was stuck sitting near them at a sports bar today. In Dallas I always noticed them when they come down for OU/Texas weekend. I realized that they were obnoxious then, but I thought that maybe it was just the environment. It wasn't until today that I realized that it's not a periodic sort of annoying but a curse on them. OU fans are cursed to be the most annoying people in the world.

It's a pity because some of the girls who were at various bars this past OU/Texas weekend were hot. Too bad they are OU fans.

I go with my step-father and grandfather to see the OU at K-State game this morning, and end up at a sports bar filled with mainly OU fans. I'm not sure if it is some alumni group or what, but they were idiots. I will illustrate many reasons why they are such annoying idiots.

First off, the game was very close and at times K-State was winning. K-State isn't ranked while OU is number 2. You shouldn't be happy that your team is playing like shit, you should be pissed off. Second, this is the championship game and isn't worth much of anything. Therefore, it doesn't make sense that after each first down you start screaming and cheering about things. No need to stand on your feet. No need to yell out "" We realize that you're happy to see a first down. Maybe you could stick with a high five though. Finally, when you do your stupid cheer you don't have to yell out "Texas....Sucks."

The reason you will want to say away from the Texas sucks cheer is twofold. First, you aren't playing Texas today, so it makes you look even stupider. Second, in all conceivable ways Texas is a superior school than OU. Academically they are stronger on all counts. As far as sports, with the negligible exception of football, Texas is a more superior school than you. As far as professors, again, Texas is superior. In every way and every day Texas does nothing but make OU look like the shitty school up north. This little cheer that you do at meaningless times only reminds the rest of the country of why you have an inferiority complex.

Anyhow, I don't care much about K-State, but I decided that whenever they made a good play I would be equally annoying. Yelling, screaming, and even cackling at the OU fans. I'm a little surprised they didn't kick my ass. While Texas might be better than OU, I was not bigger than these guys.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fantasy Sports Update


The season ended in fantasy world on October 3rd. I participated in a roto league and a head to head. In my roto league I ended up taking first with a league score of 103.5. Whereas my overall rank was 10,317 with an adjusted score of 140.18. Not too bad

The head to head came out with me in 5th place. My ending total was 107-92-11.


I have made a few minor changes to my team.

I dropped Brandon Hunter for Haslem, both are PF. Then I dropped Divac for Foyle and grabbed him off the waivers. We'll see how that works for me.

NFL Regular Season Week #6 -- My predictions

I intend to more than make up for last week's embarrassing pick situation.

Sunday, October 17

San Francisco at New York Jets: NYJ
Carolina at Philly: Philly
Kansas City at Jacksonville: KC
San Diego at Atlanta: SD
Miami at Buffalo: Buffalo
Washington at Chicago: Washington
Cincinnati at Cleveland: Cleveland
Seattle at New England: New England
Green Bay at Detroit: Green Bay
Houston at Tennessee: Tennessee
Denver at Oakland: Denver
Pittsburgh at Dallas: Dallas
Minnesota at New Orleans: Minnesota

Monday, October 18

Tampa Bay at St. Louis: StL

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Roper v. Simmons

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the juvenile death penalty today. I wish that I had more time to spend giving my thoughts, alas. I do think that there needs to be a bright line rule that under 18 is too young to be culpable. I am sure there are some of the juveniles on death row who are culpable, however, I think that for a few reasons 18 needs to be the cut off for the death penalty (if we are forced to have a death penalty). My reasons are mainly that medical/psychological research shows that there is a difference between adolescents, as far as mental development, and adults. Also it would provide uniformity with civil law and uniformity for states imposing the death penalty across the country. Finally, I think that the juvenile death penalty is a bad thing for society.

If you want to read some good conversations about this case, which is a great case this term, then check out these:

Ad Populum
Julian's Lounge
US Justice's Skeptical about Juvenile Death Penalty
Crescat Sententia

Bush Learned My Exam Writing Catch-All

In my law exams I will pull out the old "The courts are split on this issue" when I am stumped as to the issue. It works most times because it sounds like I understand the nuances of the law. It really is a good phrase to throw out there 1ls.

Bush appears to be doing the same thing in the debate tonight. Whenver he doesn't understand what Kerry is talking about, and can't remember what he is supposed to say, he says, "My opponent was in the Senate for 20 years and his record speaks for itself..." It doesn't matter the subject or whether or not it's true. It sure sounds nice and makes us think Bush has really done his research.

Why I'll Probably Vote for Nader (Kerry has one last chance)

For all intents and purposes, I have decided that I will support Ralph Nader in this political election. I am going to watch the debate tonight and see whether Kerry is able to convince me that he will fight for the issues that I find important. Otherwise, I will be voting for the candidate I believe in more.

One important caveat to this post is that I would fully support Kerry if I was in a swing (or even close) state. I want Bush out of office for a variety of reasons. However, I think that Kerry is only a marginally better candidate. I am voting in Kansas where Kerry will not win. If I'm going to vote for a losing candidate I'd rather it be the one I agree with on more issues.

Why Nader?

1. Immigration

Bush got this completely wrong as have many presidents in the past. The current system allows for about 800,000 immigrants to come into America each year. With each year more and more people attempt to enter America. 480,000 people came to America under family reunification entry. This means that they had a spouse, children, parents, or other siblings who sponsored them. Then 140,000 immigrants came to fill jobs that the US Department of Labor determined were unable to be filled by American citizens. What is left is about 110,000 refugees who have proven their claims of political or religious persecution in their homeland; and about 55,000 who are admitted under a "diversity" lottery, begun in 1990, that mainly benefits young European and African immigrants.

The amount of people seeking entrance into America should be lowered, those who are in America should be treated better, and refugee status needs to be a little easier to obtain.

Concerning the second issue Nader addresses it squarely when he says:

Immigrant workers, even if they are undocumented, should be given all the fair-labor standards and all the rights and benefits of American workers. In addition they should be be allowed to get a drivers license in order to reduce hazards on the highway and allow them to function in our culture, e.g. get to work, get their children to school. If this country doesn't like that, maybe it will do something about the immigration laws. But we cannot treat undocumented immigrants as subjects for inhumanity.

2. The Iraq War/Occupation

President Bush made a major mistake with the war in Iraq. He continues to change his reasons for why we went into Iraq after undermining the UN. Of course, Bush continues to disparage the UN which happened to be correct: there were no WMD in Iraq.

Another lie is the ties between Al Qaeda-9/11. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies - one secular, the other fundamentalist.

The other silly claims that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US and to his neighboring countries are as silly as saying that we needed to liberate the Iraqi people. Saddam was not considered a threat to America. His military was weaker than any of his neighboring countries. As far as liberation there are dozens of countries experiencing worse treatment from their leaders than Iraq was. We need to do something in those countries but occupation is not the first step.

For better or worse we are in Iraq. With both Bush and Kerry it seems that the fighting will continue indefinitely. Neither have any workable solutions to the crisis situation. Nader's doesn't seem ideal to me but it is better than simply staying the course. He calls for: "US Should Underwrite an Appropriate International Peacekeeping Force, Encourage Iraqi Self Rule and Continue Humanitarian Aid to Rebuild Iraq."

Kerry has left me with a little disappointment in regards to Iraq.

The other issues I won't write about as much because the debates are about to start. However, I do think that the Two Party system has run it's course. They no longer represent the interests of the majority of Americans. Rather they represent the moderate vote and corporations.

I'm disappointed that the Democratic Party is unwilling to offer a candidate who is unafraid of left issues. I'm disappointed that Kerry was the man selected to run for President because he is only marginally better than the horrible President Bush. I honestly can't figure out how any Republican could be happy with this hapless fuckup. I can't see how Democrats could be happy with Kerry. The Republican and Democratic Parties have let me down.

Part of what really upsets me about the Democratic Party is they refuse to address issues, in part because of the restrictions of the two-party system. They would rather fight for the moderate vote and hope the left will continue to vote for them. Issues like corporate malfeasants (the government continues to duck on this by prosecuting people like Martha Stewart for fibbing instead of corrupt CEO's who committed frauds on millions of investors and cost the country billions of dollars and unspeakable goodwill); a single payer health system should and could exist in America (I believe that it's a fundamental right to have health coverage); the environment needs fixed and fossil fuels have become a big problem -- especially with the respiratory diseases that come from our fossil fuel consumption; electoral reform; and the horribly corrupt and bloated criminal justice system that does need to be revamped.

I would rather have Kerry in office than Bush. However, my vote is going to be given to either Kerry or Nader. The reason I would think about Nader is because at this point my vote is just a statement. Historically and currently Kansas has always voted Republican. I can either make a statement with my vote that I am not happy with Bush by voting for Kerry, or I can make a statement to the parties that I am not happy with what the two parties are offering.

My vote, at least at this point, is going to go to show that I am unhappy with the Democrats and believe in more of the issues Nader is willing to discuss.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Does Dell Owe You?

Recall notice for certain laptops sold between 1998 and 2002.

It seems that seven of these adaptors have overheated which caused fires. If you are owed a recall, my understanding is that they will mail you an adaptor without having to send yours to them in trade.

Dell adaptor recall information is available here.

But We Don't Have Any Third World Drugs

The FDA didn't know shit about the problems with flu vaccines:

U.S. health officials Monday denied reports that they knew before last week that there were major production problems with a key American manufacturer's flu vaccine, which caused British authorities to suspend the company's license.

We've got our eye on you Canada.

Litigators Suck

In my consumer law class we got to act like civil litigators arguing about whether the Texas DTPA applied to a particular fact scenario. I feel for you litigators, that is some boring, uneventful work. How do you manage? Think about moving to criminal law where things are exciting.

RIP Christopher Reeve

Until the end he fought for medical spinal research needed to help those paralyzed. He passed away today of heart failure. RIP Superman.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

When You've Got Friends...

you don't have to buy the Fogerty album. (Snap?)

Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball Live Draft

This afternoon it appears that my winners league was having it's live draft. Did I know that I was even involved in a live draft? Not at all. Was I there in time to make the draft? Somehow.

Today I was checking my Yahoo! Mail and noticed that there was an email alerting me to the creation of my league. I thought this meant that I had my team autodrafted -- as I had put ready and selected my player preference for the autodraft -- so I went to see my players. Did I get KG? I was excited to see. (Get the rhyme there? Ahem...)

Anyhow when I looked at the draft it said that live draft was beginning in three minutes. Holy shit! I've never live drafted a team and it didn't appear that I had the right extension for Firefox. I switched over to IE and made it in time to start the live draft. I was 7th to draft which sucked but I managed to create a kick ass team. Here they are along with comments on why they will be good.

1. Andre Kirilenko (Since I was 7th KG, Kobe, Peja, McGrady, and Duncan were snagged. AK47 is a cool ass nickname and he plays great. He'll give me 17 ppg, 8 rebounds, and 3 or 4 assists. Currently he's listed as PF but the Jazz will change him over to small forward this year.)

2. Brad Miller (I keep getting the white guys, eh? I picked him because it's important to have a strong center. Divac is gone this year and Ostertag is hurt, so I suspect that Miller will be playing more minutes. He gets around 10 rebounds a game and almost 5 assists. You can't beat that. Who did I pass up for Brad Miller? Pao Gasol, Lamar Odom, Iverson, Stephon Marbury to name a few of the big ones.)

3. Kirk Hinrich (He's going to be money. My first PG who can nail the 3s. That's what I'm going to need.)

4. Jason Terry (I think that he's really going to break out now that he's on Dallas's team. One complaint about Dallas players is that coach Don Nelson rotates too much. I've got faith that now that he's going to have a lead spot he'll really pull in better numbers than ever.)

5. Jamal Crawford (This is a great grab, because with the money the Knicks are paying him they will play him before Houston and probably Marbury. His points and 3s are some of the leading numbers in the NBA)

6. Gerald Wallace (This is one of my more bold picks, because it's hard to know how he'll do. The reason I did it was because he's on Charlotte's extension team, which should give him minutes. I've heard that he's playing well at the scrimmages.)

7. Erick Dampier (I needed another center and he's really the only true center the Mavericks have, so he will get minutes. I'm guessing that he'll get 2 blocks per game)

8. Marko Jaric
9. Kenny Thomas
10. Marquis Daniels
11. Vlade Divac
12. Derek Anderson
13. Brandon Hunter

F'ed Up Football Week

I'm gamblings bitch this week.

Uncreative but reading

Go and read these things:

The NY Times Book Review (damn the liberal media) reviews Ha Jin's novel, War Trash. I haven't read this particular book, but I have read his book The Bridegroom, which is a decent collection of short stories.

Jack Hitt in the NY Times Magazine asks why this election's presidential candidates are humorless? It's easy Mr. Hitt, because they are both boring, hapless, silver spoon fools who don't truly know how to relate to the normal person. I don't care how well Dubya fakes a Texas drawl or uses stupid platitudes. He isn't a normal person and can't make jokes that relate to anyone. Plus he's an idiot and good humor has a degree of intelligence with it. Kerry is just a stiff bore.

I suppose that with the cost of oil being over $50 a barrel it is entirely acceptible that if you steal a gas canister you'll be buried alive.

Boeing is going to have to come up with another way of making money as Congress has shut down the tanker deal. This spells bad news for many people of my hometown, Wichita, who were relying on this deal to secure their jobs at Boeing.

Under the ethical rules that guide lawyers (I know, funny) should the Prosecutor voluntarily step down if personal animosity towards Michael Jackson (and really, with that last single that came out by Michael who wouldn't have personal animosity towards him?) is now the driving force behind the prosecution?

Is there any American who hasn't travelled to Europe in the last five years that knows Beckham? I guess he's been hurt or something.

Breast cancer is no laughing matter, but the US health care system and Bush's proposals seem to be nothing but jokes.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Beautiful Kenya

Kenya has been known in America for African safaris and their excellent long distance runners, and now for their Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa.

Maathai is famous for her resolve to protect the environment in Kenya. The economic outlook in Kenya has not every been that great. Tourism is one of the largest sources of revenue, along with deforestation. Not only are do these industries conflict with each other but the deforestation causes internal strife.

As Maathai says, "[w]hen we destroy our resources, when our resources become scarce, we fight over them. And many wars in the world are actually fought over natural resources."

Kenya is a very beautiful country.

Kenya has a lush environment with many wonders that are outstanding to see. Coupled with wildlife and wonderful towns that often live side by side. It really is an exciting landscape with friendly citizens.

Maathai gained a PhD in biology and teaches at the University of Nairobi. She was the first African female to earn a Ph.D. When she lived by Mount Kenya she began planting trees in her backyard at the foot of Mount Kenya.

She has earned money privately to fund the planting and caring for over 30 million trees rooted across Africa. Political pressure has been levied against her by the government in Kenya because she is a strong female.

I'm not sure about the politics of the Nobel Prize selections but it seems that she deserves to win this for her novel approach to resolving part of what causes conflicts.

Source: Boston Globe

Friday, October 08, 2004

Trial Lawyers, Trial Lawyers, Oh My!!!

President Bush has shown once again that he cannot debate. He is a hot head who just doesn't have the intelligence to debate. He is loud, crude, obnoxious, and cannot even focus his thoughts to address the question.

One of the many problems tonight is that he demonstrates the oft heard phrase that people who are not lawyers don't really know what lawyers do. Despite being in the company of lawyers and presumably understanding the American people it is clear that Bush has no idea of what a lawyer, let alone a trial attorney, does on a day-to-day basis.

If he doesn't understand the basic function of the legal system how in the world can he act as though he can cure some of the problems? Furthermore, Bush demonizes an subset of lawyers who fight for the health, safety, and economic well being of many American consumers, employees, and often the people at large. It's easy cry "punitive damages" to people who don't really understand what punitive damages are and how they operate. More importantly that they are discretionary and infrequently awarded because it has to be a particularly egregious case (usually those cases do not make it to trial because the company would rather plea bargain to avoid the negative media exposure).

Bush either completely does not understand what lawyers, specifically trial lawyers do, or he is lying out of his teeth to you. It is intellectual dishonesty and it is not the way to come up with a solution for where the civil procedure system does not work.

You deserve better.

NFL Regular Season Week #5 -- My predictions

At least the Bears can't lose this week, right?

Sunday, October 10

Detroit at Atlanta: Atlanta
Miami at New England: New England
Tampa Bay at New Orleans: New Orleans
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Pitt (sorry Stephanie!)
Minnesota at Houston: Houston
NY Giants at Dallas: Dallas
Oakland at Indianapolis: Indy
Jacksonville at San Diego: Jacksonville
Buffalo at NY Jets: Jets
Arizona at San Francisco: Arizona
St. Louis at Seattle: Seattle
Carolina at Denver: Denver
Baltimore at Washington: Baltimore

Monday, October 11
Tennessee at Green Bay: Green Bay

For $20 it sure felt like sex

The 9th Circuit addressed whether a regulation banning erotic dancers from simulating sex acts is unconstitutional. In Dream Palace vs. County of Maricopa, the court held that this prohibition is a constitutional infringement of the dancers right to speech.

This is the right holding. I've actually written on this subject before where I stated,

Certainly, conduct or action is not traditional verbal speech. The Supreme Court has, however, stated that conduct can fall within the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

I then pointed to the Supreme Court jurisprudence on the matter of exotic dancing:

Conduct, however, has always received First Amendment protection. Such as a sit-in to protest against segregation, wearing arm-bands to protest the war, marching in a parade, not saluting the flag in class, and more. The Court has even said that nude dancing is expressive conduct that is "marginally" within the "outer perimeters of the First Amendment." Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560, 566 (1991). The Court has to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether the conduct at issue is "sufficiently imbued with elements of communication" (Spence v. Washington) and the effectiveness of those communicative elements.

The main argument from the dance club was that sex act was not defined which made the law violate a dancer's First Amendment right. More specifically, the dancer's argued that the regulation was overbroad and could potentially interfere with a constitutionally protected right. As Judge Diarmiud O'Scannlain, writing for the majority put it,

If Elvis' gyrating hips can fairly be understood to constitute a 'simulated sex act,' one can fully appreciate the potential scope of the restrictions placed on erotic dancers in Maricopa County.

The decision upheld requirements of permits for the club and licenses for the dancers, as well as requiring earlier closing times than other establishments.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Failing the Test

It doesn't get any better than this; found at Atrios.


Urinal Recommendations

If you are a developer planning an office building please to not install four urinals in your bathroom. Only two will ever be used at one time. The other guys will either wait for a spot to open or go to the toilet area. Either install five or three.

Just as a general rule of thumb keep it odd numbers that way there can always be a space between.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Warning to Girls

Melissa at Quarter Life Crisis just finished reading He's Just Not That Into You and has a good synopsis.

Basically the book claims that guys are simple creatures. If a guy likes you then you'll know it right away. He won't look at other girls, he won't make up excuses for not spending time with you, he won't be searching for other things to do on the weekend, he won't be sending ex-girlfriends emails or phoning them, he just won't.

Don't fool yourself if you're in a relationship where a guy is doing this. The authors of this book have it right. As Melissa says, "Basically, the book says that if a guy likes you, he should make extra effort to show it and a girl does not deserve any less and should not accept any of the above excuses." You shouldn't accept any excuses from the guy because he won't be making them if he likes you.

Melissa lists some of the ways that you can tell whether he isn't really into you:

1.)He's just not that into you if he's not asking you out. Because if he likes you, he will ask you out. Men, for the most part, like to pursue women. We like not knowing if we can catch you. If you can find him, then he can find you. If he wants to find you, he will.

2.) He's just not that into you if he's not calling you. Men know how to use the phone. If he's not calling you, it's because you are not on his mind.

3.) He's just not that into you if he's not dating you. "Hanging out" is not dating. There's a guy out there who will want to tell everyone that he's your boyfriend. Quit goofing around and go find him.

4.) He's just not that into you if he's not having sex with you. When men like you, they want to touch you always.

5.) He's just not that into you if he's having sex with someone else. There's never going to be a good excuse for cheating.

6.)He's just not that into you if he only wants to see you when he's drunk. If he likes you, he'll want to see you when his judgment isn't impaired.

7.) He's just not that into you if he doesn't want to marry you. Love cures commitment-phobia.

8) He's just not that into you if he's breaking up with you. "I don't want to go out with you" means just that.

9) He's just not that into you if he's disappeared on you. Sometimes you have to get closure all by yourself.

10.) He's just not that into you if he's married (and other insane variations of being unavailable.) If you're not able to love freely, it's not really love.

11.) He's just not that into you if he's a selfish jerk, a bully, or a really big freak. If you really love someone, you want to do things to make that person happy.

As much as I hate to admit it, all of these are pretty right on. I've been guilty of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 10 in the distant past, and each of those times I just wasn't into the person. I wasn't ever going to be into her but it was nice to have someone around and it would have hurt her to break things off.

However, right now I like someone and I am really into her. I am pursuing her and would give up plenty of my free time to hang out with her. The only thing that makes her different from a couple of relationships from the past is that I'm into her. Really there is nothing else that sets it apart.

The Cate Debate


There is Cate Edwards at the conclusion of the debate. She keeps forgetting to email me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Blogger Debate: Or What OS do Bloggers use?

The Wonkette and some other guy John Hinderoc(?) were just on NBC talking about what they thought about the debate. They only had about five minutes total to discuss what they thought, which is all they needed since the debate was stupid. Wonkette got to look hot and make an amusing comment.

The interesting thing is that both of them appeared to have the same Apple computer, which seemed to suggest that bloggers use, or possibly prefer, Apple. I don't think this is actually the case. I know that Dylan has an Apple computer, but I can't think of many others who use Apples. My guess would be very few.

According to my CQ Counter it seems that the OS representation of people visiting my site is 86% Windows and a mere 6% Mac. Now this is a little misleading because a lot of the hits on my CQ Counter come from my Windows based computer. However, my Stat Counter allows me to exclude my IP address from hit results, so it offers a different picture. On this account the last 100 hits are 84% Windows and 6% Apple.

My guess is that Apple realizes that blogging is a hot thing right now and would like to associate bloggers with Apple. Then people might buy Apple computers if they wish to get into blogging. A similar thing has happened with the IPOD, where consumers buy an IPOD and also an Apple. The two work together well in a way that blogging and Apple computers don't equate.

My intuition is that blogging is largely done on Windows computers. Even is a little friendlier to Windows based systems. Perhaps this will all change as younger people are starting to turn to Apple in larger volumes.

98 Minutes to Freedom

The Veep debate is finally over. It had to be one of the most boring debates I've ever watched. My only consolation was that Cate Edwards graced the stage at the end of the debate. Unfortunately I can't grab pictures off my TV, so I'll have to hunt around to see if there were any stills captured.

Scary Downloads

Earlier this evening a little bubble popped up above my task bar telling me that Microsoft had downloaded a critical update. It was the Service Pack that Microsoft released to add security features to Windows. Nevermind that a lot of upgrades should have been built into the operating system to begin with.

Anyhow, I was a little timid about allowing the upgrade to be installed. I don't trust these things. It mentioned that before I proceed I should back up my system which made me all the more nervous. In the end I decided to let it upgrade.

Did I make a mistake? The system seems to be running, but I'm worried that something is going to meltdown.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Where should I live?

These are the cities that the Find Your Spot quiz felt matched me best. I've struck out the cities that are my pre-emptive strikes.

1. Chicago, Illinois
2. Little Rock, Arkansas
3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Madison, Wisconsin
6. Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Green Bay, Wisconsin
8. Sheboygan, Wisconsin
9. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
10. Denver, Colorado
11. Oak Park, Illinois
12. Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota
13. La Crosse, Wisconsin
14. Kenosha, Wisconsin
15. Missoula, Montana
16. New Orleans, Louisiana
17. Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
18. Cleveland, Ohio
19. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
20. Oshkosh-Appleton/Neenah, Wisconsin
21. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
22. Monroe, Louisiana
23. Provo-Orem, Utah
24. Fort Collins, Colorado

Referred by Jen'sJen's blog.

It sounds like a Dance from the 40s

The Booker and Fanfan. I can see the Supreme Court Justices doing their little dances to it during oral argument right now.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

My Cat's A Crackhead

This evening I was going to pick up Ben with plans to eat at On the Border. I figured that since it was a chain restaurant they wouldn't mind if I had a cat in a carrier next to me. It's not like On the Border is any paradigm of upscale. They won't be in the next Zagat's Guide unless Zagat's starts to publish the cheap ass chain restaurant guide. Ok, I'm sure they will do that eventually but it's currently unpublished, so I didn't think On the Border would mind. Sophia does like to eat tortilla chips. I haven't tried giving her salsa because it might burn her mouth in a way she wouldn't understand.

I pack her up before I take off to Ben's apartment and load her in the car. Before long she was crying, because she doesn't like riding in the carrier. I've let her out before in the truck and she acted pretty good, so I went ahead and let her out again. As I pulled up to the front of Ben's apartment, I noticed his neighbor was doing something weird in the little parking lane. I decided that I would just pull around to the back. I got back there and called Ben to let him know to come down. It was about here that bad stuff began to happen.

It was such a nice night that I decided to roll down my window to let some of the cool breeze come through the truck. I figured that Sophia would like fresh air. She did. Only she liked it a little so much that she took off out of the truck. She took off for towards the crack houses.

Ben lives on the cusp of three distinct neighborhoods: the rich white collar professionals, a blue collar Hispanic community, and then the drug world at it's best. With those three choices, Sophia headed towards straight for the drug world. I swear it was a moment of Darwinian wonder as her instincts took her towards the crystal rocks that would fill her mind with sweet songs of mice singing songs and kitties eating them up. She was gone before I could react. Whoever said Cat Nip wasn't a gateway drug?

Ben came down and we decided to just let her go to the darkness. There is only so much an owner can do for his kitty. Sometimes she just has to learn the hard way. We ate dinner and saw a Frat Boy and his Short Skirt Band eat their food and perform the ritual that we call drunk frat boy somehow scores the girls. Then on the way back to Ben's apartment we saw the Miming Beggar who pretended to be holding a sign either because he's really creative or senile. Either way he deserved a few dollars. Then I dropped Ben off at his apartment.

I decided to turn down towards Little Crack Town. I drove a block and saw the Munger Street Baptist Church. It sounded like a place addicts would go when they are strung out for a nice meal or soup or maybe a movie. Indeed, Sophia had sought refuge on the front steps of the church. And who said cats don't have a soul? Oh, I think the Bible might actually say that. Ok, maybe the steps just looked inviting. She was on her back with her paws sort of rotating in a strung out fashion. I retrieved her and said my thanks to the church for being a place of refuge. Then I waved off the guy trying to sell her more crack. She has had enough, I said. Stay away from me...ok give me two rocks...I added. I just always wanted a crack rock, you know?

Well, I got her home and tried to give her a cold bath. Even strung out cats don't like the cold showers. She clawed my face in rage and ran off to the kitchen. I decided that maybe she wanted some milk and some of her dry food. I fed her and then she put herself to bed for the night.

I feel like I'm such a worthless owner. I raised her to be better than this and here she goes ruining everything. I think she even stole my two crack rocks and was smoking a pipe in her litter box, but I can't be certain. I don't like to invade her private space.

Together we might be able to repair what we have lost and put this nightmare behind us, but don't hold your breathe. I didn't raise the kitty to be like this.

(Sophia's mug shot showing her holding some of the remaining money used to fund her crack addiction)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Saturday Night Life Premiere

Tonight is the premiere of Saturday Night Life starring the guest host Ben Affleck. While I don't really like most of his movies, he is a consistently funny guest host. This is added by a monologue with Alec Baldwin who is also an actor I don't care much for but like as a guest host of SNL.

I'm also excited to see Rob Riggle as one of the new talent on SNL. You might remember him from the Upright Citizen's Brigade.

The opening debate between Bush and Kerry was predictable, but I liked the impersonation of Bush. Part of it was the script was really good but voice was pretty solid too.

The commercial parody was lame.

Debbie Downer is always hilarious. I love this skit. Birthday party for Ben Affleck and she brings up stuff like the British being held in Iraq, the Hurricanes hitting Florida. Then they open the gifts and he gets a shitty movie guide which should have ruined the mood. Instead it was Debbie's comment about the death of Gene Siskell. Ben gets a gift from his girlfriend to go to Kenya to see wildlife and Debbie warns to stay clear of Sudan. Oh that trumpet.

The Swift Veterans commercial about domestic issues came next. Taxing more money and dependance on foreign oil were claimed to be discussed during the attacks in Vietnam. Then Kerry ran off after Vietnamese and brought them back to marry two men who were in love. No shooting the people because he's against the death penalty. Of course the video was supported with a lot of silly photoshopped pictures. It still funny at then end when it said: Commercial funded by Adobe Photoshop "When you want the truth...real bad." LOL.


The Singing Loudly 10, 5, and 2

The ten most recent songs to play on my iTunes:

  1. Death Cab for a Cutie - Blacking Out the Friction

  2. White Strips - Fell In Love with a Girl

  3. Low - Kind of Girl

  4. Elliot Smith - Needle in the Hay

  5. Jump Little Children - Midnight

  6. Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting

  7. Calexico - Stray

  8. Polyphonic Spree - Middle of the Day

  9. Beulah - Gravity's Bringing Us Down

  10. U2 - Vertigo

Five favorite fastfood restaurants:

  1. Chipotle

  2. Potbellys

  3. Taco Cabana

  4. Dairy Queen

  5. Wendy's

Two Favorite Colors:

  1. Dark green

  2. Cobalt Blue

Vitamin Fear

Suddenly there is research that shows that taking vitamins could be a link to cancer. I know that I don't eat well enough to get all of my daily vitamins, so I pop a multi-vitamin once a day.

Reading through the journalist accounts of the research, it seems there is no need to worry about vitamin consumption if you're taking daily multivitamin supplements. This research concerns other vitamins:

The researchers studied 170,000 patients suffering from cancers of the gullet, stomach and intestine, bowel, pancreas and liver and found that consumption of supplements of beta-carotene, Vitamins A, C and E, and selenium, alone or in combination had no protective effect on them.

In fact the risk of death was found to be 30 percent higher in people taking beta-carotene and vitamin A than for those not taking the combination.

I'm not worried about my multivitamin because this seems to be more about overconsumption of vitamins. Many people go way overboard in their attempt to help cure themselves of ailments.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Connecting a Network

After lunch I went with my friend, Amanda, to meet another graduated friend at her business. We got there and I realized that Amanda had also incorporated an informal interview for a graduation job. It was very informal. She was a paralegal at this place, so her recommendations are taken very seriously. I guess that while my friend was giving me a tour of their office, Amanda was talking to the attorney in charge about considering me for a job.

I guess that is what networking is all about. It's only a small office but it was still fun to get to see all they do. I think they have about 7 or 8 attorney's and a handful of paralegals. Hopefully something will work out because it's a field of law I would be interested in doing.

A Horse is a Horse

Another creative Judge emerges giving us this clever ode in his dissenting opinion concerning what is a vehicle under the Pennsylvania penal code:

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
but the Vehicle Code does not divorce
its application from, perforce,
a steed as my colleagues said.
"'It's not vague,' I'll say until I'm hoarse,
and whether a car, a truck or horse
this law applies with equal force,
and I'd reverse instead."

The facts of the case are equally entertaining:

Riders Keith Travis, 41, and Richard Noel, 49, were charged with drunken driving along with a man driving a pickup who allegedly rear-ended the horse Travis was riding away from a bar on a dark country road.

Posts by month:

Search Technorati:

Search with Google:

10 Random Blogs

Complete Link List on Individual Post Pages
Get awesome blog templates like this one from