Singing Loudly: November 2004

Singing Loudly

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Winning Cases

So, we won our case yesterday that involved a charge of terroristic threat.

The state presented their evidence, which was laughable, and we chose to rest our case without offering anything. The state simply couldn't prove that the defendant was the guy who called in the threat. It was alleged that our client called in a bomb threat to his former employer.

It is upsetting that the prosecutor chose to waste 8 months of our defendants life with an unsupportable charge; waste the day of 6 jurors who said afterwards that they didn't even need to hear the closing statements as it was clear the prosecutor had nothing; and waste the day of a judge who could have been hearing a case with merit. I imagine that the answer to this is that the prosecutors were looking at their evidence through rose colored glasses, which happens to the best of us.

They offered a police officer who could only read from a police report of what happened. Of course, like any good attorney, you object to that hearsay evidence. It was sustained each time by the judge. After more times than I have fingers, the police officer got upset and yelled at us. After that the prosecutor decided that he shouldn't direct exam the officer any longer. Then they put up the person who answered the phone. On cross-examination we asked whether there were other employers who were sick that day, if it was possible someone else could have called, and if they had phone records that showed it came from our defendants phone or anything else to prove a link.

Glad to have the case finished. Not surprisingly the client was completely ungrateful and just started telling us that he couldn't find a job now because of this and that his life was ruined. He was pleased to get a copy of the judgment, while we were pleased to remind the prosecution to gather stronger evidence.

Pot Kettle Black

Stop calling me when you're drunk.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I'm like the Pied Piper of Property Class

Take solace gentle first years that the rule against perpetuities is really not that difficult. Your fellow classmates, often relying on the BS coming from 2ls, will speak the evils of the antiquated rule. Perhaps you'll read Lucas v. Hamm, 364 P.2d 685 (Cal. 1961) where the court calls the rule a "trap for the unwary", and explains that a lawyer of ordinary skill and capacity cannot be expected to understand it.

The rule is no more tricky than any other legal rule that has nuances and a little complexity.

Just wait until you get into the deep, dark world of the First Amendment jurisprudence , double jeopardy trickery, or even the dreaded secured transactions formalities that will haunt your dreams at night.

You'll long for the days of the rule against perpetuities.

Do they know it's crappy

If I was a rock star I can't imagine the amount of cocaine and free base that would have to be in my system to agree to remake Band-Aid.

Cellphones in the Courtroom

Engadget alerts me that in England a judge ordered six months in prison to an observer of a trial who was taking photographs with his camera phone. I know that you're thinking, well, that's over in England. However, in Long Island, NY a defendant was held in contempt of court and sentenced to 21 days in prison when her cell phone rang during a hearing.

The lesson to be learned? If you're an observer or a defendant, shut off your fucking cell phone when you enter a courtroom and certainly don't take any photos with it.

I know from working down at the criminal court that having your phone when you're an attorney is necessary. When you're running around to the different court rooms to do announcements, pleas, and maybe jail chains it's good to have your phone on you. There are, however, some rules of thumb that should be followed:

1. Keep your phone on vibrate if you're not in trial.
2. If you're in trial put the phone on silent and check it during breaks
3. If an important call is coming in...go out of the courtroom before you answer it
4. Keep the volume turned down so that your conversations stay private
5. If you're currently with a client you can answer the cellphone if you say excuse me, and then ask the person calling if you can call back (if it's going to be a lengthy conversation)
6. If you are observing a trial turn your phone completely off. The vibrate can be heard by others
7. Know the temperament of the particular Judges so that you can best mold these suggestions.


Edward Scissorhands

Peg Boggs: How was it?
Edward: It was great. She showed me all the wallpaper and where everything is going to go.
Peg Boggs: Well that's nice.
Edward: And then she brought me in the back room where she took all her clothes off.

Desperate Housewives

Yao Lin: I don't like lies.
Gabrielle Solis: Yeah, well I don't like your ironing. So there.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry: [Larry's house has been spray painted by trick-or-treaters he has offended and he's reporting it to cops] They don't deserve candy and I don't deserve this: "Bald Asshole"? That's a hate crime!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Singing Loudly 10, 5, and 2

10 most recent songs on my Itunes

Five Iron Frenzy - You Can't Handle This (live)
Unwound - One Lick Less
Big Boi - Last Call
Havalina Rail Co. - Cruis'n
Radiohead - The Gloaming
Over the Rhine - All I Need is Everything
Jump Little Children - Education
Cure - Boys Don't Cry
Sunny Day Real Estate - 48
Howie Day - Trouble In Here

5 ways to make grilled cheese

1. With two slices of sharp cheddar, one slice of marble Colby jack, cooked on a frying pan with plenty of butter

2. Velvetta over a frying pan with plenty of butter

3. Using potato bread!

4. On the George Foreman Grill

5. With America cheese (not preferred)

2 finals I'm preparing for today

1. Constitutional Criminal Procedure
2. Consumer Law

Scenes from a law school library

This is my first post from the library this school year. I simply haven't been in this place to study. Surprisingly there are a lot of people here today. In my general area I can only see three others, but I saw a lot more when I came in. To my right is a cute girl who is in my consumer law class. To my left is a girl working on her first year outlines. She has her keys on the table and it is clear she has mace. I won't bother her during her outlining. Then across the way is some guy who's doing the whole kick-back-and-relax method of studying that is better left for your living room. I'm not sure why people suddenly think this place is a lounge, it's not. I'm getting the least amount of work done out of anyone I can see. Woohoo.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Reinstating the Death Penalty/Removing the Death Penalty

Sri Lanka has joined the company of other great countries like America that provide for the Death Penalty.

President Kamaratunga reinstated the death penalty on Saturday, for rape, murder and drug dealing.

Don't believe people when they tell you that America is the lone civilized nation that provides for the death penalty as a form of punishment.

Even Vietnam is saying they have special needs that require the death penalty at an EU convention held in Vietnam a few days ago.

He said the death penalty is applicable to special criminal cases with the aim of preventing and admonishing crimes, but not for those criminals who are juveniles, pregnant women or women nurturing under-three children.

It is fair to say that we're one of the few nations that allow for the juvenile death penalty. Even Vietnam wont' join us on this...

There is a push in Korea to get rid of capital punishment as another innocent person was nearly executed:

Back in 1980, military coup leaders condemned Kim to death after he was convicted of treason in a court-martial. But under pressure from the international community, they suspended his sentence and freed him in 1982.

No wonder the freedom fighter, who rose from death row to the presidency, did not allow any execution during his five-year term in office that ended in February 2003. None of the convicts on the death row, now numbering 59, has since been executed.

Now, lawmakers are moving to abolish the death penalty itself

It's not probable that Korea will get rid of the death penalty any time soon. There is stronger public support for the death penalty in Korea than in America.

New York is considering getting rid of the death penalty as an option for punishment

On Tuesday, Silver said public hearings on the death penalty would be held Dec. 15 in New York City and Jan. 25 in Albany. Since the death penalty was reinstated in New York in 1995, seven men have been sentenced to die. None were executed. While Silver is a proponent of the death penalty, many of his Democratic colleagues in the chamber are opposed.

Don't expect those talks to go very far.

Not Adverse Possession

After 1000 years of holding onto stolen relics from Constantinople, the Catholic Church returned the items.

Pope John Paul returned relics of two early Christian saints to the Patriarch of Constantinople Saturday in another bid to warm ties with eastern Orthodoxy.

How cool!

Rehnquist out for the rest of this year

I hope that he and his family recover from the cancer and what it does to the entire family in time to have a happy holidays.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Home Stretch

Sports are causing me a lot of problems in my attempt to at being studious. I'm trying to get some studying done to be prepared for that final stretch of last minute studying. Sort of like stretching before the race and running a couple warm up laps. The stretching is able to happen but not the warm up run.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Not Thanking the Mountains

Today a section of 1-70 was shut down thanks to a rock slide which forced a 200 mile detour.

How are Americans supposed to feel bad for the environment when it keeps us from our turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie?

American Criminal Justice: Who do we serve

America has a wonderful system where a poor black man who claims malicious prosecution

serves many years until the exculpatory evidence, often being concealed by a white prosecutor, finally demonstrates his innocence.

Whereas, the rich white man who cries "malicious prosecution"

gets to avoid prosecution from the supposed malicious prosecutor in the first place with the help of a few of his other rich white friends.

What is the common link between the two? Society gets fucked once again because of people in power.

No Bill in Columbus, Georgia

This week a 21-member Grand Jury chose not to indict a Sherrif's Deputy in Georgia who shot an unarmed man twice in the head on a highway stop about a year ago.

This is one of the few instances of a no bill. They argued over the facts for about 41 minutes before deciding that they wouldn't follow the prosecutors recommendations.

Normally the prosecution will cease if the grand jury returns a no bill, but in this case there is also a civil case that could come and a federal case. Under the doctrine of dual soverignty if the state decides not to indict, such action does not bar a federal investigation and ultimately federal charges.

It seems that in this situation there might not have been enough facts to indict the former deputy on the crimes the prosecutor was charging.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

NFL Regular Season Week 12

Thu, Nov 25

Indianapolis at Detroit: Indy
Chicago at Dallas: Dallas

Sun, Nov 28

Cleveland at Cincinnati: Cincy
San Diego at Kansas City: KC
Jacksonville at Minnesota: Minnesota
Philadelphia at NY Giants: Philly
Washington at Pittsburgh: Pitt
Tampa Bay at Carolina: Tampa Bay
Tennessee at Houston: Tennessee
New Orleans at Atlanta: Atlanta
Miami at San Francisco: Miami
Buffalo at Seattle: Seattle
NY Jets at Arizona: NY Jets
Baltimore at New England: NE
Oakland at Denver: Denver

Mon, Nov 29

St. Louis at Green Bay: Green Bay

Demons Demonize Dan

Brilliant retelling of Dan Rather's career. Fafblog showing, yet again, the conservative shortfallings. I will quote in it's entirety because this is great.

Dan Rather has announced that he'll be stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News this March after a reign of terror of 24 years.

Rather first came to prominence covering the Nixon White House, where he would routinely set American flags on fire and hold them aloft in the press room. Within a month after taking over for Walter Cronkite in 1981, he turned heads for his coverage of the Reagan assassination attempt, in which he described John Hinckley as "the bravest man alive." Despite massive Republican hunger strikes, Rather would not only remain anchor but be awarded six Emmys and a Golden Globe for that comment alone by the Association of Gay Communist Media Jews.

In 1988 Rather was beaten raw by a trim, well-oiled George H. W. Bush after he shamefully attacked Mr. Bush's policy of funding heroic Nicaraguan freedom-fighters - freedom-fighters who protected American interests by raping and killing anti-American nuns.

Rather was known for his improvisational, folksy mannerisms, such during the 1989 Tienamen Square massacre, when he turned to the camera, saluted a portrait of Deng Xiaoping, and said "Let the fuckers burn, Mr. Chairman. Let the fuckers burn."

Rather often drew pointed criticism for his work, as when he interviewed Saddam Hussein in 2003 and spent over half of the two-hour piece being graphcally fellated by the dictator. Rather defended the work on artistic grounds and CBS aired the program in its entirety.

Today he retires under a cloud of scandal, having earlier used forged memos to falsely imply that President George W. Bush is a son of wealth and privilege. But he will long be remembered for his tireless dedication to investigative journalism - a curious anachronism, similar to quilting bees and coal-powered heat - and for his longstanding role as an anarcho-communist traitor to the Republic.

Rather will continue to work as a full-time correspondent for 60 Minutes and as a leader of his local al Qaeda cell. His successor on the Evening News will be exumed corpse of Leon Trotsky.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Art Fakes No Longer a Problem

Well, maybe not quite yet, but soon.

I know that there is debate about whether or not art fakes really cause any large economic problem, however, it has to be admitted that art fakes do cause consternation. The problem being that museums, collectors, and art lovers worry that what they buy or view might not be the real thing.

One of the large problems has always been Salvador Dali paintings. He was known to have signed his signature on blank canvas to sell to people who wanted to make "Daliesque" paintings.

Then there are numerous fakes that exist where it is just an opportunist wanting to sell artwork for large amounts of money without holding the real painting. They are counterfeits that constitute a fraud.

As far as the viewer, it is unfair for a fan of a work of art to be tricked into thinking he or she is looking at the real thing. As many art historians say, there is an aura and uniqueness to an original work of art that makes it special.

Guaranteeing works of art have become a big business for many art historians as both museums and serious collectors are willing to shell out a lot of money to ascertain they are buying the real thing.

Authenticating works of art has long been the domain of art historians steeped in the works of a particular artist. In addition to their discerning eyes, these art sleuths have also been able to use surface-material examination and x-ray analysis to determine if a work of art is authentic

Researchers at Dartmouth College have produced a new tool for identifying fake works.

The digital authentication technique builds a statistical model of an artist from scans of a set of authenticated works. Other works are then compared against this baseline data.

The process finds consistencies and inconsistencies in the works. The technique is similar to how a digital camera compresses an image by removing so-called statistical redundancies.

This wouldn't be a tool that would replace the human eye, it would merely enhance what we can already do.

New Release Tuesday Overload

This week has far too much new music, dvds, and books to deal with. Here is what I'm looking at:

(Buffalo friends endorsed).

(I know, it's been out about a month, but I just realized Stephen Dixon has a new book out. He's one of the best living authors, so I can't ignore a collection of short stories from him.)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Tony Kornheiser on the Brawl

Tony Kornheiser, on Pardon the Interruption, has some great comments today on the situation in Detroit. He points out that Stern doesn't have to be fair and just on the punishment of the players. He works for the owners, not the players, and has to send a message that this will not be tolerated.

As far as the fans, he believes they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, that they should lose their season tickets, and shouldn't ever be allowed in the arena again. The bigger question, in Tony's mind, is what leads these fans to get to these levels of frenzy. The answer to him is the sort of "sport talk radio mentality" that you are on the field and you have to be a part of the game. They also point out alcohol consumption leads to a lot of this and should be cut off at the third quarter at latest or half-time.

As far as the disconnect between the NBA and the American public they point out that attendance is up on all sporting events. That TV ratings are up overall. While some of the players might be hated there are a lot of players who are liked. However, when did the fans turn on the NBA players?

Finally, what is going to happen to the Pacers? O'Neil, Jackson, and Artest are gone for quite some time. Can they still salvage the season? Kornheiser doesn't really say whether or not he thinks that they can win it all, but he thinks that in the East they will still have a chance to make it to the playoffs.

Pretty interesting comments from PTI.

Violent Poetry

A high school student was suspended from school and was not allowed to return until he signed a non-violence contract. What caused this? Poetry that a teacher thought sounded a little violent.

Copies of Matt's poems, given to The Telegraph, refer to blood and death. One line of the poem that Matt said upset a teacher reads, "Now I got back at them/This they soon will see." Neither school nor students are explicitly mentioned.

I'm all those abstinence pledges that students in my high school signed were all upheld too. If the student is a danger than do something about it. This doesn't solve anything but seems to be a big punishment for writing that the school wanted censored.

Reason not to talk to people online


Fri Nov 19, 8:01 PM ET Entertainment - Dear Abby

By Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am deeply in love with a man who is handsome, smart and loving. We are engaged and happy together. The problem? We met on the Internet.

Abby, he thinks I am 26, but I'm not. Everything I've said to him has been a lie. I am really 12. I have tried to tell him the truth, but he doesn't believe me or thinks I'm joking. I try to break up with him, but we both can't say goodbye forever. I am 100 percent sure it's love.

He is planning to visit me in January. He says we will get married and have a nice future together. No one knows about this, so I need your help. What do I do next? How do I let go? -- LOST IN LOVE IN LAS VEGAS

DEAR LOST IN LOVE: You have been lying on the Internet. What makes you think that he hasn't been lying, too? Has it occurred to you that this man who "won't let go" could be a child molester in his 40s or 50s? What do you plan to do when he shows up? If you become further involved, he could be arrested!

For your safety, I urge you to tell your parents what has been going on. You have gotten yourself in over your head, and you may need more adult intervention than this columnist to get you out of the pit you have dug for yourself. Please talk to your parents. TODAY!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Poetry Sunday

By a Swimming Pool Outside Siracusa

All afternoon I have been struggling
to communicate in Italian
with Roberto and Giuseppe who have begun
to resemble the two male characters
in my Italian for Beginners,
the ones always shopping, eating,
or inquiring about the times of trains.

Now I can feel my English slipping away,
like chlorinated water through my fingers.

I have made important pronouncements
in this remote limestone valley
with its trickle of a river.
I stated that it seems hotter
today even than it was yesterday
and that swimming is very good for you,
very beneficial, you might say.
I also posed burning questions
about the hours of the archaeological museum
and the location of the local necropolis.

But now I am alone in the evening light
which has softened the white cliffs,

and I have had a little gin in a glass with ice
which has softened my mood or--
how woudl you say in English--
has allowed my thoughts to traverse my brain
with greater gentleness, shall we say,

or, to put it less literally,
this drink has extended permission
to my mind to feel--what's the word?--
a friendship with the vast sky
which is very--give me a minute--very blue
but with much great paleness
at this special time of day, or as we say in America, now.

--Billy Collins from Nine Horses: Poems, 2002.

Unannounced Side Effects

I hadn't seen the movie, I Am Sam, so I decided to watch it today. It's on TNT so I didn't have to borrow it, rent it, or buy it. Anyhow, it's giving me a headache. Is it supposed to do that? Anyone else find themselves suffering a headache during this movie?

My Lego Tower

Finnish Customs is about to burn many tons of fake legos illegally imported into Finland. Haven't they smelt burning plastic before?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Tell me lies...tell me sweet little lies

And to think the Republicans actually believed the bullshit their lying candidates told them about how they would do a good job at making our nation safe. The GOP is already on a roll to reveal their true colors.

Meanwhile, just so that they could piss off the libertarians, (aren't we glad that most Americans believe in the right of privacy) the GOP tried to pass a spending bill that included the following provision:

Hereinafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law governing the disclosure of income tax returns or return information, upon written request of the Chairman of the House or Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service shall allow agents designated by such Chairman access to Internal Revenue Service facilities and any tax returns or return information contained therein.

Provision found at Talking Points Memo.

Thankfully this was caught and fought by the Democrats. Scary shit.

The Saddest Day in American Sports

On Friday night, November 20, 2004, America witnessed the most heartbreaking event in American sports when a riot broke out at Palace Arena. Both the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers and all of the fans in Detroit should be ashamed of what happened. However, I think, the fans have the most shame in this horrible event.

Fans fighting with players in the stands...players fighting with fans on the court. This was a terrible event to witness on TV, sad to watch on the news, and probably gutwrenching to see first hand.

What started as a hard foul from Ron Artest against Ben Wallace (Big Ben) turned into a flagrant foul when Wallace retaliated by striking Artest. Let's be honest, at this point the only person at fault is Ben Wallace. It was a hard foul but that is something that happens in the NBA. Everybody knows it. Wallace has felt it before and should know how to behave.

This is historic and will change the NBA forever. This is a fantastic league with great things going on. However, the fans ruined this for everyone involved.

What followed was entirely, and I say entirely, the fault of the fans. Detroit fans should be ashamed. You are cowards. You are scoundrels. You are a fucking embarrasment to our country. When you start to bring the were an actor in this. You chose to get involved.

After the hit from Wallace against Artest the teams all ran together. Some of them coming to attack back and others to stop the fight from escalating. The players, coaches, and refs were taking care of things. Ron Artest, who just was hit in the face, laid out on the table to keep his cool. Then a fucking fan threw his beer onto Artest from the stand.

Hold it right there. I know what people will say...Artest had no business going into the stands. Players shouldn't run into the stands under any circumstances. Take a moment and think about what you are saying. Artest had done nothing out of the ordinary and a fan had the gumption, the idiocy, the cowardice, to throw a beer on an NBA player who had just been attacked.

Artest was assaulted by a fan and he retaliated. It wasn't a wise move but it wasn't wrong per se.

After Artest ran into the stands and hit the fan another fan threw a drink in Artests face. Stephen Jackson was running up to stop Artest and help the fans and saw that so he hit that fan. Soon the coaches and players were in the stands. Fans would take shots at the players while their backs were turned. Players would retaliate.

A fan in a basketball court comes up and hits Artest in the back of the head. Stephen Jackson gets hit. Artest goes back down to the court. There is a fan trying to sneak up on Artest, on the court, and Artest turns around and sees him. He hits that fan. Then another fan comes on the court to attack and Jeremaine O'Neil comes down.

They finally get Artest into the locker room. Stephen Jackson follows him. While O'Neil is leaving some fucking fan throws a chair through the audience towards players. People fall and get hurt. An older lady falls and gets trampled.

Meanwhile, while the Pacers try to exit the fans are crowding that area to throw drinks, popcorn, articles of clothing, and everything else at the players.

Detroit fans have forever tarnished their own image. They have tarnished the NBA. They have tarnished American sports this evening.

Go to ESPN and poll about who you think was at fault if you got to see this sad event.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Duality of the South

It can be argued that the elections this year showed that the South is still misunderstood. Whether this misunderstanding relates to the South doing something good or just that we don't understand fully the evil they are capable of is not something I'll explore right now. However, I don't understand why people have become this surprised about the division/misunderstanding.

Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Drive By Truckers have all addressed the misunderstanding of the south by the north in wonderful songs.

The Drive By Truckers addressed the feud in their song from Southern Rock Opera called "The Three Great Alabama Icons". Those icons discussed in the song/essay are George Wallace, Bear Bryant and Ronnie Van Zant. They describe the problem of the north misunderstanding of the south,

It wasn't till years later after leavin' the South for a while that I came to appreciate and understand the whole Skynyrd thing and its misunderstood glory. I left the South and learned how different people's perceptions of the Southern Thing was from what I'd seen in my life. Which leads us to George Wallace. Now Wallace was for all practical purposes the Governor of Alabama from 1962 until 1986. Once, when a law prevented him from succeeding himself he ran his wife Lerline in his place and she won by a landslide. He's most famous as the belligerent racist voice of the segregationist South.

Maybe some of you don't know the history of the supposed feud between Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you don't, then do you ever question any of the lyrics to Sweet Home Alabama? In it they reply to Neil Young's "Southern Man" by saying,

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

What some people don't know about Skynyrd is that this album, and especially this song, is a response album. They wanted to defend the South and the Southern way of life. The lines in "Sweet Home Alabama" are a direct response to Young's anti-racist, anti-cross burning "Southern Man" and "Alabama" songs.

Those two songs were cry to stop one of the most racist, dirtiest politicians in the south, George Wallace. In Southern Man, Young sings:

Better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton
and I saw black
Tall white mansions
and little shacks.
Southern man
when will you
pay them back?
I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

And calling out the state of Alabama in "Alabama":

Oh Alabama
Banjos playing
through the broken glass
Windows down in Alabama.
See the old folks
tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo.
Don't it take you down home?

But did Lynyrd Skynyrd really hate Neil Young? It would seem so from the lyrics of Sweet Home Alabama, but this would later be charged as nothing but an urban myth. Still, they don't seem to agree with each other or understand each other.

This all seems to go back to the North and South misunderstanding each other. Ronnie Van Zant said about Sweet Home Alabama and Neil Young,

"We wrote Alabama as a joke. We didn't even think about it - the words just came out that way. We just laughed like hell, and said 'Ain't that funny'... We love Neil Young, we love his music..."

So where did things go wrong? Why does this image exist? It seems to go back to the infamous legacy of George Wallace. As the Drive By Truckers explain,

Wallace had started out as a lawyer and a judge with a very progressive and humanitarian track record for a man of his time. But he lost his first bid for governor in 1958 by hedging on the race issue, against a man who spoke out against integration. Wallace ran again in '62 as a staunch segregationist and won big, and for the next decade spoke out loudly. He accused Kennedy and King of being communists. He was constantly on national news, representing the "good" people of Alabama

And Lynyrd Skynyrd was up on the stage singing about the South and Alabama with a backdrop of the Confederate flag, which is a clear signal to the desire for another society where slavery is a fact of life. Yet, if you listen closer to their songs you can hear a different picture than the image of Alabama that they send. As Drive By Truckers say,

And bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd attempted to show another side of the South. One that certainly exists, but few saw beyond the rebel flag. And this applies not only to their critics and detractors, but also from their fans and followers. So for a while, when Neil Young would come to town, he'd get death-threats down in Alabama.

The funny thing about this hatred of Neil Young is that the South also seems to have a problem understanding the North. It has been written that Van Zant would frequently wear a Young t-shirt to screw with the people who didn't get the humor and irony in Sweet Home Alabama.

The North still felt like outsiders looking in on this society that they had no understanding of. For those who lived in the South there was certainly a different point of view. You see the things that don't make the national news. You talk to the people who live there and don't believe, and often for good reasons, that they are being racist. The confusion is earmarked by Drive By Truckers,

Wallace was viewed as a man from another time and place. And when I first ventured out of the South, I was shocked at how strongly Wallace was associated with Alabama and its people. Ya know racism is a worldwide problem and it's been since the beginning of recorded history, and it ain't just white and black. But thanks to George Wallace, it's always a little more convenient to play it with a Southern accent

To be fair, how could the North not decry this sort of behavior? Wallace goes from being a supporter of human rights and equality to promoting segregation because it gets him in office? It seems that Wallace was able to represent the views of one majority and secure his place in office while completely ignoring the minority, or black, voice. However, this is the duality of the South.

The Drive By Truckers continue:

Ironically, in 1971, after a particularly racially charged campaign, Wallace began backpedaling, and he opened up Alabama politics to minorities at a rate faster than most Northern states or the Federal Government. And Wallace spent the rest of his life trying to explain away his racist past, and in 1982 won his last term in office with over 90% of the black vote. Such is the Duality of the Southern Thing.

I think that speaks a lot to what we don't get today. This moral voice that is speaking is one that is confusing. Just as Wallace never represented the blacks but was able to get their votes is similar to the fact that the Republicans don't represent the Christians but they are getting their votes. The crossover because of the faith values and whatnot was outstanding. Hispanic voters and Jewish voters switching over in droves is not something that just happens.

This is the Duality of the South. It is also the Duality of the Right. We don't understand it because you can't understand it; it's an enigma. Those of us in leadership positions, like the Young and Van Zant line of players, understand that neither party is wanting to ignore morals, religion, and faith. However, those who are on the outside see two different worlds that might or might not really exist. The key thing being it's hard for people from the Blue states to really understand what happens on a day to day basis in the Red States. It's the same thing for those in the Red who believe the Blue states are full of immoral, unethical, and unfaithful heathens.

This disconnect is the duality of our political system.

Attention Tom Delay and Kay Bailey Hutchinson

Senator Hutchinson,

I saw your comment that you made about the criminal justice system where you say this about the District Attorney in Travis County (Austin), Texas:

I know he prosecutes for political purposes. He did it to me. And I think it is a very dangerous thing to criminalize politics.

Perhaps if you didn't do illegal things then you wouldn't be prosecuted. Ok, ok, so you weren't found guilty of the charge. Maybe, just maybe, you don't understand the criminal justice system. See, in order to get a grand jury indictment you don't have the protection of "beyond all reasonable doubt." The Grand Jury has to believe there is "probable cause" to indict you. Probable cause is a much lower standard. Get it? Probably not, because you don't want to get it. You want to keep your eyes shut to the fact that you do shady things that give probable cause as to abuse of power. Stop doing that shit and you won't have indictments against you.

If you really believe that you were prosecuted for malicious reasons you, and your army of attorneys, would have brought a malicious prosecution suit. You surely know what one of those is, right? You didn't bring one because you knew you couldn't win. What is more, you didn't bring one because you knew that information would get out that would show your true colors to the voters in Texas who blindly vote for you. You were smart enough to know that the evidence that could come into that suit would be otherwise protected. You didn't want the shit to hit the fan, so you didn't bring a malicious prosecution suit.

If you want to bitch about a malicious prosecution than do it the courts instead of trying to do a smear job. Delay is a fucking scoundrel. Your only tarnishing your own reputation more as you continue to stick your neck out for that loser.


P.S. for extra reading check this out.

Don't Encourage the Ant

I don't know why VH1 gave Ant his own show. I was working on my paper this morning and decided to turn on VH1 and was scared by the sight of Ant hosting a show. The show is called Red Light Green Light. Basically they look at movies, dvds, and music downloads of the week and tell whether they would give it a red light (not worth it) or green light (buy it) with a lot of banter to fill the half hour. The idea is fine but casting Ant is a mistake. He was the most annoying person on Last Comic Standing. It's a shame they had to ruin the show with this guy.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Regression Regrets

I wish that I could go back about 8 months and change a decision I made, or that I could call someone and say I was wrong. Both feel equally impossible.

NFL Regular Season Week #11

Sunday, November 21

Tennessee vs Jacksonville: Jacksonville
St. Louis vs Buffalo: Buffalo
San Francisco vs Tampa Bay: TB
Arizona vs Carolina: Carolina
Indianapolis vs Chicago: Indy
Denver vs New Orleans: Denver
Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati: Pitt
Detroit vs Minnesota: Minnesota
NY Jets vs Cleveland: Cleveland
Dallas vs Baltimore: Baltimore
Miami vs Seattle: Seattle
San Diego vs Oakland: San Diego
Atlanta vs NY Giants: Atlanta
Washington vs Philadelphia: Philly
Green Bay vs Houston: Green Bay

Monday, November 22

New England vs Kansas City: NE

Attention Republicans

With this recent election sweep spurring the easy change from a somewhat ethical House to a shit-spitting House of squalor (that's a Texas caloqialism); the proposed change to the filibuster rules; and even the argument that the Rookie from Texas Senator John Cornyn should get the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee over a 24-year incumbent, I've got a few other suggestions for an creative Congress.

  • Two terms really isn't enough for the President. Let's change it to as many as you want. However, since Clinton would come back and win, put in a rule that the terms have to be consecutive. It's what the people want, right?!

  • There is too much dischord in the Congress. Why don't we make it so that the parties alter days they are are allowed on the floor.

  • Then we drop the amount of votes needed to just over 50%!

  • No need to wait for Supreme Court Justices to leave...let's just add more seats that Bush can fill.

  • Forget about the Amendment to allow foreign born citizens to run for President...let's make it so only Texans can run for President.

  • Only Texans can serve in the President's cabinet...

  • Only Texans can lead Senate and House Committees...

  • and Texas gets all of California's electoral votes.

  • Congress can no longer overturn a Presidential veto.

  • If any country gives us the "stink eye" (Thank you John Steward...I'm still laughing) we can preemtively attack...this means you Chirac.

  • No more Monday Night Football if they continue to insinuate that blacks and whites can have sex together...blasphemy.

  • Burn the Constitution and start anew. I think that Bob Jones and Bush should be the drafters; the red states can look over the draft and sign it into law.

I'm full of more ideas if only the Republicans ask for my assistance.

Bringing Back Respect

I think we need to go back to the days of gun slinging and fist fights on the House floor. Indictments? Ha! They're fucking lightweights.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Stop Smooching and Start Writing

While it's nice that someone is getting some play, I wish that Sorkin would write some more instead of doing his make out dance around Hollywood.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Grand Jury Indictments

It is a commonly cited frustration that the current criminal justice system allows for a rubber stamp on most indictments. This stems from the way evidence is presented to the Grand Juries. In Grand Jury hearings there is only the Grand Jury and the prosecutor presenting the evidence to them. This prosecutor also will help advise the Grand Jury on legal issues. There is not a defense attorney present during any of these proceedings which typically means that a prosecutor will get the indictment she seeks.

When the Grand Jury doesn't think there is probable cause to seek prosecution they will issue what is called a no bill. While this is a rare situation, it does happen. My own curiosity has led me to being interested in situations where the grand jury returns a no bill.

The Houston Chronicle recently ran an interesting story about the Grand Jury system and how it operates procedurally and substantively.

In a sort of alarming statement, Rick Casey, a grand juror, points out a problem (he believes that the wide-spread nature of the problem nullifies it):

Well I'm a former grand juror myself, and I've got news for all you appalled American Civil Liberties Union members out there.

In 98 percent of the indicted cases, you could have grand juries made up of rhesus monkeys and it wouldn't make any difference.

He points out that he was selected because he knew the right people in a "pick-a-pal" method.

The compositional makeup of the Grand Jury was described as being geographically and ethnically balanced, but, in the end that didn't matter because they had to be "rubber stamps."

The reasons for this stems from the sheer volume of cases:

in urban Texas, where the law requires that all felonies be indicted by grand juries, the panels become mere cogs in a justice factory that last year produced 20,595 indictments in Harris County alone...On the typical three-hour morning, we dealt with 30 to 40 cases.

They didn't rubber stamp everything, in fact, there were a few no bills. Those usually were no bills that the District Attorney wanted to be no billed,

We no-billed 12 cases in 11 weeks, 4 percent of those presented. But prosecutors wanted us to no-bill more than half of these. They were cases with some political sensitivity where the district attorney felt the need to be able to blame the decision on the grand jury.

This is a little bit scary if the grand jury is meant to be a way to curtail malicious prosecutions or serve as a check on the broad prosecutorial discretion. However, no bills, even when the district attorney wants to prosecute, are not entirely unheard of. I'll be on the lookout for those situations.

No more Haloscan

I'm experimenting with the blogger commenting system right now, because I'm tired of Haloscan. I don't like the silly word limit, the fact that they delete comments after so many months, and that when haloscan is down it makes the blog go slower.

Up until this point, I didn't like the blogger commenting system because it is basically an advertisement to get people to sign up for blogger. Making you go to the login screen where you are given the option to post anonymously, sign in, or create an account. Thankfully, someone who is a better programmer than I am decided to fix this problem. Thanks to bloggerhacks I have a good commenting system that is tied into blogger, try it out.

If it becomes problematic than I will switch back to haloscan and bite my tongue.

That's What I'm Talking About

That's money!

The Hardee's Monster Thickburger seeks to gain the marketshare for those wanting fat-ridden, calorie-burdened, back breaking hamburgers. This one is one-uping the Jack Burger, which, itself, is golden.

This Thickburger is a thing of beauty: two 1/3-pound patties, four pieces of bacon, and American cheese served on a buttered sesame seed bun, and crowned with a little spat of mayo, all of which adds up to 1,420 calories and 102 grams of fat.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Condi, oh Condi

It's unfortunate that such a very intelligent (and accomplished) foreign policy scholar has become so misguided. Despite this, Condoleezza Rice has been appointed Secretary of State. From what we could tell it seemed that Condi had more clout with the President in the past couple years than the former Secretary of State Colin Powell, so I'm not so sure there will be a huge change in position. It's just unfortunate that there isn't room for a little more discussion and debate within the administration's cabinet, like we saw with Powell's presence.

The Sole Voice of Reason

Unfortunate, but expected, day in American politics.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has resigned.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Drooling over Dictionaries

I believe that there are many of us in the blog community who share a fascination with dictionaries. Amber, for instance, has discussed her fear of losing access to the incredible Oxford English Dictionary online site. My favorite aspect of the OED is word origin and the extensive quotations, so I too fear the loss of the OED. Thankfully, other bloggers, such as Mel, have pointed out that many libraries will give online access to the OED if you're a member of their library.

Perhaps a few of these fellow bloggers had dreams similar to mine about working for a dictionary as a lexicographer. In the Times Sunday Magazine, Erin McKean, describes the dream she had and the possible ways to get where she and work for a dictionary publishing house (reg. req'd).

McKean describes that there is no real certification process or degree you obtain to become employed with a dictionary:

there's not a well-marked route to actually becoming a lexicographer.

The answer to many of the questions about what to major in (linguistics? English? creative writing? maybe math?), whether to freelance or look for a permanent job, and if you should take supplemental questions always leads to the answer of, it depends.

The path to getting a job as a lexicographer is not a well defined path. In part this seems to be because of how few publishers of dictionaries there are in the world.

There are fewer than a dozen major employers in the United States, clustered in the Northeast, which tend to hire on a cyclical basis as projects wax and wane.

This suggesting that my collection of dictionaries is represented by most of the major publishers. However, it doesn't seem to bring hope for someone who is really interested in the field for employment purposes. My collection of dictionaries is planned and carefully considered, whereas getting a job seems to be more based on luck.

I found that lexicographers in this country do have a common qualification for the jobs they hold or have held: they have all been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

That's unfortunate, but McKean offers some tips to those who are really interested in finding a job with a publisher:

A quick trip to the bookstore or the library will provide you with the names and addresses of all the major publishers, or better yet, you can check job listings on their Web sites. You can join the Dictionary Society, sign up for its e-mail list (where jobs are occasionally posted) and attend its small and collegial meetings, which are held every other year. (The next one will be in Boston in 2005.)

The entire article is much more interesting than my pulled quotations. You ought to read it if you have any interest in the work of a lexicographer.

Bias and WAPO

It seems that the Washington Post has revealed it's bias. In the past couple days they have released two editorials which are highly critical of Microsoft while praising Google and Firefox.

Rob Pegoraro's editorial, Firefox Leaves No Reason to Endure Internet Explorer, opines that Microsoft became uninterested in it's Internet Explorer.

Perhaps, more damning, is that he believes the only interest Microsoft had in IE was to clean up security holes,

After Microsoft cemented a monopoly of the Web-browser market, it let Internet Explorer go stale, parceling out ho-hum updates that neglected vulnerabilities routinely exploited by hostile Web sites.

First, I'm not sure if I buy into the argument that the IE code is necessarily any more vulnerable than other browsers. It is, by virtue of being the largest share of the browser market, the most exploited browser. However, there are security flaws with every browser, including a problem unique to tabbed browsers like Firefox. Admittedly, with the release of Firefox 1.0, Mozilla has fixed this vulnerability. But the find a risk and then fix method is just the same as what IE does. No developers can find every vulnerability.

The editorial goes on to describe some of the better features of Firefox. Overall, I agree with him that Firefox is a better browser than IE. But three years ago I thought Opera was a better browser than IE. I'm not sure why it never received the attention Firefox is receiving.

The other article at Wapo is that Microsoft's new search falls far short of Google I haven't tried the Microsoft search, but, aagain it isn't like Google is perfect. After all, they didn't update their image search index for months. I think that A9 is a better search site because they use a few different indexes and save your search history for your access.

In all honesty, I do agree with WAPO on both of these accounts. IE is a little annoying, but I think it's quicker than Firefox; Microsoft search doesn't seem like it would impress me.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Index Updated

The Singing Loudly Index has been updated through October.

2004 NFL Football Season Picks

Here are the links to all my picks and the number correct for each week.

2004 Football Predictions


Today's MPRE

OK, law students out there who took the MPRE, it sucked. I don't know about you but it was A) Nothing like my actual professional responsibility course, and B) very different from past MPRE exams found in the Bar Bri study aide.

I'm not feelinig too great about this. Texas requires an 85 which will not be met by me this time. Grr.

Not Everyone

Ms. Malkin,

Just because you are a heartless, selfish, fool doesn't mean every other minority in the United States is going to choose to be like you, nor does this entitle you to any respect from anyone.


Minority Democrats in public office are inspirational role models. Minority Republicans in public office are embarrassing sellouts.

Continue to whine. You've discredited yourself so much that you'll never gain the respect as an intelligent commentator again.

Also, jealous is really not becoming.

After Mr. Obama's Democratic National Convention address this summer, the New York Times exulted: "As quickly as overnight, a new Democratic star is born." A headline in the Christian Science Monitor echoed: "A star is born." USA Today panted: "Rising star brings Democrats to their feet." NBC's Andrea Mitchell enthused: "I think the real breakout tonight is Obama. I mean Teresa is a fascinating story, but Obama is a rock star." And Newsweek's Howard Fineman proclaimed: "He is the best argument for the American dream that's around in politics."

The sad thing is that your shrill isn't nearly as good as the vapid shit that comes from Ann Coulter. Thanks for playing.

Source: the Washington Times.

Friday, November 12, 2004

NFL Regular Season Week #10

Sunday, November 14

Kansas City at New Orleans: KC
Baltimore at NY Jets: Baltimore
Detroit at Jacksonville: Jacksonville
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Atlanta
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: Pittsburgh
Seattle at St. Louis: Seattle
Chicago at Tennessee: Chicago
Houston at Indianapolis: Indy
Cincinnati at Washington: Washington
Minnesota at Green Bay: Green Bay
NY Giants at Arizona: Arizona
Carolina at San Francisco: Carolina
Buffalo at New England: New England

Monday, November 15
Philadelphia at Dallas: Philly

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Criminal Law: Double Jeopardy Study Q

For all of you 1Ls studying for your criminal law examination, I have a simple question to make you feel better.

My home town of Wichita, KS has decided to not to seek the death penalty in the re-sentencing of convicted rapist and murderer, Stanley Elms.

A quick procedural history background for this case is necessary. Elms raped and slashed the throat of his victim which caused her death. This was enough for a jury to convict and sentenced him of capital murder in 1999 under the Kansas Penal Code. Soon after this decision the Kansas Supreme Court, in another case, decided that the state death penalty sentencing scheme was unconstitutional, which cleared the sentencing of Elms.

In most states that have the death sentence there are bifurcated trials where the jury first decides whether the defendant is guilty and then a second trial determines if the jury is going to impose the death penalty.

Kansas is now going to re-sentence Elms. They have decided not to seek the death penalty, but they will hold another trial to determine which sentence will be given. Why is this not double jeopardy?

Corporal Punishment in Tennessee

Were you interested in working for the Red Bank, Tennessee Tasty Flavor Sno Biz Treat Center franchise? If so, you'd better be ready for a spanking.

Apparently the good Christian owner, Paul Gene Levengood, liked to spank his employees when they made mistakes (e.g. forgetting to add bananas to the smoothies) and then take photos for his private collection. That banana mistake was enough to warrant twenty spanks. Ouch!

One of the women told police that on her first day at the Tasty Flavors Sno Biz, Levengood made her sign a statement that said: "I give Gene permission to bust my behind any way he sees fit."

What a kind boss. Instead of firing you, you just have to get a few spanks.

If I took a job and didn't get spanked, but instead fired for forgetting to add bananas, would I have a equal protection/EEOC grievance?

Letter to the Editor

In Connecticut there is a push to abolish the death penalty. Jessica Johnston makes a strong argument concerning the error rate of convictions:

The average number of exonerations per year has increased. From 1973-1998, there were an average of 2.96 exonerations per year. Since 1998, the average has risen to 7.6 exonerations per year.

The cost of the death penalty:

A single death penalty case, from the point of arrest to the time of execution, including all appeals, may cost upwards of $3 million. The cost of incarcerating a criminal for life averages about $500,000
This one, interestingly, makes a lot of people argue that we should get rid of many of the appeals given to accused. The problem with that argument is that it's asking us to get rid of our current constitution as it is the foundation for why these appeals our allowed.

Finally Johnson points out that countries which have abolished the death penalty, e.g. Canada, have seen a drop in violent crimes. This suggests that there isn't much of a deterrent value to the death penalty punishment itself.

Awaiting Chaos

Yasser Arafat has passed away.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Curing the Idiots

I can't believe what Ron Artest, NBA player for the Indiana Pacers, has done to his team by asking to be benched. Take a moment for the fact that Artest is a basketball star (probably not superstar, although, he is talented) who asks his coach if he could be benched because he's tired from working on his rap cd.

Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest said Wednesday that he asked coach Rick Carlisle for time off because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be released rap album, which led to his two-game benching.

The guy has gone over the deep end. I'm sure making a rap album (this one is bound to be worse than Shaq's) is tiresome. I'm sure that you'd need a few extra naps during the long sessions at the recording studio. I'm sure that he might even need to worry about exhaustion causing health problems. But to be benched at your day job.

Artest has some balls. I mean, really, asking to be benched for up to a month because of the exhaustion. It's clear that he has no respect for his team, his coach, or the game. Perhaps he should get out of his contract and pay whatever penalties would be due. Indiana should send this moron out of their state.

Life Without Parole in Texas

Texas is considering a bill that would create an option for life without possibility of parole as an alternative to the death penalty. Allow me to editorialize a little by saying that it's about time Texas gave a viable option for the death penalty. The Texas system is probably the worst in the country from the public defender system in Texas (Harris County -- Houston -- doesn't even have a state public defenders office), to death sentence prone juries, to the three questions that do little to focus the jurors there isn't much of a chance for you if you're charged with a capital crime.

Adding the option for life without parole will be a step in the right direction. As it is now, the jury can come back with a sentence of life or death if they find a defendant guilty of a capital offense. Jurors aren't told what life means, so they often assume it means they could get parole before in a number of years. Technically it has to be 30 years before the option for parole surfaces. In practice, a convict will not be released on parole. However, the option for release if there, which scares the shit out of many jurors.

If the juror doesn't want to play God, realizes the fundamental errors in the death penalty scheme, or figures out that the entire system is a sham that merely feeds our appetite for blood but doesn't want to see the criminal back on the streets -- that juror has no viable option. That juror is in a bind where voting for the death penalty is the only way she can feel secure regardless of whether she'll be able to sleep at night.

Texas is in the minority of states:

Currently, 46 states offer life-without-parole as a sentencing option. Nearly all of the 38 states that allow the death penalty offer life-without-parole as an option.

Unfortunately this embarrassing isolation from the rest of our nation probably won't change,

Lucio has offered the bill for the past three sessions of the Texas Legislature without success.

Even if it did pass, I'm sure that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals would figure out some unconstitutional creative way to destroy it's applicability.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ashcroft Resigns

I guess this means no more sing-a-long songs with John Ashcroft. He officially resigned as the United States Attorney General.

I'm not sure how many people actually know what an attorney general knows. There might be a few people who know that Janet Reno was the attorney general before Ashcroft. There are probably quite a few who know that Ashcroft pushed for the infamous Patriot Act. However, I doubt many can say what an attorney general does beyond that for America.

Well, it's quite a bit actually. The attorney general is the head of the federal criminal system. He sets the tone, the policies, and the environment for the many US Attorney offices across the country. Ashcroft has a mixed record in this department. I don't think he has done a good job, but I do think there have been a few things that he did alright. Overall, he was destructive, remiss on important issues, and incompetent. Those few triumphs were, for the most part, based on luck.

I have spoke with a couple Texas assistant US attorneys who criticized Ashcroft's leadership ability on this level. I believe that part of the problem was that he became too interested in his own political gain that could be secured by 9/11.

I am concerned about who will be appointed to follow this guy; Bush and his advisors have demonstrated (e.g. the second debate's lack of a grasp of elementary constituional law) an inability to understand legal issues.

Monday, November 08, 2004

And the NBA wonder why it has so few fans

Mark Cuban is doing all that he can to try to make the NBA more entertaining, fair, and unpredictable. For doing this he is often fined large amounts of money. There have been many times that the fines are deserved, but there have been quite a few fines that are bullshit.

Cuban posted a message on his blog that, in part, criticized the NBA for having opening night of the NBA on election night. It was a fair criticism because it was unfair to the players, the owners, and the fans to start the season on election night.

Cuban was fined by the NBA for publicly criticizing this decision.

Travelling Abroad

In case you were interested in travelling abroad, do it soon. The Euro is continually kicking our ass in the global markets (despite the fequenency to which the conservatives will argue that we've got a stronger economy than Europe -- they don't read economic reports), and, as shown by Daniel Drezner, it is only going to get worse. From the Financial Times we get this sobering prediction:

The dollar could slide still further, in spite of hitting an all-time low against the euro last week in the wake of George W. Bush's re-election, currency traders have said.

Many currency traders were taken aback on Friday when the greenback fell in spite of bullish data showing the US economy created 337,000 jobs in October.

"If this can't cause the dollar to strengthen you have to tell me what will. This is a big green light to sell the dollar," said David Bloom, currency analyst at HSBC, as the greenback fell to a nine-year low in trade-weighted terms....

[T]he market has been rife with rumours that the latest wave of selling has been led by foreign governments seeking to cut their exposure to US assets.

The problem is that there aren't any countries willing to invest in the dollar any longer.

I guess this is one way Bush can force us to become more isolationist.

Meet the Press

Why won't Rove answer this question?

MR. RUSSERT: Does [Bush] think that Roe v. Wade was properly decided?

MR. ROVE: He's going to pick people for the bench and will strictly interpret the law. He's not going to have a litmus test. He's not going to ask judges--potential judges in advance how they would determine cases that might come before them. He thinks that violates the fundamental principle of what judicial nominations ought to be about. He believes that he ought to pick people who will impartially apply--interpret and apply the law, not people who have a political agenda or a personal agenda that they want to pursue on the court.

Russert wasn't asking him about judicial appointments. He asked a simple question about President Bush's opinion concerning whether he thinks this case was properly decided. We know that he has an opinion concerning the topic because the next question appears to be answered honestly:

MR. RUSSERT: Does he think a right of privacy exists under the Constitution?

MR. ROVE: Griswold vs. Connecticut, I'm not sure. I've never discussed Griswold vs. Connecticut with the president.

Rove didn't turn this one around to be about judicial nominees.

Later on the program Russert asked Barack Obama, Senator-Elect from Illinois about morality and the Democratic Party.

I think that sometimes the Democrats have to run upstream or swim upstream because we've got the Republicans making it out as if we don't care about these things, and we should be able to engage and be willing to engage in the discussion about morality and values. Of course, part of our message has to be that moral values includes the immorality of 45 million uninsured or the immorality of working people who are having trouble raising a family despite working full-time. That has to be part of the moral equation. And if we are able to frame things in that fashion, then I think we can be successful.

I believe that Obama strikes a chord with this being an issue of immorality with the current state of America.

He discusses partisan politics, specifically, the danger of the slash and burn politics,

I told the president was that we all have a stake in seeing him have a successful presidency. I don't think that the Democrats succeed by rooting against the president in office but we have to be honest where we disagree with him and he's got to make his case where he's presenting issues that we're skeptical about.

Unfortunately, there is little reason for people to trust that the President is going to open his policies up for any discussion with those who disagree.

He left the show with a dose of humility:

You know, a little--some of this hype's been a little overblown. It's flattering, but I have to remind people that I haven't been sworn in yet. I don't know where the rest rooms are in the Senate. I'm going to have to figure out how to work the phones, answer constituent mail. I expect to be in the Senate for quite some time, and hopefully I'll build up my seniority from my current position, which I believe is 99th out of 100.

Beware of Vice President Cheney there on the Senate floor and you'll be fine.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Graverobber and bitter beer face

It's sad the lengths that alcoholic ex-girlfriends will go.

Left Nip Slip

In high school my friends had an interesting observation that nipple slips usually occurred with the left breast. Much like Erin's 27 blog, they would search around for examples of when the nipple showed on the left breast for whatever reason.

People are now starting to hear about the Tara Reid breast exposure that occurred when her dress slipped off her shoulder at Puff Daddy's 38th Birthday Party.

If you want to see the picture than you can go here to Tony Pierce's site.

Everyone Dies on Six Feet Under

Alan Ball announced that the 5th season of Six Feet Under will be the final season.

"Working on 'Six Feet Under' has been enormously fulfilling creatively, but if the show is about anything, it's about the fact that everything comes to an end," Ball said in a statement. "I will miss working with such enormously talented writers, cast, staff and crew, and I'll always be grateful to HBO for allowing and encouraging us to tell the story we set out to tell in a challenging and uncompromising way."

I think it ran its course about two seasons ago, so I'm pleased with this announcement. What will HBO have left to entertain people? They have lost Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos. Sucks to be HBO.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Put that DWI and bankruptcy on your Resume

Wally Backman was fired today after four days as the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a New York Times profile that revealed the record of Backman. The Diamondbacks didn't conduct a background check on Backman, which reveals their lack of diligence. Why would Backman feel the need to reveal something like a DWI that occurred five years ago.

The Diamondbacks had 111 loses last year and now they have sunk lower. They hired a guy for four days who has a somewhat questionable character. Then they fired him because they didn't do their initial job. I would be disgusted if I lived in Arizona about this situation.

Wally Backman was known when he played for being a bit irresponsible. I'm not sure why they didn't think about asking more pointed questions. From this point on it seems that every organization will do more through background checks.

This organization is an embarrassment.

Fear and Loathing

Hunter S. Thompson has a similar point to mine as seen in this quote:

"Their army is how much bigger than mine? Three percent? Well shucks, Bubba. Now is the time to establish a network and an attitude," he said. "You make friends in moments of defeat. People in defeat tend to bond because they need each other. We can't take the attitude that it's over and we give up. We're still here."

Thompson added: "I'm proud to have known John Kerry."

Have no fear Democrats.

I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One: A Message to those interested in the Democratic Party

I have one message to give all of the Democrats: we are alive. The Republicans came through and won this election for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons make me question the people who live around me. Some of these reasons make me wonder why the Republican party is so scared that they have to send Republicans from D.C. down to Texas to unconstitutionally redistricting the map so that Martin Frost loses to Pete Session. Even Republicans realize that what they did was both unconstitutional and heavy handed politics. And a few of the races made me feel fine with the Republican victories because they fought a clean, fair fight.

The reasons that we were defeated are going to need to be explored but right now we need to feel encouraged because we have every reason to be proud. Our values are purely American, our values are admirable, and our values will be better understood by the next election. The reason why our party will be stronger is because we are a passionate party.

Today, tomorrow, and the days to come will be our time to call the younger Democrats to arms. This election, unlike any other, has made me realize how important it is for everyone to play a part in politics. I am going to devote all of my available time to helping the Democratic Party. I'm going to be there with open arms, willing to do whatever is necessary to bring about a change. There is no doubt that many others are thinking the same thing right now. If you are then it is time to step up. The youth are going to revitalize a glorious party, the youth are going to join in with this proud tradition of protecting American values, and the youth are going to be there to learn from those who have carried a brilliant torch. We understand that the time is now to join in this process of making America as strong, as united, as loving, and as awe-inspiring as it should always be.

Democrats, America needs us at this time. This election showed that like no other election ever has. There are deep wounds, deep mistrust, and lies that have filled the political process to a level unlike any before. The voters of America are divided and the rest of America is unwilling to participate in the process for whatever reason. This needs to change. That change is going to have to start with us.

I was a Republican for six years of my life. Part of the reason I was a Republican was because of my Christian faith. I grew up in a town where Christians were a member of the Republican Party. We were taught that the Republican Party is the party of Christians. It wasn't until I was out of the this environment that I realized that this was a complete lie. If anything it does more to damage the church than to protect it; however, it certainly is true that the Democratic Party's ideals are not contrary to the church. Personal faith is an important part of the lives of many in the Democratic Party. However, there is no vitriol, no hatred, directed at those who believe in exercising their personal beliefs in other ways. What has always scared me the most about the Republican Party is their ability to hate others who do not fit their mold. It is a party that, in large part, lacks the diversity that makes America such a wonderful place.

It was nearly six years ago that I left the Republican Party because the ideals of the Democratic Party were more appealing to me. I want a stronger America where people don't have to worry about bankruptcy if they get ill, where children are given the educational opportunities they deserve, where our security is not left in the hands of an incompetent commander-in-chief, where we don't invade countries for personal/economic reasons, where we respect the international community enough that we follow the international obligations we signed onto, where we work with the United Nations to cure some of the defects instead of misunderstanding it, where we protect religion instead of putting it in eminent danger, and where society is secure that when life doesn't go there way there will be a safety net to help them get back on their feet.

These things are a fundamental part of why America exists today. Our founding fathers started with a revolutionary idea for a democracy that exists today in the ideals of the Democratic Party. I'm proud to be a member of this party. I'm proud to be a part of this parties future. But I know that we need the youth to join with us. We need our party's elites to lead with conviction, with confidence, and with passion. We also need the veterans of our party to help mentor those of us who are starting in order to repair the wounds of our party.

America deserves no less.

How Far Have Cosmetics Come?

I guess they haven't come all that far.

Fashionable women in ancient Rome applied a beauty cream that wasn't all that different from today's cosmetics, researchers say.

and best of all...

As a bonus, the tin was non-toxic. By the second century AD, Romans were beginning to recognize the health risks of lead.

That's why we love archaeologists.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

2004 NFL Regular Season Week #9

Sunday, November 7

Arizona at Miami: Arizona
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh
Kansas City at Tampa Bay: KC
Oakland at Carolina: Carolina
NY Jets at Buffalo: Jets
Dallas at Cincinnati: Dallas
Washington at Detroit: Washington
New Orleans at San Diego: San Diego
Seattle at San Francisco: Seattle
Chicago at NY Giants: Giants
Houston at Denver: Denver
New England at St. Louis: NE
Cleveland at Baltimore: Baltimore

Monday, November 8
Minnesota at Indianapolis: Indy

Bush Press Conference 11/4/04 : Not Purple; this country is Red

As Lewis Black says, "Yesterday the voice of the people was heard. I promise not to imitate it out of respect for the mentally retarded." Today Bush gave his first press conference in God knows how long.

Yesterday I pledged to reach out to the whole nation

Try not to touch me, please.

We are fighting a continuing war on terror. And every American has a stake in the outcome of this war

Let's get to fighting it then.

Every civilized country also has a stake in the outcome of this war.

I thought you just said that Americans have a stake in this "war."

Whatever our past disagreements, we share a common enemy.

It's a current disagreement and that enemy is you.

And we have common duties: to protect our peoples, to confront disease and hunger and poverty in troubled regions of the world.

Is that why your AIDS drug czar teaches Africans that condoms do not help to prevent the spread of AIDS?

So I urge the Congress to pass an effective intelligence reform bill that I can sign into law.

This one will be called "You're Really Fucked Patriot Act"

To accelerate the momentum of this economy and to keep creating jobs, we must take practical measures to help our job creators, the entrepreneurs and the small-business owners.

Perhaps the first thing you can do is stop giving incentives for companies overseas to take away Americans jobs.

We must confront the frivolous lawsuits that are driving up the cost of health care and hurting doctors and patients.

Buzz word watch! Buzz word watch! I really want you to bring up a pre-civil war Constitutional Law case again to really show people you know about the law.

We must continue the work of education reform to bring high standards and accountability, not just to our elementary and secondary schools, but to our high schools as well.

You didn't screw that up enough the first time? Soon we'll be the lowest educated, "civilized country" in the world instead of 7th lowest.

We must reform our complicated and outdated tax code.

I do agree, however, I your plan is not the way to go about this reformation.

We must show our leadership by strengthening Social Security for our children and our grandchildren.

Just admit that social security is dead.

It is an opportunity to help millions of our fellow citizens find security and independence that come from owning something from ownership.

What the hell are you talking about?

The campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results. I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals.

49% of Americans will not be reached out to for the next four years. At least you're being honest.

With that overpandering, I'll answer a few questions. Hunt?

Ok..good...let's get to questions.

Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule. That was three questions.

Didn't you just say "I'll answer a few questions?" Second, what the hell are you talking that you have the "will of the people at [your] back"? Did we elect Julius Caesar?

Again, you violated the one-question rule right off the bat. Obviously, you didn't listen to the will of the people.

Oh, yeah, your mandate and lame sense of humor. Great combo.

I told the people on the campaign trail that I'll pick somebody who knows the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.

You said that Dred Scott was an example of a personal opinion. Actually, in case you don't understand how Amendments to the Constitution work, it was a strict interpretation of the Constitution at the time. Part of why it is so important is because we are able to see what the 13th Amendment did to change the interpretation of the constititution. Also, what is a "personal opinion"? You should either go to law school or consult with a lawyer a little more frequently.

I laid out a doctrine, David, that said if you harbor terrorists, you're as equally as guilty as the terrorists, and that doctrine was ignored by the Taliban and we removed the Taliban.

And then you left to take care of your "personal grudge" and now the terrorists are back where you "removed" them and in many other places.

And it's like earning capital. You asked do I feel free. Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That?s what happened after the 2000 election, I earned some capital.

Rare honesty that's a little bit scary.

To a person, I am proud of the work they have done.

Take your medication.

I'm going to start thinking about it. I'm going to Camp David this afternoon with Laura, and I'll begin the process of thinking about the Cabinet and the White House staff. And we'll let you know at the appropriate time when decisions have been made.

It'll be 2008 if you're the one doing the thinking.

But that's what you want if you're the commander in chief and a decision-maker. You want people to walk in and say, I don't agree with this, or I do agree with that, and here's what my recommendation is.

"...Because then you get to tell Colin Powell "You're fired" sort of like Donald Trump."

You might remember I don't know if you know this or not but 90 percent of the businesses are sole proprietorships or subchapter S corporations.

But you might remember that you want to get rid of that tax code that defines subchapter S corporations. I wonder, wonder why.

I've been wizened to the ways of Washington.

No, Washington isn't all about lying, cheating, stealing, and fucking over America in every possible way you can. For future reference wizened isn't a word.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Thinking it all through

I'm currently coming up with thoughts about the election. I voted for the person who lost but that is no surprise to anyone. This year was probably my final voting in Kansas. I'm not going to do the absentee voting any longer, because I will domicile myself after graduation this year. Nader received my vote for president, so everyone knew that I was giving my vote to an idea. However, it is true that I'm disappointed with the outcome of the Presidential election. My hope is that I can articulate some of those thoughts before too long, but I'm still thinking through things.

I will say that it was difficult to step into the halls of one of the most conservative schools in the country. Part of my concern, before going to school, was whether or not I could respect acquaintances any longer. It didn't take long before I decided that most of them are voting for Bush because they think it's best for the country. It isn't an evil vote; it is a deeply flawed vote, in my opinion.

What I was welcomed with at school was person after person who wanted to do nothing more than gloat. My attempt at respect for these particular people went out the door when it was made clear that they wanted to rub yesterday's results in the faces of those who have different opinions. It seems to me that Americans should act with dignity and respect rather than flaunt vile pettiness. When our country is this divided, when emotions are this vaulted, it is the time to be satisfied with your victory yet understanding that we are one country that needs to heal the wounds caused by this division. Gloating is not the way to help build America back into the united country we have to reestablish.

[Updated to clear up some awkward sentences. Blogger has been difficult to use, so I was just happy to be able to update.]


The play has sold out every night thus far. They didn't show it tonight because I'm certain it wouldn't have sold many tickets at all. This is by far the largest response to one of my plays in a single location. I still haven't read any full reviews, but Maggie read me a few quotes earlier this evening to cheer me up. It's exciting to know that on some level New Mexico is supporting the right thing.

This leads me to my second point, which echoes Professor Leiter, in that I can't figure out this country. I love America with all my heart but this is deeply, deeply troubling. Not everyone will agree with that, but I can help to feel it. This isn't the America that makes me proud of my country. If Bush wins, which he very well could, then the Democrats won't have Nader to blame the loss on. We will have to accept the fact that there is something very wrong.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

If you are

If it's November 2nd and you're an American old enough to vote...go and do it.
Here is my song:

Stupid or smart
fat or skinny
going to the store
or just sitting pretty

time to vote. time to vote.

tall or short
ugly or pretty
Running in circles
or spitting on sidewalks

time to vote. time to vote

delaware or california
eating or puking
fan of rem
or prefering smashing pumpkins

time to vote. time to vote

red or blue
union or southern
fighting with your mother
or talking to your sweetie

time to vote. time to vote.

happy or sad
wet or dry
having sex on sundays
or abstinent at church

time to vote. time to vote.

funny or boring
long or short
watching tv on mute
while your mom is in court

time to vote. time to vote.

crying or laughing
employed or broke
you went to the corner store
and found mold in your toes

time to vote. time to vote.
why the fuck are you reading this
it's time to vote.

Monday, November 01, 2004

With tomorrow approaching...two thoughts and song lyrics

I'm excited about tomorrow for two reasons:

1. The NBA regular seasons starts.
2. The election nonsense will finally be laid to rest. It will probably kick and scream for a few days after, but the brute of the annoyance will be over.

Tom Waits lyrics seem to be rather appropriate for an occasion like tomorrow.

I'd sell your heart to the junkman baby
For a buck, for a buck
If you're looking for someone
to pull you out of that ditch
You're out of luck, you're out of luck

The ship is sinking
The ship is sinking
The ship is sinking
There's leak, there's a leak,
in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who ore the ones that we kept in charge
Killers, thieves, and lawyers

God's Away, God's away
God's away on Business. Business. God's Away,
God's Away God's Away on Business. Business.

Digging up the dead with
a shovel and a pick
It's a job, it's a job
Bloody moon rising with
a plague and a flood
Join the mob, join the mob
It's all over. It's all over, It's all over
There's a leak, there's a leak,
in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves, and lawyers
God's away. God's away, God's away
On Business. Business.
God's away, God's away. God's away
On Business.

Goddamn there's always such
a big temptation
To be good, To be good
There's always free cheddar in
a mousetrap, baby
It's a deal, it's a deal
God's away, God's away, God's away
On Business. Business.
I narrow my eyes like a coin slot baby,
Let her ring, let her ring
God's Away, God's Away
God's Away on Business.
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