« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »

May 27, 2005

It's too late

In working for a plaintiffs' firm for over a year now and taking a lot of inquiries I've noticed something that bothers me. It amazes how many people who have suffered real, significant damage, people who have had a tremendous change in their life because of their injuries, wait until the statute of limitations has passed to make the call.

I hear people say things like "Awww, I shouldn't really be calling," or "I'm not just looking for easy money," as qualification. These are usually the people that truly do need a lawyer.

I'm not a lawyer yet so I'm not allowed to tell them they're screwed. I pass them along to one of the lawyers in the office who gets to deliver the bad news. On the other hand, the people who have no case will usually call within a week of the so-called incident.

Why is this? Is it because of all the rhetoric about frivolous law suits? If you sue a doctor, insurance company, manufacturer or employer the president, the Chamber of Commerce and your congressman tell you you're evil and a leech on society.

It would be interesting to see a study done on how many people wind up deeply in debt, permanently handicapped and/or unemployed because they felt they were doing their civic duty in helping make sure malpractice insurance premiums don't rise and stock prices don't drop.

This is all anecdotal of course, but it is a pattern I've seen in one busy plaintiffs' firm.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:01 AM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2005

High Cat Blogging

taos.jpg


My parents have lots of catnip growing on their property. Taos likes to roll around in it whenever we score some.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:59 PM

May 23, 2005

Cat Blogging

mog.jpg

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:12 PM | Comments (5)

May 22, 2005

I passed Civil Rights Litigation!!!

I never thought I'd fail it but I was so pessimistic about school in general this past semester that I felt like I'd fail every class. Civ Rights Lit sounds like a straight forward topic but it isn't, especially with Prof. Civ Rights Lit.

Ironically, THE big case I'm working on this summer at work is a §§ 1983 & 1985 case so it's a good thing I passed.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:36 AM

May 20, 2005

Thoughts on ROTS

I don't feel like writing a properly structured review so I'm going to LK this one.

Ian McDiarmid's performance as the Emperor...Definitely has a place among the scariest movie villians now...How or why does Artoo lose his ninja skills sometime between Ep. III and Ep. IV?...Tarzan yell by wookies was not funny the first time in Ep. V...Why did Anakin believe Palpatine could/would save Padme? He was the freakin' Sith Lord after all...The scene in which the jedi get exterminated was pretty powerful, kinda like the clean up from the Lufthansa heist in Goodfellas...Too much Yoda..."Little green friend."...What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs floating in lava?...Not enough screen time for the young Grand Moff Tarkin...Maybe one or two too many lightsaber battles...Romantic dialogue bad but not as bad as the rough sand business from Ep. II...DEVELOPING...more when I think of it.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:32 PM

A Cautionary Tale

Mixing your pleasure with your grocery shopping? Not always such a good idea. The time saved might not be worth the embarrassment.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 09:11 AM

May 19, 2005

Hmmm...

I logged on here with the intention of posting something law-related. Now I can't remember what it was. Instead I'll just mention that I'm getting ready to go see ROTS and I might have something to say about it later.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 07:31 PM

May 18, 2005

This quiz was way too long, even longer than the feeling of sitting through Episode I

Confused, I am. I'm most like Anakin but least like Vader. There must still be hope for me.

You scored as Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin Skywalker

64%

General Grievous

56%

Yoda

56%

C-3PO

53%

Obi Wan Kenobi

53%

Chewbacca

50%

Emperor Palpatine

47%

Mace Windu

47%

Clone Trooper

44%

R2-D2

44%

Padme Amidala

44%

Darth Vader

39%

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:25 PM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2005

Chili Five Ways

[1]Chili with [2]beans, served over [3]spaghetti and topped with [4]onions and [5]shredded cheese. That's what we had for dinner tonight.

Oh, and corn.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)

As E. Spat says, "I'm shocked."



You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.

Existentialist

94%

Modernist

75%

Materialist

75%

Postmodernist

69%

Cultural Creative

69%

Idealist

50%

Fundamentalist

38%

Romanticist

19%

What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
created with QuizFarm.com

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:10 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2005

Din

Half a BBQ brisket sandwich and fries from Buster's BBQ/Ramo's Pizza, the joint down the hill from our place. The brisket is usually incredible but there was something wrong with it tonight. The meat wasn't thinly sliced but was served on the bun in big chunks and it didn't seem like it had been allowed to slow cook long enough. The flavor wasn't there and it wasn't melt-in-your-mouth tender like it usually is. I hope this is only a one-time screw up and not the reflection of some change in kitchen policy.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:16 PM

One for the locals

Did you all know C. Mange has a blog?

Did you also think this post was way TMI?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:02 PM | Comments (1)

Skills

Napoleon
You are Napoleon Dyanamite and a buttload of gangs
are trying to recruit you.


Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:52 AM

Watch your back, Judge B.

I'm sure by morning the wingnuts will be whipped into a frothy and frenetic frenzy by the ruling in D.Neb. that struck down Nebraska's marriage amendment. Professor Volokh has the analysis. I might disagree with some of it but I don't disagree with his post on the Huffington Post that says this is bad for same-sex marriage supporters.

The main thrust of the court's opinion is based on Romer v. Evans the US Supreme Court opinion striking down Colorado's law which prohibited all legislative, executive, or judicial action at any level of state or local government designed to protect homosexual persons. The court also ruled against the Amendment on 1st amendment grounds but I agree with Prof. Volokh that those are reaching quite a bit.

The Romer equal protection argument, however, is legit to me. What is the legitimate government interest in having a marriage amendment? The State of Nebraska argued that it's interests were to preserve marriage as the union between a man and a woman, to promote procreation and family life, and to ensure that Nebraskans are not forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

First, what is the interest in preserving marriage as the union between a man and a woman? I can't think of one unless I quote the Old Testament but then you'd just say, "Hey, but you wore a silk tie with your cotton suit and you ate shrimp when you were wearing it," and there'd go that argument. Would the state be any different if gays married?

Second, how does prohibiting same-sex marriage promote procreation? Will the gays automatically start breeding if they can't get married? The gays and lesbians I know have no interest in breeding with the opposite sex. They're homosexual! Plus, there are already way more children than the government can take care of. Is breeding a legitimate government interest in the 21st century?

Finally, if there is no legitimate state interest in the first two, there can't be a legitimate state interest in the third point, not recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

Despite my agreeing with the decision, I think it's a bad one at this point. The wingnuts are already fired up about the "out of control, activist" federal judiciary. This only puts coals on the fire.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:14 AM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2005

Dinner Tonight

Chuck arm roast braised in beer

Steamed asparagus with a white wine mustard sauce

Sauteed turnip greens

Posted by Half-Cocked at 07:20 PM

May 11, 2005

Goodbye Pensions

One thing that is blogworthy, that has me seething, is the ruling today by the federal bankruptcy court that allows United Airlines to dump the pension plans they were obligated to pay to the tune of $645 million per year.

This is bullshit for a couple of reasons. First, Congress just rammed through a bankruptcy bill that makes it incredibly difficult for average citizens to declare bankruptcy. Instead of being able to wipe their debts clean, consumers now have to enter into repayment agreements with their creditors. Dick Durbin introduced an amendment to the bill that would make what UAL just got away with impossible but it was voted down. What this means is that corporations get government bailouts for a portion of their debts when they go into bankruptcy.

Did I mention government bailouts? The UAL pensions are now going to be covered, up to $45,000/yr (this means retired pilots are going to be losing a big chunk of money), by the taxpayer funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the pension version of the FDIC. So now it's up the taxpayers to bail out UAL. In the meantime, some of UAL's pensioners, taxpayers all, may be forced into bankruptcy themselves due to the loss of a good portion of their pensions. In essence, they'll be funding their own pensions. Oh, the irony.

What about UAL's competitors who are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy? UAL just shed $645 million in costs. It makes sense for Delta, Northwest and Continental to go into bankruptcy if they can just disappear up to a billion dollars of pension payments every year. It's not just the airlines, though. GM and Ford are hurting bad and they pay out a lot in retirement pensions and I imagine their pension obligations dwarf UAL's.

What about the corporation's fiduciary duty? Many pension funds are underfunded because companies put extra money into short-term investments to increase stock value which increased the bonuses paid to top executives. It's sick and wrong and I hope Congress got the wakeup call that it ignored when Durbin tried to stop this last month. If not, the savings and loan bailout could look puny in comparison.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:35 PM | Comments (2)

Blog-bivalence

I'm not finding much to be blogworthy right now, or maybe I'm just too distracted by other things, like the lack of studying, to take the time to post.

So anyway, here's what I made for dinner tonight:

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

What will it take?

I've not been keeping up with the Coalition for Darfur posts very well lately but here is this week's post which recognizes how little is being done and how far away any meaningful solution to the genocide is.

There's also an interesting BBC article about how Doctors without Borders received four times the money they needed for tsunami relief and are now trying to either return the leftover money or get permission from donors to divert the money to Darfur.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:19 PM

May 08, 2005

Studying by Television

I'm a bit of a latecomer to the brilliance of the Gilmore Girls so I haven't seen season 3 yet. Season 3 gave Will Baude found a way to incorporate the Gilmore Girls into his studying.

I think Property, along with Crim Pro and Civil Rights, are the easiest classes to study for by watching TV. Last year I posted about the adverse possession issues in Deadwood (the post is somewhere on the old blogspot blog and I'm not going to look for it). This year, although I didn't post about it, I enjoyed picking out the different Constitutional violations in each episode of 24. You can count on Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendment violations in a majority of the episodes.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:00 AM | Comments (1)

May 06, 2005

Kerry voters excommunicated in Wingnuttia

A Baptist church in North Carolina has excommunicated 9 members for voting for Kerry. 40 other members left the church in protest.

I guess the minister isn't too fond of being tax exempt...well not that anything will come of it.

News video from the local TV station at the bottom of this DKos diary.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2005

Civilization

There are not many things more relaxing than an evening of watching the election returns as they come in from the UK. It's all so civilized and proper and orderly.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:36 PM | Comments (3)

May 03, 2005

God Save the Queen!

Your Taste in Music:

Punk: Highest Influence
80's Alternative: High Influence
90's Alternative: High Influence
Gangsta Rap: High Influence
Heavy Metal: High Influence
Progressive Rock: High Influence
90's Hip Hop: Medium Influence
90's R&B: Medium Influence
Adult Alternative: Medium Influence
Alternative Rock: Medium Influence
Old School Hip Hop: Medium Influence
R&B: Medium Influence
Ska: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
80's Rock: Low Influence
Classic Rock: Low Influence
Dance: Low Influence
Hair Bands: Low Influence


How's Your Taste in Music?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:27 PM | Comments (6)

Stuck

Ambimb went and hit me with something called a stick but it looks to me like one of those, how you say, memes. I promised I'd do it once I turned in the pretrial lit exam, which I did this morning so:

The Stick:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

It's been about 20 years since I read that book so I can't remember exactly why books were being burnt. If I was a book in Alabama trying to avoid the fate of my bound brethren I'd be any book that doesn't directly or indirectly, sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state of Alabama.

Have you ever had a crush on a fiction character?

Lots of times. Three that come to mind (not counting Lorelai and Rory Gilmore) are Fermina Daza, Ursula and Joelle van Dyne.

The last book you bought is:

The Narrows by Michael Connelly.

The last book you read is:

Sadly, Pretrial which I read yesterday into early this morning as I worked on my take home exam.

What are you currently reading?

Hidden Prey, by John Sanford. My current crime fiction choice.

Blood, Tears and Folly, Len Deighton's objective look at all the mistakes made by both sides in World War II.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Still.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Infinite Jest, my favorite book. Plus, I can refer to it if I feel like playing a game of Eschaton.

The Master & Margarita, but in the original Russian and accompanied by a good Russian-English dictionary.

Hammer of the Gods, the best rock and roll biography ever.

SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea. Is that cheating?

The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible.

Who are you going to pass this stick to, and why?

I confess to a horrible lack of knowledge of goin's-on in the blog world over the past month so I'm not going to stick anyone for fear that they've already been stuck and I just missed it. Instead, I'm taking the first 3 volunteers.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

May 02, 2005

One more

Took the horrific Civil Rights Litigation exam this morning. I feel it fundamentally changed me as a person. From now on when I see "1983" in any context I'll probably vomit (I'm wiping off my monitor now) a la Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

Now I just gotta finish up this pretrial litigation take home test before 9:50 tomorrow morning and I'll be a 3L (assuming I passed Civil Rights Litigation).

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:11 PM