August 31, 2005
A tasty mix of water, flour, butter, leavening and flavorings
In taking notes referring to the Nebraska Supreme Court I found myself trying to think of a cool sounding acronym like SCOTUS. Well, it was obvious once I thought about it.
SCONE - Supreme Court Of NE
August 30, 2005
I'm sickened and pissed off
I haven't posted for a few days because I'm still getting into 3L mode and there was weather porn on the TV from Saturday night until now.
I don't have any particular connections to New Orleans. An old roommate of mine who went to law school at LSU was living in Mandeville the last time I talked to him about 10 years ago. Bekah, whose blog is still up after all these months, was going to Tulane but I'm sure she's out of harm's way.
Now, this is where I politicize a horrible event. First, when it was a given that New Orleans and the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts were going to be devastated where was the leader of our country? On Sunday he was still on vacation. Even on Monday while the storm was hitting, our dear leader was on a golf outing. "Watch this drive."
Did he fly to Louisiana or Mississippi to survey the damage or do anything else a real leader would do? NO. After the lesson of The Pet Goat he sure was quick to stand on a pile of rubble and corpses in NYC about 4 years ago though. There wasn't a peep from our dear leader until Tuesday when he dedicated one minute and 27 seconds to Katrina's damage while he was in San Diego trying to compare himself to FDR and the Iraq War to WWII.
What a sick son of a bitch! He couldn't go off his own propaganda script long enough to truly acknowledge what was happpening. Instead he just gave out some 800 numbers and tore into his standard stump speech about how the Shiites are Ben Franklin, the Kurds are Thomas Jefferson and the Sunnis are Alexander Hamilton. Fuck that!
Has anyone wondered where the Louisiana National Guard is? All but 3,000 of those soldiers are in Iraq and the 3,000 here aren't fully equipped because all the spare trucks, etc., are in fucking Iraq. A real leader wouldn't have invaded a foreign country based on lies. Isn't the national guard supposed to guard the nation?
It gets better. The Army Corps of Engineers were working on fixing the dikes around New Orleans because they'd been sinking for years. Where did the money go? Homeland Security and Iraq. Millions of dollars that would have gone to saving a historic city instead went to destroying other historic cities. The link above is to a long story that contains a multitude of links to various stories from Louisiana newspapers over the past few years linking the lack of money for levees and pumps to the Iraq ware and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Speaking of tax cuts for the wealthy, did you notice the poverty rate has increased for the fourth straight year?
Oh, and go looters! Racism is alive and well in the press. Check out these two photos and their captions.
August 26, 2005
I have a feeling I'll be posting about this a lot over the next few months. I think Conflicts of Law is a fascinating subject. There are at least four different methods by which state courts arrive at the answer of which state's laws to apply to an inter-jurisdictional dispute and they are all vague, confusing and clearly not up to the task. My first question, after three days of Conflicts is this:
Why hasn't Congress invoked the commerce power and drafted a uniform set of conflicts statutes? Is it because it's too much of a mess? It certainly is and would take a group of hard-working staffers a long time to draft such legislation. Is it because Congress is worried about states' rights? That hasn't stopped them before, no matter the result.
It has to have been considered at some point.
Friday Random Play
with no additional commentary or ratings but extended to 20 songs. Add your own commentary if you want.
- Joy Division - Exercise One
- Billy Idol - Rebel Yell (accoustic)
- The Twilight Singers - Strange Fruit
- Autour de Lucie - Ce Que L'On Tait
- Wu-Tang Clan - Babies
- Seaweed - She Cracked
- Billie Holiday - all of me
- Sex Pistols - Problems
- Tom Waits - Pasties and a G-string
- Kanye West - Last Call
- Bad Religion - Part III
- Mother Love Bone - Mindshaker Meltdown
- The Hives - Dead Quote Olympics
- Afghan Whigs - This is my Confession
- Joy Division - I Remember Nothing
- R.E.M. - The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight
- Simple Minds - The American
- The Soft Boys - Vegetable Man
- The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Seer
- Queensryche - Electric Requiem
I do want to highlight an album I've been listening to quite a bit lately, Novelle Vague's self-titled album featuring covers of 80's punk, goth and new wave tunes. The kicker is Nouvelle Vague is a collection of Brazilian and French chanteuses singing these songs over a Bossa Nova beat a la Astrud Gilberto.
Some of it works and some of it doesn't. The upbeat songs suffer because the cool jazz Bossa Nova sound of Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos-Jobim, and Stan Getz isn't particular suited to punk rock. Their cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is terrific, as is "Just Can't Get Enough", "(This is not a) Love Song" and "Teenage Kicks" (by my favorite underappreciated 70's Brit punk act, The Undertones). "Guns of Brixton", "Melt with You" and "Making Plans for Nigel" don't work so well. The highlight of the album, ironically, is a cover of the Dead Kennedy's "Too Drunk to Fuck." It swings well, even at the higher tempo and the French vocalist's giggles as she belts out the chorus are almost too precious.
35 weeks to go
That's, like, 175 days of classes, 1395 hours of classes. That's not even a year. It's so close.
My last 3 days of classes are notable for a couple of reasons. I have Conflicts, Real Estate Transactions and Legal Profession and they are all taught by women. That's 3 female professors (Prof Conflicts is brand new and Prof Real Estate is in her second year here) in one semester. The only other female professor I had during the last two years was Prof Prof who also taught me Torts. It seems as the old men retire the law college is looking for more young women (Prof Conflicts is a year older than me). Sounds like a good plan to me.
Conflicts is turning out to be fun. There are only 16 people in the class and the overt gunnery of the last couple of years seems to have mostly died out. Instead we have a small group of people interested in the subject matter who want to talk about it and a professor who encourages discussion and debate. After 3 class periods we're already a day behind on the syllabus.
Legal Profession is turning out the same way although there are 56 students. Instead of a just a MPRE-prep learn-the-rules type class, it's more of an ethical philosophy class. Yes, we read the rules and talk about them, but we explore the reasons why the rules are as they are. Even though it's a 75-minute class from 3:10 to 4:25 (naptime) it flies by. On a related note, Nebraska, on 9/1/05, finally adopts the ABA Model Rules of Prof. Conduct and lets go of the ABA Model Code of Prof. Responsibility so we're having a party on that day. I get the feeling Prof Prof was instrumental in this process.
Real Estate Transactions is dense, and there are 60+ students which shocked Prof RE (She came from the University of Tennessee. I wonder if she knows Prof. Heh, Indeedy?). I took it because a realtor friend of mine told me 33% of Lincoln's real estate market is for sale by owner and there is a shortage of lawyers to serve that market. All my practice options are still open. The secondary advantage of this class is it is a good review of contract law. I think of it as a pre-bar review review.
So far, morale is high.
August 23, 2005
I haven't felt as positive about school since the first day of classes two years ago. The Legislation Seminar is going to be fun. The professor has a very dry sense of humor. The choice of paper topics is almost too broad. I have about a million things tumbling around my skull. Plus, we get to spend a Monday afternoon with the great Ernie Chambers.
International Law looks to be fun. I can't believe I almost didn't take this class. Today the professor won me over by making snide remarks alongside every point he made about the presidential foreign affairs power.
August 19, 2005
There are 42 U.S. gallons in a barrel of crude oil which comes to 336 pints. That makes a pint of oil today worth roughly $.19.
I paid $2.59 yesterday per gallon of gas yesterday or $.32/pint of which 25% was various taxes. Not bad really considering what my car could run on.
milk = $ .47/pint Coca-Cola = $ .87/pint Campbell's bean w/bacon soup = $ 1.65/pint Newcastle brown ale = $ 2.25/pint Roberts sweet cream butter = $ 2.79/pint USDA Prime bone- less ribeye steak= $ 10.96/pint human blood = $ 90-259.00/pint
The real point is, the oil industry still thinks we're getting a bargain as they report record profits. This interview with Matthew Simmons, the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in energy markets, is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, he pushes the point that even at $120/barrel oil will still be ridiculously cheap and like many other peak oil alarmists, he thinks $5-10/gallon of oil is a fair price. Second, and more importantly, he talks about ways we will be able to deal with gas prices through the roof.
It will become cheaper for manufacturers to go back to how things used to be done. All those empty factories here will be cheaper to operate, even at higher wage levels, because of the cost of transportation. Just-in-time manufacturing will become a thing of the past. Use rail and rivers for transportation of goods, and finally, help India and China avoid the developmental pitfalls we created during our economic expansion.
Gas is so cheap at $.32/pint. Enjoy it while you can.
. Based on the last half-gallon price I observed at the local grocery.
. Based on the last observed price of a 20 oz. bottle.
. Grocery store price. Convenience store price is likely higher.
. Last price I paid although it fluctuates wildly depending on supply.
. Last I checked. I haven't actually been able to afford one for a long time.
. It's difficult to pin this down to a reasonable range because the public (and by public I mean Internets) sources for this information are scarce, outdated and mostly anecdotal.
Postalanche starts now
First an apology to Janine for the tardiness of the mixtape I owe her. It will be in the mail by Monday morning, I swear. It looks like CM is already starting round two of the great blogger mixtape exchange.
Secondly, if you're a fan of Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Negro League baseball, you might be interested in Wallace "Suitcase" Jefferson and the history of Black NASA.
August 16, 2005
That long absent law-related post
Omaha.com recently started requiring registration. Bug Me Not has usernames/passwords and really, you should already have the bugmenot plugin for your browser so you can just right-click in any user/pass field and have the data filled automatically.
Omaha criminal defense lawyer J. William Gallup has filed an appeal including a poem criticizing the judge who sentenced his client.
In a heated hearing of his appeal last month, Gallup argued that White should have been removed from the bench after a 2000 case in which she urged a prosecutor to appeal a district judge's overturning of her sentence of a domestic abuser. When the prosecutor wouldn't appeal, White asked a district judge to appoint a special prosecutor to do so.
The Nebraska Supreme Court suspended White for four months, noting that the judicial code of conduct prohibits judges from trying to orchestrate actions in a case outside of court.
Gallup contends that White has learned nothing from that suspension.
"She's a zealot when it comes to these domestic violence cases," he said. "She's completely biased."
But prosecutor Aimee Cizek, a deputy Douglas County attorney, suggested that Gallup is seizing on White's past to try to create appellate issues for Jewell - who she said is the "poster boy of domestic violence" and was "clearly guilty."
The full text of the poem is here.
How can a judge, supposed to be fair,
Tell the complainant to come sit in a chair,
Next to the judge and a guard with a gun
Before the trial has even begun.
With the presumption of innocence gone before trial,
A conviction was rendered in a very short while.
While today is concerned with fairness in bond,
It is clear the Judge White was not living on Walden Pond.
Her bond was outrageous and set without care.
It just wasn't right and it certainly wasn't fair.
I admire J. William's chutzpah but I know quite a few lawyers who could pen better verse.
Set your DVRs, Tivos and VCRs
Yes, it's the premiere we here in "The Heartland" have all been waiting for, Tommy Lee goes to College. As I noted way back last October Tommy Lee was in town and going to college for a few weeks. The show hadn't been picked up by networks then but it was a no-brainer that someone would grab it for late summer programming.
Local talk radio has been buzzing for a few days. I heard a really long interview with Matt, the roommate, tonight on the way home from work. He sounded like a guy who's going to wind up in law school with his degree in Poli Sci with a philosophy minor. Most of the pub, of course, is centered around the hot tutor.
I know at least one person, Richie the librarian, who's in the show although who knows how many people I'll spot. I'm a little old to recognize people on City Campus (the law school is on East Campus with the farmers and the dentists) but if Tommy wanders around the city, maybe I'll even see myself.
August 12, 2005
Friday Random Play
- Come In Alone - My Bloody Valentine: Typically cool song from one of the best albums of the 90's.
- Billie's Blues - Billie Holiday: Billie singing the blues sounding far more upbeat than on her later work.
- Here Come Cowboys - The Psychedelic Furs: I recently rediscovered the Psych Furs and I can't get enough of Richard Butler's raspy coolness.
- Kiss Them for Me - Siouxsie and the Banshees: Was this song on a Batman soundtrack? This list is really heavy on late 80's/early 90's Brits.
- Homecomputer - Kraftwerk: Now is time when we dance.
- No Big Deal - Love & Rockets: Listened to this constantly the summer before my senior year of high school.
- Tibetan Quaaludes - Earth: I don't care so much for their later stuff because they often play more than one note unlike their awesomely droney first album.
- I Hope You Don't Mind - The Outlaws: Off their live album with the awesome version of "Green Grass and High Tides" at the end.
- Evergreen - The Brian Jonestown Massacre: A friend of mine is absolutely obsessed with these guys and I'm starting to understand why.
- Boogie Stop Shuffle - Charles Mingus: My second favorite song off "Ah Um" after "Better git it in your Soul."
August 11, 2005
Getting out of the meth-precursor business
September 1st the new Nebraska law regulating sales of pseudoephedrine goes into effect. I'm not going to look it up right now but the gist is that any OTC drugs containing pseudoephedrine have to be either kept behind the counter or in a locked case. Also, the quantities a person can buy are limited.
The Osco across the street has three grocery carts near the entrance of the store full of all their house brand decongestants. I don't know if Osco is going to stop making the stuff or not. They might just be changing their packaging but the prices are such that it looks to me like they just don't want to mess with it anymore.
They limit you to two items per transaction so I've been visiting everyday to stock up. Their store brand Claritin-D® 24 hour tablets are $1.99 for 10. That's a freaking steal. Also, the store brand Nyquil® is $1.50 per bottle. I'm going to be set on allergy and cold meds for quite awhile.
Did it matter?
The new weekly Coalition for Darfur post is up.
Eugene Oregon asks how many times it will take an international official saying there's genocide occurring before those same international officials fulfill their responsibilities under the UN Charter. Too many, it looks like.
August 09, 2005
Sympathy for the Devil
I gotta admit, I never expected something like this from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company as they near retirement age but at least one of the songs on their new album is more explicitly political than anything System of a Down could even muster.
According to reports the new song "Sweet Neocon" on the Stones' new album contains the lyrics:
You call yourself a Christian,
I call you a hypocrite,
You call yourself a patriot,
well I think you're full of shit
Said Keith, from his coffin or whatever it is he lives in when he's not playing guitar: "It's not really metaphorical."
One more day
Tomorrow is the last day of Advanced Torts. My group or "firm" as law professors like to call groups in law school gave our 45 minute presentation on "defensive medicine" today. I turned in the paper a week ago, so tomorrow is just a matter of running out the clock.
Putting the presentation together was a major ordeal and it was only 25% of the grade. People, myself included, just don't like to get together outside of class during the summer. I think I put in more work on my 7 minute portion of the group project than I did on my 2,499 word, 92 footnote paper. I would have gladly written a 5000 page paper with 200 footnotes if I could have skipped the presentation.
Good and bad news. After tomorrow there are only 10 days until the fall, and second to last, semester starts.
August 07, 2005
The 3rd Annual Bloody Mary Brunch
For the last three years Sarah and I have hosted a Bloody Mary brunch on the first Sunday of August. We provide the vodka and fixins and OJ and cheap sparkling wine for anyone who doesn't like Bloody Marys. Everyone else brings some sort of brunchy foot. Here's the Bloody Mary spread.
Here are a couple of quiches Julie made.
It was kind of weird having this without Jack Jackson and Julee in town but I'm sure they were having fun in Chicago and upstate New York respectively.
August 05, 2005
Friday Random Play
As I sit here working on my portion of the Advanced Torts group presentation (group presentations blow) here are the first 10 songs I heard.
- Tom Waits - In The Colosseum: Not one of my favorites but it's Tom Waits so it's good for something.
- Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. II: The funked out electronic instrumental that follows one of the Flaming Lips prettier songs.
- Pretty Green - The Jam: It's hard to find a bad song by The Jam although I don't care for Paul Weller's later solo stuff.
- Suicidal Tendencies - Master of No Mercy: I still love listening to ST. This is off "Feel Like Shit, De ja vu/Controlled by Hatred," the best angry young punk breakup record ever.
- Iceblink Luck - Cocteau Twins: I like the music alright but I never could get into the ethereal qualities of the Twins' vocals.
- Darkness of Christ - Slayer: I love Slayer but I've never heard this until now. It's off one of their later albums, "God Hates Us All," and isn't that great. It's no "Seasons in the Abyss" or "South of Heaven," that's for sure.
- Wish You Were Here - Ryan Adams: Off his underappreciated rock album from a couple years ago. It woulda been better if it was a Pink Floyd cover.
- Ready or Not - Sarah Cracknell: The solo album from the voice of St. Etienne. It's kind of disconcerting to hear her singing over string arrangements instead of warm and funky dance beats.
- Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam - The Vaselines: The Vaselines were one of Curt Cobain's greatest inspirations. I think Nirvana covered at least three of their songs; this one, "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun."
- Where in the Hell Did You Go with My Toothbrush - Reverend Horton Heat: I think he's playing here in Lincoln this week sometime. Hilarious sendup of the traditional "you left me and took my dog, too" country song.
August 04, 2005
Earlier tonight Sarah and I were downtown sitting in the sidewalk area of Yia Yia's Pizza. I was eating a decidedly non-pizza pizza, the Francais which is topped with olive oil, bleu cheese and walnuts, and it's freaking delicious. Yia Yia's is right on O Street (the straightest, longest main street in the world according to the BBC), or Zero Street as Allen Ginsburg famously called it in the "Wichita Vortex Sutra."
Thursday nights, even in the summer, are pretty notorious bar nights. The O St. bar area, about six blocks square, is where most of the bar goers wind up. It's three blocks from the university campus and about 6 from the football stadium. Imagine O St. late on a Saturday night in October after a football game. Imagine being able to stand it.
Anyway, we're sitting there eating pizza and drinking our St. Peter's Cream Stout when the Girls Gone Wild bus suddenly pulls in next door in front of Mickey's (a place I once spent 5 minutes in on a Saturday night and almost killed myself). It was pretty early but Dudes suddenly started gathering in front of Mickey's as the GGW staffers began covering the windows of the bus.
I didn't have the patience to wait for drunk girls to show up and venture onto the bus (Advanced Torts presentation is due soon). When I left probably 30 Dudes had wandered into the bar but not one young wild college lady. It looked like a big sausage-fest to me. It certainly was not the clam-dig you'd expect from the TV commercials. Maybe things picked up after I left.
Has anyone else been watching Over There(annoying Flash-only site warning)? Over There is the new Steven Bochco series about a squad of soldiers in Iraq. It's on FX for a couple of reasons.
First, it's pretty graphic. The first episode showed an RPG vaporizing a guy's torso while his legs ran for another three or four steps and one of the main character's right leg getting blown off by an IED. Secondly, the language is fairly salty and realistic. The main reason it's on FX though is because it's a little too current and a little too real.
When was the first TV show about Vietnam? I know movies started coming out in the mid to late 70's but from my memory, the first TV show about combat in Vietnam was Tour of Duty which began airing in 1987. I watched it when I was in high school just because "Paint It Black" was the theme song. China Beach (Dana Delaney!) was around the same time but was less focused on combat.
Some on the right might say the show is too liberal because it doesn't depict Halliburton employees painting walls in Iraqi schools, or the wonders of 12-hour/day electricity and almost running water but so far Over There appears pretty apolitical. It's focused on a few people in one squad and reflects how being in a place where every passing car might explode in your face turns even the most timid into someone who would rather shoot first. The second episode had the squad manning a roadblock in order to catch an insurgent leader. Innocents were killed including a young girl. Bad guys escaped, a bad guy was caught and an Arab GI from Detroit arrived which raised tensions a bit.
It's pretty pretty gut-wrenching to watch but very well done.
August 03, 2005
Yes, for only $20,000, next summer you can ride a luxurious nuclear icebreaker north to the the gaping hole in the ocean that leads to the Inner Continent.
The itinerary starts out sounding fairly normal at the beginning until Day 9 when you'll start searching " for the North Polar Opening to the Inner Continent." It gets better. "Once found, travel up Hiddekel River to City of Jehu." After that, the real fun begins: "Take a monorail ["the ring came off my pudding can"] trip to City of Eden to visit Palace of the King of the Inner World."
What they don't tell you in the itinerary is even cooler. Apparently, the Lost Tribes of Israel live in the Inner Continent and are ruled by the descendant of King David. If that wasn't enough you can probably visit the Garden of Eden. "The lost Garden of Eden – the home of our first parents, Adam and Eve – was found in Our Hollow Earth in 1830 by Olaf and Jens Jansen, the story of which you can find on my website. My estimate of it's location is 800 miles beneath Independence, Missouri, USA."
I advise the people of Independence to start digging.
It goes without saying that if I win the lottery between now and next summer I'm booking a berth on that ship.
August 01, 2005
Keep an on eye on the news tomorrow. Paul Hackett, a marine and an Iraq war vet, is running as the Democratic party candidate for the open house seat in OH-2, a notoriously Republican district in southwestern OH. As of now the polls show Hackett and the Republican candidate, Jean Schmidt, neck and neck, something unimaginable when the race started. The Republicans tried to swiftboat him as they paraded Schmidt around the district wearing pictures of dead soldiers on her chest but unlike John Kerry, Hackett actually fought back.
What difference will it make?
The obsession the Left has with Karl Rove is starting to look silly. Yes, he's an evil bastard and responsible for many of the dirtier tactics practiced by the Republicans over the past few elections and yes he's right smack-dab in the middle of the Plame leak investigation and yes, he cut his teeth way back in the 70's stealing the Young Republican election, but believe me, you don't want him fired.
George the Elder fired him 15 years ago and it didn't make one bit of difference. He came back. If he goes away now, not only is that one more albatross gone from around Bush's neck, but the only difference will be that Karl will have to move his office out of the White House.
If you believe for a second that he won't continue in the same role, only even more behind the scenes, you're crazy. Keep asking questions about him to keep him in the public eye, but enough with the "Fire Rove" silliness. You'd rather have him in the White House as a liability than out of the White House free to scuttle around in the shadows of backwater precincts in swing states like a plague-carrying rat.