Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Pot (head) calls for boycott of black kettles
Here's the article.
What got me to laugh about it was the irony... Read this and see if you see it too.
Steve Greenfield, secretary of the New Paltz Green Party, sees Bulay's radio ad as more than salesmanship, and he has threatened a boycott of the theater chain if Bulay does not "rescind the inflammatory ad and change the stated policy of barring movies based on social commentary content."
Sorry, I still find it funny... They are going to boycott the theatre as a form of (social comentary) protest of the theatre-owner's refusal to show certain films (can you say "boycott") because he himself is attempting to make a bit of social commentary.
The liberals are going to boycott the theatre because they find boycotting something based on a sense of morality to be morally repugnant and worthy of protest.
No doubt, they'll picket the theatre with big signs stating:
I, personally, find boycotting a private organization as a form of social commentary for daring to boycott other private organizations as a form of social commentary to be morally repugnant and to be opposed... therefore I am calling on all of the blogsphere to boycott the New Paltz Green Party!
Friday, December 17, 2004
... and Un-Blause!
The finals are done!
This semester the tests were odd. In Legeislation, the test was eerily simple. I think the professor wanted an easy test to grade so he wrote it so that everybody would be able to get almost all of the points. Luckily we don't have a mandatory curve, so the fact that the test was easy, shouldn't hurt the grades.
The Federal Income Tax final was also easier than I expected. The questions were simpler than the hand-out questions he gave in the class. I suppose there were a few facts he threw into the mix to provoke a visceral response instead of a reasoned analysis of the facts. I think I did well on that exam. We'll see.
The International Law final was... Hmmm... Well, I was prepared for it. I was ready for the "Identifications" (a list of 14 phrases/doctrines, cases, resolutions/conventions, or treaties of which we were supposed to provide a short description to prove that we read some of the material and or paid attention in class) portion. There were two essay questions, (each "question" was really a choice of 2 questions to choose to answer), and if you chose to do a pre-assigned take-home essay question, you would only have to pick one of the first two essay question options to do in the exam itself. The questions are as simple or difficult as you want to make them. From what I know of the professor, he wants you to make them fairly complex so that you can show off your ability to think through the implications of international law problems at some level deeper than the surface, and the fact that you, yourself, provide the complexity will show that it's not just parroting of the doctrines he discussed in class. Or, that's what I think the purpose of his test was. My hunch is that I either aced the test, magnificently, or I bombed by missing his point.
I know I passed all of the classes, the question is, beyond passing, how well did I do.
Oh well. On the menu for next semester: Sales & Leases, Trusts & Estates, and Employment Law. (Oh, yeah, I almost forgot... Moot Court.)
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Big news in AIDS research
Just so that you know, I do consider my self fairly savvy about many technical areas, though I wouldn't go so far as to think of myself as an expert in any of them. Medical things are no exception. I've learned far more about medicine that I ever wanted to know through personal experience, but I don't have much more than a gut-level feel for good medical science.
Nevertheless, the biological mechanisms mentioned in this article as the means by which the medicine seems to beat HIV are consistent with what I've learned about the disease over the years. I think this breakthrough could be the real thing, or at least a major step in the process of treating or curing AIDS.
Personally, I think that cancer research is more valuable to the world, but I certainly don' t begrudge serious advances in treatment for AIDS, especially when it looks like a potential cure.
As an aside, since AIDS is a virus, and the Cold is caused by a virus, this AIDS research might actually lead to a cure for the common cold, eventually.
Hat-tip to Drudge.
I'm still on blause, but I thought I would let y'all know (as if you cared) that I'm making progress. It's wonderful how things that are scheduled do happen, and THAT's the definition of progress (in this context).
The only exam left is my Imaginary Law, er, International Law final. It's good to be almost done. It will be better to be done. It will be great to be (a) graduated, (b) admitted to the bar, and (c) employed at an obscene salary, but I'll take "good" for now.
One of my readers, and I'm not going to mention any names, decided to "harsh my buzz" as I wistfully fantasized about automotive bliss. I still want that CTS-V, but I'm toying with the idea of taking a "cheap" path towards driving Nirvanah in the near-term (within the next 5 years). I think I might buy an older Nissan 240SX and then at a later date goose it's performance up to around 250~350 Bhp. They handle really well, and quality used 240SXs can be found for very little. I think I could get 200 HP without doing anything radical, but I might cut to the chase and drop a V6 or small V8 under the hood. All in all, I think I could have a car that would fulfill the yearning deep inside me to experience driving, the way God intended, for around $10K.
Friday, December 10, 2004
What kind are you?
As for my soul...
You Are an Old Soul
You are an experience soul who appreciates tradition. Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone. Down to earth, you are sensible and impatient. A creature of habit, it takes you a while to warm up to new people.
You hate injustice, and you're very protective of family and friends. A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others. Extremely independent you don't mind living or being alone. But when you find love, you tend to want marriage right away.
Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul and
As for my way of thinking...
Your Dominant Intelligence is Logical-Mathematical
You are great at finding patterns and relationships between things. Always curious about how things work, you love to set up experiments. You need for the world to make sense - and are good at making sense of it.
You have a head for numbers and math ... and you can solve almost any logic puzzle.
You would make a great scientist, engineer, computer programmer, researcher, accountant, or mathematician.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Political Variations of Seasonal Songs
This morning, on the radio, I heard that Chip Franklin is going to be having a contest for political lyrics for Jingle Bells. I was inspired and came up with two sets of lyrics which I sent in. Here they are:
First for those of you in or near Baltimore, you should appreciate this classic-to-be -
Be afraid.Here's one for the whole nation...
O'Malley'll kick your tail!
Ehrlich sneaks in and starts school fires,
And that's why students fail.
The thugs are NOT in jail!
O'Malley whined when Rob and Chip opined,
And on them threatened to wail.
Bush is in.Now, I would love to hear read what you can come up with. Feel free to pick any seasonal song that you like, and go for it!
Bush is in.
McAuliffe earned his pay.
Without his help Bush had no hope,
But Terry saved the day!
Bush is in.
Bush is in.
The lefties cringe in fear.
The nation's made a hard-right turn,
At least Canada's has good beer.
Monday, December 06, 2004
I am using it to indicate that for the next two weeks, I'm on "Blog-Pause." Hence, "Blause."
It probably won't be an absolute blause, but I won't dedicate much time to it. I've got (interim) finals coming up over the next couple of weeks, and I've got to keep focused on my subjects until I'm done.
After this semester's over, I'll have just two (or maybe two and a Summer) semesters to go. It's still so far away, but my mind is already playing tricks on me... Sometimes I think I can almost smell the cash. ;-)
Anyway, I just wanted to put you on notice not to expect to much from this blog over the next couple of weeks. (OK, I can predict what you're going to put in the comments... Regardless of what your expectations of quality from this blog may be, don't expect too many posts for the time being.)
See you on the other side of Inernational Law!
That was Dumb; this is Dumber...
I know elementary school kids who could think up better legal arguments than this. Professor Warnken would chastise the Sun's attorney's for not applying the "ACR" method that he teaches for dealing with "Constitutional Torts." (A = Applicability; C = Compliance; R = Remedy)
Applicability: Marginal, at best. For a "Freedom of the Press" issue, you've got to have identify whether the alleged perpetrator is a "government actor." That's the Governor [check]. Next, you have to identify if the alleged "victim" is a member of the press. Here, that's the Baltimore Sun [check], and David Nitkin [???], and Michael Olesker [???]. Finally you have to identify the particular right allegedly violated. The Sun is alleging that their ability to access news sources has been curtailed [check].
I'm not sure that Nitkin and Olesker actually have standing because they, themselves are not "the press." They are individuals who work as agents of a member of the press. If they were independent news free-lancers, then I would classify them similarly to the Sun, but they are just two of the Sun's agents. As "agents," I don't think that they have an independent claim to a "freedom of the press" right. Nevertheless, we'll for the sake of the argument, let them stay in for a little longer.
Compliance: To assess "compliance," you need to examine the state actor's actions to determine if they are consistent with the limits of the right allegedly violated. Here Governor Ehrlich issued an order that nobody on his staff should speak to Mr. Nitkin or Mr. Olesker. The "right" that the Sun alleges to have been infringed was "access to news sources." What does that "right" entail? Quite simply, not much. Access is a very limited right. It means you [the holder of the right] can get in. Freedom of the Press does NOT, however, convey any substantive right beyond what any other citizen has. Members of the press are given special locations in courts, for example, because the court is public, but since they cannot accommodate every person, the press stands in as representatives of the public. It's a rationing thing, not a new substantive right.
So, to analyze the "compliance" portion, you must ask if Governor Ehrlich's actions have actually denied access. Does "access" mean that government officials have to submit to interviews? Does it mean that those officials have to take the calls of a member of the press? No and No. Access simply means that you can lawfully make a bona fide request for an interview, and not that it will necessarily be granted. "Access" does not mean that you will get your phone calls taken or returned. It means that you can lawfully dial the number of the person you wish to speak to.
Therefore, we must see if the governor has kept actually denied access to anybody. He has not imposed a penalty (civil or criminal) upon any attempt by Nitkin or Olesker to get an interview or get a phone-call taken or returned. That assumes that Nitkin and Olesker have an independent right. Properly taken, the Sun can still get it's phone calls taken or returned and get interviews with executive branch officials, but they have to use persons other than Nitkin or Olesker. Nobody was barred entry to a public place.
The Governor has not violated any "rights."
Remedy: We already know that there is no right infringed by examining compliance, but we'll also examine the "remedy" question. What remedy does the Sun seek? They're going after "injunctive relief." That means they want the court to tell the Governor to do or not do something... They want the court to require the governor to rescind his order. Does that imply that they will actually get their calls taken or that executive branch officials will agree to have interviews with Nitkin or Olesker? Absolutely not! The governor can still fire any person who works under him for any reason. No executive official who wants to keep his or her job will speak to Nitkin or Olesker. Since that remedy won't actually affect the problem, the court won't order it.
In reality, is the Sun seeking the Court to REQUIRE the Governor and executive officials to take their calls and agree to interviews with Nitkin and Olesker? Is that a remedy that the court can grant? NO. It is absolutely the Governor's discretion with whom he will have interviews, unless he is under subpoena. More over, it's a basic 1st Amendment issue for the Governor, that is, the Governor has the right to speak which includes the right not to speak. Except for "contempt of court" issues the court cannot order a person to speak. Therefore, this remedy is not an option.
Applicability is suspect, there is no compliance issue, and there is no possible remedy that would aid the Sun.
Seeing that the Sun's case is both without merit, and possible remedy, I am prompted to contemplate if there is, in fact, anything new under the Sun's collective intelligence. I don't know how new it is, but there is apparently at least one thing beneath the Sun's intelligence, and that would be their lawyers' competence.
Do you suppose those lawyers would look at these two Mensa candidates and wonder how they ever got caught?
Friday, December 03, 2004
Dumb, dumb, dumb...
Now, up to this point, the lawyers might look stupid for what they say, but that can be part of the "posturing" aspect of negotiation. However, dynamics change when you go into court. When you file something with a court, you've really got to put-up or shut-up, and most lawyers know that they need to avoid filing frivolous suits because it damages their reputation in the community and in front of judges.
However, apparently that minimal level of common sense doesn't weigh down the attorneys for the Baltimore Sun.
Not only did they just file suit against Governor Ehrlich, they filed it in Federal Court!
The reason that's funny is that, when I spoke to one of the senior attorneys for the state who did some research on this topic after the Sun started whining like the cry-babies they are, I was told that the Sun MIGHT have a chance if they file in state court, mostly because they would be dealing with local judges who might be more intimated by the Sun than the Governor, and who might be easily swayed by public opinion. I asked him about the grounds and he mentioned that he suspected that the Paper would carefully craft their complaint as a STATE constitutional cause of action without mention to the U.S. Constitution (because if it's a Federal issue, the defendant can petition to remove it to Federal Court).
His theory was that any suit would be on Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights
Art. 40. That the liberty of the press ought to be inviolably preserved; that every citizen of the State ought to be allowed to speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege.He said that it would be stupid for the Sun to file in Federal Court or file in state court with a Federal cause of action. Well, the Sun has proven that even with our low opinion of their intellect, we can still over-estimate them.
A few moments ago, on the radio, I heard that the Baltimore Sun's lawyers have, indeed, filed a complaint (subscription required, but i's free) in Federal District Court of Maryland in Baltimore asking for injunctive relief against the Governor such that the Court will force the Governor to lift his prohibition against executive employees aiding the two particular journalists. And, of course, they did it on First Amendment grounds.
I haven't seen the complaint, yet, but it sounded as if it might be on the theory that the Governor, by issuing the order preemptively prohibiting speaking to Olesker and Nitkin by executive employees, has infringed on the employees' freedom of speech rights.
That might almost have merit... If the one bringing the suit were an employee who's speech is being infringed upon, but it would still be a loser.
If, however, the Sun's theory is related to their freedom to report the news, their lawyers should be laughed out of court and sanctioned, severely.
It's just amazing... Federal Court is the last place these nut-jobs should want to be. A federal judge has a lifetime appointment, and therefore no need to care about public opinion, so the Sun's status as the major Maryland paper won't buy them all that much. Also, federal law is even more clearly behind the governor than state law!
Perhaps the Sun's lawyer is really an Ehrlich fan, and wants the Sun to lose in a stinging defeat. In any event, I suspect that early next week there will be a hearing, and the Governor will be found to be within his rights to demand his employees not participate with two particular journalists.
Do you suppose that the Sun has forgotten that it's not actually part of the government and doesn't have the ability to imprison someone for contempt? I'm just wondering.
I was about to hit "publish" when I heard another news-blurb. The Sun is apparently claiming that the Governor is "violating their Constitutional Rights" by basing his order on a desire to retaliate against the two reporters.
How dumb is that? Does the Governor always have to have happy thoughts about those who are trying to malign his character? Of course not! If he hadn't issued the order but, whenever Olseker or Nitkin called his office, slammed the phone down, would that violate their rights? It would be for the same purpose, right? If the governor can veto any official-capacity interview by an executive branch employee, then he can preemptively veto interviews.
Yup, they're just a bunch of cry babies.
I'm not alone... My wife has picked the new mini-van that she wants, the new Honda Odyssey. I can't say that I blame her. It looks sharp.
My automotive fantasies run the gambit. To clarify, they run the gambit of quick sporty cars to fast cars, to d@##-fast sports cars. I like smooth and flawless performance. That's I guess the best way to describe what I look for.
To all you truck and SUV aficionados out there, I bear you no ill will. If riding in them makes you happy, great! I can't imagine that DRIVING them makes anybody happy, but perhaps riding in them is a pleasant experience. Whatever, although I'm not a fan of trucks and SUV's I'm nothing like those environmental wackos who think it's a sin against mother nature. I think it's a silly choice, but, hey, it's your choice.
So... My decision-making process is far from complete for a couple of reasons.
- I've got a year until I graduate, so I have time.
- I don't have a legal job lined-up yet, so I don't know what kind of scratch I'll have to waste on unnecessarily fast personal transportation.
NOTE: For the technically inclined among my readership, notice the torque curve on the graph that pops up... The LS2 V8 produces over 300 lb-ft of torque from about 16oo RPM on and tops at nearly 400 lb-ft at about 4800 RPM. Of course this would indicate amazingly smooth and breath-takingly immediate acceleration.
However, because it starts at about $50K, it's probably not going to be something I can spring for immediately upon graduation. And then, today, I came across this story, and will apparently have to re-think my choice... An M3, though it's no less expensive, might be my best option. (I would prefer the M5, (or see some pics of it here) but alas, it's somewhat difficult to get on this side of the Pond, and even more expensive.) Oh well, I suppose I wouldn't have to hide my face in shame over the performance of that car... I might feel a little self-conscious driving to church in it, but I would get there quickly enough.
Other than that, I'm still torn over what I should go after as a realistic shortly-after-lawschool-graduation car. I like what I'm seeing of the new Altima SE-R, I like the G35, the GTO has 400 horses that recommend it, and the Mustang is one horse that can speak up for itself quite well. But lets not ignore the need for a 'lil Zoom-Zoom, and turbo boom. There are lots of other cars that shouldn't be overlooked... The Acura RSX Type S, the TSX, and TL, or BMW 325 or 330 models are also all worthy vehicles. Worse (or better) yet, is the fact that there are lots of (late model) used cars that are probably excellent options that should be considered.
Oh well, at least I have a little time to contemplate my options. Chances are, those darned car makers will come out with new models by then and make my choices even more difficult.
Just currious, what cars (or trucks) are you looking forward to buying in the next few years? Practicality is a fine consideration, and if I were to buy a new car and was very price conscious, I would probably check out the Scion tC. I drive a Sentra now, so it's not as if I don't appreciate the benefits of a relatively inexpensive commuter car.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
You may have seen something like this before, but I suspect there are some new additions, so go ahead and read the whole thing.
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
Barbara Streisand sings for you.
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.
CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows.
The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow.
Of course, that cow was a gift from your government.
BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows.
The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, then pours the milk down the drain.
You have two cows.
You pretend to sell one, lease it back to yourself, and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.
You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately, they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
You have two cows but you dont know where they are.
While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.
RUSSIAN (& Ukrainian) CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You have some vodka
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You hav e some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
You dont milk them because you cannot touch any creatures private parts.
Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the veterinary hospital.
You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their moos.
You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.
You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking cow.
Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people cant figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best-looking cow.
NEW YORK CORPORATION
You have fifteen million cows.
You have to choose which one will be the leader of the herd.
So you pick some fat cow from Arkansas.
You have millions of cows
Most are illegals.
Arnold likes the ones with the big hooters.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
For those of you not in the
Read these articles to get some of the background (here and here). The friction with Ehrlich started long ago. It was before I moved to
When you think about the equity and law of the matter keep these two things in mind:
- Bob Ehrlich didn't pick this fight. The Sun has been hostile to him and every Republican they've ever met since the dawn of time. THEY picked this fight.
- Their legal intimidation and any potential suit is moronic and without legal foundation.
This second point is the basis for the Letter to the Editor that I have written, and am submitting. What do you suppose my chances of getting it published are?
To the Management and Editorial Staff of the
I've been passively following the growing friction between you and the Governor. Till now, I've been mildly amused by the tit-for-tat nature, but must admit absolute confusion over some of the most recent things that have come from the
Sun. Specifically I have a couple of questions for you: Baltimore
- Did your attorneys get their degrees from Cracker-Jack boxes?
- Seeing as there is nothing in the US or Maryland Constitutions that can be read REQUIRING any person, much less an elected official, speak to any particular member of the Press, or, for that matter, any press at all, to what Constitution do you and your attorneys refer when you claim that the Governors black-listing of two of your most blatant fiction-writer journalists is "unconstitutional"?
There is absolutely NO support in the text of the Constitution or its First Amendment for the idea that anyone, much less the Governor must submit to questioning and aid near-libelous abuse at the hands of any particular reporter. There is no supporting authority in case-law that would add such a requirement for the Governor.
Truth be known, you and your attorneys should be sanctioned. It's professional malpractice on their part for them to suggest to you that you have any sort of claim to force the Governor or anyone on his staff speak to any particular reporter. It's a violation of their most basic duty to you and to the profession to be competent (See MRPC 1.1) If you intend to move forward, you might want your attorneys to brush-up on the relevant case-law, and also on MRPC 3.1, which requires that your claim NOT be frivolous. It is. The fact that your attorneys chose to use the term "unconstitutional" puts your lawyers squarely up against MRPC 4.1(a)(1), which forbids a knowing misstatement of material fact or law. The Courts will assume that your attorneys did actually attend a law school that taught Constitutional Law, so theyre in trouble.
If I were one of your lawyers, I would brush-up on my burger-flipping skills.
Perhaps some criticism can be laid on the Governor for wanting to chill Nitkin and Oleskers activities. Perhaps in a world where they performed their trade honorably, but they do not.
The old saying in
(and probably throughout the country) is "Don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel." To some extent its a truism. However, Governor Ehrlich did NOT pick this fight. He and his administration have been consistently maligned by the Sun. Im surprised he didnt ban participation with any Sun reporter. You deserve it. Maryland
What the Governor cannot do, and what he has not done, is ban your reporters from physical access to public places where the business of the government takes place. Nitkin and Olesker are still free to show up, and they're free to ask for comments from Ehrlich's staff. By the same token, Ehrlich is free to order his staff not to respond or aid your reporters. You really should feel lucky that he didn't issue a blanket order banning participation with any Sun reporter. He would be well within his rights to do so.
I want to point something out to you. Notice that
has a 2:1 Democrat-to-Republican registration. Notice that you endorsed the most vacuous candidate ever put forward by a major party for the Governor's race in 2000, and Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, still beat her. What I'm saying is that your barrels of ink are less effective now that we know its true color. Also, your loss (even more than KKTs) should tell you that your position as the only major Maryland newspaper isn't all that valuable anymore. Have you noticed that youre circulation numbers have been anemic? Maryland
Save what little credibility you have left Declare yourself to be staunchly pro-Democratic from stem-to-stern. We, the people of
, know you are, but the sooner you recognize your bias, the sooner you can take steps to account for it. Saying you're unbiased is an insult to your readers, a disservice to the State, and convincing only to yourself. Maryland
Your actions remind me of a spoiled little kid who, upon not getting his dad to buy him the over-priced toy he wants goes crying to mommy to lament that daddy is being mean. You're cry-babies.
You're cry-babies, and, incidentally, whatever you're paying your lawyers, even if they're working for free, is WAY too much.