Saturday, July 30, 2005 

A Fun Lunch Hour

You're at the office, watching the clock, waiting for noon to roll around. Finally, the clock decides it's time to let you free. You and a few buddies look for a place to eat. You can hit up Subway, maybe stop at McD's if you're really in a hurry, or you can go to the strip club and get laid.

This seemed interesting to me for a few reasons. As far as I know, WI does not have the same offended party rule concerning undercovers as FL does. However, prostitution is a crime here (no, duh) and so is solicitation of drinks WI Stat 944.36. I think our lewd and lascivious statute covers the same ground as FL's exposure of a sexual organ statute. Their name is better though.

Be sure to click the link with the stripper mugshots. Some of them are pretty rough looking. One seems to be missing an eye. The one with the huge smile on her face is my favorite. "Yay, I'm getting arrested!"

Before arresting the women Thursday, the undercover deputies watched nude dancers on stage, bought some of them drinks, and received lap dances from others.

Forget law school, I'm becoming a vice officer in Florida. No income tax and lappers while on the clock.

Friday, July 29, 2005 


Hey, look who's running for president.

This is going to be the longest campaign that this country has ever seen. It's technically going on right now. For once, we have a totally open field (as long as Cheney retires as stated). I will make one prediction about the 2008 election. I will not like whoever is elected, regardless of which party wins. I'm not impressed by any of the "official" nominees so far. Maybe someone will strike my fancy in the growing months, but no one has so far. Eh, who cares. I'll enjoy bitching for a few years.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 

Helen Thomas

From Drudge:

Veteran wire reporter Helen Thomas is vowing to 'kill herself' if Dick Cheney announces he is running for president.

The newspaper HILL first reported the startling claim on Thursday.


"The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself," she told the HILL. "All we need is one more liar."

Thomas added, "I think he'd like to run, but it would be a sad day for the country if he does."

CHENEY 08! Run, Dick, Run!



Do you know why lawyers get paid so much?

They have to pay off all of their book bills.

This will be my 6th year of "higher education" so I'm no novice to the whole textbook industry. At the beginning of every semester, students head down to school with their list in hand, hunt for the best deals among the area bookstores, bend over and grab their ankles. Then the textbook companies deliver our bill in the most uncomfortable way possible. And that is if you are even lucky enough to find all of the books you need. In undergrad, I spent many nights online hunting for some stupid fucking book that the professor never even acknowledged in the material.

I have my list of books for this fall. I can sort of read it, but the tears have smudged the ink a bit. Five classes equals five casebooks equals $500. And that's just the start. Each class other than Evidence has a statutory supplement (which I hope to God we use) that runs between $30 and $40. Then there are the additional supplements that I will buy on my own. Only one of my casebooks has a Legalines brief book keyed to it. It will save me money, but it will also make it harder to understand the material. That should cost me about $20. I'm going to limit myself on other materials, so I will probably get only one other book. That should keep my total bill to $700.

Maybe I should try to work for Lexis, Aspen, or West after I graduate. Those bastards must be hemorrhaging money.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 

Environmental Grudge Match

Carl Pope vs. Bjorn Lomborg in a 4 page knock down, drag out fight to the finish!

The last man standing gets global bragging rights and... well, not much else. It's a pissing match. Nobody won and everyone's shoes got wet.


The Circle is Now Complete

From Volokh

I guess it is right that Roberts replaces O'Connor then. I still think that he's going to be named Chief when Rehnquist retires. Well, he will as long as he is the Justice that the president hopes that he is. If he is a huge failure, someone from outside the Court will be named Chief. I think Bush wants to appoint a young Chief, someone who will be on the Court for a long time. That is part of the reason why Scalia or Thomas won't be promoted. They both have more years in them but the name on the Court has a symbolic weight to it. And I think Roberts is the kind of guy that Bush wants as his legacy to the Court, eventually as Chief.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 

Beer Review: New Glarus Fat Squirrel

There hasn't been a single thing I wanted to talk about today. Well, not exactly. Pabst City was voted down, and Mayor Barrett had a temper tantrum at a press conference and on Mark Belling's talk show (Kevin Fischer guest hosting). But who cares, let's talk beer.

I plan on doing a lot of these as a public service to you, the consumer. My first selection is New Glarus Fat Squirrel. New Glarus is a WI brewery with a loyal following. Its Spotted Cow beer is very popular and on tap at fine bars across the area. Fat Squirrel is lesser known but excellent product. It is brown in color, lighter than Guinness, but with a similar weight. It has a lightly nutty aroma, and a strong nutty aftertaste. The aftertaste is much stronger than the inital flavor. There is a bit of a bite as you swallow and the beer travels over the length of your tongue. I would compare it to Newcastle or a similar brown ale, but with a more distinct taste.

The Squirrel is definitely a beer that you wouldn't drink 8 or 9 of while partying with friends. Well you could, but it would reek havoc on your digestive system in more ways than one. I like to have one with dinner, especially when grilling red meat. Its heaviness helps fill you up along with the meal. I normally don't like mixing beers when I drink Fat Squirrel. After I have one or two, I don't feel much like drinking more or drinking another beer. It is not a getting drunk beer; it's a beer you drink to enjoy the flavor. I purchased my six pack here, Layton Fruit Market, but it should be available at most liquor stores.

New Glarus Brewing Co. website



Hey, look who's running for president.

And on that topic, here's an idea I was batting around today. It's a bar question for your politically minded friends. You get to choose the next president. Just you. To make it easier, stick to people who would run. So don't say Bob the butcher from down the street cause you "think an average middle class guy would make a great president." The idea is to have a discussion, not stroke your own ego about how working man-minded you are. So make it someone serious. But here is the catch. It has to be someone from the other side of the political spectrum. If you vote Democrat, you have to pick a Republican. Bat that one around over a few beers.

And don't say John McCain. Put some friggin thought into this.


Judge Kozinski

I was just browsing this site dedicated to the sane portion of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, AKA Judge Alex Kozinski. It is a great collection of his writings. What struck me were not his court opinions or his law review articles. He wrote articles about Nintendo for the Wall Street Journal.

Let me repeat that.

He wrote articles about Nintendo for the Wall Street Journal.

He now has my full support to be put on the Supreme Court. A man who is that insightful on Zelda must be given the final word on Constitutional issues.

Sunday, July 24, 2005 

Two Items

I was stung by a bee today.

This makes me sick.


Summer So Far

Disneywar by James B. Stewart
No One Left to Lie to by Christopher Hitchens
Sphere by Michael Crichton
Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Freidman
Cowboy Capitalism by Olaf Gersemann
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Feeling Your Pain by James Bovard
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
The Road to Serfdom by FA Hayek
Prey by Michael Crichton
Playing God in Yellowstone by Alston Chase
Libertarianism by David Boaz
Parliament of Whores by PJ O'Rourke
The Tempting of America by Robert Bork
Hard Green by Peter Huber
EDIT: If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell
I hope to get through five more books before school starts.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 

Monthly Self-Absorbed Post

I've spent the last week in deep reflection. The casual observer would call it drinking with my friends, but it really was deep reflection. My period of self-examination was brought to a head with the arrival of my tuition bill this morning. I am twenty three and a half years old and I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

After talking to a few people this week, friends and family mostly, I've found that this is pretty common. That doesn't make it any better. It's just frustrating to be this far along and not know what the hell I want to do. I know a lot of people, especially at school, that know exactly what they're going to do. It's likely that they will end up hating it and miserable, but that's a small consolation.

Law school. I love it and I hate it. It's very A Tale of Two Cities in a way. There are parts of it that I really like, there is a lot of material that I want to learn, and I like the mental workout that it gives me. There is stuff I hate too. If the rest of my life is going to be writing briefs on stupid shit or pouring over the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, no thank you.

A lot of people with JDs don't practice law. It's growing more likely that I will be in that group. I think I'm going to take the skill set that I've gotten there and go into some form of business. I want to be doing something worthwhile, something I enjoy. If at the end of the next two years I don't enjoy law, I'm not doing it. If I end up turning into uber-law nerd and getting some insanely good grades, I might try to get a clerkship, just to try it.

It's frustrating. But I'm going to ride the next two years out, see where my head is, and take it from there. Until then, let me apologize for turning this into an angsty, emo Live Journal. Normal blogging resumes Monday.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

I expect the Left to be against Roberts cause that's sort of their thing. But people like Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro have written columns critical of him. You can read those on if you want. I won't link them cause I just don't feel like it right now. DIY, you lazy freeloaders.

Coulter complains that Roberts is a stealth candidate and no one without a long judicial record to examine has been good for the Republicans. Uh, how about Rehnquist? He was in politics in AZ (like O'Connor) and then in the Dept. of Justice under Nixon before his appointment. But that was it. He didn't exactly have a paper trail as long as ... something long. But when compared to Lewis Powell, who was confirmed at the same time as him, I think he turned out pretty damn good.

And there is Shapiro's complaint. He says Roberts is a Rehnquist at best; he's no Scalia or Thomas. Boo fucking hoo. Seriously. We here on planet Earth will be gearing up for the biggest confirmation fight in about two decades. If you want to be on planet Originalist, that's fine. But this is the first nominee that Bush has. He needs to get him through and make the Dems that try to stop the nominee look foolish. Enter John Roberts. Schumer was so goofy last night cause he was mad that this nominee would be so hard for him to smear. This is what we need now.

And let's start getting honest here. Scalia and Thomas are not the same. Raich proved that this summer. Scalia is a fair weather federalist on these touchy issues. Scalia writes amazing opinions and I wish I had an iota of his talent as a wordsmith. Thomas writes a lot of straightforward, basic opinions. That is because he sees a lot of cases as easy calls when you look at the original meaning of the Constitution. But I'm with Shapiro on this. I'd love another Thomas or Scalia on the Court. I'd love a few. But as the first nominee for Bush, it's just stupid. The Dems would be gnawing at the bit to get a Janice Rogers Brown as the nominee. They would unload on her, they would demonize her, they would Bork her. And then we would be left with someone much lower on the list than her or Roberts. It would be someone really moderate.

I know what the issue is here. There are Republicans across the country getting cold feet about this and second guessing themselves like mad. I'll be honest. I second (and third) guessed Roberts this morning as I thought about it more. That is a natural reaction after over a decade without a nomination to the Court. It's jitters. Stop, breathe, and look at Roberts. Member of the Federalist Society (Correction: he isn't. So what, I'm not either), worked for Reagan and Bush, clerked for Rehnquist when it was fashionable to clerk for the liberals on the Court, brilliant trial lawyer, wife was VP of Feminists for Life, donated money to Republicans' campaigns, studied and interviewed extensively by the White House. This isn't John frigging Sununu endorsing unknown David Souter here, folks. The WH had been waiting five years for this; they didn't fuck it up.

Chill out and have a little faith in the WH to make the right call. The present Bush administration can be seen as fixing the mistakes of George HW Bush. Tax cuts, and meaning it. Finishing the Iraq War. And not nominating another Souter to the Court. Everything is going to be OK.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 

Flashback: Roberts Hearing in 2003

Here is Senator Hatch talking about the questions that Senator Schumer was asking Judge Roberts. Schumer eventually voted against Roberts.

"Some [of his questions] I totally disagree with," Hatch of Utah said. "Some I think are dumbass questions, between you and me. I am not kidding you. I mean, as much as I love and respect you, I just think that's true."

A stunned Schumer asked if he heard the chairman correctly, to which Hatch said yes. Again, Schumer asked Hatch if he would like to "revise and extend his remark," congressional speak for change his mind.

A former trial attorney, Hatch replied: "No, I am going to keep it exactly the way it is. I mean, I hate to say it. I mean, I feel badly saying it between you and me. But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions."

Short version - Hatch to Schumer: Quit being a dumbass, dumbass.


That's It. My Life is Over.

Look what I just got sent:

Subject: Casting Intelligent Men To Turn Shoppers Into Scholars
Body: The WB is casting for their 2nd season of Beauty and the Geek, their ..1 rated show of last season. Beauty and the Geek pairs up beautiful women with intelligent men to complete a series of tasks that could ultimately win them a major cash prize.

If you are interested please send a photo to:

If you think I should do it, let me hear from you. If you think this is a sign that I should wrap my lips around the business end of a shotgun, let me hear from you.


Mandatory John Roberts Post

I am happy and surprised. I thought that Roberts would replace Rehnquist, but it's still possible that he gets elevated to Chief later. I loved watching Chuck Schumer at his little press conference with Leahy. You've got a battle on your hands, Chuckie. Best of luck painting Roberts as a blood sucking freak ready to snort the Constitution and eat the Bill of Rights. I think that's why he was so snippy tonight.

I'm glad that Bush didn't nominate a woman. That whole "O'Connor's seat is a woman seat" shit is just a bad policy. It cheapens the Court to assign certain seats as minority seats. Pick the best person for the job, regardless of their skin color or dangly parts.

Another great thing about Roberts is that he is 50. As long as he stays healthy, he'll be on the Court for three decades. I get the feeling that the next nominee from Bush will also be fairly young. He wants his legacy and this is the way to get it. That's all I've got for now. I'm going to go read the many, many posts and articles of people who know a hell of a lot more about this than me.

Monday, July 18, 2005 

Why I Hate Ted Kennedy

Thirty six years ago, Mary Jo Kopechne died/was killed (depending on how you look at it). This piece from NRO from last year is worth reading again.

He should be in prison.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 


Paul Begala has gone off the deep end.



Remember when Iraq and Bin Laden were linked by everyone from the Clinton Administration to ABC news? Well in case you forgot, watch this ABC news report from 5 years ago.


The Chief

Yeah, I took a two day break from updating. I did so for a few reasons. I really didn't feel like sitting in front of the computer. I didn't think much happened in the past few days. I got very drunk last Wednesday night. But I guess I should say something about Chief Justice Rehnquist staying on.

This is a huge boost for Bush. If there was a dual nomination going on, he would be under greater pressure to have one of the nominees be a moderate. Now, he can go with a stronger conservative. Why did the Chief do it? A few reasons. One, he knows that if he retires, he is pretty much dead. People who stop working, especially when they are old and ill, no longer have much of a reason to get up everyday. As long as his mind is sharp, he wants to work. Two, he loved being able to fuck with the press. He strung them along for so long, then pulled the rug out from under them. Three, he wanted to help the president. Many people forget that Rehnquist was assistant attorney general under Nixon. He is a party man. He knows that the dual nomination would be tougher. Hell, he was in the last one. Fourth, he wants to do his part for the Court. With a new justice coming on for the first time in over a decade, he wants a strong leader there to make sure the transition is smooth.

That's my impression of it. I could be wrong. I hope he makes it through the next term. Having to step down mid term or dying mid term would be a mess.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 

My Favorite Politician

I've been asked who my favorite politician is by a handful of people. In the past, I really didn't have a good answer. I usually thought about it a bit, threw out a few names, retracted them, and the ended up shrugging my shoulders. But recent posts at Law & Alcoholism have helped me ID the greatest politician of modern times.

Mayor McCheese.

While a lowly municipal politician, Mayor McCheese is by far the most savvy and respectable politician among a group of rogues. McCheese has shown himself to be tough on crime by hiring the capable Big Mac as chief of police. Constable Mac has done an admirable job breaking up a devastating hamburglering ring and is closing in on its mastermind. Racial tensions that had been boiling over before Mayor McCheese took office have been quelled by policies focused on increased commerce among neighborhoods. Gone are the McNugget-Fry Guy race riots of years passed. There is no partisanship clouding the policies of Mayor McCheese, and he has shown that he will apply ideas from elsewhere if they are worthy. Last year's adoption of a property tax freeze formulated by Grimace was hailed by commentators as "government working for once." Bridges to the 21st century, folks.

If it comes down to Hillary or McCain in 2008, I'm voting McCheese. I'm reasonably sure that he is a natural born American. I'm also reasonably sure that an anthropomorphic quarter pounder with cheese can be elected to high office. I'll get to work on an election law brief just in case.



You ever wonder what the NEA discusses at their meetings? Michelle Malkin points out that a lot of it has nothing to do with "E".


Foreign Aid and Debt Relief

Becker and Posner tackle every rock stars' cause of the moment.


Legal Chutzpah

Judge Kozinski and Eugene Volokh have it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 

Not Him Again

George Mitchell?

I really don't like Mitchell. But it isn't for any partisan reason. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with his behavior on the Disney Board of Directors. He was the biggest Eisner apologist of the lot. He also got rewarded very handsomely for it. His law firm got $2 million in work from Disney, he got $50,000 annually for a "consulting" fee, and his $45,000 a year for director's fees and stock options. Loyalty is rewarded, I guess.

Maybe I should just throw in the towel on this. Roy Disney and Stanley Gold have given up the fight, and they had a lot more at stake than me. They must have some hope that Bob Iger will be better than Eisner. I don't think I share that assessment.


Sunstein and the Changing Court

Cass Sunstein has an interesting article in the Washington Post today. I don't know if I agree with all of it, but it's a liberal scholarly view of the changes that the Court has undergone in the last seven decades or so. Even if you don't agree with him, Sunstein is a pretty prominent writer. He was one of the editors of my Con Law casebook, but I think his best writing focuses on risk analysis (one of my new favorite fields). This book is on my long list of things to read.

EDIT: This one too.


Dear God

Just... read it.


Al-Qaeda Attacks So Far

This flash presentation chronicles all of the attacks since war was declared against the west.

There were a few in here that I forgot about.


See Ron Reagan Squirm

One often wonders why Ron Reagan is on television. When he started popping up on MSNBC during the election, I was puzzled. Where did he come from? What are his qualifications? He basically repeats whatever the liberal view of an issue is. He has no personal insight. Why give him a show? Well a few reasons: his name, the fact that he disagrees with his late father on everything, he has no problem being obnoxious.

Well he stepped into it the other day. A little advice... never bring Christopher Hitchens onto your show unless you know what you are talking about. He will run circles around you and make you look like a child. I talk about Hitchens a lot, which one may find odd since I disagree with him on many issues. Even when I think he's wrong, he's still fun to watch. So watch.

Reading the comments in the blog I linked to makes me want to highlight something. There are a lot of people who don't understand the point that Hitchens is making about Iraq and terrorism. It isn't that Iraq and Al Qaeda were some tag team that were best buds. It is that the Middle East and elements of Islam have been in a state of civil war for some time now. There are huge groups of people like the millions of Iraqis who voted, the millions in Lebanon, the Palestinians who rejected Arafat's old guard in their elections, the students in Iran, who want something new. They are sick of the dictatorships and the theorcracies. There are dictators like Saddam in Iraq and Assad in Syria who do not want that. There are groups like Al Qaeda that also fight that, but they do so in desire for a return of the caliphate.

A lot of people keep saying that these are two different things and no statist like Saddam would side with religious fundamentalist terrorists. Differences in philosophy do not prevent cooperation, especially limited cooperation. Imperialist Japan sided with fascist Italy, and capitalist America sided with communist Soviet Union during a time of war. Hitchens points out that Iraq had no problem with harboring terrorists. Abu Nidal lived there in style, as did the bombmaker from the first WTC attack as well as others. If we are truly waging a war against terrorism, don't these people count too? I guess that is a matter of opinion, an opinion that is often skewed by an overriding hatred for the president.

Monday, July 11, 2005 

Painful Oral Arguments

Volokh has a few gems that are tough to listen to. This is from the 7th Circuit and is just mindblowing. But I don't think you can really appreciate it unless you actually listen to the audio. So here's the audio. Judge Bauer doesn't put up with shit. I especially like when he tells the lawyer in so many words to "sit the hell down."

This is why I will not go into litigation.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 

Kristol Speaks!

As I laid on the couch like a lump, soaking in two hours of Sunday morning news shows, I had the oracle speak to me. By the oracle I mean Bill Kristol. By me I mean the entire Fox viewing audience. He said that his sources tell him a few things about the vacancies on the Court. Rehnquist will retire this week. The nominees will be announced on July 26 or 27. Gonzales will be nominated for Chief.

Kristol was right about O'Connor going first and he seems to be connected well enough to the White House to be in the know. I think this is pretty bad. I don't care if Gonzales is the president's friend. That doesn't mean a thing to me. Bush said that he would nominate Justices like Scalia and Thomas to the Court. Gonzales is not like them. Maybe he promised to be more conservative, I don't know. But if this is true, it will piss off a lot of the base. This might be a move to attract more Hispanic voters to the Republican party. If Gonzales must be appointed, wait. Wait for a few years and Stevens or Ginsburg will retire. That would be a rightward shift for either seat.


Oliver Stone and 9/11

Oliver Stone is making a movie about 9/11.

I don't think anyone should make a movie about this for at least 25 more years. Why 25? I don't know, I pulled that out of the air. Oliver Stone should NEVER make a movie about this. He doesn't do well with the whole historical, getting facts right thing. JFK is one of the most deceitful and phony films ever made. The idea that it gets passed off as the true story behind the assassination is horrible. Stone is just not right for these kinds of films.

As far as Nic Cage goes, I only have this to say. During my staying up all night cause I have serious physiological problems, I watched Con Air early this AM. Cage's southern accent in that movie should be punished by prison time. What was he thinking? He's done a good southern accent before in Wild at Heart. This time he just sounded like he had brain damage. No accents anymore please.


Now This is Cool

Google Earth

Ever want to see a satellite picture of your house, or your friend's house, or your girlfriend's (girl you are stalking's) house? The good people at Google have now enabled you. I was just playing with this and it's pretty wild.

Saturday, July 09, 2005 

A Post About Music

Hey I never do these, unless you count posts about Summerfest.

Anyway, I don't know how old this is but it's hilarious.

All the better that I love the Buzzcocks and hate Green Day.

Friday, July 08, 2005 

Belling v Milwaukee

Courtesy of Badger Blogger, talk show host Mark Belling is willing to sue if his open records request is denied. I'd love to see it happen. Pabst City is a crock. If businesses want to develop that area, great. They have my blessing and I wish them luck. I don't wish to give them $41 million in taxpayer funds though. Part of business is taking the risk and then getting the pay off. When that happens, you are more likely to take a risk that you reasonably believe will pay off. If you are being subsidized, then why worry? You're playing with someone else's money. I really think that there are some things going right in this city for once. The Third Ward is being developed, condos are being built, the art museum is great. Why do we have to do a 180 on this?


Still Waiting on the Chief

"That's for me to know and you to find out."

Vintage Rehnquist. I doubt he's happy about retirement, but I know he's happy to have everyone waiting. I bet that he wanted to hand deliver his letter to the president, like O'Connor did. Bush got back about 5 PM Central time and had some ceremonial thing that he had to do (I don't know, I had the TV on mute). So Rehnquist would have to wait until that was over to see him. Even if that is the case, it doesn't mean that they have to make the announcement tonight. It's possible that they just sit on it for a day or two. I guess we just have to wait.


For What It's Worth

Drudge is saying that Rehnquist will retire. Time for some White House "strategery" and two strong nominees named Monday morning.


Novak Again

Just said on CNN that Rehnquist will announce his retirement in a little over an hour when the president returns to the country. Pins and needles, folks, pins and needles.


Gonzales: Not a Candidate


I believe it. Attorney General is not a shabby job. There is a lot that he can do after it too. Once you get on the Court, you're stuck. It's a sweet deal, you can have your clerks do most of your work if you wish, and you can't get fired. But you are stuck. Gonzales is a young guy (comparatively speaking) and he just might not want to be on the Court yet.



I am a bit of a theme park nerd. In the past 5 years, I've only failed to get a season pass for Six Flags once. I could find my way around Great America blind folded, tell you the best place to eat (as in best tasting food, most food, least money), and tell you the closest bathroom from any location in the park. It's kind of sick. I also am a firm believer in the sanctity of the line. Everyone in the park wants to go on the rides. In order to keep things civil, a line must be maintained. Aside from a handful of line jumpers that can be dealt with in various ways, we lived in peace.

Then came the fast pass.

Basically you pay to cut in line at the front. At Six Flags, you get a little punch card that has (I think) 5 cuts. Disney parks have a similar system. This article is what prompted me to post about this. I understand why people buy these passes. Hot summer days in particular are pretty horrible. The park is packed, the lines are long even for the shitty rides, and everyone is a little more grumpy than they should be. So there you are, standing in line for the Iron Wolf, sweating your ass off, pondering whether a $5 lemonade (lemon flavored water) is worth it. Then after an hour and a half of waiting, three people walk through a little gate and go right to the head of the line. Gonna piss you off a little huh?

I know why parks are doing this. It's a way to make extra money. It is also a way to help out those families that only make it there once every year or two. They want to makes sure these not-so-frequent guests enjoy themselves, get to go on the good rides, and eventually come back. This is especially true with Disney. The parks don't give a shit about me. I'm a moocher. I pay for a season pass then they get almost no money from me ever again. Occasionally I will buy food but even then, I know where to get the best deals. It becomes a question of whether those benefits outweigh the problems highlighted in the article.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 


You know, I am very guilty of knocking Summerfest. A lot. I always say how much I hate it, but I usually have one really great night there every year. I guess there are parts of Summerfest that I don't like. I don't like paying a lot for beer. I don't like crowds of people who are apt to just stop walking right in front of you. Some people just don't understand the concept of walking traffic and why stopping to shoot the shit with someone might be a problem for anyone trying to hold a beer and a Saz's sampler platter while walking.

But it is still the world's largest music festival. And I should be happy that I have easy access to it every year. Last night was a blast. We saw some bluegrass string band, something-mountain-something. They were great. The only problem was that they came on late so we had to leave for another show before they finished. And the crowd was almost all hippies. The ventilation at the covered stage wasn't great, so the whole area smelled like weed and B.O. mixed with tie dye ink. Basically, it smelled like someone cooked an armpit. The other show we saw was the Violent Femmes. It's just not Summerfest without the Femmes. They still kick ass, they can still play with the same intensity as years ago, and they still draw a huge crowd. It's amazing to hear everyone singing Gone Daddy Gone at the top of their lungs.


New at Tradesports

There have been two new names added to the Tradesports page for the next Supreme Court Justice. I haven't seen either of them mentioned anywhere. They are Justice Cantero and WI's own Justice Abrahamson. I think they are both longer than long shots, but I wonder why they were put on. The buzz on the legal blogs is that if Rehnquist retires, it will be tomorrow. Some people even think there might be a third, but I would be shocked by that.


Well Said

From London Mayor Ken Livingstone: "I want to say one thing, specifically to the world today - this was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful, it was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers, it was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian ... young and old ... that isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted fate, it is an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder."

"They seek to divide London, they seek Londoners to turn against each other ... this city of London is the greatest in the world because everybody lives side by side in harmony. Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack."

Livingstone also had words specifically for the terrorists: "I know that you personally do not fear to give your own life in exchange to taking others [that is why you are so dangerous] ... but I know you do fear you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society ... in the days that follow, look at our airports, look at our seaports and look at our railway stations ... you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world, will arrive in London to become Londoners, to fulfill their dream and achieve their potential ... whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail."


Kelo Protest

The case that won't die. Here's some pictures from a protest in New London about the decision.


London Calling

I woke up this morning at 3:30 AM because I have the internal clock of a crack addict. While watching a DVD, I decided to turn on my laptop and check the news. I was greeted with a red text Drudgereport.

After September 11th, I thought that what we see in London today would be our future in the US. It doesn't take much to blow up a bus; just one person with a death wish. As a frequent user of public transportation, I care about that very much. I guess the question becomes how do you stop that kind of attack? Can you stop that kind of attack? I'm interested to see what the various reactions will be today from different parties.


Another Vacancy?

Robert Novak's Court sources say that Rehnquist will retire too.

I wouldn't be surprised. Two vacancies have happened before. In fact, Rehnquist was appointed to the Court at the same time as Powell. Rehnquist's confirmation would have been much more difficult if he was alone. Nixon managed to portray them as a package deal, keeping them together a lot. This could make the current situation very interesting. Two nominees going through at once are harder to block. You can play their flaws off of each other. "Well A has a hardline position on this issue, but B doesn't." This of course makes the nominees themselves even more important.

I have thrown out a few ideas about the nominees in the past. A few were strategically assembled groups, a few were wishlists, and then there was my personal preference list of CJ Roberts, McConnell, and Jones. But if someone asked me to make a prediction of who will actually be nominated, I have no clue. I have no idea what President Bush is going to do. He could say "screw you" to strong conservatives and nominate Gonzales. He could do the big swerve (since the media seems to think it is going to be Gonzales) and nominate someone else. All I know is that I am glad Fred Thompson was named to be the nominee's confirmation guide. I love that man in the most hetero way possible. Good senator, great lawyer, excellent actor. I wish I had his accent too. Hell, put him on the Court.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 

Well, Yeah

I saw this quote on Michelle Malkin's site. I think it is so correct that it deserves its own post.

"When did it become the job of a [judicial] nomination to unite the country?"

-- Brit Hume, Special Report, Fox News, 7/5/05


Wow, I Didn't See This Coming...

Drudge is reporting that Senator Schumer is ready to go to war over the Supreme Court nominee. One of Drudge's minions overheard a cell phone conversation that the senator was having with someone, talking about the upcoming nomination.

“It's not about an individual judge… It's about how it affects the overall makeup of the court.”

This is the truth of the confirmation process. For decades, senators have lied to our faces and said that they look at the person to see what their qualifications and temperment are. Bullshit. A lot of these senators only need to know about one issue: abortion. The hearing could be over in about 10 minutes for these people.

Not to repost, but I think this bears repeating:

Supreme Court Fight Club

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Supreme Court Fight Club.

The first rule of Supreme Court Fight Club is you do not talk about The Slaughterhouse Cases.

The second rule of Supreme Court Fight Club is you do not talk about The Slaughterhouse Cases.

The third rule: someone yells "strict constructionist" or "anti-abortion" or writes columns for National Review, the nomination is over.

The fourth rule is no arguing Marbury v Madison with Senator Spector.

The fifth rule: the Commerce Clause can regulate anything.

The sixth rule: there is no Privileges or Immunities clause to the 14th Amendment.

The seventh rule is the filibuster will go on as long as it has to.

And the eighth and final rule: if you are anywhere to the Right of Senator Schumer, you have to fight.


Wind Farms

or bird slicers? You decide.



Why is Che Guevara such an icon? Ignorance? Hypocrisy? Love for berets?

I can't find a good reason. Neither can this guy.



I woke up this morning and wondered what dinosaur tastes like. Then I got depressed that I will never know.

It's gonna be one of those days.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 

Supreme Court Senility

An excellent article on Justices losing their minds.


Gonzales and Recusal

Bench Memos shows exactly why he should not be the nominee.

If you are the president and you get to nominate a Supreme Court justice, you better make sure that it is someone who can actually hear the cases. Attorney General Gonzales has done too much work on the policy of the administration. The nominee should be someone from outside the administration so this conflict of interest garbage doesn't result in 4-4 decisions on important issues.


File Sharing and the Grokster Case

Becker and Posner discuss.

I know no one is going to believe me, but I don't not swap files illegally. I don't even have a peer to peer program on my computer. I got all high and mighty about it and decided that I couldn't do it. Intellectual property is still property. I would be very hypocritical to support property rights in one instance but violate them myself in another instance.

I have an iPod and iTunes. I have purchased songs from iTunes, but not many. I only buy a song if I know that I won't want to buy the CD from the artist. I like having CDs for a specific kind of listening. I am the kind of person that puts a CD into the stereo and listens to the whole thing. But when I go out and use my mp3 player, I like random tracks from different artists. To me, it is two different kinds of listening for different environments.

I'm not sure the Grokster case really solves anything. The file sharing community online always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else. I remember being a freshman in college and watching how the programs evolved. Everyone had Napster, then Scour, then Bearshare, then WinMX, then Kazaa, then Soulseek. Everyone just sort of migrated from program to program. The music industry can put protections on CDs, but people will find ways around them. I'm not sure what can be done, but I think that nothing will turn back the clock like the record companies want. But they don't have to worry about me. Cause I pay for music, like a chump.


War of the Worlds

I just got back from seeing it and spotting a post by Ann Althouse about it, so I figure I better give a review.

I enjoyed it. I wouldn't say I loved it though. I think the best part about it is what you don't see. This could've easily become a film with a 15 minute long special effects laden, aliens v. army battle like Independence Day. War of the Worlds chose to follow one family the entire time, so you saw only what they saw. You weren't jumping around to different groups of characters, getting off of storylines just as you become invested in them. Tom Cruise was pretty good. Given the chance, the guy can really act. The girl that played his daughter was good too. I usually don't like child actors. I think directors or their acting coaches tell them to ham it up too much. The performance ends up coming off phony. She managed to avoid that.

I think that is why I liked the movie. It seemed real. Well, as real as an alien invasion can be. This is also why I liked the movie Signs. Signs had some serious flaws but the moments of reality really paid off (Ex. being glued to the TV). War of the Worlds is really one of those only-on-the-big-screen movies. It's not something I would want to watch at home. I would like it if the people behind be could've kept their damn mouths shut though. They felt a need to explain everything to each other. You know, being quiet and paying attention to what is happening is a wonderful way to understand the plot too. I managed to pull that off all by myself.

It wasn't the best movie ever and I won't be running back to see it again, but it was worth $6. Batman Begins is still the best movie of the year though.


I Seriously Can't Stop Talking about Kelo

And I'm not alone.

It seems like everyone is afraid of eminent domain now. Honestly, you probably won't lose your home to a developer. That is just a matter of statistics. But people should know their rights, or lack of thanks to the Court, and Kelo has gotten a lot of people to pay attention. From an informal poll I took (OK, I asked a bunch of people at a bar), not many people understand eminent domain or know about the Takings Clause in the 5th Amendment. It isn't a very difficult concept (aside from some distinctions between whether a taking has actually occurred) and I managed to explain it to my table with a few beers under my belt.

I really think that this decision will carry over into the upcoming confirmation hearings. I think that Republicans could use the issue to get the public on the side of the nominee. Get whoever it is to come out strong in favor of property rights, don't go so far as to hammer the Court over Kelo itself though. That wouldn't be very respectful to one's future coworkers. But I think that there is a sufficient segment of the population that is against this decision and want a Supreme Court justice who agrees with them.

I plan on spending most of tonight reviewing takings cases in my Property casebook because I am a nerd.


The Usual

I spent the 4th at Summerfest. In spite of the sometimes nasty weather, it was a pretty good time. Whenever you go somewhere with a fairly large group of people, you have to make sacrifices. You give up the ability to direct the group for more company. There were a few bands I would've liked to check out but didn't feel like being the whiny guy in the group, making demands. We went there to see Lewis Black, who was playing in the half of an airplane hanger that was being called a martini lounge. We wanted good seats so we got there early. The act before Lewis was a big group of... I'm looking for a word here... people? that sang old rock songs and a lot of songs from Grease. Yes, they were in costume too. It was quite a scene. The Elvis impersonator was icing on the cake. I would've just kept drinking but at $5 a beer, I couldn't afford it. Lewis Black was great. He really knew how to work the crowd, make fun of Milwaukee, etc. I may go back tomorrow for the Violent Femmes but nothing is set in stone. It's so expensive. And crowded. And hot. We'll see.


Why I Love Christopher Hitchens

This is from an interview he gave with The Common Review:

I was invited by Michael Moore to be his interviewer at the Telluride Film Festival for his awful, baggy, dishonest, boring movie, Bowling for Columbine. In that film, clips about the Kosovo war from Serbian television are used as objective. Moore implies that the bombing of Kosovo might have inspired the murderers in Columbine. You don't know where to start with someone as mentally lazy as this. This was on the anniversary of September 11 terrorist attacks, and he said, "Well, if it's true that bin Laden did this thing in New York . . ." It was early in the morning; just a second, I thought. "Say that again? If they did this?" He said, "Well, if they did this." And he opposed the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan; a reactionary, conservative position couched in radical anti-imperialist language. My Marxist training tells me things don't remain the same. Reactionary-left positions won't hold for long; they will metamorphose into reactionary-right ones. He says he considers the Iraqi resistance;the beheaders and kidnappers and rapists, the people who throw petrol and explosives into the mosques of rival Muslims, among other things;the equivalents of the Minutemen of the American Revolution. This is the statement of a flat-out brown shirt. It has to be described as such. And all the people who thought that was a great movie to rock the vote, they should be fucking ashamed. There is no room for compromising on a thing like this. He's a lying, fascist, thug.

I say "fuck" a lot too, but am not nearly eloquent.


Supreme Court Fight Club

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Supreme Court Fight Club.

The first rule of Supreme Court Fight Club is you do not talk about The Slaughterhouse Cases.

The second rule of Supreme Court Fight Club is you do not talk about The Slaughterhouse Cases.

The third rule: someone yells "strict constructionist" or "anti-abortion" or writes columns for National Review, the nomination is over.

The fourth rule is no arguing Marbury v Madison with Senator Spector.

The fifth rule: the Commerce Clause can regulate anything.

The sixth rule: there is no Privileges or Immunities clause to the 14th Amendment.

The seventh rule is the filibuster will go on as long as it has to.

And the eighth and final rule: if you are anywhere to the Right of Senator Schumer, you have to fight.


Place Your Bets

Tradesports is giving odds on the next Justice.


Justice Kozinski

I would support him. I bet Alex Kozinski is on a special list in the minds of many people. It is the "God he would be great for the Court but I don't think it's going to happen" list. The confirmation hearing alone would be worth it. Kozinski is not the kind of guy that would sit there and take it from the likes of Ted Kennedy. He has, I guess you could call it, an excess of personality. Justice Kozinski: Guilty Pleasure.



The French are assholes.

Monday, July 04, 2005 


Now I'm in control
Now I'm in the fall out
Once asleep but now I stand
And I still remember
Your sweet everything
Light a Roman candle
And hold it in your hand

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Thank you, Soundgarden.

America: 229 years old and still kicking ass. My plans for today are pretty non-existent. I might go to Summerfest. I might go to one of the many local fireworks displays. I might sit here and watch the History Channel all day. I might sit outside and read a book. No clue.


Epstein on Kelo

Very few people like Kelo.

Richard Epstein does have one reason to like it though. This has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, along with a few hundred other books I want. In the past two weeks, it has gone from "Usually ships in 24 hours" to "Usually ships in 9 to 13 days." I'd be less pissed about Kelo if I had a book that is selling like mad now.


Greatest Hits of SCOTUS Nomination Coverage

Thus far, these are some of the best posts, articles, primal screams concerning the vacancy.

Ann Althouse's summary of the current situation.

Todd Zywicki's post featuring shoulda-been-Justice Bork's comments.

Orin Kerr on the real impact of the retirement.

SCOTUS on the unanswered Rehnquist question.

Powerline's "Then and Now" about how the Clinton nominations were handled.

Short but to the point from the Corner.

Anyone who is nominated is going to be fought hard. That old drunk Kennedy said that there would be a huge fight if the president nominated anyone out of the mainstream. I have a good idea what Kennedy thinks the mainstream is. No one nominated will fit into that category. No one. Even if Bush nominates someone like Mike McConnell, who is widely respected as one of the top Constitutional scholars of the time, he's going to be fought.

Here's my read of things thus far. Rehnquist has one more term at the most. He may yet retire this summer, depending on how the confirmation goes. Stevens can't make it to 2008 before retiring. His age will catch up with him by then. That's three nominations. Start off strong with O'Connor's replacement. Pick a solid conservative with great credentials and public appeal. By public appeal, I mean "looks nice on TV." Bork got torpedoed easily because he came off as a cranky guy with a weird beard. I'd go with Mike McConnell. He will have a parade of people ready to testify on his behalf, his credentials are amazing, and is a decent guy. Then when Rehnquist steps down, I'd definitely go outside of the Court for a new Chief. As much as I would love to have Justice Thomas as Chief, that would be another huge battle. I would go with John Roberts. Even with his scant judicial record, I think he is more predictable than McConnell and therefore a better Chief. We don't need any more Earl Warrens. When Stevens steps down, I would nominate a woman. There is still this affirmative action inspired idea that there must be a certain amount of women or racial minorities on the Court. I'd rather have the best people for the job, regardless of sex or skin color. I would go with Edith Jones. She might have confirmation trouble though, being a strong conservative woman. My back up would be Diane Sykes. Yes, home state bias to the max.

Steve's Court as of November 2008 is: CJ Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, McConnell, and Jones. Strong 5 majority of conservatives, Kennedy would probably become much more liberal than he is now, but still a damn fine panel if I do say so myself. I bet I only get one of my choices right too.

Sunday, July 03, 2005 


So I hear they threw a concert this Saturday and poverty in Africa was over with by midday Sunday. Oh, it wasn't? That's weird, cause usually these "raise awareness events" are huge successes. We're running out of world problems. These musicians keep knocking them out in a long weekend.

My wiseassery aside, I watched about an hour of the concert. It was mostly to see Pink Floyd, who were excellent. I think that there were multiple cities involved in this concert because there was too much naivete to be held within the limits of one. You could forgive all of Africa's debt (which I am against) and increase direct aid fourfold (which I am against) and nothing would change. Well we would be out a lot of money, would feel better for a few days before another cause du jour comes along, but that's about it.

Not all of the Third World is poor. Some nations have become amazingly wealthy and successful in recent history. Countries with corrupt dictatorships as their governments, nationalized markets, and war are not in this column. In a continent like Africa with almost limitless natural resources, you really have to try to fuck up your economy. Well, they have and they succeeded. But for some reason, the enlightened activist Western crowd wants to blame us. We did this to poor Africa. How dare we give loans to a nation and expect them to be paid back?! Whatever.

And if I have to hear that ass from Coldplay bitch about fair trade not free trade, I'm going to puke. Just because you walked around a few poor villages doesn't mean you have a handle on what the cause of economic problems are.

EDIT: "Coldplay's Chris Martin announced from the London stage, '[This is] the greatest thing that's ever been organized in the history of the world.'"
What a pompous, self-important piece of shit. Yes, you're stupid fucking concert is greater than the writing of the Constitution, the Normandy invasion, or the moon landing. Jackass.


The Vacancy

You know, one would think that I would be blogging my ass off after the announcement Friday morning. I haven't for two reasons. 1. I've been busy and 2. EVERYONE else is talking about this. I think that I'll leave this to the rest of the keyboard monkeys until a nominee is named. Until then, I will be religiously reading Volokh, SCOTUS, and Bench Memos. They tend to have the most thorough stuff. But honestly, all the blogs I read usually have had something to say about this and it's usually been either a new viewpoint, new theoretical nominee, or something else interesting.

I can't say that I'm shocked the abortion people are out in force now. Of course, legalized abortion is not going anywhere, not even with a strong conservative replacing O'Connor. There are still 5 votes to uphold. Partial birth abortion is likely to go, since O'Connor was one of the 5 in Stenberg. I am pretty sick and fucking tired of abortion being the only issue that is discussed with SC nominees. Yes, it's an important issue, but there are much bigger things to be worried about. Can we keep the TV cameras off the shrill, militant feminists and the religious people sporting tape on their mouths for a while? Too much to ask?

I can't believe the people who are demanding that a moderate replace O'Connor. I've heard people even claim that her seat is a moderate seat. Uh, no. It is the president's discretion to nominate the justices he wants. There is no requirement that the new justice be ideologically similar to the old one. There's not even a tradition of it. When Justice White retired, did Clinton replace him with a conservative? Nope. Justice Ginsburg got his seat. Hardly a conservative. Hardly a moderate. But that's the way it goes. That's why the presidential election is so important. That is why I voted for Bush. Let's see if the Senate Democrats act as reasonably as the Senate Republicans did during Clinton's nominations.

Friday, July 01, 2005 

O'Connor Retires

I was right. Awesome.

This will be a messy confirmation. Awesome.

I wonder if the White House will wait until Monday to make their nomination.


Pelosi: The Supreme Court is God

This is from a press conference she had yesterday:

Q Later this morning, many Members of the House Republican leadership, along with John Cornyn from the Senate, are holding a news conference on eminent domain, the decision of the Supreme Court the other day, and they are going to offer legislation that would restrict it, prohibiting federal funds from being used in such a manner.

Two questions: What was your reaction to the Supreme Court decision on this topic, and what do you think about legislation to, in the minds of opponents at least, remedy or changing it?

Ms. Pelosi.
As a Member of Congress, and actually all of us and anyone who holds a public office in our country, we take an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Very central to that in that Constitution is the separation of powers. I believe that whatever you think about a particular decision of the Supreme Court, and I certainly have been in disagreement with them on many occasions, it is not appropriate for the Congress to say we're going to withhold funds for the Court because we don't like a decision.

Q Not on the Court, withhold funds from the eminent domain purchases that wouldn't involve public use. I apologize if I framed the question poorly. It wouldn't be withholding federal funds from the Court, but withhold Federal funds from eminent domain type purchases that are not just involved in public good.

Ms. Pelosi. Again, without focusing on the actual decision, just to say that when you withhold funds from enforcing a decision of the Supreme Court you are, in fact, nullifying a decision of the Supreme Court. This is in violation of the respect for separation of church -- powers in our Constitution, church and state as well. Sometimes the Republicans have a problem with that as well. But forgive my digression.

So the answer to your question is, I would oppose any legislation that says we would withhold funds for the enforcement of any decision of the Supreme Court no matter how opposed I am to that decision. And I'm not saying that I'm opposed to this decision, I'm just saying in general.

Q Could you talk about this decision? What you think of it?

Ms. Pelosi. It is a decision of the Supreme Court. If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken. It's an elementary discussion now. They have made the decision.

Q Do you think it is appropriate for municipalities to be able to use eminent domain to take land for economic development?

Ms. Pelosi.
The Supreme Court has decided, knowing the particulars of this case, that that was appropriate, and so I would support that.

I can honestly disagree with someone and still respect their intelligence. But this woman is a moron. Seriously. She's an idiot and it's a sorry state of affairs for the Democrats that she is one of their leaders. So the Court makes a decision and that is the word of God? Are you fucking kidding me? I wonder if she agrees with Dred Scott, Lochner, Bush v Gore, Lopez, Morrison...

She is also confused about the issue. She gets it wrong twice in this exchange. How is this very basic argument about the differences in the branches of government so foreign to her? This is high school level civics.

The Court is nine people, human beings, flesh and blood. They get things wrong all the time. To deny that is just fantasy. I hope this braindead exchange is plastered across the web today, and hopefully someone in the mainstream media runs with this. Let Pelosi get on TV and explain this to the nation. "The Court has spoken! Bow before the Court!"

EDIT: Looks like the fire is spreading, and I haven't even had breakfast yet. Michelle Malkin's got it, as well as links to other major blogs covering this. Interesting that Pelosi made a "God" reference, considering two other recent Supreme Court decisions. I can't keep from laughing at it all...

About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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