Wednesday, August 31, 2005 


The always interesting Supreme Court Justice had some great comments in CA Monday.

The whole article is good but I want to highlight a few points:
"I am questioning the propriety -- indeed, the sanity -- of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society ... by unelected judges," he said.

I don't know how any rational person can disagree with this. Well, actually I do. The people who disagree with this statement are the ones with unpopular agendas to push. These people cannot persuade their fellow citizens of the merits of their positions democratically. When they can't win the argument, they look for a sympathetic judge. This is why the Supreme Court and Roberts are such huge issues. We as a nation have allowed the Court to settle these big issues for us. Since they are the ones deciding, the bodies in those nine chairs are very important. They are so important that qualified nominees will be blocked on a solely ideological basis. That is the politicizing of the courts. And that is ruining our democratic process.

"Now the Senate is looking for moderate judges, mainstream judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?"

Here it is in action. Judges, especially Supreme Court Justices, have become political figures and are discussed in political terms. In many cases, that couldn't be farther from the truth. There are times when politics shows through but legal philosophy (strict constructionism, loose originalism, etc.) is usually more important. Does the public understand these philosophies? Do senators help or hurt their constituents by politicizing these nominations?

Sen. Reid was pushing for the President to nominate a senator (John Cornyn, Orin Hatch, Mel Martinez) to the Court. Horrible idea. Right now, there is a huge amount of legal talent in this country. Check out this list. There is no need to troll the Senate for candidates. We need less politics involved in the Court, not more.


Praise from Caesar

Imagine my surprise when I checked Prof. John McAdams blog today and found a mention of ED, my blog and favorite time waster. Thanks for the praise and the link. Now I'm under a lot of pressure now to produce material that is both readable and interesting. After this and being linked on Conglomerate, I really need to try to be more professional and less vulgar.

For anyone new, here's a mini bio/history of ED. I'm a 2L at Marquette Law. I started this blog out of boredom during April of this year. As far as content, it is all over the map. My posts vary from links to articles or op-eds that I find interesting to stupid stuff that happens in my personal life (which I know you all care so much about). Expect to find a lot of legal issues and law school observations. When the Roberts confirmation hearings start next week, I will be posting about them a lot. I also review beers because, well, I like beer. I'm not really involved in politics at Marquette at all. There are many other MU blogs to check out if that's what you're looking for. I tend to stay off in my own world unless something really stupid (like The Gold) comes up.

In spite of vicious rumors claiming otherwise, I'm a pretty nice guy. If you want to know anything about law school in general or MULS in particular, leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.



I know I said I would go over the Sunstein article on Roberts today. I lied. I'm tired and just want to go to bed. Speaking of everyone's favorite current Supreme Court nominee, there is going to be discussion panel at ye olde law school entitled The Roberts Nomination: A Progressive Conversation tomorrow. I will not be in attendance. I'd like to be but it's too late in the day for me. Taking into account my cancelled class, I will be done at 10:15 tomorrow. I'd like to be home by 1-ish, after doing some reading for Thursday and attending the Environmental Law Society cook out. I'm intrigued to see what kind of grills they will be using and what their effects on the local air quality will be.

But back to Roberts. The panel will consist of MULS Professor Scott Moss, Sheila Cochran of Milwaukee County Labor Council, Henry Hamilton III of the Milwaukee Chapter of the NAACP, Kimberly Robson of People for the American Way, and Nicole Safar of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. I think I have an idea what will be said, but I'd like to go just to be sure. Maybe I will go, it depends on how I feel tomorrow. I'm pretty pumped about the whole confirmation. I have vague memories of my mom watching the Thomas hearings but that's it. Since I have somewhat of a grasp on Constitutional law, I can fully understand and appreciate what is being said now. The hearings start in a week and I will be TIVOing them then watching them during the following weekend. Pretty shocking that I don't have a girlfriend huh? "Gee, pretty girl, I'd love to spend some time with you but they're asking him about the Commerce clause now. Don't you get it? Commerce clause issues!" Yeah, it's pathetic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 

Message to the Hurricane Looters

I hope that when you are wading through that tepid water to loot the Wal-Mart that you get infected with a horrible bacterial disease. There are tons of people dead, many more homeless, entire areas of states are destroyed. But you are more concerned about stealing shit and laughing about it. Please get infected with a horrible disease that kills you slowly and painfully. Then you can think about the total immorality of your behavior. Scum.

PS: I'm very glad that I didn't go to law school at the University of Mississippi now.

EDIT: I just saw footage on MSNBC of two COPS looting a store along with the rest of the trash. There was a reporter there asking them what the hell they were doing. They stopped pushing their fucking cart of shit and said "Looking for looters." Check the fucking mirror. There were also tons of looters around them so their detecting skills are not very honed. So much for my faith in humanity.


The Campus

Since one of my classes was cancelled today (and one is cancelled tomorrow too), I've spent a lot of time just hanging out here at school. I did a bit of reading outside since the weather is decent, minus the wind being a little too page turning for my tastes. This is the first real week back at school. All of the undergrads are back, taking up valuable space and oxygen. Look at them sitting over there. Reading their books that have pictures and color in them. Ha! A real college textbook is 1200 pages of solid text.

Looking at the freshpersons, I feel really damn old. I'm a pretty youthful looking 23 but compared to some of these new kids, I should be off hunting mastodon somewhere with a clovis point spear. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to accept it and die sooner than them.

I read the first issue of the Marquette Tribune early while eating lunch. There is an opinion piece about the Downing Street Memo. Way to stay current, man. How long was this author sitting on that piece? It was all a platform to plug the war protest in DC in September. I think that protests like that are the most selfish, wasteful, and meaningless activity that a person against the war can do. What does it really accomplish? Unless it ends in a storming of the Capitol (which would make for great TV but a horrible domestic situation), it does nothing. You or some group spends a lot of money to bus you across the country (gas is expensive; Big Oil even created a hurricane to shut down our Gulf refineries), you possibly miss work or school, you chant and march around, and at the end of the day, nothing changes. You might feel good about yourself and end up scoring with that girl from Vermont, but so what. Not that I want to give these people advice, but why not put that time, capital, and energy into winning a few elections? Find someone to run for office that is decent and get to work campaigning. It will do more good than a glorified field trip.

Speaking of Marquette politics, I found these two blogs via John McAdams' blog. 1832, which is a liberal MU blog, and GOP3, a conservative MU blog. I haven't read all of their stuff, but here's what it looks like to me so far. Basically, it is one big pissing match back and forth. And I think that's great. Where are the future leaders of America going to learn the important political skill known as mudslinging. Why, Marquette University of course. This is what the Tribune opinion page looks like too. I've gotta read it every issue too. It's like a car accident that you absolutely must see.

On that note, I will end what is probably the biggest everything/nothing post I've ever written. Why the hell did you read all of this? I don't know why I typed it. I'll say this for Marquette. At least it's not UWM.

EDIT: I just noticed something about that 1832 blog. After some digging and reserach (I read the top of their page), I found out what the "1832" means. "While this blog celebrates Andrew Jackson's founding of the Democratic party..." Andrew Jackson? Wow. I'm kind of surprised to see a group of modern Democrats cozying up to him. Trail of Tears and all.


Jude Wanniski Died

His site.

If you can appreciate the man for anything, appreciate him for his verbal whipping of the always eyeroll-inducing Paul Krugman.


I Got Worried

When I sat down to start my reading of various websites and posting, I came here first. Honestly, the only reason I have this blog is so I have a place to keep a bunch of website links. I got sick of trying to remember them all offhand, so I started ED and slapped a bunch of sites on the blogroll.

In my haste, I typed Click the link.

My first thought was that I left my account signed in somewhere and someone screwed me over very elaborately. Too bad it was just a typo, cause that would be a great joke.


A Preview

As I noted earlier, Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway are going to debate issues concerning the Iraq War in September. This article by Hitch in the Weekly Standard is probably much of the case he will make. It's a big long but worth reading.

I make many of the same points to people when I defend the war. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't matter. When I say that Abu Abbas had an Iraqi diplomatic passport which allowed him to escape prosecution by the Italians and facilitated his eventual residency in Iraq (until US soldiers caught him in 2003), I get blank stares. No one knows who Abu Abbas is, or Yasin, or Abu Nidal, or about the suicide bomber funds, or has read Dr. Mahdi Obeidi's book. Shocking to think that the news media doesn't report these things.

That's why I have all but given up debating/discussing/arguing/screaming about the war. It has become an issue where neither side is willing to budge (and I admit culpability here too) because the two major sides are coming at this from different viewpoints. The differences go beyond normal ideological conflicts. It's like discussing a case. If I have an entirely different view of the facts (and sometimes simply different facts), my analysis will tend to go in one direction. Someone with a different view of the facts will go in the other direction. That, I think, is the ultimate futility in trying to change anyone's mind on this issue. When you start from places so far apart, the two paths are never going to converge. Not even close.


I'm Way Behind the Game

Everyone who has a blog has made a Cindy Sheehan post. There might be a few hold outs (I'm one of them) but that number is small. At first, I thought I would use that as a gimmick. I was going to have ED be a No Sheehan Zone. Really, is there anything that I can say that hasn't already been said? I think not. So I decided to go halfway. I'm making this post but it won't have any of my views in it.

The following are quotes from Cindy Sheehan as collected in the American Spectator:

"Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state."

"Our government is run by one party, every level, and the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government."

"Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush, taking a five week vacation in a time of war. You know what? I'm never going to get to enjoy another vacation because of him. My vacation probably -- this is really sad because I have a really cute dress I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night -- but I'm either going to be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died."

"You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East."

"And if you think I won't say bulls**t to the President, I say move on, cause I'll say what's on my mind."

"You get that evil maniac out here, 'cause a Gold Star Mother, somebody whose blood is on his hands, has some questions for him."

"The biggest terrorist is George W. Bush."

"If he thinks that it's so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war."

"What can we do to get him out of power? And I'm gonna say the 'I' word: Impeach. And we have to have everybody impeached that lied to the American public, and that's the executive branch, and any people in congress, and we got to go all the way down... to the person who picks up the dogs**t in Washington because we can't let somebody rise to the top who will pardon these war criminals. Because they need to go to prison for what they've done in this world. We can't have a pardon. They need to pay for what they've done."

"It's up to us, the people, to break immoral laws and resist. As soon as the leaders of a country lie to you, they have no authority over you. These maniacs have no authority over us. And they might be able to put our bodies in prison, but they can't put our spirits in prison."

"Is there anyone in America who cannot yet see that Donald Rumsfeld is a liar, that he -- as with Hitler and Stalin -- will say anything so long as he thinks it will help shape the world to his own liking? Is there even one sane adult among us who cannot see that Donald Rumsfeld is a threat to our nation's security and to peace on our beloved earth?"

"Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC [Project for the New American Century] Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11."

"We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now."

"I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people... since we first stepped on this continent; we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bulls**t to my son, and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms this country is not worth dying for."

"Our country has been overtaken by murderous thugs... gangsters who lust after fortunes and power, never caring that their addictions are at the expense of our loved ones, and the blood of innocent people near and far. We've watched these thugs parade themselves before the whole world as if they are courageous advocates for Christian moral values... and for the spread of democracy. Yet we all know that they are now putting in place, all across this country, a system of voting that provides no way to validate the accuracy of the counting of the votes... and that, by its very design, prohibits recounting the votes. Our loved ones have been buried in early graves even as these arrogant thugs parade themselves before the entire world, insisting that democracy is worth dying for, killing for, and destroying entire cities for... In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure as they mock the dwindling multitudes who are yet so blind as to mistake them for God's devoted servants."

Take that as you will.


Oh, That Darn Rotunda

The wonderful people at Think Progress go after Ronald Rotunda for his defense of Judge Roberts.

If you haven't been keeping up, the tempest in a teapot concerning Roberts this week has to do with the Hamdan Gitmo detentions case. The anti-Roberts folks are saying that since he was asked to be interviewed by the White House, he should've recused himself from the case. Ronald Rotunda comes to Roberts' defense, then he's accused of being cozy with the White House via government positions.

I'm going to respond, but first I need to take this legal ethics casebook written by Rotunda off of my lap. I should also pick up this hornbook on Constitutional law written by Rotunda that is on the floor. Really, I should get these back on the Rotunda shelf of my bookcase before I respond to any criticism of him.

I think it's pretty safe to say that you can trust Rotunda's word on ethical issues. He's pretty good at it. He may not be respected by the Think Progress crowd, but by looking at the comments attached to this post, they're off in their own world. I guess it would be asking a lot of them to find out who Ronald Rotunda actually is instead of checking where he worked. Sure, conflicts of interest can arise with jobs and the desire to please a current/future/potential employer. But I have a hard time accepting that Rotunda would put his scholarly credibility on the line to score a few points with the White House. I think someone on Volokh said a while ago that Rotunda was one of their dark horse candidates for the Supreme Court. Any position he does get will be based on his credentials and work, not kissing up in such a minor way like this.

Comment 7 is my favorite. As a person currently taking both tax and ethics, I can tell you for certain that this person is entirely full of crap. Law students are horse whipped into being ethical people. The state bar takes ethics issues very seriously and demands a lot from us. But this cranky TP reader seems to have an axe to grind with tax lawyers and legal ethicists. Poor guy. He should find a dog to pet. That always cheers me up.

I have a cancelled class tomorrow (in the middle of the day of course) so I might get some major blogging done instead of this piddly crap of late. I plan on tackling the Cass Sunstein piece in the WAPO. I love Sunstein's work on environmental policy and risk analysis, but this... this is not good. In fact, it is quite bad. But that's for tomorrow.


Iron Chef is Trippy

I love Iron Chef. If you haven't seen it, Iron Chef is a Japanese TV show where chefs compete against a master chef, known as an Iron Chef. Wikipedia will bring you up to speed on the details.

Tonight was Battle Eggplant with the always entertaining Chef Sakai. That man is just adorable. I love his granny glasses with the gold chain. He's the Japanese version of Hans Moleman. The weird seafood ingredients are the best ones, especially if it is alive. You haven't seen good television until you've seen a small Japanese man furiously beating a giant lake carp in the head with a cleaver. That is must-see TV.

I can't wait to travel abroad. Not only do I just want to see these various places, I want to check out their TV shows. I really have no desire to watch Matt Le Blanc in another oh so hilarious situation comedy. I want to see a 5 ft tall man fighting with a live eel.

Monday, August 29, 2005 


C-SPAN, you better be covering this. Cause it's going to be TIVO'ed.

My appreciation of Christopher Hitchens isn't exactly a secret, so I can't wait for this. I think Galloway is a despicable human being, but he's sharp and a quick thinker on his feet. This will be well worth watching.


Great "In the News" Headline on Yahoo

"Iraq constitution said vague on some points"

Unlike ours, which no one has any differing opinions about.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 


I never did get to see New Orleans.

Friday, August 26, 2005 


I haven't been able to sleep for the past 5 years. Well, let me change that a bit. I haven't been able to sleep regularly in the past 5 years. I blame higher education because this all started when I was a college freshman. It was much, much worse then. I would be awake for 3 days straight. And I mean awake. I spent hours upon hours on the internet. I watched a lot of DVDs (which contributed to my DVD buying addiction). I took a lot of late night walks. I was lucky to have a friend on my floor who decided to get into speed for a while, so he was up too. We would often walk to a controlled intersection late at night and push the Push To Walk button right as a car approached. Believe it or not, those buttons do work. The light would turn red and the driver had no idea that two UWEC morons were the cause. That usually occupied us for about an hour. After I reached the point of exhaustion, my body would say "fuck this, I'm done" and I would pass out for a solid 12 hours. This went on for 4 months.

It has never been that bad again. Right now, I am tired physically and mentally. I've been at school for 10 hours. If I wasn't in class, I was reading for class. It's been a long day. Everything about it tells me I should be ready for bed. I'm not. I haven't been all week. I have been getting to sleep between 2:30 and 3:30 AM this week. At most, I get 5 hours of sleep. The whole situation is just a mess.

I only have one more day of school, consisting of 2 classes. I'm going to get my Tuesday reading for Environmental Law done and then go home. I plan on breaking out the grill, making some food, having a beer or two, and relaxing. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to take a nap. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, August 25, 2005 

The Losers Club

Tim Graham at The Corner spotted this gem from the Hunter Thompson Memorial Service and Artillery Shelling:

Along more political lines, McGovern recognized Kerry in the audience and said the crowd would be calling him President Kerry if the last election hadn't been rigged. Then again, he said, that might not be the case if the election before that hadn't been rigged, too, and Al Gore had won.

Bitter much?

I am constantly impressed by the sheer number of people who don't think that a majority of Americans might not agree with them on something.


The Zeidler Thing

There I was Saturday morning, glass of OJ in hand, flipping through the paper before starting my day. I read an OP-ED about judicial activism that I agreed with, but almost did a spit take when I read the author's name.

Frank Zeidler.

Yes, the Frank Zeidler, former socialist major of Milwaukee. He was coming out in favor of strict constructionist judicial philosophy and restraint from the bench. My first reaction was that he had a stroke. Or something else of that magnitude. In the end, I chalked it up to someone surprising me with their opinion and moved on.

Here's the kicker. Zeidler didn't write it. Our beloved newspaper got duped. MU Professor John McAdams is on top of this whole thing. Check it out.


There are More Kelo Posts on My Blog than Any Other Topic

Ann Althouse spotted this backpedal by Justice Stevens, author of the Kelo opinion.

I do say "spotted" even though it is in the NYT, because I refuse to read the NYT and therefore would not see what would normally be a prominent story. I just really can't stand that newspaper.

I think there is a big problem when a decision from last term is called unwise by the author of the majority opinion. I hope that means that this issue will be revisited by the Court in the near future and corrected. I think that saying planned development counts as public use is a bit of a stretch. Maybe this comes from a basic distrust of government bodies (especially ones in Milwaukee), but I don't think that the public interest is always priority number one for city planners. There have been more than a few sweetheart deals in this city concerning development (Michael Cudahy, I'm looking in your direction)and it seems like the connected few are taking advantage of positions of power.

I look forward to talking about Kelo in Land Use and Development next semester.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 

Burning Man

I am neither a hippie nor an artist, but I want to go to this. I am more interested in the whole self-reliance in a harsh environment theme. That and I think it would be fun to hang out in the desert for a week. Stupid school interfering in my recreation.


A Question of Age

I'm still awake and quite listless. It must be all that back to school excitement that's got me all pumped up. Or it's the two Pepsis I shotgunned when I got home. I've been off caffeine for a while, so it hit me hard.

Anyway, I have a hypothetical that I've been kicking around. How much of an age difference is allowed between two people who are dating? Does that age difference change as the parties get older? Does the sex of the older party matter (is older man-younger woman more acceptable than younger man-older woman)?

Let's say there is someone like me, a 23 year old male. What is the socially acceptable age range for me to date? The WI law would say 18 as the youngest, but that is a legal answer. I'm looking for a cultural and sociological answer. I have often heard that the following formula should be applied: your age, divide by 2, add 7. I know, it seems silly. I would end up with 18.5. That is good enough for the state of WI, but is that good enough for society at large? What about the opposite direction? Would a 32 year old woman be acceptable for me to date?

I'm going to kick this around with a few people and see what kind of answers I get.


Am I Weird?

I'm genuinely upset that the Roberts confirmation hearings are starting in September because I will be in school and unable to watch the bulk of them. Is this a cry for help? Am I an intervention waiting to happen?


Beer Review: Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest

After my very long day at school, I'm going to enjoy a cold beer before bed. Hacker-Pschorr's Weisse is a popular import and is on tap even in chain restaurants. I love the Weisse and it is one of my favorites. It's light, refreshing, and has a crisp taste. When I can get my hands on the Original Oktoberfest, I jump at the opportunity. The OO is no Weisse. It is a medium dark brown beer. It is more rust colored than golden. Think somewhere between MGD and an Irish stout. The OO doesn't have much of an aroma. There is almost an absence of any smell, like a beer vacuum. When in the mouth, the taste is fairly light. After you swallow, it hits you. There is a bite and then the very full bodied flavor hits your throat. The aftertaste coats your mouth and lingers. That's a nice way of saying you get major beer breath.

The first time I had OO, my Weisse-fan friend asked me out of curiosity what it tasted like. I said that it tasted like how a beer should taste. You know that stereotypical "beer" taste, that idealized flavor? That's what OO is. I got this in a good import bar once, Romans' Pub. It came in a big beer mug. I felt like Homer Simpson drinking down at Moe's. I loved it. I highly recommend picking up Original Oktoberfest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 

Marathon Days

Today is my first day back at ol' MULS. I showed up carrying every book I had minus my Ethics books. I figured that it would be a good idea to get most of my stuff down here and into my locker. My book bag is a messenger bag because I am a moron. I can carry two casebooks in it at most. My load for the day was 4 casebooks, my environmental law supplement, and my tax phone book. Unfortunately, my locker would not open. One of my fellow students informed me that the new automated locker assignment system was sending out the wrong combinations. Capital.

I guess this problem was widespread, because there were already forms printed up in 146 to be filled out. After submitting my paperwork, I had to lug my armful of books up to the third floor for Tax. There should be pack mule rentals at the bottom of the stairs. I ended up sub-letting some space in a friend's locker until my new combo was sent to me. Everything is gravy now on the locker front.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are very long for me. I am here from 10:30 AM to 8:15 PM. There were a few semesters in undergrad that I had days like that. I could often be seen in the UWM Union asleep, sprawled out on a table. I don't have much shame, especially when sleep is involved. This semester's schedule lets me get a lot of reading done between classes though, which is nice. The hours just pile up though. What am I going to do with my time when I'm done with my reading? How am I going to afford eating down here everyday or deal with hauling food here from home? How did Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind" get on my Ipod?

Well, I guess I'll just see how the semester plays out. I think I'm going to do a beer review later tonight. I'm fighting the urge to go to Haggerty's and do one right now.


Uh Oh

I've been found out. I am on the blog roll at Conglomerate under Marquette Blogs. I guess I better clean up my language and talk less about going to bars. My reputation is on the line here.

But I guess I shouldn't feel that bad. Law & Alcoholism is on the list for UW blogs, and he's much more of a deviant than I am.


2008 Straw Poll: Republican Presidential Candidate


Patrick Ruffini has one of these every month and the August one is up now. It's pretty damn depressing. I'll say this right now. 2008 is the Democrats election to lose. They pick the right person and they win easily. On the main ballot, I voted for Romney. On the fantasy ballot, I voted for Rice. I haven't seen anyone yet that captures my attention or my affection. Governor Bill Owens should run.

Monday, August 22, 2005 

Hiatus Over

I'm back. I know you missed me.

The oh so cryptic other project that I was and still am working on is a book. Like 2 or 3 years ago, I decided to try to write a novel. I pumped out 50 pages and was pretty happy with it. I scrapped it when I got a real social life and started studying for the LSAT. There's never been any real reason to finish it because I'm writing from a much different state of mind now. It would be like two different people wrote it. The tones and themes would be messed up. So I started a new book. There is a chance that I will post a chapter on ye olde blog in the future. Be warned, I love big voice narration.

School starts tomorrow officially. I have no Monday classes but will be going down there anyway. I have to drop some books off in my locker, run some errands, normal bullshit. My book bill is $650 so far. I don't plan on buying any other supplements cause fuck it, I need money to live on. I like the material so far. I've been reading my assignments for the first day (yes, we have assigned reading for the first day of class. Thank you, fucking Internet) and it's all interesting stuff. Although, I'm pretty fucking weird cause I think tax law is interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 

Just a Quick Post

President Bush and I are currently reading the same book. Shocking! (considering the topic, it is actually shocking)

Kurlansky said he was surprised to hear that Bush had taken his book to the ranch: "My first reaction was, 'Oh, he reads books?' "

The author said he was a "virulent Bush opponent" who had given speeches denouncing the war in Iraq.

"What I find fascinating, and it's probably a positive thing about the White House, is they don't seem to do any research about the writers when they pick the books," Kurlansky said.

Yes, Mr. Kurlansky. There are people out there who read books written by people who don't agree with them or written about positions that they don't agree with. You don't have a monopoly on enlightenment, Mr. Author Man.

I'm glad I got a copy of Salt from Book Closeouts. It was a copy that didn't sell in the bookstore, was returned to the publisher, then sold to me for FAR below market price. I'm glad because 1. it was cheaper and 2. Kurlansky sounds like a real douche bag after this.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 


I'm taking a break from my beloved blog for a while. There is another project that I am working on that seems to be monopolizing my time. I'm not complaining, I'm glad I'm working on it. But there are only so many hours in the day. I should be back at this in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 

Kneel Before Eisner

The Ovitz case gets ruled on.

This is such a great story. I highly recommend DisneyWar by James B Stewart. The whole Eisner-Ovitz episode is a great lesson for business. Never hire your best friend when you are going to have to be their boss. These two guys were very close for years. Then Eisner decided to make Ovitz president of Disney and it all went down the shitter. Their styles clashed, Eisner's monkey boys wouldn't show Ovitz any respect, and Ovitz had this thing about buying expensive gifts with company money for talent he was going after. That's how he did things when he was a Hollywood superagent, but you can't do that at Disney.

It was funny reading the book, because I didn't know about this whole Ovitz thing beforehand. I didn't know how bad it eventually turned out. But you could just tell that the whole thing was doomed from the start. Anyone who is going into business should read that book. Even if you aren't, you can learn a lot about how pettiness and dishonesty can fuck over any workplace, even the Magic Kingdom. There are so many little lessons that you pick up on. It's stuff that seems obvious but then you realize how simple it is to fall into the same trap that the Disney folks did.

And no, I'm not going to tell you any of that stuff. Just read the friggin book.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 


One of my ancillary interests is nanotechnology. I'm a pretty big layman on the subject still and haven't had much time to read more about it. This is a great website though. It's worth a read.


Let the Slime Begin

From Drudge:

CNN has reviewed and agreed to run a controversial ad produced by a pro-abortion group’s that falsely accuses Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers supporting a convicted abortion clinic bomber, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The news network has agreed to a $125,000 ad buy from NARAL for a commercial which depicts a bombed out 1998 Birmingham, AL abortion clinic. The Birmingham clinic was bombed seven years after Roberts signed the legal briefing the ad question!

There's more on Drudge's site, including a link to's assessment of the ad (it's false). This coupled with the New York Times fishing for info on the adoption records of Roberts' kids is really starting to piss me off. I wonder how the fuck these people sleep at night. There must be some strong rationalization at work. They must think that their ends are so just that any means are acceptable.

Well, I don't think it's going to work. Roberts is getting through, even if they have to hammer him through, square-peg round-hole style.

This is sort of why I am a pretty disaffected law student right now. Here we have a man of amazing ability, a brilliant legal mind, and that's not enough. It's not enough that judges in general and Justices in particular read and interpret texts. It's not enough that they do their scholarly (and fairly boring) work. Nope, judges have to be policy brokers. They have to push a political ideology. Their results are all that matters. Well that's not legal reasoning. In legal reasoning, it's the trip that matters, not the ultimate destination. A lot of people aren't going to like to hear this, but Roe v Wade is a shitty piece of legal reasoning. Even some of my generally liberal law professors have said this. Casey is a bit stronger and better written, but still flawed.

Anyone who really wants to know about Roe should read The Brethren by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong. The majority simply decided they wanted legal abortion and then gave Justice Blackmun the job of finding it in the Constitution. In his very long opinion, he looked and looked and looked around but couldn't find it. In the end, it didn't matter. Just use substantive due process and find it that way. Ignore the magnitude of the harm portion of the Hand Formula balancing test with regards to whether or not a fetus is a living human. Just get your end result.

The funny thing is that I personally am in favor of allowing legal abortion to a point, as well as in cases of rape and incest and an exception for the mother's life. But that's a political opinion. I would make a political argument in its favor. I would be open to a democratic debate on the issue and try to persuade my fellow citizens of the merits of my position. I would not claim that the Constitution says a damn thing about it though. It's not in there. If you want it in there, check out Article V and propose an amendment.

Go ahead, NARAL. Smear a good man. It's all about getting your policy shoehorned into the Constitution.

Sunday, August 07, 2005 


The Canadian Supreme Court


Thursday, August 04, 2005 

Beer Review: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

I decided that a nice cold beer would be great on this mild summer evening. I pulled a bottle of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse out of the fridge and poured it into a pint glass, prepared for beery delight. As you can probably tell from the name, Franziskaner is a German import. It has a cloudy, golden color that is almost opaque. The odor is not very strong. There is a light "beer" smell, but nothing too aromatic. The taste is mildly bitter but very light. It doesn't have much body or after taste. A person (me) could conceivably drink many of these before feeling filled up. The import price tag would probably keep anyone but a high roller from doing that. Overall, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse is not an overly impressive beer. It's good if you want a cool drink on a summer night. But for its price, I would probably buy something else instead. Franziskaner makes a great Dunkel if you are looking for something heavier and darker. I had one when I was out Tuesday night and was impressed.


Air America

Hugh Hewitt has an article in the Weekly Standard about the story that the mainstream media hasn't touched yet. There are signs that they will have to cover it soon. I know it breaks their hearts. It's almost as heartbreaking as Air America's ratings.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 

Political Analysis in Internet-Speak

I was watching the coverage of the Ohio Congressional election today, because I hadn't heard who won. The commentators were saying how good this was for the Democrats and how bad it was for the Republicans. I was all OMG, the Democrat won. Then someone finally let it slip that the Republican won by 4 points. I was all WTF? They've been railing on and on how this election was huge for the Democrats. Then I was all LOL when I realized that even when a Democrat runs commercials where he acts like he supports President Bush and never mentions his party affiliation, he still loses. LOL indeed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 

Ozone Action Day

According to the radio, today is an Ozone Action Day in Milwaukee. As such, I have been sitting outside all day while the AC in the house runs full blast. I started the lawnmower and just let it run until it was out of gas. Since my grill's propane tank is empty, I threw a bunch of tires into the backyard and lit them on fire. I plan on cooking steaks and corn on those steel belted radials. Don't worry. As long as everyone chips in like I do, we'll have that Ozone gone in a few years.

Monday, August 01, 2005 

Beer Review: Schlafly Expedition Reserve

I got this beer from my sister, who recently returned from a trip to St Louis. She only got me one bottle (cheap ass) so I hope this bottle is an accurate representation of Schlafy Expedition Reserve. This is an American Pale Ale, so it is amber colored, kind of orange. The aroma is powerful and fruity. It doesn't have that stereotypical beer smell. The initial taste is quite bitter. It's got quite a kick. It is also very malty and very heavy in your mouth. This is a beer that has a lot of body and weight to it. Surprisingly, there is almost no aftertaste. It goes down clean and ends up feeling lighter than you would initially expect.

I've never heard of this brewery before getting this bottle, but I will be on the lookout for it locally. I would definitely buy this beer for a party or BBQ. The up front taste and flavor is a huge plus. The lightness of its aftertaste is another huge plus. I could drink a lot of these and enjoy them. It has the lightness of a Miller product when in your stomach, but the strong flavor of a good import when it hits your tongue. St Louis still sucks though.


I Can't Explain Howard Dean

He blames the Kelo decision on “The president and his right-wing Supreme Court."




Let's do a head count of Supreme Court Justices appointed by George W Bush that ruled on that case. I got zero. Everyone agree?

Let's look at who was in the majority on the decision. Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy. That's the liberal wing of the Court plus the moderate, who-knows-what-I'll-do Kennedy. The dissenters were the conservatives.

There are two possibilities here. Number one, Dean is an idiot. I know he's a doctor and was a governor (but c'mon, it's Vermont), but that doesn't necessarily mean he knows how this stuff works. He thought Job was in the New Testament. Number two, this is a political move designed to take advantage of people who don't know that this isn't the president's Court. Politics is all about misinformation.

What is the answer? Any other time, I would say number two without hesitation. But I'm really starting to wonder about Dean. I just don't think he is a good politician. At all. Not on the national level anyway. He says all these over the top things, like Republicans will eat your babies or crap down your chimney or whatever. The party base might eat that up, but it's not winning votes.

His outreach to the South is hilarious too. It's like watching a 15 year old boy try to take off a girl's bra for the first time. Dean thinks that he's going to win these people over by talking about "their issues." You can rattle off the talking points, but if you don't understand their reasons for believing what they believe, it won't mean shit. It reminds me of Russ Feingold's eye-roll-inducing op-ed about his trip through the South after the election. You will never appeal to people you don't understand. You are not Bill Clinton, you are not Lyndon Johnson, hell you're not even Jimmy Carter. Notice anything about those past Democratic presidents? Like maybe where they are from geographically? Get a clue and win an election.


Current TV

I've been sitting here watching Al Gore's new TV network, Current. Guess what. It's stupid. Oh god, I just saw a woman giving birth. Can they show that on here? This is basic cable (satellite technically). Maybe they are waiting to run the good material in prime time or something. So far, this network has too much afterbirth for my tastes. The every-half-hour Google news update it on now. The lead-in graphic had a bunch of what I guess are popular search terms. The only two I caught were "Bill Clinton" and "prostitution." Happy coincidence? I think not. Hey, the 20-something Mass Comm major reading the teleprompter just took a shot at President Bush. SHOCKING. Here comes a piece about Free Trade protests in Miami. Those of you who are unfamiliar with a Free Trade protest, it is a bunch of middle/upper middle class college students with dreadlocks or bandanas on their faces protesting economic issues that they probably can't explain. If you ever come across one of these, ask them what they think about comparative advantage or ask them to explain why they think current tariff policies are good for anyone. Ok, even I have my limits of tolerance. Time to change the channel.

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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