Thursday, March 31, 2005

Another site's two cents' worth

I won't go into any detail about what the link says, other than to say it's another perspective on what's going on in Florida and with the Federal system on all parts. I recommend reading this; well put together.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A termite walked into a bar and said "where's the bartender?"

It's Wednesday!

I drive an Escort
Bought it back in '98
shoulda got a bike

Bring them on!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Five living people I’d like to have dinner with, in alphabetical order:

On my drive home from class (45 minutes or so), I often have a lot of free time; especially after my CD player was stolen. Today, I was thinking of people I would like to meet and talk with. This is the list I came up with today:

Mitch Albom – One of the finest journalists I’ve ever read. He writes with conviction, states issues and isn’t afraid to say when an opinion is his. His sportswriting is top-notch, as evidenced by the numerous awards he’s received in that area. Additionally, he has written two of the finest novels (in my opinion) in the last twenty years, Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It’d be an honor to meet with him to discuss sports, life, issues, death, taxes, etc.
Bobby Fischer – One of the greatest chess players of all time, though he didn’t even consider including himself on a list of the top ten that he wrote some years back. I’ve commented before on how much I respect his knowledge of the game, and I would enjoy few things more than the chance to take a lesson from him over dinner.
Tommy Smothers – A great entertainer, with a quick wit and a clever insight into the world. His songs entertain without relying on sex or swear words. He works hard on his work, refusing to surrender for the easiest outlet for the joke. He stood up for his convictions, pushing for more leeway on the air with respect to the First Amendment. I’d love the chance to sit down with him for a day, as well.
Justice Clarence Thomas – The man is brilliant. He’s rational, reasonable, and sagacious. I’d be thrilled for the opportunity to spend an evening hearing his take on most issues. For example: He rejects affirmative action on the premise that it might perpetuate a stereotype that minorities need help, he believes in an America where everyone is equal not because the government said they had to be, but because that’s what America is about.
Steve Yzerman – The greatest sports leader I’ve seen. The man was captain for the Red Wings longer than most hockey players’ careers. He led by example. He led through hard work. He was there during the thin times, and he worked hard then. His teammates respond when he takes the ice, or laces up the skates, or shouts encouragement. Tenacious: He had an osteotomy in 2001 to correct a curvature of his femur. The surgeons cut his bone, shave it, and reform it so that it is straight. This is a surgery that senior citizens have so that they can walk with less pain. He did this and played in 16 games THAT SEASON, skating on their days off, saying “what kind of leader would I be if I didn’t show up for voluntary practices?” This was also the very same season that Alan Iverson complained about “practice! I show up to the games! Practice, man. (The Coach) is complaining about Practice!” Who would you rather have as your team’s captain? I’d cherish the opportunity to spend time in that sort of leadership.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter

I just wanted to wish everyone out there in blogland a happy Easter. That's all my blogging for today.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The next Supreme Court Justice will be...?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Justice Scalia is going to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. We all know that Chief Justice Rehnquist is not at the top of his game, and rumors have him retiring by the end of the year. Justice Scalia has the benefit of being one of two Justices currently under 60, which means he'll be more able to stick around a while. He's also one that President Bush is apparently fond of. I know, I know, I'm repeating what several others have said. I don't have much to offer there.
Over at the University of Pittsburgh School of law (, there is a list of possible replacement justices for whomever becomes the next Chief Justice.
One name I didn't see on that list, but I have heard as a possible dark horse is former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice and current South Texas College of Law professor Tom Phillips. That could be an interesting name to keep in mind as this plays out. Other names I've heard more than once include J. Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, and Alex Kozinski. I also would find it interesting to see Judge Posner selected, though, that could be a long shot, as well. Anyway, I'm no expert, and if I put enough names on here, maybe one will get selected and I can say "I was right!"

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I love anagrams; they're so much fun.
Today, we'll take a couple names:
Aristotle - Tater Silo
Spiro Agnew - Grow a Penis

Losing Bobby Fischer

The news story on Yahoo! reads as follows:
By JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Chess legend Bobby Fischer walked free from a Japanese detention center Thursday and flew to Copenhagen en route to his new home in exile — Iceland — following Tokyo's nine-month fight to deport him to the United States.

The whole article can be read here:
Bobby Fischer

I won't go into detail about Bobby's current state of mind.
I don't doubt, however, that his state of mind is a result of one tumultuous life. The poor guy (yes, poor guy) grew up basically alone with nothing but chess as his friend. As a friend, chess wasn't a very good one. It ate at him, jeered him, demanded all his time and energy. He'd sleep thinking chess, he'd spend days analyzing one string of moves from the Sicilian Poisoned Pawn or Najdorf.
Yet, like a codependent boyfriend, Bobby needed chess to need him. The country wanted him to succeed, not because of him, but because he was not Soviet. He had to win, to show chess that it wasn't greater than he. And when he finally did beat Spassky, when he became the highest rated player of all time (eclipsed by Kasparov later), when he took everything that chess, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the world could hurl at him across a board, he started to break down. His purpose had been fulfilled, and he became lost. He spoke of building rook-shaped castles to live in, his anti-semitism began flowing more freely, and he lost his touch with everything around him. He refused to defend his title not because he feared losing, I doubt he thought anyone but himself could beat himself, but rather because he felt the Soviet-controlled FIDE was too demanding on the rules for the defense, a claim that may or may not have merit.

He's currently wanted in the U.S. for violating a law forbidding transit to Yugoslavia, where he went in 1992 to play against his old rival Spassky. He's painfully anti-semitic, ironic considering his mother was Jewish. He's made inflammatory statements against the US, Japan, Chess, the President, whomever you can think of. Yet, I don't harbor anger towards him. I disagree with his opinions regarding the United States and Jews. I think he erred in disobeying an order to not go to Yugoslavia; he committed a crime.
Instead, I choose to remember what he gave us when he was still somewhat stable. I will remember with awe the beauty of his chess, and aspire to understand anything in this world as well as he understood a chessboard. I hold his chess in awe; it was artistic to see his command of the board, his knowledge of position.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Wednesday, March 23

Halfway through spring break
Started my appellate brief
Mary, Queen of Scots

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Not so deadly anymore

I got this from the Parade section of the Sunday paper:
According to a BBC poll, Brits believe that sloth, gluttony, lust, anger, pride, and envy should no longer be black marks on one's soul. Only greed remained from the original Seven Deadly Sins described by Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) . Instead the Brits ranked cruelty, adultery, selfishmness, dishonesty, bigotry, and hypocrisy as the other worst "sins."
It also notes that 9% of those polled said they'd never committed any of the original seven sins, a claim I would put in Benjamin Disraeli's third group of lies.

Stop them before it's too late!
Heaven forbid these judges do things like interpret the Constitution in ways that support the common good. If they do something that we don't agree with, especially if we don't understand the rationale beyond our own little tunnel-vision approach to politics and the changing world structure, then they must be stopped! Let's find ways to promote our half baked resolutions at the expense of people who have spent their entire careers/lives understanding what they're doing on a level higher than the average american, lest they do things like, stick up for underrepresented minorities, the overarching purpose of the Country and the inaction of Congress to adopt to the changing times.
I don't agree with all the decisions that the Court has reached in its history, but I respect the ways they reach those decisions, and I recognize that they understand the situations and the ramifications much better than I can at this point in time. I don't think "stopping" them is a good idea, especially since it ultimately plays into the hands of Congress, who appears to he affected most by judicial decisions, as it's their influence that is kept in check.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

My two cents' worth

Congress Intervenes In Schiavo Case
The gist of the story is that Congress got together and reached an agreement on a bill that would allow the tube to be reinserted to allow Terri Schiavo to get nourishment.
I think that reinserting her tube is the right decision in this case.
I'm not opposed to euthenasia. I believe that every person has the right to dominion over their own body. It is the right of every American to turn down medical care, and DNR is legal in this country. I don't agree with any legislation that would take away that right over any individual. I would even support Oregon's assisted suicide program on its face, under the same premise.
However, in Terri's case, we have an issue not of desire, but of "what did she say?" She can't tell us what she'd want in this situation, and she hasn't documented anywhere her desire should this come to pass. In the absense of this, I think a doctor's Hippocratic Oath takes over, and he is required to try to keep her alive and try to get her healthy. Her husband says she wouldn't want to be in that state, but her family says she would want to live. On the most simple level, since allowing her to die is decidedly more drastic than keeping her alive, it's best to refrain from ending her life, I think.
Perhaps, if we had more info, like, if she had the opportunity to turn down the feeding tube, and she did, then we'd have evidence that she didn't want to live in her state, but they don't even have that.
I think allowing her to die is a bad decision.


Since I'm currently on spring break, I've decided to take a lighter approach to blogging this week.
Yesterday, my in-laws, my family, and I all went to Fuddrucker's for dinner. What a great restaurant. I love their hamburgers, especially the dressing bar. Great, great food.

Still, it's not exactly my favorite. See, I'm a seafood junkie. Currently, I have a big hankering for Joe's Crab Shack. You can never have too many crabs (insert joke here).
The best Seafood place I've been to for sheer atmosphere, though, was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory in Monterey, CA. That you could sit on a bench in Forrest Gump's shoes with a box of chocolates next to you is just terrific. I hope I get back to Monterey for a bit someday. Really nice town. I'll also eat at Michael's on the wharf, and that Korean restaurant on the road to Pacific Grove.
Pacific Grove, there are signs in flower beds that tell you it's a $500 fine to "molest" the Monarch Butterflies. I'm no expert on insect molestation, but I'm thinking if one WOULD molest a Monarch Butterfly, the fine is the least of your problems...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Rice On North Korea

Check this link: Rice On North Korea
Condoleeza Rice warned North Korea that they can't stall forever on their nuclear issue.
What a shock. North Korea stalling on a key issue that could help stabilize the region? They've never stooped to such a level for the purpose of leverage in the international arena, have they?
We're talking about the country that brought us the submarine incidents, the poplar tree incident, the tunnels, and the tunnels. Any time something "monumental" to the region is about to occur, North Korea manages to do something to muck up the process. The fact is, they don't want anything less than full autonomy and control of the entire peninsula.
The North Korean government lives on the idea that their people believe the world is more horrid than they are, and anything that can change that opinion is bad, which is what would happen if any meaningful dialogue were to ensue.
More on this later, I'm sure

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Exercise in narcissism

You Are a Pundit Blogger!">%20/>Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.
Not that I believe that to be true, it's nice to see my classification...
Will be more poignant tomorrow, I'm sure.

Wednesday, March 16

I went golfing once
I shot a seventy-two
'Twas a nine hole course

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The coolest national park name in the world

Which I heard of first from Dave Barry's books is a national park in Canada known as the Head-Smashed-In BuffaloJump. It's a 5500 year old buffalo jump site, where Natives (First Peoples in Canadian) ran herds of bison off the cliff, so that they could clean them and get the food and other useful stuff from them at the bottom.
From what I remember from the Dave Barry article, the name comes from a legend that one time, one of the First Peoples was curious as to what it looked like to see the buffalo fall from the ground, and so he stood at the bottom of the cliff to watch. Apparently, he couldn't get away fast enough, and ended up in the predicament that has become the National Park's name. Also, according to Dave Barry, if you call in (Which I've not done yet, but maybe I will later), they'll answer the phone "Head Smashed in, can I help you?"
That's just great. You can't make up history like that.

Nothing, really

My daughter's pinkeye still hasn't cleared up, which means daycare won't take her. These are the days that I wish we had family nearby, so that someone could watch her while I went to school.
Oh well, I guess I'll just catch up on my reading and clean house a little bit, and complain.

Not that cleaning is terribly high priority here...
the gates have been broken for over a year, like, bent in broken, and, since they've painted them since, I figure they're not in any hurry to fix them.
Since the first time they broke last year, my cars have been broken into 5 times, though, since I'm a poor law student, all they've taken in the last 3 trips has been a Contracts CD and an old discman.
My faucets have been leaking since last September, despite my multiple requests to get them fixed, and a trip by the maintenance guy.
When we moved in, the cabinets under the sinks were all warped and moldy, and when we asked them to replace them, they replaced the paint over the mold.
And yet, no sooner do I get a broken slat on a blind than I receive a notice that "appearance is of utmost importance" to the complex. Appearance matters because there's no substance anywhere else. There's overflowing trash, crime, stolen cars, weekly fights, drug deals, and graffiti running through this place, and it doesn't look as though Alliance Property Management really cares to remedy any of these things.
I called the security patrol yesterday morning at 7:40, and got a "prompt return" as promised, after 2 more calls, and 12 hours.
All's not lost, though, because we'll be moving out at the end of the semester, into a place where I can let my kids play outside and not worry about them cutting themselves on broken beer bottles. Woohoo!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Judicial Term Limits

I am a reader of the Becker-Posner blogsite. Though a lot of what they talk about is of interest to me, I'm constantly astounded with the depth of their considerations with their conclusions. Today, Posner posted comments regarding judicial term limits, and Becker posted his in favor of them earlier. The gist of it was that Becker favors term limits for the judiciary, and Posner considers the current standard of "in good standing" to be undemocratic at its soul.
My current position is that I think it's beneficial to not have the term limits for the judiciary because it bars them from political pressures to get reappointed or re-elected. However, I can see that this can be accomplished in a different manner.
If a judge is appointed for life, and they know that short of impeachment they're not losing their job, it could breed inefficiency and a lackadaisical attitude on their part. Imposing a term limit of say 5 years eliminates that threat of slacking, but it runs the new threat of job-hunting, as Posner suggested, or, if they are allowed reappointment, it could run the risk of kowtowing.
If, however, you appointed the Judges to a single term of 10-20 years, the political pressure is (theoretically) alleviated, and since they'd ultimately have to find something else to do, if nothing more than lecture, they'd have to ensure they did their job enthusiastically.
Though I can see the benefit of the case, I don't know if I can totally wrap my head around it. We'll see how I feel after law school, and after I've been practicing a while.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Disney Movie Survey

As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is ill today. This means that I get to stay at home. Additionally, I get to watch Disney movies. This led me to wonder... what is my favorite Disney movie? I can't really narrow it down to one, but I think it's OK for me to say I have 2. My first is Aladdin. I love how well everything works together, and the songs aren't too schmaltzy. Coming in second is The Emperor's New Groove. I can't really say I have a good reason, I just think it's a nice movie to turn on, switch your brain off and just enjoy the ride.
My daughter loves Finding Nemo and the Rescuers, but since she's 3, I don't know that she has a real rationale.

So now that I've shared my preferences, I figured I'd ask what your favorites are. I don't have any ground rules, but I'd also like to know why, not just what, just because.

Can't wait to hear the replies!

Late haiku

My memo is finished
I turned it in today, yay!
Now I need a nap

What a day. I finish editing my memo last night, wake up at 5 with my son, get my daughter up and realize she has pinkeye. My memo's due at 3, but I can't take her to daycare. Ugh. So I have to take my poor infected daughter to school so I can drop off my memo and not be late (I can't afford a zero).

She'll be better in a day or two.

Meanwhile, I have to catch up on my other classes...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Temporary Hiatus

Until I get this trial brief written, I'm going to have to sequester myself from this blog. I will see you all soon!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Activism runs rampant

I've heard a lot of talk on TV and among my friends complaining about the "activist court," and the Court's desire to increase their power. I find this interesting, because most of the complaints about the Court's power usually has a starting point at Congress, who has a powerful history of triying to increase their power over the other branches, the states, AND the citizens, from Hunter's Lessee on. I hear complaints that the Judiciary should not be selected for life, and rather they be chosen for a specific term. I find this concept dangerous for the people of the country. Right now, the Court, by Article III, section 1, can hold their office during periods of good standing. If this is amended, it would put more pressure in politics, because the justices would be necessarily tied to a political party. It's this distancing from the political parties that makes the Court as effective a check on Congressional power as it is.
Remember, every time Congress wants to take a check or any other power from another branch of government, that shift has to go somewhere else, and most of the time, that somewhere else is Congress itself, which is scarier than anything an "activist court" could ever come up with.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wednesday, March 2

Time for the weekly haiku:

My youngest son's sick
Oldest stole his sister's cake
and my cat threw up

As always, contributions are welcome

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Happy Birthday

I just wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that three years ago today, my lovely daughter was born in San Angelo (Motto: Texas' garden of Eden, seriously). We're having a little family dinner with cake for her tonight after class and work. It's great to see kids celebrating these milestones.