Tuesday, May 31, 2005
And then I know the people who insist on knowing what time it is, really. As in, if it's 7:29, they need to be told it's 7:29. My best friend was like that. We were quite the opposite when it came to time telling, to the point that he'd go and verify the time whenever he'd ask me what time it was and I told him a number that ended in a 5 or 0.
Friday, May 27, 2005
We always knew he was smart, so it's no surprise to us that he did well; but what we're most pleased with is how much he enjoys trying to teach other kids. He wants so badly for his (3 year old) sister to learn to read that he's been working with her with phonics. Makes us very proud.
Good Job, Son!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
It also said that my though style was a Creative Theorist, which they defined as "highly imaginative and excel at being innovative and conjuring up notions of what could be." It might just be me, but that sounds to me like it's a nice way of saying I'm good at playing make believe. That's not bad; perhaps I'll become a novelist after this whole law thing is over.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Now, let's just hope that these nominees are confirmed if they are qualified and not confirmed if they aren't. This should be something that happens more often.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
So it shouldn't be surprising that these uninformed individuals are Confused By the U.S. I mean, after all, they don't have any information. The confusion of which I speak is their reaction to what they consider the United States' conflicting comments regarding the nation. They claim Bush is plotting to overthrow their nation, while the U.S. states they are only interested in reopening dialogue. I can see how this could be confusing. Because the U.S. hasn't said "We'll give you more food and gas if you come talk with us," the U.S. isn't giving them the answer they want, which can't help but confuse them, after all, we have a history of giving the North Koreans a lot of latitude.
We aren't going to invade. Why won't we invade? We don't want to upset China, who isn't too comfortable with a united Korea with all that firepower right on their border, and thus would intervene if we went North. It's the same reason (I suspect) that China doesn't do anything with Taiwan other than rhetoric.
That's what the primary difference is between the DPRK and Iraq. And it's the reason North Korea can rattle their sabres as loud as they want, because deep down, everyone knows we're not going to hit them.
Is there a reason to invade North Korea? Well, to hear the current administration, the war in Iraq is justified because we removed a dictator who killed tens of thousands of his own people, and one who is a threat to the United States. This justification is what keeps us going despite the fact that we went in because we "knew" they had nuclear weapons that they didn't have. Kim Chong Il inherited a nation of 22 million people from his father in 1994. He now presides over 20 million. That's a mighty big loss, and I can't believe it's just because everyone's moving to the suburbs. North Korea has no freedom; the people are not allowed to leave their own country for the most part. They don't have a choice in their vote. Their government is waving their nuclear experiments right in our face. I would say that these are reasons enough based on our actions before. Yet, we'll do nothing but ask for diplomacy with a country that's brushed it off for the last 50 years (Poplar tree, tunnels, Submarine incident, etc.). But, things won't change. Oh well.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Essentially, the Court decided on the argument that Lethal Injection might be constituted as cruel and unusual punishment because it "can paralyze inmates before subjecting them to suffocation, a burning sensation and a heart attack," according to the article on law.com.
I don't know how much sense this makes; really. Short of carbon monoxide poisoning, which I understand makes you fall asleep, then suffocate, is there any way to die that isn't at least somewhat painful?
The decision was just a temporary stop, and the stay was lifted shortly thereafter; but I have problems with the decision. The person is being executed because (s)he has committed a crime sufficiently heinous that the citizens of the state, through an exhaustive appeals process felt that that person should pay with his or her life. If that is the case, and the people believe that you are deserving of capital punishment, does it really matter if you might feel some pain in the 3 minutes before you die? I doubt the 9 year old Vernon Brown strangled was free of any pain.
The Court made the right decision, in my opinion, to allow the execution, even if the guy might hurt a little. I understand that there might be other ways that are less painful, and if the citizens of the state want to research into that, they should be able to, but I don't think that an accepted method of capital punishment should be disallowed simply because someone might get hurt while he's dying.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
that she allegedly caused during an encounter with her boyfriend. The boyfriend claimed that she "shifted" positions in such a manner that fractured his penis, which, even after emergency surgery and counseling, has resulted in his sexual dysfunction. He wanted damages from his girlfriend, but the court said that there was nothing "wanton or reckless" in her behavior.
Let me say I am glad that the court dismissed this claim. I would hate to think of the precedent it could have set had it turned in favor of the plaintiff. Although I admit I'd be a little Pee'd if my little partner wound up in a sling, too.
I don't think they're still dating.
Monday, May 16, 2005
I've apparently been working harder the last few days than I thought. I got up at 5, fed the baby, got the daughter up and eating breakfast, then got the boy up and dressed. Rushed everyone to school and daycare by 7 (yes, rushed). Then I got back and started studying. Mrs. Steve went to work at 7:30, and as soon as she shut the door, I realized that though I was reading, I wasn't getting anything. I was just beat. I went to bed and don't remember anything for the next 2 hours. I woke up and thought it was past noon (a really deep sleep), so I was quite thankful that it had only been 2 hours, but I felt more refreshed after that nap than I have since we finished the semester. Ahh. Almost done.
I'll be blogging light until Wednesday, when I promise a new and exciting haiku.
Well, maybe not exciting, it's hard to be too exciting with 17 syllables, but I'll do my best.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
This just shows that a lot of superstitions can persevere over the years. It also explains why you need to sleep with the fan turned off.
The kids are watching the Incredibles for the 12,000th time, which I don't mind because it's not too filled with saccharin, like the Disney movies of the 80's. Litt;e Mermaid was ok, because they finally got the formula down, but before that, (Oliver and Company, The Rescuers) I can't handle much more.
Anyhow, we've got a slow one at Casa D'Steve. But we'll be picking up soon for the summer.
Friday, May 13, 2005
O to A for life, then to B for life, but if B gets divorced, then to C for life, and when D's oldest child is 21, then to D's oldest child.
A life estate, B vested remainder subject to condition subsequent, C has shifting executory interest, and D's oldest child (assuming she's already born) gets a springing executory interest. Or some crap like that. Stupid freehold estates. I can't even look at the Rule against Perpetuities right now.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
When I voted in this last election, I selected the candidate who I thought would best be able to represent me in Washington D.C. I expected that candidate to uphold and defend the Constitution, as (s)he must swear to do, and to work in my best interests, and the best interests of not just the state you represent but the nation as a whole.
As it happens, the candidate I voted for was you, and you won. You can thank me later. Right now, I'm calling on you to uphold your duty as my representative/Congressperson and represent me and my fellow Americans in the governing of our nation. When you propose a bill, I want to know that it's a bill that your constituents (including me) would want. When you vote for or against a bill that another has proposed, I want to know that you are voting the way America wants you to. When it comes to judicial appointments, I don't want you to grandstand, recite purple prose, vilify the other party, or alienate anyone. I want you to decide whether the judicial candidate is valid on his or her merits as a judge; not just whether he or she would overturn Roe v. Wade, or if he or she is a strict constructionist, originalist, or whateverist of the Constitution. Quit bickering. You're there to work for America, not against the other party's "agenda." Consider our opinions, the ones who voted for you, and the ones who didn't vote for you, but support you because that's their responsibility as they exercise their freedoms.
Freedom. Liberty. Under no circumstances should you take any measures that would sacrifice our liberty. I can't imagine any rational justification for abridging any of the most fundamental of our rights. We are Americans, and we desire to remain a land of the free, and if you aren't willing to do your part to preserve that, then you need to find a new line of work.
I thank you for the time you took to read this. I hope that we can converse again.
Other changes include a switch from being able to file in any court to having to file in the county in which they reside, and a determination for whether the minor is sufficiently capable of making the decision on her own changed from preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence.
It does allow that "If the court finds that the minor is mature and sufficiently well informed, that requiring consentwould not be in the minor's best interest, or that requiring consent may lead to [(deletes) physical, sexual, or emotional] abuse, as that term is defined by Section 261.001, of the minor, the court shall enter an order authorizing the minor to consent to the performance of the abortion without consent of either of her parents or a managing conservator or guardian and shall execute the required forms." (h.b. 945).
I will not discuss the debate regarding the morality of abortion. In this country right now, abortion is legal, and states and the federal government are precluded from placing any UNDUE BURDEN in the path of the female seeking the aborton. This is a higher standard than is allowed for other fundamental rights, which require strict scrutiny. This is how it is, and it is through this standard that I base my disagreement with the changes. The undue burden standard is there for a reason. It's to ensure that females who want to get an abortion can get an abortion. In the past, states have required that women get the consent of their husbands before getting an abortion. This ran the problem of the women having to tell their husbands, and subjecting them to abusse, or worse. Under the auspices of privacy, and for the protection of the female, these laws were struck down. I see little diffference here. The proposed changes would subject a minor to a court hearing, where she'd have to prove through clear and convincing evidence that she's capable of making the decision herself (I can hear the old judge now, "you weren't mature enough to keep from getting knocked up, so you're obviously not mature enough to make this decision on your own."), or that she'd suffer abuse from her parents. If she can't prove that she'd suffer abuse, then she has to get the consent, even if she WOULD suffer the abuse. Then, she needs the consent, which may not be given, which would deny her of her fundamental right.
I don't like these changes, and I don't think that they would withstand review based on the current standards.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I should do all right on this one; it's contracts.
Thanks for the well wishes, all you well wishers out there!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
When an American soldier in France won the Croix de Guerre (France's highest military honor), he refused to wear it. When asked why he did not wear it proudly as he should, the soldier explained, "I was no good back home. I let my sister and my widowed mother support me. I was a deadbeat. And now they have given me the Croix de Gueerre for something I did at the front. I am not going to put it on. I am going to go back home first. I am going to win out there. I am going to show my mother that I can make good at hoome. Then I will put on the Croix de Guerre."
He is not the first to have discovered that being heroic in a crisis is sometimes even easier than being useful at home.
- Harry Emerson Fosdick
Monday, May 09, 2005
Now, I should be sleeping (try to be somewhat rested) or studying (last minute cramming can't hurt), but instead, I'm sitting on the home computer complaining to anyone who happens upon this site.
This is rather selfish of myself, using your time to complain about trivial happenings in my life, but I don't do it often, so I think it's justified in this case. I'll be more myself in about 8 days.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
Think about that for a second...
If I am a house painter, and I have a job to paint your house next week, and I die, then my family might have to hire a replacement person to paint your house, on top of all the funeral arrangements and loss of income and grief and whatnot. Wow.
I know it makes a certain amount of sense, I undertook the obligation, it's my (through my estate) responsibility to finish what I agreed to finish, it just seems like it wouldn't always be easiest on the person's family...
I don't think I'm going to blog much over the next few days, what with cramming for finals and all, and if I do, it'll probably be some oddball legal theory that I'm trying to straighten out in my head, so I apologize in advance for the excitement you'll be seeing on here through the middle of this month.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Now, I'm sure there's something beneficial about a gastropod that's not extinct, I just don't know what that something is. Still, I'm happy that he found joy in finding phlegm with a shell.
Many military members believe that the vaccine is not safe. They think that it causes side effects that they don't want to deal with simply to prevent the "chance" that someone might use Anthrax against them.
Additionally, as far as I can tell, there's not been any field studies to see if the vaccine, which was developed for subcutaneous anthrax would work against the inhaled Anthrax that would be used in a war scenario.
"America's best scientists say the Anthrax vaccine is safe and effective," [assistant secretary of defense for health affairs Dr. William] Winkenwerder asserted.
Approximately 450 military members have refused the vaccine, of whom about 100 have been Court Martialled for failing to obey a lawful order.
The reason that the mandatory vaccine was ruled against, I'd surmise, is that a person has a right to dominion over their body. Cheif Justice Rehnquist stated in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health (457 U.S. 261) that "at common law, even the touching of one person by another without consent and without legal justification was a battery. [The] logical corrolary of the doctrine of informed consent is that the patient generally possesses the right NOT to consent, that is, to refuse treatment." (emphasis added)
This should mean that military members should have the right to determine whether or not to have a vaccine, which I can't picture being anything other than a medical procedure, however, the military feels that it's in their (the military's) best interest to force these vaccines on unwilling subjects.
I oppose mandatory vaccinations of consenting adults, and I believe that any order that would force someone to receive treatment they did not consent to cannot be a lawful order. I hope that the efforts to restart the Anthrax vaccine fails.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Bookworm hit me with her tag from Palm Tree Pundit to play the "If I were...." game. The explanation I received was as follows: I pick 5 occupations on the list below and tell what I'd do if I had them. Then I tag 3 people, and they post the answers on their blog. So without further ado…
Here's the list: If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...
If I could be a musician, then I’d be living a life that many thought I’d be living. I would be a part of a machine that soothes and entertains. I’d endeavor to be the best in the world, and play French Horn for the Berlin Symphony.
If I could be a writer, I would hope that I write the truth as I see it in a way that others could understand and appreciate. I would take Plato’s dancing shadows and convey my images to the world, that they could, ever so briefly understand my perspective.
If I could be a lawyer, then I wouldn’t have to worry about finals next week.
If I could be a bonnie pirate, I’d sail the world with nary a care save where I’d get my next meal. I’d forget my troubles and live for the now, something I’m woefully incapable of doing. I’d share my wealth, play Robin Hood of the seas, that history would remember me in an ironic manner, as a good thief.
If I could be a scientist, I would spend my time on the big issues. I’d hope to find a more efficient treatment for cancer, and perhaps a cure for Alzheimer’s. I would not seek fame, but would rather enjoy the anonymity of being one who does good for many.
Now, time to tag…
This Link, where the paper says:
"Tom Green County commissioners have signed off on a proposal to build a privately operated "faith-based" prison, billed as the first of its kind in bringing institutionalized Christianity into the cellblock.
"Proponents say the prison, run by employees with a "Christian world view," would help criminals learn to be law-abiding citizens. They say it would help reduce the number of Texas inmates, believed to be as high as 40 percent, who eventually return to jail."
The state doesn't want to get involved in this, because they view it as a violation of the separation between church and state. I can understand their concern on that level, but I can't help but wonder if a voluntary program like that, with enough incentives, could work itself out. Something where the inmates would get to go outside, for a bit for a sermon on the mount type thing, maybe... That way you're not forcing them to go, and you get what you want.
I don't know, it's possible...
Don Cheadle is one of the more underrated actors, I think. I do think he's starting to get his props, though.
Delroy Lindo (Ransom, Get Shorty) is another good actor who I don't think gets the parts.
I might not like all of her movies, but I think Jodie Foster is outstanding.
Mel Gibson might not have all the range in the world, but he's got a charm and seems to have some humility, which I think is cool.
Salma Hayek. I love Salma Hayek; good actress, beautiful, and fun. Plus, she once said "I'm looking for the man who has more balls than me," which is just cool.
Michael Keaton - I've liked most of the movies he's been in. I think he's got a good range, that many people don't have.
More to come
Monday, May 02, 2005
1. Nick Cage - Quite possibly the most annoying actor on the planet. He's got the strangest facial contortions, and it always looks like he's constipated. I really can't stand the shtick he does in (what seems like) all his movies. Though I did like the Rock, it was more for Ed Harris and Sean Connery than Nick Cage.
2. Keanu Reeves - It'd be really easy to explain this away simply to "whoa," but that's selling his lack of talent short. The guy sounds like he's reading his lines to himself (much like a 5 year old sounds when he's reading a script). I think he's one of those "bad actors who somehow gets into decent movies."
3. Leonardo DiCaprio - I'm not quite as adamant about this one. I though he was excellent in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, but I've been less than impressed in all his other movies. He strikes me as a "like me because I'm cute" actor who really has nothing more than charm to go by, and not necessarily a whole lot of that.
4. Billy Bob Thornton - He annoys me, and I find him rather creepy. I suppose he's good at what he does, it's just that what he does is annoy me and creep me out.
5. Mike Myers - Mike Myers's "Look at me, I'm being subtle here" thing wasn't funny in Wayne's World, and it's gotten less funny as time goes on. He makes kids movies, which you have to edit because so many things that SHOULD be over kid's heads, but aren't necessarily, are in them. I find him more annoying than Adam Sandler (Who I don't like but won't include on this list) and less funny than Jim Carrey (who I used to like but am losing the taste for), and not particularly witty, I don't think. I guess to sum it all up, I think he's full of himself.
That's all for this one, I'm sure I'll add more to it as I go along.
At any rate, without further ado, here's the start of my list, which I'm sure I'll add to as well:
1. Meg Ryan. Easily rates as my Most Annoying Actress. She plays one role ad nauseum, and doesn't really convey any dramatic range. She has that same sideways, aloof grin in all her movies where I can't tell if she is content or trying not to belch. Finally, her diner scene is When Harry Met Sally is overplayed to the point that I think it should be banned from any rebroadcast from now until the end of time.
2. Jennifer Lopez. Can she act? Her tone never changes, and she hasn't shown any emotion in any movie for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think I saw more range from her days as a dancer on In Living Color than I have in any of her movies. Examples: look at her scared in Anaconda, then look at her empathetic in Jack, then look at her mad in the Cell, then look at her motivated in Selena, then look at her at all in Gigli. Are any of those images any different in your head? I didn't think so.
3. Reese Witherspoon. Heiress to the Meg Ryan I'm so perky I need barbituates to keep from driving everyone near me insane approach to the world. Perhaps it's not her fault. Perhaps it's the roles she's been given, but I don't think so. Sweet Home Alabama could have used just about anyone who could read a line, but they wanted "sassy." ugh. Legally Blonde was an exercise in annoying shtick. On the bright side, she's rather young, so she'll be able to annoy the snot out of us for years to come.
4. Courtney Cox. I didn't like her before Friends. I like her even less now. I don't think she's that talented, her hair looks like she washed it in Quaker State, and she's so scary skinny that when she was pregnant it looked like she ate a raisin that refused to digest. ugh.
5. Julia Roberts. The woman who started this whole thing. Is there anything about her that's really worthwhile? I remember hearing about a charitable event she worked at where she wouldn't go near the kids because they were "smelly" or something like that. When she was filming Erin Brokovich, apparently she rented a house, then complained because the owners had a dog and there was "dog smell."She's reportedly a real slob herself. It doesn't help that her movies are all annoying as all get out as well. And she just strikes me as really needy.
That's all for now. There are more, indeed I posted more than that on Particleman's blog, but I've got to get back to work here, and I'll be able to add to this soon. I can't wait to see what everyone else puts.
Last night, I had a notice placed on my car from the folks at the apartment complex that my car would be towed at my expense for having expired tabs. They gave me five days to comply. Our lease says I must be given 10 days' notice. I should bring this up and really tick the people off.
I think I've already caused some problems by writing the main office to complain about the broken access control gates and point out their liability to tenants and tenant property. On the bright side, the letter resulted in their beginning of repairs within a one week period. Though they didn't expressly acknowledge their liability, I'm pretty sure I could win a lawsuit if something happened while the repairs were taking place.
In the meantime, I am pretty sure if my car gets towed, I could win a suit for trespass to chattels if nothing else. That won't happen, though, since I'm going to renew my tabs this morning. Still, it'd be fun, wouldn't it?
Sunday, May 01, 2005
This is likely the reason we don't push more strongly for an independent Taiwan, as well. Sort of a quid pro quo type situation. But I digress...
North Korea's Kim Chong-Il is one of the hardest world leaders to understand. I have no doubt that he would be willing to use a Nuclear Weapon on the Penninsula, especially if it appears he's going to lose his power and his Juche ideal. That's probably the most concrete reason we don't intervene on their regime to help the poor North Koreans who can't fight for themselves against the oppression. Still, if the U.S. has such a vested interest in human rights, wouldn't it make sense to follow through in this situation?
It's still not as good as "Hoosiers," the best sports movie of all time, or "Searching For Bobby Fischer," the best chess movie of all time, or "In the Name of the Father," one of the best movies of all time. But, it's a good flick.
Only 19 more days until the final installment of Star Wars. I'm interested in seeing how this one turns out; I'm afraid there are too many loose ends to tie up, to the point that it's going to either be too crowded, or will gloss over "important" things. Then again, it's just a movie, but it's one I've been anxious to see...