Saturday, March 31, 2007
However, I am also more than certain that the implied message was what president Bush intended to convey, and as Commander in Chief of the military, he could easily have not had that banner flying behind him.
What I want to know, though, is when did the "official" reason for the banner come out? The earliest reference I can see (with my very limited research - school is keeping me very busy today) is from October of 2003, where the White House insisted that, while they made the banner, the Navy requested it and was responsible for it. When did the story get released, and what was the true intent of the President standing in front of the banner to make that speech? Give me dates and links, not speculation.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
And I don't buy into the crap about this being a witch hunt. Accountability of the executive branch (or of the government at all) is NOT a witch hunt. Perhaps the apologists should stop attacking the people asking the questions and instead starting challenging those who were asked the questions to answer them fully and honestly. Perhaps every step this administration takes is looked upon with strict scrutiny because so many of the previous steps turned out to be deceptive. And perhaps, had this administration exercised its oversight somewhat more effectively in the six years of unquestioned governing, it wouldn't be subject to external oversight now.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
That's a bad joke - quite possibly the worst joke I've ever told (most of my jokes, I'm not too modest to admit, are quite the knee-slappers), but I take solace in the fact that it's not my joke, I read it somewhere.
Anyway, it provides a pretty good segue into the point of the post - NASA is testing an inflatable shelter for use on the moon. I must confess, I am nowhere near an expert on outer space, but from what I understand, to inflate something, you would need air, and the moon is pretty much devoid of air, hence the spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong, et al when they landed in Nevada - er, on the Moon... My conclusion - not based on any science above what I remember from 6th grade, would be that an inflatable ANYTHING on the moon would be a dumb idea - from shelters to pools to those chairs that you get from drinking enough beer or smoking enough cigarettes... But, if NASA can get the government to approve it (and they've granted monies for things just as dumb, e.g. how long it takes to prepare two eggs for breakfast, or the political effects of bullfighting in Spain), then go for it. I'm thinking of asking for a grant of several million dollars to study the effect of having several million dollars in the bank account of a law student with a wife and three kids.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
She said some charters won't take lawyers. That made me sad.
Just a refresher before all the bar reviews.
Monday, March 26, 2007
I woke up early this morning - about 4:45. Laid in bed for an hour and a half, because I didn't want to get up and I kept hoping I'd fall back asleep. I don't ever fall back asleep.
Finally got out of bed, got the kids up, except the apple (youngest son) who wouldn't go downstairs for breakfast. instead, he stayed on the landing informing me that the kitty cat was "there" (on the coffee table). I didn't fight with him, because I was busy fighting with the refrigerator. Maintenance came out some 10 days ago and defrosted it because there was no freezing going on. I ended up having to do the same thing today, because the food we bought over the weekend was still not quite frozen (most of it was, but not all of it), and the milk, coke, water, and diet Dr. Pepper were all warm. Anyway, I spent about 2 hours on that all told this morning, but back to the apple. He informed me of the cat's incredulous decision to be on the coffee table a good 30 times or so, and by then the other kids were back upstairs getting dressed. When I suggested that apple get dressed, he started throwing a temper tantrum that lasted from 6:45 until I left him at daycare a half hour later. Two adults were barely able to get a shirt and shorts on this guy - I never knew toddlers could make their bones disappear at will.
I had an eye exam today. First one in four years. My doctor was curt, to be polite, and just short of rude to be more honest. My appointment was for 10. at 10:37, I went to the receptionist to find out if there was any way I could get an estimate as to when I'd be seen. I asked politely, because I don't want to piss off the office of the doctor who's going to be doing things to my eyes (if I have any true phobias, it would be irrational fear of eye trauma), but I thought to myself as I was inquiring, "you know, I had an appointment on Friday that I missed because I was downtown and they said they couldn't fit me in. I could have gotten back in time to be 45 minutes late, which apparently is about when I'm going to get seen for this appointment. I always operated under the premise of you set appointments so that people know when to be in and out of the clinic. If you are 45 minutes late 2 hours into your workday, then perhaps you need to schedule fewer appointments." Anyway, I had an eye pressure test. I hate eye pressure tests. This one included taking a machine roughly the size of Gerard Depardieu and putting it in my eye socket, without first removing my eye. I got to look at a shiny blue light, but I could not walk towards it, because like all good eye exams, they first put my head in traction. Then I got to look at all the rows of letters with the flipping of the lenses - "which looks better, one, or two?" Seriously, in the history of recorded civilization, has there ever been a one that looked better than a two, or vice versa? I think the doctors are pretty much just flipping a piece of fuzzy glass over and over to mess with us. Anyway, I got my exam done, I need a new prescription (which I got) and after a bunch of toussling with the insurance folks, figured out the reimbursement program for my new frames, which should be ready Wednesday, Thursday at the latest.
All this meant I missed my first two classes of the day (I could have been on time for the second one, but I was 45 minutes late getting seen). Then, I had to rush through the school trying to find the phone number of the opposing counsel to whom I had to deliver the discovery requests and pre-negotiate a plea agreement that he didn't seem too keen on prenegotiating, which I think bites, because, really, I've worked my tail off for that class and just once I'd like to have a week where I didn't really have to work so hard to prepare for class. Anyway, I got that stuff turned in to him, then I had to rush to work to find out how my GLBA went - horribly. I don't think I could have been more wrong, unless I'd done a HIPAA agreement instead. Anyway, I had an hour to fix what took me 3 hours to mess up, and somehow I managed to do it right this time. I actually had a big thing on here that I just deleted regarding this topic; I figured it better to leave it at this.
Then I went back to the daughter's school to pick her up and take her to daycare. She got in the car and immediately asked for her lip-talk. I asked her what she meant, she said lip-talk. I tried to hand her the apple's styrofoam cup "telephone," but that's not a lip-talk. I looked on the chair she was pointing to and saw my folder, a cushion, two CD jewel cases, and a laptop. She wanted the laptop. It's her Barbie Laptop. When she turns it on, Barbie's head comes on the screen and says something to the effect of "welcome to my super-fab laptop." I can see how to a 5 year old listening to a digitized barbie voice emanating from a head with moving mouth that it could sound like lip-talk. So I gave it to her. She played with it. I listened to ESPN Radio. I love having the stereo back, but I've turned into an old man - I no longer listen to music, I listen to talk radio. I'm not an angry old man yet, though, because I don't listen to Rush (who I don't care for) or Savage (who I really don't like).
Then I went back to class. I didn't read for class. I had been too busy with my drafts for my transactional skills class and my mini trial for advocacy that reading kind of took a back burner. Fortunately I didn't get called on, because I was completely unready - first time all semester in that class. Then I had my transactional skills class. I have my review for my first drafts tomorrow. We were supposed to e-mail those in today so that the professors would have time to review. I forgot the 24 hour requirement, but I e-mailed what I had - I'd spent about 4 hours working on my JV this weekend, and had a good bit done. After I e-mailed it 23:50 before the appointment, I opened my JV to see how it looked. There was nothing. All the work I'd done over the weekend was gone. So I spent class not listening to the professors, frantically trying to reconstruct all that I'd done over the weekend. I got a good bit in, a lot of boilerplate, and whatnot, so I went up after class to tell the professors that I'd work on it for an hour or so this evenign and turn it in before I went to bed. The professors both had other obligations for tomorrow (as do I with advocacy), so they suggested we just reschedule. My partner and I agreed heartily. So I have a bunch more time to put together a licensing agreement to go along with my JV. It looks (as of now) that my partner will be doing the distribution agreement, so I have the long of it, but I don't mind.
Anyway, I got home, played with the kids for a few minutes, and then got them shuffled into bed at 8. Now, at 10:00, I think The Boy finally fell asleep.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Now, these same people are defending Alberto Gonzalez and the administration in defending him against requests to go up before Congress pursuant to a subpoena to testify as to the involvement regarding the firing of 8 US Attorneys for, what the document dumps have illustrated, appear to be partisan reasons (i.e. they weren't "loyal bushies"). The president has gone so far as to say that he has proposed "reasonable" alternatives to testifying under oath, which is, talking off the record, and that the information Gonzalez et al. possess is protected under "executive privilege." This is a separation of powers issue, and there is certainly an issue to consider as to whether or not this is something that could be protected by executive privilege. I would like to limit executive privilege, and I fear that the administration's attempts to expand it would impermissibly extend the power of the executive branch to such point that there may no longer be co-equal branches in government, which is, in my estimation, exactly what this president wants - expansion of Presidential powers under a Unitary Executive Theory. For those Republicans who support this concept, I ask you, are these the keys you'd be willing to hand Hillary should she win in '08? That scares me almost as much as Bush operating under this theory, but I digress. The point is that in this case, the President has essentially been asked - "if you have nothing to hide, then why do you resist these people going under oath to testify?" One idea, as John Dean, the author of the link above says: "[Y]ou show me a White House aide who does not want his conversations and advice to the president revealed, and I will show you someone who should not be talking with or advising the president."
Anyway, here's the contrast - the first problem is a Constitutional issue - the administration violated the Fourth Amendment - the rights preserved for the protection of the People from the overreaching of the Government. The second one is a personal issue. Nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights is there any mention of "executive privilege." The concept, such as it exists, is a creature of the Administrations past (Nixon and Clinton relied on this concept), and any reach it does have is limited and should remain limited - lest we become a nation of subjects and no longer a nation of the Free.
On the bright side, my bar application is mailed in - late fee and everything. I elected to send the payment via teller's check, so that I could be sure that the group I was paying (the board of law examiners) was the only group that could pay, and that the money would definitely be there when they tried to cash it.
I interviewed for the job in the office in which I'm interning on Thursday - long story short, I won't be getting the job and I'm ok with that. Yesterday, we went and met the audit department - it's much lower stress, and the pay would be about the same, maybe a LITTLE bit higher, but not much. And when my boss heard that I'd be willing to move to Utah for the right price, she sent my resume up to the general counsel office up there. That's probably chasing a rainbow, but it would be much closer to gramma, papa, the aunt and uncle and cousin(s).
Anyway, that's the current update - I need to get my resume out to more people. And I'm tired. And I have to get ready for Plea Bargaining and hearings on motions for Tuesday, and to meet with the model corporation regarding the agreements. And the reading. Always the reading.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I like the Police a bit more today than I did in 1991.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
But, apparently, there has been a switch in thinking. No longer is gay a choice, you are born gay. It's not something you catch, it's something that's inside you. That's the only logical conclusion, isn't it, when a president of a seminary suggests that there should be "prenatal treatment to reverse gay orientation," and that such treatment would be biblically justified.
I can't begin to conceive of how insane this is...
If God made man in his image, and gay is a biological trait, then how is it a sin to be born the way God made you? Am I oversimplifying? Perhaps, instead of trying to cure what God made, we should reconsider what man wrote in His Book...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Read that for a minute - it's not improper, in the Executive branch of the United States Federal Government, to make mistakes that result in the termination of individuals who received excellent assessments.
I don't really care if the President fires US Attorneys. That's part of his job. I don't like that the attorneys were fired pursuant to a PATRIOT ACT provision that seems unrelated to the reason the attorneys were fired. I don't like that the administration first blamed Harriet Miers, and said that Karl Rove had nothing to do with it, when he in fact, did, and I really don't like the "reasonable alternative" that the president has offered - that it is unnecessary to put these individuals under oath to testify as to the role of the firings. I really hate the idiotic "but Clinton did it, too." So what? President Bush ran on a platform that he was going to bring respectibility back to the White House. He has not done so. And he needs to start holding those who work for him accountable to the American Public when they make "mistakes." If Congress believes that putting them under oath to have a record of their testimony, then that's what should happen.
I certainly don't want the precedents that this administration has suggested here and in other issues to move on to a potential Hillary White House - bad bad bad.
After 10 hours at school yesterday, I got home and started writing. I wrote and I drafted, and I swore and I hit the table and the chair and the computer and the c- well, I couldn't catch the cats to hit, but I would have (note to PETA people, I'm joking). Anyway, I got to bed at about 11:35 last night, too tired to fall asleep and too stressed about the case for today to be able to relax enough to drift off. So instead, my subconscious goes into overdrive.
I dream that I'm having a conversation about work and contract drafting with a dead bird. It looked like an Amazon bird, very colorful, but without the big Toucan beak. It was laying flat on its side, and (someone?) was holding it so that it was a straight line from the beak to the feet. (They?) were going to cut its head off for some reason, and I kept trying to stop them from doing so because it was the only thing that could guide me through my contract issues and prepare me for trial the next day.
Then I realized I was going insane. And I tried to relax, but I couldn't, because all I could think about was why I was thinking about some dead talking bird.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Oh, and CSI Miami is on. They just did a test to recover fingerprints from a pair of sunglasses - there was exactly ONE print on them, and it was a whole print recovered from one of the lenses. Because when I commit a crime and then touch glasses, I make sure to touch one lens and only with one finger. I HATE THIS SHOW!
The second blog, which I've not yet blogrolled, is Dick Polman's blogspot. He's a political journalist from Philadelphia, so he's got the writing and research skills of a seasoned journalist combined with the personal involvement that comes with a blog. His writing is quite good, and his points are very well made. The most recent example can be found here. If you have an eye for politics (and are critical of the current administration) then I think you'd enjoy this blog.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I think that at this time DADT is the best policy for the military simply because I don't think war is the time to integrate open homosexuality to a hostile group in a hostile environment. But that's beside the point.
The point is that the general pointed out that Homosexuality is immoral, and Sam Brownback agreed. Because it's immoral, and the military shouldn't condone immorality. The military needs to stick to the teachings of the bible, which condemns homosexuality - hence the source of the "immoral" concept. So, I think the military must do a better job of following the teachings of the bible. This means that the military should stop killing - it's one of the ten commandments. And let's not forget adultery - I seem to remember a lot of husbands and wives cheating while they were overseas while the command "officially" condemned it then turned the other way. And of course, remembering the Sabbath Day - I don't believe breaking the Lord's commandments on Sunday is in keeping with this commandment either. And Thou Shalt Not Lie? Don't we partake in disinformation in the military? How is that not lying?
Or is it just that morality is relative? And these aren't breaking the commandments, because they still believe in the spirit of the commandments, and thus they are not immoral?
Or, if breaking the commandments is a sign of immorality, then why would we not way the immoral gays fighting and killing and lying and breaking all those laws that were written by the Lord?
Saturday, March 17, 2007
He then said that the budgets for Afghanistan and Iraq must be approved "without strings and without delay," so that Congress can prove that they support the troops. Because the only way to support the troops is by giving President Bush exactly what he demands, even though his direction has, by his own admission, not gone well.
I think it's high time Congress showed the President, through its at least six separate Constitutionally granted national defense provisions, that troop support does not equate to blind allegiance to a general who declared Mission Accomplished in 2003 to a job we're still working on today.
And perhaps the President should not suggest that those who don't follow him blindly do not support the troops. Someone might consider that using the troops as leverage.
But, we did take some time to do some fun things. Last Sunday we went to the Zoo, and the kids had a blast. And yesterday, after work, the wife and I took the kids to the Rodeo. It's about 20 miles away, and it took us over an hour to get there. Traffic in Houston sucks. But it was pretty cool. We didn't actually get in to the Rodeo itself, but we spent time at the livestock show, where we got to see a gaggle of swooning girls standing on various tractors and other equipment to try to get a picture of some Country Singer guy - don't ask me who, as far as I can tell there's only one country singer and he wears different wigs and or outfits to pretend he's a different singer.
Then we went to the food circus. This is similar to any other food circus at any annual event. The kids had alligator, I had a pulled pork sandwich and fries, and the wife had a sausage on a bun with fried, and we had 3 drinks, so we spent about $31. The gator was the cheapest part of the meal.
Then we went on to the carnival rides. The kids loved the rides, especially the little roller coaster. The little boy and the wife went on a pink elephant ride, which I understand he enjoyed quite a bit. But perhaps the best ride was the 150' ferris wheel, which afforded a great view of the city, and of the area that once was Astroworld (a lot smaller than I'd have thought it would be for an amusement park).
All in all, we had a good time yesterday. Tonight I get to watch the kids and prep for trial while the wife goes out partying. I think we'll have pizza. Or cat food. Whichever is quicker...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The refrigerator is not refrigerating. The freezer is not freezing. The air conditioner is not conditioning. We put the work orders in for these yesterday, after which the main office said they'd send someone out "today." Nobody came.
So I went back today and requested they come and fix our air conditioning (it's been in the 80s the last few days), and that they come and fix our refrigerator, lest we lose some $35 in meat and a bunch in other foods. They apologized for not sending someone out yesterday, and that the guy was there, and they'd send him "right over." I said great, I'd be gone for a little bit, but I'd be right home.
I went to the grocery store - we have little food that's not in the freezer, and we were out of milk; I wanted some ready for when the fridge would be repaired so the kids could have breakfast.
I got back from the grocery store, and as I'm bringing in the last of the groceries (Coca-cola - it's a necessity), a maintenance guy shows up. "I have a work order for your toilet, it's leaking?" "Yes, but please tell me you're also here for the refrigerator and A/C." "Sorry, no."
I was happy, let me tell you.
Then the guy offered to look at the refrigerator - thank goodness - nice guy.
Then, while he was working on that, about 20 minutes later, the other maintenance guy shows up, and he fixes the A/C. So now I have a working A/C, a toilet that still runs, but doesn't leak, and a refrigerator that's about to be put back together, hopefully defrosted and working right.
And I'm only halfway through my case for Tuesday, for which I must prepare a bench brief, which I don't even know what it is, let alone how to draft one. Fun fun fun, but I have no T-bird to take away.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
While we were eating, a family came in and sat down behind my wife and daughter - so I could see them, but wife and daughter couldn't. Anyway, there was a guy who sat down with a shirt that had some clever writing on it, which I thought I'd share with you verbatim:
Stupidity is not a crime. Your free to go.
Even if I had laughed out loud at it, I don't think they guy would have understood why.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Apparently, he was lying to us. But he's not known for that, so this is a shock to the american public. It seems he approved sending an additional 4400 troops to Iraq for necessary support for the surge. As you can tell by the title, I think I've figured out the way for the President to sell this to his base, since nobody else is likely to believe anything he ever says again (and this was before this latest bit of silliness) - use new math.
You see, we did send 21,500, and that's all that is needed. But we need to augment that number by adding 4400 people. That normally would be 25,900 people, or 100 short of 26,000. Since we're short of that amount, we don't estimate 26,000 - we would estimate low, or 25,000. That of course, leads us to being over by 900 people. You add that to the 100 we were short on the initial estimation to keep us from 26,000, and you get 1000. You subract 1000 from the 4400 that we sent, because they didn't go under our estimate, and you get 3400. Now, you take that 3400 and you subtract them from the 25,000, because we didn't send 3400, we sent 4400. That gets you to 25,000 - 3400 = 21,600, or an increase of only 100 people, which, if you remember is the same number we were short on 26,000, so we can take that off and leads us to the proper equation - 21,500 + 4400 = 21,500.
Can't be simpler than that.
Friday, March 09, 2007
One of my classmates, a friend, asked me last week how I got involved in the internship, and if I knew of any jobs in this area... I hesitated. Job hunting for soon to be graduates can be rather territorial, and if you get a lead that you want, it can be very tempting to not divulge that to others who are looking. Finally, I did tell her, figuring that if she was better suited for the job than I was, I shouldn't be the reason she doesn't get hired. I also told her to let me know when she sent the resume in so I could tell my supervisor, who could tell HR to pull her resume.
I feel bad, because even though the bank had not yet posted the job opening when my friend asked, I waited to tell her. I still haven't put my resume in - it's going to take a while to get through the application process on the bank's end - and she hasn't suffered any from the delay, but I can't help but feel bad that I didn't tell her because of selfish reasons.
Why don't I feel better about having told her?
Except, wait - Newt admitted to the affair. So this wasn't undercover MSM work trying to discredit a prominent republican for daring to be republican. And hold on - he admitted to the affair to James Dobson, who, last I checked was nowhere near the MSM.
But here's the strange thing, so me. Dobson didn't vilify Gingrich for failing to obey the 10 commandments, at least, the Methodist version, which says "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery." That doesn't seem to be a very pro-family action.
I don't presume for a moment that Gingrich and Clinton are the only politicians who have had affairs. I find it interesting that the affair was such a big deal to this hypocrite, which now suggests that it was little more than political posturing, which is exactly what the Neocons are now pleading for the democrats to not do.
I don't like the democrats, and I would not vote for any of them, except maybe a Richardson/Obama ticket, but stuff like this makes me want to cast an opposition vote just to keep the republicans out of office. Still, I'm probably going to vote Libertarian again.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
One of the discussions in our group revolved around what the school needs to do to help produce more effective lawyers. One of the glaring problems mentioned by the lawyers and the judge revolved around professionalism. Future lawyers of the world - appearances matter, not just for you, but for the attorney you work for, the firm you work for, the judge you work for, and the client you work for. What does it say about my law firm if my associate does a client intake/meeting for me and her hair is wet? Or he's not wearing his shoes? Start the habit early, as a 1L of preparing yourself to look like a lawyer - it matters.
Not only will you look better, but you're probably going to be better prepared in class - think better, respond better, and get more out of the educational experience. Don't wear a hat to class, shave, brush your hair, little things go a long way.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Are there any other goat-getters out there?
May it please the Court?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,
Today, you have been called by the state to take a test. This test has but one, true/false question: “Richard Steven Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation.” You don’t have to go this alone, though. We will paint a picture for you, one which will lead you to the correct answer. Consider the facts and evidence carefully, though, because only the correct answer will lead to justice being served.
Joseph and Katharine Bass are your neighbors. Like all of you, they live in
Then, just after they rang in the new year last year, something happened to their serene world. On January 17th, while her husband was at work, Katharine was called away on an errand, a short jaunt from home, one of those things that we all have to do from time to time. Like most errands, she was not gone long, less than an hour. But that’s all it took to destroy the tranquility the Basses found in our town.
It was like those “what’s different in this picture” invasions – one where everything looked right, but was certainly not. The house seemed normal enough at first glance, but quickly, Katharine noticed something askew. The Bass’ bedrooms, the most private places in their home, where they felt most secure, had heard the steps of foreign feet. Their dressers, probed by strange hands, dirty fingers rifling the private recesses of their home.
These hands didn’t stop at disturbing the security the Basses had come to know in our town. They took from the Basses. The police report said jewelry and radios, total value between $2500 and $300 were stolen, but that’s only because there were no boxes marked security, or memories, and no report could estimate the sentimental value of those items stolen.
The next day, January 18th, the police receive a call from a local pawn shop. A man was in, trying to sell jewelry and radios – the very same items those foreign footsteps walked off with from the Bass house the day before. That man was Richard Steven Mantooth.
The state will introduce evidence demonstrating that Richard Steven Mantooth entered into the Bass’ home at
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the state has one question for you to answer: “Richard Steven Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation, true or false?” By the end of this trial, you will have been provided with all the information you will need to reach the right conclusion. If you believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Richard Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation, then you will answer true. If there is ANY reasonable doubt, after hearing all the evidence, then you will answer false. Your answer will be the right answer, so make sure you are well prepared to find it.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
The in-laws came to town Wednesday night. We got the new car Thursday afternoon, and they left Friday morning.
We have a new car. It's a 2001 Chevy Cavalier. It's essentially Chevrolet's version of the Escort, but this one is more recent than the Escort was, had no broken bumper, has a heater, upholstry, and a stereo. So while it's a lateral transfer, it's also a step up, so I guess it's a diagonal transfer.
I like it. It's nice to have something to listen to besides myself in the mornings - I can get boring after 3 years driving downtown.
We're having steak tonight - I'm cooking. Go me.