Thursday, October 06, 2005

Passed the Bar
No surprises here
One down, two to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Starting Clerkship
The day after tomorrow.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Good Life
Bar is done. Cooking and cleaning are provided for by family. Been able to hang out with friends. Looking forward to new job. Apartment in Dallas has been picked out, and the furniture is set for delivery. All that is left to do is to get my clerkship applications for the 2006-2007 year completed. Oh yeah, and play lots of video games.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Kelo v. Abortion?
I interupt my blogging retirement for this quick post on something that I have been thinking about. After Kelo (where a city government was given permission to seize a house for a private purpose by the highest tribunal of the judiciary branch), some began to propose using the decision against Justice Souter (who voted with the majority) by seizing his longtime house to build a hotel. As Professor Volokh pointed out, such a condemnation would not violate Kelo:
Under Kelo, it does seem that the government couldn't seize Souter's property just because it doesn't like his policies. But Kelo speaks to the intentions of the government, not of those who are doing the development.

Under Volokh's interpretation of Kelo, this means that under the decision a pro-life organization could seek to have a series of planned parenthoods in a geographic area condemened in order to put up shops that would yield greater tax revenue. That their motivations are suspect is irrelevent, because the only motivation that should trigger heightened court scrutiny would be the motivation of the city board that hears condmentations matters - and that boards' motivations would be to simply increase tax revenue. Nor would this be an undue burden under Planned Parenthood v. Casey, because Planned Parenthood would always be free to buy another plot of land to set up another planned parenthood - it would just be out the moving costs and be forced to watch the pro-life movement get a symbolic victory. Finally, even assuming I'm wrong on both of these, precedent does not speak explicitly to this legal tactic, and it would draw further negative attention to the Kelo decision, making any ultimate legal result mere icing on the cake for those who are pro-life (which I am not one of).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Limited Efficacy of Stare Decisis?
Good piece in Reason on something that I have been spending much time thinking about.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Couldn't Resist One Last Political Post
But I have an excuse! My study partner for first amendment law wrote this one on censoring speech for the Washington Post! Seriously, this is my last political post!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Goodbye, In a Way
Yes, this is the end for now of my political commentary on this blog. I may still use it to publish personal details or odd joke pages, however. I might have a big wrap up piece summing up my feelings on everything at some point after I take the bar in Late July, so there may be one last political post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

DNC Chair Dean
I have always liked the guy's style, even if I disagreed quite a bit with his content (well, more than quite a bit). Anyway, one of the lines of CW is that Dean as DNC chair will be horrible for the democrtas. This little piece in the Nation rises to Dean's defense.
How About 76 Instead?
GOP Senators mull raising retirement age to 69.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Sum of The Parts Isn't Worth All That Much Anymore
The many failures of General Motors. A good read.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Case For Tort Reform
Is aided when judges make "curious" decisions like this one.
So What Is Their Argument Anyway?
As much as I try to find policy justification for our government's medical policy towards sick people, I am unable to locate it. Others are coming to the same conclusion. Take a look at this snippet in yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer:
[Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation] said the decision was a "victory for the future of our children and our families." Medical marijuana, she said, would cover "anything and everything people want to use as an excuse to smoke pot."

But she had another comment, too. Feeling good is not medical treatment, she said. "We don't want truly sick and dying people to be scammed into thinking they are being medically treated by smoking pot."

And it raises the question of why dying people shouldn't be able to do what they want.I have known a few people who died of lung-related illnesses and smoked cigarettes to the end. You probably do, too. It's a terrible thing. But I was always baffled by the expressions of shock and horror about stories that somebody was smoking on one lung, on oxygen or on his or her deathbed. What's the difference at that point? If there is one place somebody ought to be free to smoke without being hassled, a deathbed should be it.

"Where do you draw the line?" Fay asked in one interview. "Is crack cocaine a medicine?" No, it's not. But if it gave relief to a dying patient who wanted it, what's the harm? Who's the victim?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Maybe There Is Some Merit to "The Starve The Beast" Theory
Ohio finds itself unexpectedly awash in cash, plans new spending.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Go Todd Go
Todd Zywicki has a nice little rant poking fun at those against Wal-Mart in Cleveland. Over a year ago, I came up with the idea of having an "I SUPPORT WALMART" button on blogs that supported a great company against populist demogougery. I'd put such a button on this blog in a heartbeat, if I could find one.
6-3 loss in Ashcroft v. Raich
So much for states rights. Long live Wickard and the living constitution!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Moving Cars
I just wanted to put down that I recently got my car back without any problems from Dependable Auto Shippers who shipped it from California to Ohio at half the price as most of the competition. I had resolved that I would do my part to trash their rep on the web if they screwed up. They didn't, so I want to put down a thank you on my site.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The PETA Spy
Yes, this is illegal. Yes, I disagree with the girl's beliefs. Yes, if I was on a jury hearing a case arising from these matters, I would vote against her in a second. But you know what . . . it is kind of cool in an odd irrational way at the same time. Go figure.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Housing Prices Will Create Perverse Politics
Are you one of these recent home buyers in a hot market? Are you worried that after plunking down half a million for a one bedroom in a bad neighborhood in the bay area that prices are going to crash? Do you want to protect your investment that you probably overpaid for? Vote for putative zoning restrictions. Of course, this might not be efficient for the overall market, but is that really your problem?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Something Is Rotten in Denmark.......
Some are suggesting that Bush should pick a "moderate" to replace Rehnquist. Others are hoping the Republicans learn from the past so they aren't condemned to repeat it.
Homeland Security, Protecting America
From movie pirating that is. Aren't these guys, you know, supposed to be doing something fighting domestic terrorism?
Man Released After Serving 35 Years for Stealing TV Set
No, he was not wrongfully convicted. But the sentence seems grossly extreme. There is a need for deterance and retribution in making criminals serve their time. But how much time is too much time? How much is not enough? How do we make these decisions? Things to ponder............

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Power Corrupts: Republican Ideological Drift
Witness the change in Republican policy towards the Department of Education.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

European Superiority Watch
Today: Superior Free Speech Rights
Bar Prep 1
So I've set up a new sure fire system to fail the bar. I am going to do almost all my studying on.............EXCERCISE MACHINES!

Oddly enough, it is easier for me to focus on the BarBri Outlines while burning off 680 calories an hour on an elliptical machine. For example, yesterday I did three hours on the elliptical, read about half of the BarBri Contracts outline, and also listened to a Property tape. The two previous days I managed to read almost the entire Criminal Law outline over the course of 3 and a half hours. If you throw in the swimming that I am doing too, I hope to not only finish my bar studying by mid July, I hope to be in great shape when I take the exam too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Has PC Culture Infected Even the University of Chicago Law School?
Supposedly one of the last redoubts of free thought, Walker has a disturbing email that was received from dean of students.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Now I Really Feel Bad For Him
Its always been clear that Professor Lessig has had more inner demons to confront than others. One of them has just been revealed.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Treo 600 v. Treo 650
Does any reader of this blog have any experience with these phones? My dad is hassling me to upgrade to the 650, but for the price, it just does not seem worth it. Then again, I have had the 600 break twice on me now, so he might be right.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Video Games May Be Good For Your Kid
Something I have suspected for a while (yes Professor Cuellar, that means your kids too, despite our disagreement). Of course, coupling video games with physical exercise remains a smart strategy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Let's Hope It Is Something The Authorities Are Not Telling Us
And not incompetence. Passenger on diverted flight to Bangor has some troubling thoughts about the experience.
Graduation (and Post Graduation) Depression
I told my parents during graduation that the hapiness one has for the event is inversly proportional to the happiness had during the school experience. Throw in an ex (thanks Tai!) who did a good job screwing with my head during the weekend, and it was an "interesting" time.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Throw the Book at Her
If the Wendy's Finger-in-the-Chili Lady made it up, she needs to go to jail for a long time. Not only would she have lied, she would have done so maliciously to destroy a company's good name (a valuable asset) for the potential of enriching herself in the process. In my mind and with my limited knowledge, such actions are worse than the balance sheet manipulations in the Enron type cases over the past year which at least had the benefit of being possibly legal. This would be extortion, pure and simple, different from the mafia only in that no violence was involved, and equally intolerable in well functioning society.
White House Screws Poor for Benefit of Special Interest
The White House is reimposing quotas on textiles made in china. This will "save" supposedly a few thousand job. I put save in quotes, because it will do nothing of the sort. What this will do is transfer jobs from the overall economy to the american textile industry, destroying jobs in the process. How? Because the Chinese make clothing more efficiently than we do, giving effectively more money in the process, leading to even greater employment. Even worse, if you are concerned about issues of equality, the increase in clothing price is a regressive tax on those who can least afford it, the poor.

Can't say I am all that surprised. So we have a big spending, protectionist administration that is abandoning state rights when morality can be imposed (gay rights, drug war, and probably abortion when Roe Wade is struck down).

Why can't we have a real opposition party unlike the even worse dems?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Could Have Seen This Coming
Take a look at this story:
In a pact brokered by the New York County Lawyers' Association, more than 60 law firms have agreed to tell their corporate clients the composition of assigned legal teams by race, gender, ethnicity and sexual preference.

For several years, clients have asked law firms to sign statements in support of diversifying the legal profession. But with the formal agreement, firms have volunteered to put hard numbers behind their noble aspirations. According to the pact, "law firms should not object to requests by their corporate clients [to] report the number of hours devoted to the clients' matters by minority lawyers."

This Comment reacting to the story
at Volokh's blog struck me as very disturbing of the implications of some of our laws:

I can remember very well when we were told that we could not keep records by race or gender or age because it would lead to discrimination. The next year we had to prove we did not discriminate on race or gender or age. I was responsible for personnel/payroll/benefits computer processing programs for a major firm in New England. We used to keep race and gener and age in the educational slots on the records. That way when they required us to report that we were not discriminating, we had the info. The whole concept reeks of PC crap!! If you keep it you are breaking one law, if you don't you are breaking another. The whole LLL PC crap has made this part of a company hell on wheels to work in.

And God forbid somebody claims you discriminated. Then you have to produce reams of paper every month to prove you have not discriminated and all it takes is someone apply for a job and not get it and then complain that your discriminating against them was the reason. Someone needs to get in there and clear out all these PC laws that make corporate life impossible. Once someone complains to the government for any reason at all, whether it is true or not, you are stuck. I used to have to devote a full weekend running reports that ended up being 4 feet high, 6 copies, and send them to the federal government every month. The reason is that we did not have the percentage of blacks working that matched the population. Of course the fact that blacks were afraid to venture into that part of the city meant that we did not have any blacks applying, but that did not matter. It was all our fault. I developed a very bitter distaste for the federal government working on those systems. The laws were totally insane, but the professors at Harvard thought they were wonderful.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Good to Know
Clint got this piece published about an Al-Queda linked terrorist who owns his own airline. As he said to me when I received it - "Sleep well"

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fed Courts and the Legend of the 150 page outline
I made a 150 page outline for my fed courts exam tomorrow. Prediction: it will be worthless on the exam.
Gullible Law School Staff
Picked a hang nail, and it started bleeding. So I went to random members of the law school staff and asked if the squirrels in the area were rabid as I showed them my bloody finger. Yep - they mostly fell for it - I was told by quite a few of them to go the emergency room to get rabies shots :-)

Hey - it's exam time. Let me have my amusement in peace!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Email worse for IQ than Marijuana?
Funny study if it holds up to peer review. Remember, since marijuana is a non-addictive drug without proven gateway effects, the one legitimate argument to keeping it illegal is lost productivity of society.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Andrea Dworkin, Rest In Peace
One man's hilarious diatribe against Dworkin.
Evangelical Overreach in the Military
I don't like this.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Funniest Will Ever
Maybe I should have my last will and testament set up like this.
It still is bad to be overweight, despite that recent study.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Saving Silverman
Or Saving Cancellation Boy. One of my good friends thought he found the girl of his dreams. Earlier, he made a comment on my blog pointing me to the blog of his anonymous girlfriend and himself. I read both, and started to get very worried for my friend.

It was quickly clear that the girl he was seeing had unrealistic expectations of not only herself, but what she felt she deserved from members of the opposite gender. She wants it all - money, status, family, adoring husband - but does not appear to be focused in on what she has to offer of herself in return, or what sacrifices her partner would have to endure to bring all of this to her. For example, my friend goes to a prestigious law school (no, he is not here with me at stanford law). What happens if he wants in the future to give up the law to take up writing or some other dream? Could he honestly expect this girl to be supportive of him?

The last thing I wanted to see was a close friend end up in a relationship with a girl who expects to take a lot but is not prepared to give. But what is a friend supposed to do in that case? Simple - keep your mouth shut, and stay out of others business. Luckily, when this girl's identity was unmasked in the paper, she sent out a surprise call to all elgible men to win her heart in a dating contest - even though my friend was still supposedly dating her. Now that they are done with each other, I was able to have a nice long conversation with this guy, and told him that he was better off back in the dating pool.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Worthwhile ACLU Suit
It is about time.
Sit Tight. Don't Do Anything.
Newly-acquired RB Droughns is threatening to hold out from the Browns. His argument? RB with similiar yardage are getting four times his salary. Unfortunatly for him, there are also running backs who have stats that are roughly similiar to him who are getting paid even less than him. Even worse, these running backs, William Green and Lee Suggs, are playing for the Browns, reducing Droughns leverage and thus making it unlikely the Browns will feel excessive pressure to make a deal to redo this guy's contract. And when you are losing $6,000 a day for holding out, whihc Droughns will be if he goes forward with such little leverage, you better have an ace up your sleeve, because the Browns have one up theirs - nobody excepts them to win this season.

So maybe Droughns's agent, Drew Rosenhaus knows something I don't. Maybe this wasn't done at his urging, and his client made this decision against Rosenhous's urging. For this move does not seem all that intelligent, given all that is stacked against his client here.
Unclear Your Future Is - Blogging is Dangerous, They All Sense It, Why Can't You?
All star wars references aside, I got just over two weeks until I graduate from Stanford Law, and I wanted to put a little bit down about the future of this blog. The entire time I have written this, I have been a student, where there are no issues with putting thoughts down in a public forum. In August, I start a job so there is a good chance I'll have to either restrict some of what I write about, or maybe even stop writing altogether. So far it has been fun sharing my thoughts with the world, getting linked on prominent blogs, and receiving some pretty snarky comments on a regular basis.

All of this helped me greatly with something that I only wrote about only briefly - the fact that I have spent the last year and a half getting over a shattered heart. So to those of you who have read my blog, commented on it (whether inane, well-thought out, or a little of both), or given me compliments in office hours or job interviews; to those of you who are private citizens, lawyers, doctors, prominent law professors, and judges; to those of you came just once, a few times a month, or daily; THANK YOU. You've made my life more enjoyable.
If I Could Change One Thing About Myself....
I'd like to be taller. Maybe it was lifting weights at a young age, maybe just bad genes, but at 5 foot 7 inches I'll always have an insecurity about my height. It is probably the former, because both my younger brothers are well over six feet tall. This just reminded me of it (blog of a girl who just screwed over one of my friends having a competition requiring guys height). So why do I bother writing this one the web? My attitude is it is better to acknowledge your insecurities in life than to deny them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Planning a Move? Read this.
Oh, the internet is a wonderful thing. If you look around enough you can find sites like this. It is not so good if only look around a bit, because you are likely to get scammed.

I found these links to websites dealing with moving incredibly interesting. I am trying to figure out how to get my car from California to Ohio, and I got quotes from companies that upon further research, found out may likely be scams. Whatever happens, I'll be putting updates of the company's performance here, so that their good or bad work can be enshrined for public knowledge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Why Are These Guys Getting Held Up?
Juan Non-Volokh has some thoughts, but one of my classmates (keeping its identity anonymous) has some criticisms of them.

First, Juan Non Volokh's thoughts (in part, but you can read the whole thing here)
Whether their concerns are legitimate grounds for a filibuster -- or whether Republican Senators' obstruction of Clinton's nominees was any worse or less justified than Democratic obstruction of the first Bush's nominees -- is a debate for another day. Here I merely seek to correct the record as to why Senate Democrats are filibustering some of President Bush's nominees, and to make clear that those filibustered to date are not the "most ideologically extreme" of Bush's nominees.

Next, my classmate's crticisms of this argument:
This article conflates two issues and turns them into one. As Schumer's guy said at the panel yesterday [my note - ACS had a panel yesterday with 9th Cir. Judge Reinhardt, Prof. Mike Rappaport (fellow federalist), and Jeff Berman, Chief Counsel to Sen. Charles Schumer] of the ten judges being held up, _four_ . . . are in response to what was done during the Clinton administration. The other six, however, are being held up for something specific -- or, more accurately, a combination of specific things -- in their records.

Also, the phrase "ideologically extreme" really oversimplifies the issue (although, I admit, I'm confident Dems have used this phrase for marketing purposes). The reason I say this is because, of the 200+ judges who've been nominated, the politics of the vast majority are very similar, differing only on the margins. What distinguishes each of these particular judges of course varies by individual judge, but each of them has some combination of plus factors -- not only Owen's ideology, but her willingness to commit an "unconscionable act of judicial activism" to carry out that ideology, even if plainly in contravention of the law; not only Prior's ideology, but the personal attacks he has launched on the Supreme Court and its members, in particular Justice Souter (before attacking Justice Kennedy became oh so trendy); etc.

I am not sure what I think on this point as of yet....maybe I'll put some thoughts in on this later.
Anti-Fraternity Stereotyping
This stuff really pisses me of.
Movie Tax Shelters
I found this interesting. It also shows how it can, oddly enough, be CHEAPER to make a big-budget movie for studios than for a small company to make a small budget movie.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Funny Stuff
Newly drafted Chicago running back Cedric Benson is upset that pundits keep comparing him to former Miami Dolphins RB Ricky Williams (who left football to smoke herb). Peter King at SI has some advice:

I think I have this advice for Cedric Benson: Get a hold of yourself, man. You were the fourth pick in the NFL Draft, buddy. Enjoy it. Strange moments, in the wake of Benson going to the Bears. Benson cried. You probably saw that. And he railed at the media and the NFL establishment for comparing him so endlessly to Ricky Williams, like we all were some sort of racial profilers. Let's see. Williams is 5-10 and 228. Benson is 5-10 1/2 and 222. Williams runs with powerful leg drive and has enough escapability to be dangerous. Ditto Benson. Williams admits that he has smoked marijuana. Benson was cited but never convicted on a college marijuana charge. Williams went to Texas. Benson went to Texas. Williams was a Major League Baseball draftee and played minor-league ball. Benson was a Major League Baseball draftee and played minor-league ball. Gee. I wonder why we're all comparing Benson to Williams? How strange.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Year-Round Daylight Savings Time
This letter writer is on to something. The worst part of fall is setting your clock backwards just when it is starting to get dark REALLY early. You go from a 7:00 sunset to a 5:00 sunset in about a month and a half. I don't know many people who ever comment on what time the sun comes up, but I know plenty who comment what times it goes down; their happiness (or lack of it) is often directly tied to the time of sunset. Given this, if there is ever a time to have daylight savings time, it would be in the fall/winter, not the spring/summer. Or just keep it for the full year.
More Problems With Public Broadcasting
I take a break from writing my outline, and this is what I find:
The BBC was last night plunged into a damaging general election row after it admitted equipping three hecklers with microphones and sending them into a campaign meeting addressed by Michael Howard, the Conservative leader.
Anybody surprised? Anybody want to go fundraising for NPR?

Read the whole thing.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Digitizing Conciousness
I stumbled on this post by Prof. Tung-Yin as I was preparing my fed courts outline [last exam of my law school career :-( ]. It is a fun little read. Enjoy!
Browns Take Braylon Edwards #3
The good news here is that the Browns didn't bite on the Dolphins bluff. The Dolphins, who were picking #2 in today's NFL draft, were threatening to take Edwards, who the Browns wanted. What they wanted from the Browns to move up a slot was never made clear, but was rumored to be the Browns' second round pick. Thankfully, the GM Phil Savage called the bluff, and watched as the Dolphins took a RB instead.
Please, Please, Please
Rule against the government in the medical marijuana case.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The More Things "Change" The More They Look The Same
Carville and Begalla demand that the Democrats "change". See for yourself, but I am reminded of that old Chris Farley line - you put a piece of @#$3 in a box with a warranty, it is still a piece of @#$3.
Foam Party Leads to Rash Breakout
Not good for party goers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Anonymous Blogs
The adventures of Cancelation Boy and His Girlfriend.
American Constitution Society - We need more rights!
Luckily these guys aren't running the country..........yet....
Catherine MacKinnon's Hate Speech at Stanford Law
I was at the event that instapundit linked to. Actually, there were two events (yes at Stanford Law, one event featuring MacKinnon is not enough - we had to have two). The first was Thursday evening - it was a regular event. The next day, Friday, we had a book signing event for her new book "Men's Laws and Women's Lives" (or some other title similar to that).

Reason is correct - at the first event MacKinnon did not only in fact say there was a condition similar to "war" between men and women, but actually made it the central point of her talk. If I remember correctly, her test was systematic, culturally accepted violence the law chooses not to enforce punishment for (MacKinnon also said that if war, with its corresponding punishments was not the proper schema for the "conflict" then the behavior of men to women qualified as terrorism) What Reason mag left out was I tried to call MacKinnon out on her redefinition of the term war by pointing out how quickly it descended to absurdity. My example was in part that under MacKinnon's definition, there is a "war" between older and younger brothers (systematic culturally accepted violence the law chooses not to enforce)!

Of course the audience was agasp, and MacKinnon didn't understand my example (she said she was against sexual child molestation). Since then I have caught much flack from my female classmates for questioning this great thinker, but I have stood firm.

I even went to the second MacKinnon the next day when MacKinnon had some other "fun" insights:

Catherine MacKinnon was at Stanford just a few hours ago. When she brought up the need to protect rape shield laws so as to safeguard the equality of women, I asked her if she was willing to prevent inequality of men by making false reporting of rape provable beyond a reasonable doubt a felony. Her response was that she was unwilling to do so, because this would discourage rape reporting for the overall class of women.

If you don't think false rape reporting is that big of a problem read this post with oddly coincidental timing from my old Prof, Eugene Volokh.

UPDATE: Welcome instpaundit visitors. Maybe a little bit of sunlight from the national blogsphere can expose the ridiculousness in attitude as to what is going on here. Since the debate, many of the female attendees were radicalized by MacKinnon - one of my female friends agrees that it was almost akin to a brainwashing - she thinks that a large part of it is that MacKinnon not only sounded good, but looked beautiful, representing the women they all thought they should be.

With respect to the Thursday event, when MacKinnon said the actions of men towards women may constitute a war, I remember her mentioning human rights tribunals and the Geneva conventions as potentially applying. I didn't take a transcript for that, so I can't remember how it related to her overall argument (if they should be applied or if merely they could be applied for the sake of a thought experiment).

At both of her events, a large factor contributing to the cult-like atmosphere was the flexible redefinition of terms to suit MacKinnon's ends. Not only were "war" and "terrorism" redefined as potential schemas for describing men's behavior to women, but so were Men and Women. It was strongly implied (from my perception) that throughout her talk that Men were unified in harming Women as a group who were represented by MacKinnon. Bear in mind that MacKinnon NEVER explicitly said anything about who men and women were - it was implied. If she had actually said it, the magic would have lost its effect. Instead she left it in the air, always hinted at never outright said, leaving the audience to come to that conclusion themselves. In the end this has probably made the prejudicial stereotype stick all the more.

Anyway, one of the current debates on the law school political listserves is whether the MacKinnon is incorrect and women who are proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have knowingly accused men falsely of rape should be convicted of a felony. The debate got really got moving when I forwarded this post by Chicago Law Student Walker Wells to the federalist society listserve which in turn got forwarded to the Women of Stanford Law listserve. I got this angry response:

Given the writer's (representatively) inordinate concern for the possibility of false accusations for rape and sexual assault (with corresponding LACK of concern, or at the very least radical decontextualization with all other instances of false accusations/indictments/arrests---read rampant racial profiling and animus against people of color), I cannot help but be reminded of that telling phrase from Hamlet:

Methinks the [gentleman] doth protest too much. . .

I responded to the writer with this:

[Name deleted] is correc[t] that there is an inconsitency of false accusations in other contexts. Two points
1) As with what I would like to see with Rape, if it can be shown to knowingly be made falsely by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, I think I'd like to see the penalties for that go up too.
2) As for whether in spite of this there should still be a difference in false reporting, I find Walker Wells policy distinction between rape and other crimes persuasive. Once again, here it is "The reason why I question the validity of treating rape like other criminal offenses is because intentions and consent are the critical factors in determining whether the act that transpired was rape or consensual sex."

We will see what WSL does next now that this story is breaking national.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Walker Wells on NYT Conspiracy Piece
The New York Times recently ran a piece on the "Constitution-in-Exile" movement. Wells has a very good retort here. You should take a look at it and his other recent posts - I've been quite impressed with them.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A cool little post.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Big Sugar
A good read.
"Japanese Pigs Get Out"
Japan-China relations continue to sink lower:

Chanting "Japanese pigs get out," protesters here threw stones and broke windows at Japan's consulate and Japanese restaurants as tens of thousands of people defied government warnings and staged demonstrations Saturday against Tokyo's bid for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat.

This is potentially very not good in the midterm. We don't want these two countries going to war.
Afghanistan Style Theocracy and "Trembling Before G-d"
Kos "They won't stop until they have Afghanistan style theocracy" in reference to the social conservatives attempts to influence the judiciary. While I am no fan of the social conservative movement, this is a mischaracterization. Afghanistan style theocracy involved the cutting of limbs, the denial of the ability of women to attend the classroom, and the destruction of works of culture important to other religions (those thousand foot or so high buddhist statues - or maybe they were hindu.....). As restrictive as the social right wants life to be (ending of no-fault divorce, banning of gay marriage, vast restriction on sex outside of marriage), I think it is safe to say they are not going to go that far.

On a different note, last night I coincidentally met Sandi DuBowski who directed a film that I watched and enjoyed a long time ago, "Trembling Before G-d,". It is basically a movie of ultra-orthodox jews who will not leave their faith, but also are homosexual. He said his next project, to be completed in about two years, will be called "In the Name of Allah" which is (you guess it) about ultra-religious muslims who refuse to stop being observant are also homosexual. I asked him if he was worried about having a fatwa issued against him like Salman Rushdie, and he said no.

It has been a long-term mission of mine to get my ultra-orthodox brothers to watch Trembling, mainly because I am worried about what will happen if one of the twenty kids they will have combined turns out to be gay. Not going to happen anytime soon.

Friday, April 15, 2005

MacKinnon at Stanford
Catherine MacKinnon was at Stanford just a few hours ago. When she brought up the need to protect rape shield laws so as to safeguard the equality of women, I asked her if she was willing to prevent inequality of men by making false reporting of rape provable beyond a reasonable doubt a felony. Her response was that she was unwilling to do so, because this would discourage rape reporting for the overall class of women.

If you don't think false rape reporting is that big of a problem read this post with oddly coincidental timing from my old Prof, Eugene Volokh.
Palestinians - Protecting Their Future
By throwing away the past, one step at a time.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Another Reason Not To Attend NYU
You get to avoid this sort of political climate that even libs like KOS are appalled by.

In all seriousness, back when I was looking at law schools, the first thing that struck me at the NYU admit day was the level of intolerance of libertarians/conservatives that I saw in just a few short hours.
Is It Too Late To Buy Swampland in Florida?
Guy bought out for over $4 million.
Ting-Ting has got a blog
Oh no!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Why Stanford Law (as opposed to Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, etc.)
It is that time of year again for law school decisions to be made, so here is my plug for Stanford. To start with, here are the reasons why NOT to come here:
(1) You got a ton of money someplace else that is comparable in reputation
(2) You don't want to be on the West Coast
(3) You want the absolute highest chance of being a legal academic
(4) You need to be at the most politically conservative law school
(5) You want the advantages of a large school - such as widest possible range of classes to choose from, larger alum network, and more anonymity during law school
(6) You need to go to school in the middle of a big city

That being said, here are the reasons to come here:
(1) You want a degree with a reputation that is in reality second to none: Looking at the only portion of US News worth counting - the reputational surveys - Stanford is only a tenth of a point behind the leader, Harvard. Keep in mind that with gaming of the rankings (i.e. lawyers/judges marginally subconsciously lowering the scores of rivals to their alma matter) more likely to adversely affect the smaller schools, this difference is probably non-existent.
(2) You want to enjoy your three years in law school as much as possible: In terms of quality of life, Stanford is tops. The natural beauty is amazing - I am looking at mountains from my university-owned studio while typing this - and the weather is unbeatable. During my three years here I (a) Went skiing over ten times at nearby Tahoe (for those who need to have a winter) (b) Studied for exams by sunset at the beach (c) Never wore more than a light jacket (d) Went hiking in some of the best parks in the country (e) Swam in the Stanford outdoor pool multiple times per week even in January (f) Relieved occasional stress by taking walks in the mountains behind the school that are easily accessible
(3) A name not a number: One of the biggest reasons why I think students at law school become so unhappy is that law school is the first experience where they fail to make their mark. Unless you are at the top of your class (which the odds of are slim), you will most likely not be remembered (rightly or wrongly) for your intellectual wit. At the bigger schools, that is your only chance to feel like your presence actually even matters in your latter years, because the professors are inaccessible. This is not true at Stanford. The smaller size makes it easier to be known, and the institutional memory of the school - its staff and professors - go out of their way to get to know the student body.
(4) You want excellent job placement: Some say Stanford does not have enough partners at top 10 law firms. This is because those firms are concentrated in New York, which students here often make a conscious choice to avoid. Plus, with fewer Stanford students to compete for relative to Harvard/Columbia/NYU students, those who are interested may be in increased demand
(5) You want to be with the most laid back student body possible at a top law school: Students who get into Stanford get into other schools that provide equal job opportunities. The ones who choose to come here make a conscious choice to prefer a laid back experience to the downsides of the school listed above. In the aggregate, this adds up to a relatively more laid back experience than other top schools (which students who have transferred here largely seem to agree with)
(6) If you want to be an academic you don't believe the hype that Yale is the only path to the legal academy: Stanford places quite well in the legal academic world. Although I am not interested in academia myself, my friends who are and chose Stanford over Yale on this point did so because they felt the margin that Yale has over Stanford on academic placement is due to self selection. Per Capita, we are ahead of everybody else based on the information from that link.
(7) Access to the Big City: In case you HAVE to be in a big city, many students do choose to live in San Francisco and commute down for class.

Monday, April 11, 2005

White Flag
The Cavs look like they are going to miss the playoffs. LeBron looks like he might demand a trade. I give up.

Update: Or maybe not.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

How Long Will China Grow Fast?
If you got time, this and this are excellent reads.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Business School Hackers
I think Stanford and Harvard Business schools made the wrong decision to deny admission to those who "hacked" into system to find out early whether they got in to each school. Why? Because it wasn't a hack job! All they did was delete part of the URL web address! The information was all public!

“I don’t think that billing it as ‘hacking’ is acceptable because all you had to do is delete part of the URL to get access to the admissions site,” Hill said. If accessing the information was more difficult, Hill said he believes many of the students would have more readily taken a moment to reflect on what they were doing.

More Proof That Affirmative Action Is Working
Students more likely to stick to "own race". Isn't the justification for affirmative action that it creates a climate of diversity, with people of different backgrounds interacting? Right.........

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Good Analysis of War on Drugs
I am in complete agreement with this take down of the war on drugs by Judge Posner, with the exception of Posner's last paragraph. In that paragraph he argues steroids should be an exception partly because there is no difference between the enjoyment of a sport if everybody is on steriods, and nobody is on steroids. I can't speak for other people, but I am not sure that is the truth for the average fan. Either way, fans who enjoy their athelete's on 'roids are probably unlikely to admit it to themselves, meaning they'd agree with Posner in the end anyway.

Sorry for my musings. Go read the piece. Its good, and I'm going to have start reading that blog more often.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Dark Chocolate - AntiOxidants Galore!
Great news! Make sure it is not treated with alkali though.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy April Fool's Day!
Here is one of the better pranks I have read about. Another favorite is from when I was pledging Phi Gamma Delta. It was a rainy day, and we were expected to be at the House for activity night promptly at 7:00 p.m. (or maybe it was 8:00?). So an anonymous email was sent to birthday-boy Jeff Blankman, telling him that the active members of phi gamma delta had placed a note for him under the trashcan in the dorm bathroom. The note of course told him to be at Ridge & Davis at precisely 6:30 p.m. (which was 30 min. away from the Frat House on foot). Of course, when he arrived, he was yelled at and told to report immediatly to the frat house. Upon arrival, the rain soaked Blankman eaked his way up the stairs, and our pledge class all started singing happy birthday as he came in the door (before we ruthlessly pinkbellied him [pinkbellying involves the distinct honor of celebrating a birthday by dozens of frat brothers smaking your stomach until it turns pink]). Memories...........
Too Far
I've been quite conflicted (and rationally ignorant) on what I feel is appropriate in the Schindler case. However, now that its over, this seems to be going to far: The family was not allowed to be present at the moment of death, nor will they be allowed at the burial.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Technically, My Writing Is Awful
Well, the last week I have been quite ill, but I have also been working very hard on getting something published. One of my smarter friends reviewed an earlier version of my work, and had this classic comment:
your ideas are excellent. i am as impressed as i expected to be. technically, your writing is awful. i say this out of genuine concern. you should take a remedial course.


Update: I tried defending myself by arguing I am just careless, and that my writing is quite acceptable when I bother to review it. My friend had none of this:

i'd like to see some writing you've done that you've checked carefully. then i would be able to know if you really know how to do it.... i don't mean to pick on careless errors. i would never even be able to write a draft that looks like what you did. it also shows a basic ignorance of some simple grammar rules you have never been taught because of inadequate schooling (and a gigantic lack of interest i suspect). but that's your deal....

Big Ouch!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Maybe It Isn't an Old Wives Tale....
I've always teased my mom and my grandmothers that their idea that getting caught in the rain will get you sick is just an old wives tale. Well, I went running in a downpour last night, and sure enough, I feel like crap today.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

$3.00 a Gallon Gas?
Bring it on! Seriously, this may become the reality with the growth of the Chinese economy (not to mention the growth of the Indian economy). Ever-increasing demand and stable supply equals long-term price increases. I've said in the past that we need to create incentives to consume less oil. The best incentive would be a tax on gas, but accompanied with tax cuts in other sectors to keep the government's revenue and the change in overall tax burden neutral.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A lot of people have asked me what I think about the Schiavo case. I've been avoiding it in general, but now that the case is now coming to an end (the 11th circuit denied appeal, and you can bet good money that the supremes aren't going to grant cert.), I'll put down a few general thoughts.

1) Everybody's motivation here is suspect
2) We get quite animated when we look at the possiblity of triage in health care, whether it is real or presupposed.
3) The question of who gets to make the choice in deciding to triage is just as difficult, yet important, as the decision of whether triage is acceptable. Should we care about the husband not being able to move on when the parents are more than willing to keep their daughter alive? In different cases, should there be a diminshed standard of tolerance for unlikelihood of recovery when relatives are not willing to pony up the money to pay for life support? Should it matter that the daughter may have told the husband that she would not have wanted to end up like this?
Mickey Kaus pointed me to NRO which had this interview with Professor Robert George dealing in part with this last question.
NRO: As you know, there's some question about what Terri Schiavo's wishes were or would be now. How much should turn on this question?
George: It is the wrong question. It is pointless to ask whether Terri Schiavo had somehow formed a conditional intention to have herself starved to death if eventually she found herself in a brain-damaged condition. ...[snip]
Even if we were to credit Michael Schiavo's account of his conversation with Terri before her injury — which I am not inclined to do — it is a mistake to assume that people can make decisions in advance about whether to have themselves starved to death if they eventually find themselves disabled. That's why living wills have proven to be so often unreliable. One does not know how one will actually feel, or how one will feel about one's life and the prospect of death, or whether one will retain a desire to live despite a mental or physical disability, when one is not actually in that condition and when one is envisaging it from the perspective of more or less robust health.
Consider the case of a beautiful young woman — an actress or fashion model perhaps — who is severely burned in a fire. Prior to actually finding herself in such a condition, she might have supposed — and even said, if the subject had come up in a conversation — that she would rather be dead than live with her face grotesquely disfigured. But no one would be surprised if in the actual event she did not try to kill herself by starvation or some other means, and did not want to die.

4) Regardless of all these points, involving the federal government is a questionable at best decision, and is a further signal of the hypocrisy of some of my republican allies professed concern for state rights. Take a look at the following thoughts by Charles Fried:

Congress's intervention in the Schiavo case is equally mischievous. It demanded that a federal court decide this issue without giving any deference to state law or the previous course of state court proceedings. This is exactly the sort of episodic federal intervention without regard for the integrity of state processes that plagued death penalty cases for years, and that Congress moved to end when it passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. And the real possibility now of the case bouncing back and forth between the federal district court and the federal appeals court, and maybe even back to state court, is just what Congress tried to shut down in death penalty cases.
For years now, Congress has more and more stringently demanded that federal court intervention be limited to cases where the state courts have acted not just technically incorrectly, but with egregious lack of reason. Whatever might be said of the Florida state court proceedings in this case, they certainly have not crossed that line, and indeed probably accord with what state courts all over the country have ordered or permitted for years in these difficult and agonizing cases.
Finally, the law passed by Congress on Monday was an obvious attempt - under the pretense of allowing the determination of federal constitutional rights - to delay the outcome decreed by Florida state law with the hope of making that outcome impossible. That is precisely the worrisome tactic employed with increasingly imaginative stays and orders of re-litigation in a number of federal courts, most noticeably the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers nine Western states. And it is also precisely the sort of tactic that Congress sought to discipline in the Effective Death Penalty Act.

5) Finally, the mainstream media (MSM) has once again failed us. Some good examples here and here.

Well, those are my general thoughts. Hope you either enjoyed them, or stopped reading them a bit ago.

Monday, March 21, 2005

This Is What Happens When You Slack Too Much
Spring Break. 83 Pages of Fed Courts reading down. 118 pages to go. One Elliptical Machine. 20 Calories per page. 2360 calories to go.

Thankfully, since I don't need to lose the weight, I'll just eat more ice cream.
Report on San Jose Iraq Invasion Anniversary Protests
A friend sends this email:
My friends,
Really not much to report: Pretty small turnout, I'd say, about 500 to 1000 at the Ceasar Chavez Plaza in San Jose for the Anti American, end the war, end the occupation everywhere, protest. Actually most of those present were the hard core, burntout, 50 to 70 year old Caucasoid commie peaceniks from the usual peace and justice brigades. There didn't seem to be a lot of Muslim/Arab folks who are usually younger and more threatening. However, (this is an exaggeration) about every third person seemed to be a Jew...Jews for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and even an Israeli Jew with an "End the Occupation "T"shirt. There were six of us good guys: Bob and Lisa Cohen (of course), Marty Wasserman (who has an amazing talent to keep calm and soft-spoken in his verbal encounters with these guys,) Isaac Kight, a young man who's been active in pro-Israel causes on the college campus, Dan Milgram and his two young sons about 5 and 3 years of age, and myself. There was also a guy from a group called "" who stood with us. While the rest of us carried American flags, and signs denouncing terrorism and promoting democracy and liberty in the Middle East, Dan draped himself in the Israeli flag (not real crowd pleasing attire for most of the "end the occupation" protest attendees.) Several of them read our signs and tried to engage us in debate. Nowadays, before I talk to any of these folks, I ask the standard (Ward Churchill) question: "Did America get what it deserved on 9/11?" All the protesters I spoke to answered in the affirmative. Maybe it's just me, but I find it really kind of hard to have a reasoned discussion with such people. (I'm open to suggestions and tutorials about this.) We did encounter an unusual protester who bears a mention. This guy, it turns out, seemed to be one of your old-time, old school, no bones about it, anti-semites. He belonged to none of the organizations or groups at the rally; he was, he proudly claimed, an "independent jew hater." As he walked by us, he stopped and advised us how all jews should be killed. He said he would like to do it himself if he could. I pointed to Dan's two young children and asked if he wanted to kill those children too. "Absolutely," he responded, and then he took a step toward me and asked if I had a problem with that? (Actually I think guys like this are valuable to have around. I was looking for a TV person to get him interviewed; for our puposes, he would have made a great protest rally poster boy. But alas, where are the cameras and reporters when you need them?)

We kept an eye out for media but it wasn't too heavily covered. Lisa gave a long interview, in Spanish, to Channel 14 Spanish Language TV. We also gave an interview to a very nice young woman who was reporting for the San Jose State Univ. newspaper. We got to express our views. And we tried to paint these protesters as out of touch, Ward Churchill type fanatics on their own misguided warpath of hate Americanism. And of course, I suspect, we caused a lot of annoyance to the great humanitarians of this rally who still long for the days of Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms.
Respectfully submittted,
my impressions only.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

But Night and Day Aren't The Same Length!
Spring has arrived. Confused as to why day and night aren't equal on this day? Here are some reasons why:
A look in your almanac will reveal that day and night are not exactly 12 hours long at the equinox, for two reasons:
First, sunrise and sunset are defined as when the Sun's top edge - not its center - crosses the horizon. Second, Earth's atmosphere distorts the Sun's apparent position slightly when the Sun is very low.

Have these facts on hand when you get the inevitable calls at the equinox from people saying your sunrise and sunset times must be wrong because they are not 12 hours apart.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Kirkwood Moot Court, Deadlines, and Sleep Deprivation
My week from hell is behind me. I've slept, and am now resting and relaxing.

So I took the MPRE on Saturday. That night, we had the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation (SPILF) auction, which I went to, and partied at afterwards. I ended up buying a wine tour for 10 people for $30 (in spite of not drinking myself). But I digress.

The main point is starting Sunday morning I had been working nonstop on our moot brief for moot court.

Well, I had been wrestling with the case issue for a long time, but by Sunday, I was ready to put my thoughts down. The problem was I had waited just a little too long. I had to work all day/night Sunday and all day Monday to get my section done. I did not sleep Monday night. On Tuesday, my partner told me midday that he thought stylistically, my writting was not up to snuff. As a result, we spent that afternoon and early evening making corrections. I slept only a few hours that evening. Finally, by Wednesday, we faced a 3 p.m. deadline, but still had much to do.

What did we have left to do? The table of contents and the table of authorities. The former needs no description, the latter is a listing of every case that is cited and the page number that it appears on. In short, you can't do it without having finished writing, as then the page numbers would get screwed up. To top it off, even though there was a 3 p.m. deadline, we had decided we had to finish by 2 p.m. because we fully expected all printers to be occupied during the last hour.

So there I was, sleep deprived, delirious, and stressed out that we were going to miss the deadline all through Wednesday morning. I was such a head case that I am probably lucky my partner didn't slug me. Long story short - we got the brief in in time, but there are errors that we didn't have time to correct. :-(

So now I can relax, and hope to make the lost points up in oral arguments. I'll write more about that later.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Harvard group is offended that speaker urges women to have it all - husband and career. Why are they outraged? Because husband implies that heterosexuality is the norm. Yup.

You cannot please all the people all the time.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I took the ethics exam requirement to pass the bar yesterday. Ironically enough, the exam took place at a Masonic Temple in San Francisco. Even more ironically, we had people marching in a seemingly Falun Gong type exercise outside. Gotta love California - I'll miss the place.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Confession: I Hate the Yankees
No, I am not a Red Sox fan. I am an Indians fan who is sick of listening to New Yorkers speak about all their "home-grown" talent, when they never have to worry about another team signing away one of their players that they want to keep. In this spirit, here is a cool little tongue-in-cheek excerpt of an ESPN piece:

[T]he vast majority of Yankees fans simply cannot fathom the possibility that anyone could hate their team unless he or she also roots for the Red Sox. It's simply beyond their capacity to imagine that there are people all over the world who hate the Yankees for their own very legitimate reasons, and not just because they live in Boston.

The thing is, though, people hate the Yankees everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Brazilian researchers recently discovered an Indian tribe in so remote a part of the Amazon that these natives had never been exposed to western society. Although I cannot absolutely, positively vouch for this, I believe the only words they were able to understand were "Jeter sucks."

For those of you who agree, you might like this website to buy anti-Yankee apparel.
India and the Laffer Curve
Al Jazeera of all publications has a piece on how India is gunning for position as fastest-growing-greatest-potential-developing country.

When the Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal began his Inquiry Into the Poverty of Nations in 1957, India was at the top of his list. A decade later he produced Asian Drama, a three- volume study of 2284 pages.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974 in recognition of this contribution. The only problem was that Myrdal came to exactly the wrong conclusion, arguing that India had failed to sufficiently tax its people.......
In the year Myrdal accepted the Nobel Prize, the highest marginal tax rate in India, encountered at an income threshold the equivalent of $25,000, was 97.5%. The rates were similarly confiscatory in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The old colonial masters smiled.
The first break from this pernicious advice came in India in 1975, when poverty became severe as the rupee followed the inflation that struck the world economy when the United States left the gold standard in 1971.
India's work force was pushed into the confiscatory tax brackets and the distress was so great that civil disorder ensued. In March 1975, prime minister Indira Gandhi suspended democratic rule and civil liberties, reflecting Myrdal's call for "hard" government...[she used the opportunity -] Not only was the 12.5% surtax removed, but the top rates were cut to 77% from 85% The wealth tax, which had been 8% annually on assets of about $2 million, was slashed to 2.5%, and an urban-property wealth tax, which ranged from 5% to 7% annually, was abolished entirely.
I tell the rest of the story of how revenues boomed so much that Subramaniam came back for a second "whack" at the tax code, cutting the top rate to 66% and slashing income thresholds all the way down the line. Gandhi became popular as the economy expanded and inflation subsided - with the expansion increasing the demand for rupees.
She called elections, thinking she would win easily. But instead of campaigning on the tax reforms, she asked the people of India to approve her suspension of civil liberties.

Unfortunately for India, while Indira Gandhi never got the chance to make substantial reforms. However, recently things have been different:
It has taken India 30 years to get back on that track. In his first term as finance minister, Chidambaram experimented with the Laffer Curve and for every 10% reduction in direct income levies, revenues rose 14%, rising seven-fold between 1991 and 2001.

Let's hope India stays on track and continues developing its economy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

China Moving More Agressively On Taiwan
A little update on recent developments here. It seems that we are countering China's increasing impatience on reunification with Taiwan by encouraging the remilitarization of Japan who could be used a strong regional ally of Taiwan.

This of course pisses the Chinese off to no end. Japan-China relations are at an all time low - I have met quite a few people who are from China who look forward to the day when their country can "re-Hiroshima" Hiroshima, and this sentiment is not isolated.

Keep your eyes on this one.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Transcript of Debate On Rick Sander's Article Questioning Whether Affirmative Action Benefits African-American's
Well, not quite a transcript, but Tara Heumann, a 1L at Stanford provided this, and it is better than nothing.

Professor Sander
the group that does the most pro bono work while in law school are blacks
blacks are the most likely group to participate in student government
blacks do the most pro bono work once they graduate

black students are twice as likely as white students to fail to graduate from law school
black students are 4 times less likely to pass the bar on their first try
blacks are 6 times as likely as white law students to fail to pass the bar after several attempts
mismatch theory – students can’t perform ell when the gap is too large between their capabilities and those of their classmates

Sander’ theory: if affirmative action were ended and if blacks went to the law schools where their credentials were as good as whites, they would graduate, have higher bar passage rates, etc.

2nd guy – David L. Chambers (critiqued Sander’ work)

this theory of the mismatch and that if you corrected it, blacks would do better are total garbage
mismatch is unproven and if it were testable it would probably be wrong
does not believe that ending affirmative action is the way to raise the bar passage rate

Stuart Taylor –
Much of Sander’ article is devastating to the picture of affirmative action that the law schools have painted
43% of African Americans who enter law school never become lawyers – these are highly motivated people and he thinks this system isn’t doing these people any favors
- many of the African Americans who make it through the bar are paid less
- almost every law school in the country uses racial characteristics to pick the class (law schools’ preference were heavier than the undergraduate universities) see Grutter v. Bollinger 539 U.S. 306

Rachel Moran –Boalt Hall

Important how we frame this debate
- affirmative action in higher education was really a form of desegregation
- with the decisions of Bakke and Grutter converted corrective justice into diversity that is optional and depends on the progress of the education system
o we have converted this into an efficacy debate (it’s no longer a moral imperative of integration)
o it’s important to recognize an achievement gap and to address it
o different credentials going in and different achievements coming out – is this necessarily evidence of a mismatch?
In Sander’ article, there is no direct evidence of how law students learn and how this affects their performance – no student or faculty surveys or info about how the learning process goes on in law school
- large impersonal classes and study groups is the way most students learn in the first year
- this is cheap for law schools because they need fewer faculty members
- so learning depends on peer-to-peer interactions

Professor Banks asks questions:
Prof Sander, You spend a lot of time in your article identifying and describing racial disparities – but how do we explain these disparities and what should we do about them?
- you attribute this to affirmative action
- how do you identify the extent/magnitude of affirmative action?

Moran – giving points to applicants based on their race is just too rigid a system for evaluating candidates

Banks asks Sander: Why/how has affirmative action backfired?
- If credentials predict performance at all, you are going to replicate this gap with poor performance by black students in law school
- If you’re in the bottom 10th of the class, then you are going to earn a lot less than if you are at the top of the class at a less prestigious school
- He found that the dominant indicator of bar passage rate is GPA in law school
- If you look at similar blacks and similar whites before they enter law school, the blacks do less well – because we et them up for failure by sending them to schools where their white classmates have better credentials
Banks à Sander: are you advising admissions committees to discriminate against black students in order to help them out? Sander says no

Sander says that mismatch can happen for any student or group that is given preference in the admissions process, not just blacks

For students who would not be especially likely to ever practice law, would it be good for them never to have been admitted to law school?
- Answer: we don’t know what the human capital value of going to law school is – we don’t know if you’re better off if you don’t practice law

Bar passage and attrition – Banks says that black students don’t seem to have problems at elite law schools (shouldn’t they be exempted from the “no affirmative action” plan because black students don’t seem to have a problem there)

Chambers thinks that blacks are better off at elite schools

Taylor thinks that black students should receive disclosure information from the schools about their affirmative action policies
Chambers – why would you provide information by race if Sander wants to argue that it’s not race that makes the difference, but entry credentials

Sander argues that law schools need to be held accountable for their admissions processes and then they would have to compete with each other to provide the best student support and services for black and other students
- Banks says when he applied to law schools he didn’t give a shit about the median credentials of the black students that were attending different law schools
- What he would have wanted to know was how black law students did in their careers after they graduate from different law schools

1. Elliott [that's me!] – should top law schools not care about the cascade effect because their minority students are doing better at the top? Even though minority students are hurt down the line?
- Do not assume that black students would be better of at lesser schools
- Do not assume that academic mismatch is proven or that you are totally wedded to your entering credentials
o focus on admissions to the exclusion of the learning process is really stupid – don’t assume that entering credentials are you destiny
o if law schools want to eschew the questions of how they can provide a preferable learning environment because it would require work and money then we may not get anywhere
§ maybe schools have to decrease class size, maybe they have to hire more minority faculty members, maybe they have to provide some other kind of academic support for minority students, but if schools don’t want to do this, maybe we won’t make progress
2. Julia – clarify the figure that 43% of black law students don’t make it into the legal profession
- What are they doing instead? Maybe it’s of comparable prestige…
- Most of this group doesn’t even finish more than the first year
- Of the 50% that graduate, some don’t choose to take the bar
Chimps Attack
Couple had Chimp Moe. Chimp Moe bit off a person's finger. Couple sent Chimp Moe to sanctuary. Years Pass. Couple goes to visit Chimp Moe for Chimp Moe's Birthday. Chimp Moe's Chimp Friends attack couple:

The couple had brought Moe a cake and were standing outside his cage when Buddy and Ollie, two of four chimpanzees in the adjoining cage, attacked St. James Davis, Martarano said. Officials have not determined how the chimps got out of their enclosure, he said....
St. James Davis had severe facial injuries and would require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose, Dr. Maureen Martin of Kern Medical Center told KGET-TV of Bakersfield. His testicles and a foot also were severed, Kern County Sheriff's Cmdr. Hal Chealander told The Bakersfield Californian.

Wow - who knew chimps could be so vicious?
"The Whore Lived Like a German"
Turkish honor killings in Germany (where family members murder a daughter who has gone outside the bounds of islamically acceptable behavior). As my old prof Eugene Volokh says, this article will make your blood curdle. I think I have read other stories of honor killings where women have had acid thrown on their faces or been doused with gasoline and lit on fire by their family members.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Worth Keeping an Eye on.
Stanford's own Clint Taylor has an article in American Spectator:
An ethics complaint alleges that an ACLU attorney violated conflict of interest rules in two Arkansas gay-rights cases, and suggests that the attorney "actively sabotaged" her client's case by refusing to admit evidence that might call the ACLU's agenda into question.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What Conservatives Should Look For in Supreme Court Justices
The often perceived too-liberal-incoming Attorney General Gonzalez is making a big effort to be perceived as conservative enough for a Supreme Court Judgeship.

In his first lengthy address since becoming attorney general in early February, Gonzales said people who distribute obscene materials do not enjoy constitutional guarantees of free speech.

"I am committed to prosecuting these crimes aggressively," he said to a Washington meeting of the California-based Hoover Institution.

As Jayson Javitz predicts, this does not make me (a non-doctrinal libertarian) feel all that happy. However, it comes with the territory of supporting Republicans, and I can't say that I am all that surprised.

What does concern me is that this move may burnish Gonzalez credentials to be placed on the high court. In my eyes being a firebrand on obscenity cases does not make the attorney general a judicial conservative. What does? Well, when Rehnquist steps down, here are three things to check for. Does a Supreme Court nominee:

(a) Believe enshrining racism in the pursuit of diversity is permissible because it meets a compelling government interest?
(b) Believe that all activities (even gardening home vegetables) fall potentially within a comprehensive scheme that regulates interstate commerce?
(c) Believe that Roe v. Wade is truly different from Lochner? Both cases found hidden rights in the clause of "Due Process".

If a Supreme Court judge answers yes to any of these three questions, he or she is not a judicial conservative.

Why this test? Well part (a) permits compelling government interests to be invented largely out of thin air, jeopardizing our constitutional framework. For the most basic constitutional rights can be overridden when a compelling governmental interest is found. With these stakes a judicial conservative would have an incredibly high standard in finding such an interest, which the desire for diversity never met. Part (b) tests the commitment of a judge to the enumerated powers scheme. Our Constitution is supposedly a document which gives Congress only certain enumerated powers to pass laws, yet outside of violating the bill of rights, Congress is largely able to pass any law it desires. This is made possible through a misreading of interstate commerce which permitted home-grown and home-consumed produce that never left home to be regulated as part of interstate commerce. A true judicial conservative would never permit this. Finally, part (c) deals with two cases that found substantive rights within the due process clause. One is celebrated by the legal academy (Roe) one is condemned as the worst example of judicial activism because it largely forbade governmental regulation of the economy before the New Deal (Lochner). A judicial conservative would ask for consistency on this point.

So even if you cheer Gonzalez's recent move, be hesitant before believing he might be conservative enough for the Supreme Court. He has much yet to prove.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Mom, Skiing, and Federalist Society
My mom came to Stanford last night to visit - first time since I started school. We ended up buying a huge slab of prime rib and cooking it along with two artichokes (which I steamed). She was pleasently surprised with my room - she expected it to be messier and a lot smaller. Anyway, I'm going to take her to Tahoe tonight, and hopefully we'll get some skiing in. On Thursday, both of us leave to go back east, its just that I will be going a little farther - I will be going all the way to Boston to attend the Federalist Society convention.

What does this mean for my blog? The usual - things will be slow over the next few days.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

New Blog
I'll be occasionally posting at the Stanford Review's Blog, located here.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Easier Way to Find Site
No more clunky address! No more google searching! Just go to! Isn't that easier?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Coffee Prevents Liver Cancer?
It just may!
Marital Rape
Can a man rape his wife? Should the punishment be less if you assume he can? What does rape constitute within marriage? Is unwanted sex while sleeping rape? If so, can a woman rape her husband? Should these prosecutions occur without the consent of the spouse? If so, why?

Here's a bit of an intro into the debate, although a lexis nexis search (or alternatively a google search) on marital rape laws will give you much more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

For Swingers and Swingerettes
Morning after tips to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
This Week's Sign of the Coming Apocalypse
I was in Mollie Stone's (a grocery store) and saw a Louis Vuitton Hijab.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Matchmaker, Matchmaker......
The New York Times has a long piece for those whose goal in life is to marry, and are willing to pay $$$$$$$$$$ to achieve it. A long, good read.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Vagina Monologues
Went to see it at the urging of my friend Melanie last night who was in the cast. I sat next to Rybicki who told me that at the end of the show, I would have a conversion to believing the need for prior restraints. Well, that didn't happen - the repeated mentioning of vagina/menstrual cycle did not offend me.

What it did do was bore me. Honestly, there are only so many "if your vagina could talk, what would it say" lines that one can take in a two hour sitting - even if you are vaginaless like David and I. Eventually, even the risqueness of the "v-word" can't save the show from monotany.

Making matters worse, the show tried to equate our collateral bombing damage in Iraq with men who purposely acid burn promisicous female family members. Oh well - what else can you expect from feminist and gender studies students?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Remember that post I had yesterday about NASA in Cleveland losing 700 jobs? And how I thought the Plain Dealer was whining to protect potential pork barrel spending? Well, the Colorado's Rocky Mountain News argues that this whining isn't isolated to only this project - which makes me believe that Bush is on the right track here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Rugby Fans are More Extreme Than Fooball Fans
Here is the proof if you want to read it. No, I will not summarize it, as you will understand if you are of strong enough heart to click the link.
Don't Drink the Water
Or rather, don't drink too much of it.
Is This Going Anywhere?
Canseco also said President Bush, the Rangers' general managing partner at the time, must have known about the steroid use.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy did not specifically address Canseco's assertion, but said Sunday that Bush's position on steroids "has been known for some time," noting that he condemned the drugs in his 2004 State of the Union address.

It's all part of a larger piece on Canseco implicating quite a few prominent baseball players in using 'roids.

I'm not a baseball purist, so I never had a problem with the use of 'roids in baseball. Yes, it makes it difficult to compare different records, but so does weight lifting and other training innovations.
Cleveland Plain Dealer Whining
700 jobs NASA jobs in the Cleveland area to be cut. But read this reaction by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Nowhere does it discuss whether this is good or bad policy (I honestly don't know). Rather, it just talks about the harm to the local economy of the jobs cut.

Yes, cutting any individual pork project (which this might be, like I said I don't know) will hurt a local economy. But the money to fund that project must come from somewhere, and the debate is whether the jobs that are cost through federal taxes are worth the expenditures that are proposed to be slash.

Monday, February 07, 2005

McProstitute Franchises
Anyway, in describing the leg of my trip in Reno, I had an idea of a commercial chain of prostitution that might work in a more liberal society. It would be modeled on McDonalds. Here is how an order for a "Happy Prostitute Meal" would go:

- Hi, I'd like an order of a prostitute
Would you like your prostitute regular or supersized for half off?
- Supersized please.
A side of coke (pointing to the nose)?
- Yes please.
Here for two hours, or to go for double the price?
- To go please

Tahoe Report
So Tahoe was really cool. I left at three o'clock in the morning on Thursday, and skied at Alpine Meadows for $39 the first day. Almost nobody was on the slopes - it was completely deserted. One guy who was on the slopes was a forty three year old named Daniel who suffers from MS. His attitude was that he doesn't have much time left walking, so he is trying to live it up by skiing while he still can. Made me once again thankful for what I have.

On a brighter note, I found this four star hotel on hotwire for thirty bucks. They had three pools - one was a regular pool, one was a spa, and one was this ice cold pool with a twenty foot waterfall! Of course I swam in all three. Why risk hypothermia in the waterfall pool? Well, I was in a fraternity at Northwestern, and lake michigan was nearby, so its not like that was the coldest body of water I've ever been in.

I took of the next day and drove to Carnelian Bay on Lake Tahoe where I stayed Friday night with friends. We decided to build the fire of all fires in the fireplace that was in the rented condo. I think we used 60 logs over the course of the weekend - the fire got hot enough at one point that the ash turned a bright yellow. The amount of that ash that was produced was tremendous.

One guy I stayed with from Germany ended up meeting two very attractive women. They gave him their room number, but there were two. So he invited me to come along. The fire was nice, but the idea of meeting attractive women while on a trip was of course appealing (even if they were taller than me as this guy said they were). That was until their dad opened the door when we knocked on it. My friend neglected to find out that this was a "family trip" when the girls gave him the number. This of course made me wonder at my friends ability to gauge the age of women.

Anyway, I skied Saturday again at Alpine Valley, which ended up being crowded this time around, and then left at midnight Saturday night to come back to Stanford. It was fun.

Even Natural Juice Makes Kids Fat

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Gone Skiing
I only have one class tomorrow so I am getting a friend to take notes, and will be driving up to Tahoe. I can't promise any blogging until Monday.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Of Concern to My Two Brothers
Mohlel gives circumsised baby herpes. Baby dies.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Free Food?
Not sure if this is for real, but it is Chipotle after all......
Unfortunatly, I won't be able to grab any myself - the nearest Chipotle to me is a 30 minute drive. But if you are reading this in a city, it might be of use to you. Assuming the deal is real, of course.
Does Spam Legislation Work?
Orin Kerr points to the following New York Times article (subscription required):
A spammer can often expect to receive anywhere from a 25 percent to a 50 percent commission on any sales of a product that result from a spam campaign, according to a calculus developed by Richi Jennings, an Internet security analyst with Ferris Research, a technology industry consulting firm.

Even if only 2,000 of 200 million recipients of a spam campaign - a single day's response rate for some spammers - actually go to a merchant's Web site to purchase a $50 bottle of an herbal supplement, a spammer working at a 25 percent commission will take in $25,000. If a spammer makes use of anonymous virus-enslaved computers to spread the campaign, expenses like bandwidth payments to Internet service providers are low - as is the likelihood of anyone's tracking down who pushed the "send" button.

We can create civil penalties or criminal penalties, but this will only open the way for spammers in countries with lax law enforcement (Russia) to dominate the market. It seems that there are only two ways of stopping this dynamic. One is to create liability on companies that advertise through spammers. The other is one that I remember reading a while back, to create a small tax on email (one tenth a penny an email) to have it delivered, significantly lowering the profit of companies that send out bulk email.

I am not sure what the problems of the first would be, but the second seems workable. Further, we could fine tune it so that it would not be so taxing on consumers. Instead of having the tax for each email, we could have it so that it is a tax for every UNSOLICITED email. You could import a version of your address book to your online carrier, and then every email that is received from one of those addresses would not bear the tax. Just a thought.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Sullivan on the Summers Controversey
Recall that Summers, the president of Harvard suggested that differences between men and women in the professions could be the result of men having higher variances in intelligence than women. In other words, there would be more very very stupid and very very smart men than women. Of course, this line of logic made some feminists "physically ill" and they immediatly complained to the media. Andrew Sullivan has some thoughts on this sudden attack of nausea:

It's a hard fact to absorb that some people will never be as intelligent as some others, or as musically gifted, or as mathematically skilled. Americans in particular hate the notion that there is some natural limit on what people can and cannot achieve. But there is a distinction between moral and political equality for all - the fundament of a liberal society - and unavoidable natural inequalities between human beings and, in a few narrow areas, even between social groups. This cannot and shouldn't mean that any individual should be prejudged, or denied any viable opportunity. But it does mean that some imbalances in certain professions might not be entirely a function of prejudice or bigotry.

Read the whole thing.
I Had a Dream
So I'm walking in the mountains and God comes to debate me. "Beautiful Day." Yep it is beautiful. "Elliot, why don't you believe in me when you see beauty such as this?" Because I can't be convinced that this is something other than an accident. "But would an accident be so beautiful?" Yes, if species are genetically conditioned to regard beauty as their surroundings. "True, evolutionary theory leads to that conclusion. Instead you will find proof of me in evidence of humankind that evolutionary theory would predict could not happen." Cool, is it time for me to wake up? "Yes, and I love you" Then please go easy on me if I am wrong in the future. "Sorry, can't promise anything."

Saturday, January 29, 2005

What's Wrong With Being a Likudnik?
David Bernstien takes apart proclaimed Middle East Expert Juan Cole:
Having a Likudnik as the number three man in the Pentagon is a nightmare for American national security, since Feith could never be trusted to put US interests over those of Ariel Sharon.

Feith does seem to be sympathetic to the Likud's positions, so I won't object to this use of the term "Likudnik." But "could never be trusted to put US interests over those of Ariel Sharon?" On what basis does Cole make what is essentially a charge of treason?
One is tempted to think that it's simply because Feith is Jewish, and that Cole is an anti-Semite. But Cole explicitly disclaims anti-Semitism later in his rant, and I'm inclined to believe him, or at least give him the benefit of the doubt.
Instead, reading between the lines, it seems that Cole's problem is that he thinks Ariel Sharon and associated political elements in Israel so evil, and sympathy with them so transparently immoral and stupid, that the only plausible explanation for a bright man like Feith to sympathize with Likud is out of a misguided ethnic loyalty. The very idea that a reasonable person could think that the Likud had a more realistic and practical view of the Palestinian Authority under Arafat than did more dovish forces (as the vast majority of Israelis, who have had to live with the consequences of Oslo, do), gets Cole unhinged.

Read the whole thing.
I guess the PC police is already out for them.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Don't Download "Spyware Nuker" or "NoPop!" !
Details here.
What (yawn) happened?
I started reading something online at 5:30 or so, and then the next thing I know it is 11:00 at night. I passed out for about 5 hours. Great, just great.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Yet Another New Democrat Group
Campaign for a National Majority has been started. I keep hoping that the Dems will regain their sanity that they had at the end of Clinton's admin, but then I read the CNM's value page. :-(
Paul Findley at Stanford
Tuesday night I had the "opportunity" to hear former Congressman Paul Findley describe the secret AIPAC consipracy to influence American Middle East Policy. How this differs from the secret Chinese conspiracy to influence us on Taiwan, the secret Russian conspiracy to influence on Chechna, the secret Pakistani conspiracy to influence us on Kashmir, or the secret Turkish policy to influence us on Kurdistan remained unclear. Nor was it clear why this nefarious pro-israel bias is such a bad thing in reality. Anyways, I digress. The point is that there were many memorable lines in the speech, and a friend of a friend was gracious enough to take notes. Enjoy!

Last night I sent out an event for tonight at Stanford: Coalition for Justice in the Middle East Presents The Peril of America's Middle East Policies with 22-year Republican U.S. congressman Paul Findley,Tuesday, Jan 25th, 7:00 PM, Stanford University, Bldg. 420-040 (Psychology Building- Jordan Hall). Tonight, I went to listen and I took notes. Here they are . . .
Tonight's event was attended by +/- 120 students and community members, around half were Middle-Easerners. One of the leaders of Stanford's Coalition for Justice in the Middle East introduced Findley as the founder of the Council For National Interest,(a think tank) and a onetime Holyland Foundation Man of the Year, this "foundation " was shut down as a supporter terrorism after September 11).

Findley began by proclaiming that Iraq was never a threat to the United States. He claims to be pro-troops yet calls the troops "misguided and deluded". He calls the U.S. an imperialist nation. He cited without naming a 2002 document that President Bush allegedly follows that"decides the U.S. is a world policeman, that creates war,,that strives to maintain its military, that strives to control the military of other nations, and that this document destroys the Treaty of Westphalia". Findley claims President Bush asserts the "self-right" to imprison anyone he chooses and views as a threat to security". Findley claims "We rushed to war amidst jingoism and slogans. He claimed the decision to invade Iraq was made prior to 9/11 and per (neo-con aka Jewish Conservative) Paul Wolfowitz, WMD's was the only excuse the President's cabal could agree upon. Then Findley followed by blaming the Iraq war on AIPAC and brings up the Seymour Hersh article in the New Yorker,(Findley loves Seymour Hersh and views him as an Oracle). Findley continued saying the United States is a threat to every other country in the world but he did say the United Kingdom, a bastion of imperialism, is our only ally. Findley referred to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "hostile actions" and subsequently demonized the "bunker buster bomb". He described Iran's nuclear program as something the Iranians "are creating because they may desparately need this nuclear program in the future". Findley then slithered into saying US-Middle-East policy is controlled and made not by the US government but "..two major religious communities": AIPAC/religious, fanatic Jews and the Fundamentalist Christian lobby. Findley accused soon to be Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice of saying ,"... the U.S. has an Israel-centric foreign policy." (again, not quoted in context). He continued claiming the 2 aforementioned communities support a "greater,expanding,Israel" and that "Christian support goes to pay for settlement". Findley continued by claiming there has been Israeli destruction of Muslim society,(yet said nothing about Palestinian homicide bombings against Israeli civilians, destruction of Jewish Holy sites such as Joseph's tomb,desecration by Palestinian terrorists of the Church of the Nativity). Again, he blamed the war in Iraq on Israel, places blame (again) on "neo-cons/Jews". The second reason the US invaded Iraq per Findley is, OIL!!! He promotes Jewish conspiracy theories as the reason McCloskey, McKinney,Hilliard, were booted out of office yet he is delighted that McKinney won re-election in Georgia. Findley then went on about the horrible Christians that support Israel and Israel itself.

Findley reiterated the following:
* 9/11 would not have happened if the u.S. did not support Israel
* 9/11 would not have occurred without Congressional support for Israel
*Expressed in a very heartfelt manner that "we should explore the grievances of terrorists. ...they did it because they are disenfranchised ).

Findley proclaimed the U.S. should suspend aid to Israel,(huge round of applause by his supporters. and the Palestinian terrorists) that Israel is apartheid, that the Iraqi's do not trust the U.S. because of Israel, and once again criticized President's Bush "power to imprison".



One attendee asked about the millions of dollars Findley's Council for the National Interest received from the Saudi's; Findley danced around the question then said they only paid for a fun little junket to Florida. A second Stanford student and very involved in the Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine asked, why president's [sic] (- hmmmm, who could he mean?) cannot be brought before the International World Court.
Then, blessedly, it was over.