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.