Friday, September 24, 2004

Rant, rant, rant

I have a confession to make- I HATE law. Law school is certainly better here at Emory, but the law itself still sucks pretty bad. The entire culture of the law is bogus. It is far too static, too reluctant to change. Everyone who has been through law school, with few exceptions, admit that there is far more bullshit than really necessary.

Legal hiring is retarded. Never have I seen grades play such an outsized role in screening job applicants. Handling $16B of taxpayer money does not matter. Working with suicidal kids does not matter. Being the youngest person in your home state elected to a public office does not matter. Oh, but being able to cram your head full of shit and regurgitate it back to a professor. Now THAT matters. Little did I know that the study "skills" I discarded right after high school would be necessary to land a fat firm job.

And let's be honest.. how many people even really want these jobs? What sort of person wants to suck up to some senior associate or partner for their first five years of professional life? If we were not saddled with Third World country sized debt, how many of us would willingly pick the big firm life and its attendant lack of a personal life?

But what are the alternatives? Hmm.. a life of poverty as a public interest or government attorney. Or academia, where you might make some money and engage with ideas. Oh, and pound your head into a wall in frustration at the law's resistance to dynamic change. And relive the wonders of 18th century law school pedagogy. Weeee.. what fun that would be.

Why oh why did I ever leave public policy and politics?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Good News

musclehead readers who are in law school may know that the ABA is conducting a major research project on the death penalty and how it is applied. Today, I was offered a research assistant position with the project here in GA, which I quickly accepted. For those of you keeping track- I am still very attractive to academia and public interest employers, but the big firms hate me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Geography, Threat and Presidential Politics

While George Miserable Failure Bush and his supporters like to crow about the threats to America if Senator Kerry is elected president, the people who are most likely to be the targets of any attacks tend to support Kerry. Is this merely because those places that might likely be targeted are traditionally Democratic enclaves? (Here I am talking about NYC, DC, LA, San Francisco, and Chicago.)

Perhaps it is explained more by demographics than by any assessment of threats. People in the aforementioned enclaves have, on average, higher levels of educational attainment, which correlates with a more liberal world view. In addition, people in the Bush states tend to have lower levels of educational attainment and are more religious.

So, do these Fox Americans actually believe they will be safer under a second Miserable Failure administration, or is their support more a factor of Bush's kow-towing to religious conservatives on social issues? Maybe a better question might be why do these people feel threatened at all? How likely is a terrorist attack on the cornfields of the Midwest, the deserts of the Southwest or the tobacco or hog farms of the South? (Yes, I realize that those are awful stereotypes, but the reality is that there are not desirable targets in these areas.) If people in these states are aware of the de minimus threat posed by terrorists, are they then failing to account for the safety of their fellow citizens? Or, is their knowledge more subconscious and thus driving a false perception of threat and miscalculation about Bush's leadership in the war on terror?

Back to the Kerry supporting states. If their support for Kerry is predestined by their demography, what does that tell us about the role that rationality plays in electoral politics. We should expect self preservation, as exercised by a vote for the candidate who would best protect their area, to trump identity politics, demographics, historical voting patterns, etc.

Where does this all leave us? Are the Kerry voters simply irrational? Do Bush state voters have a false perception of threat? Or, is safety not accounted for in a rational way in people's voting decisions?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Southern Hospitality

Things to be thankful for in the South--
(1) waitresses who call you hun, sugar or darlin'
(2) sweet tea
(3) good bbq
(4) overall geniality of folks

Moronica for Morons (An Ongoing Saga)

Not content with their earlier efforts at tearing up the Constitution, the GOP Congress is now pushing two more bills that would emasculate judicial review. (Article)

The first is a constitutional amendment granting Congress the power to prohibit physical desecration of the flag (ie, flag burning). Apparently, prohibiting flag burning is much more important than enacting the 9-11 Commission's recommendations. I would certainly feel much safer knowing that evil doers would be prevented from exercising their 1st Amendment rights. Hey GOoPers, they're called priorities; look into them!

Up next is bill that says only state courts can hear cases involving the pledge of allegiance. Congress can, under their power, narrow the jurisdiction of the inferior federal courts. However, Congress could not, circumscribe the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. But why should we let the silly Constitution and over two hundred years of history get in the way of politics. After all, it makes so much more sense for state courts to interpret the federal constitution. Wouldn't it be especially fun when some liberal states strip "under God" from the pledge and the Bible Thumpers change it to "under Jesus Christ"? God help us!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Graduation Present?

To anyone who is casting about for ideas on what to buy me in May 2006 for a graduation present, I give you this. Hummers are going to be passe soon enough. The International CXT is where it's at now, baby.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

What Would Jesus Do?

This one is plain f*cking ridiculous. Jimmy Swaggart, preacher to countless crazy christians, on gay marriage--

"I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died."

Little did I know that 6th Commandment was not controlling on Televangelist preachers who are leered at by gay men. Learn something new every day.

(thanks to Atrios)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Bits and Pieces

Here in Georgia, as in many states, there are special license plates for people who donate to certain causes and institutions. So, is it just me or is it a bit ironic that I have seen multiple folks with Fight Breast Cancer plates who were smoking? Maybe they don't care about lung cancer or emphysema.

Also, if you're ever in the ATL, check out the Georgia Tech radio station. It is one of the best I have heard and plays everything from reggae to ska to death metal to blues.. Very good indeed!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering September 11

Even though it was three years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. I woke to the local NPR station only to hear that the first plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At that time, it was uncertain whether this was just an accident. I got up and switched on the television only to see the second plane hit.

I was filled with a sense of horror, sadness and anger. After the initial shock, my worries turned to my friends in Manhattan. But soon after, another plane hit the Pentagon and with that news, my thoughts went to my cousin stationed there.

I spent that day watching the television and trying to find out if my friends and family were all alive. It was about forty eight hours later that all my loved ones were accounted for. And while that provided some personal relief, it did little to curb the heartache I felt for those who lost and gave their lives on that day, and for their families and friends.

So, today, like every September 11 I will reflect on those events and the lessons learned from the attack and its aftermath. I will remember the sacrifices made by so many brave and selfless men and women. I will remember the losses suffered by the tens of thousands of friends and relatives who lost someone special. And, I will remember how we came together as one nation, black and white, rich and poor, red state and blue state.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

What I Learned in Securities Regulation Class Today

"Like so much in law, it's not about being brilliant; it's about showing up."

Monday, September 06, 2004

Truly Disturbing

By now, I am sure most people who spend any time reading blogs have seen this video of a young Republican kicking a female protestor. I wonder just what sort of country we are living in when a young person thinks that it is acceptable behavior to kick a female protestor when she is on the ground, held down by federal agents. The moral depravity of the past three years is sickening.

From hate based policies against gays and lesbians to a lie induced war, the Miserable Failure Bush administration has set a tone of moral depravity. True patriots who question the administration are labelled traitors, dissent is stifled quicker and more efficiently than in the Gulag era of the Soviet Union. We are slouching towards totalitarianism and half the people are so blinded by the American flag and the Bible that they do not even see it, or instead deny its reality. And that, my friends, is truly disturbing.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Now I Have Arrived

I got my very first troll!!! Of course, like all trolls, he likes to threaten, swear and likes to remain anonymous.(insert snarky comment about ignorance, Faux "news" and the GOP here) Nor does he know of what he speaks, calling self described "pragmatic classical liberal" Judge Posner a conservative. (see Richard A. Posner, Overcoming Law 23 (1995)).

And, remember kids, it's like your parents say when you go to the zoo-- don't feed the trolls.

(Little did I know that people at Penn were so angry and full of vitriol.)