Outrage over Warren

This article describes the proponents of gay rights being outraged by Obama's choice of warren to offer the invocation at the inauguration. One person is quoted as saying "if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now." This is the problem with people who only care about one political issue. Every decision made is framed in terms of that one issue. It seems to happen with the extreme pro lifers and extreme gay rights activists the most. But honestly, the guy is saying a prayer at Obama's inauguration, he didn't get appointed secretary of homosexuality. Obama campaigned on unity, and what better way to unify than to invite an evangelical to participate in the inauguration. Obama picked an evangelical who has taken a stance on certain issue that many people will not agree with but, at least from what i am reading on this, he is not out there inciting hatred like many others are. So here is my advice, if you are going to be a one issue voter, shut up about your opinion. For most of us, not every decision is about that one issue that you care so dearly about, so stop framing every decision a person makes in terms of that one issue. If you care about it, fine work for it, but realize that the world has more concerns than your one issue.


the end

so i have written on this blog a couple of times about boston legal. sadly this last monday was the series finale, and while they did take on the chinese, gay marriage, pharmaceuticals, the supreme court, religious bigotry, and unfair employment practices in one episode, i was a little disappointed. the highlight of the episode comes in the first 5 minutes and while it is pretty good, it was not all i had hoped. in the end it is a show i am going to miss. there are not a lot of shows out there that can match it for current events commentary and cleverness, even if i didnt always agree with it.


Follow up to petty crap

So i wrote the last post while my paralegal was making sure my motion complied with the judges personal rules, and a little after i wrote this the oposing counsel filed a preemptive motion because i had called to confer with him (as i am obligated to do). so now i don't hate the petty stuff anymore, in fact i am after this guy with a vengence and any little mistake and i am letting him have it with both barrels. (PS, I think i got his paralegal fired because she kept making mistakes, I kept catching them, and now his cases are in the crapper.)


Petty Crap

I think that i will have succeeded in getting two different cases significantly helped along in two days based on incredibly petty application of the rules. While i ethically have to do it for my clients, i really hate the petty crap. I would much rather litigate these cases on the merits. bring on that dog fight, but this petty crap where i say, hey you didnt comply with the rules so give me what i want, i really hate doing that.


My paralegal sends this to everyone on every vet. day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



I voted today. I managed to get through it without this mystical Bradley effect getting me, which according to the major news sources is quite an accomplishment for a white guy.


Another Bar?

I thought about taking another bar this past summer, but couldn't because i had a 4 day class cert hearing.

I thought about taking another bar this coming February, but can't because i have a 4 day trial scheduled in a case i can't seem to get settled.

I could decide to take another bar this coming August, but that will have been two years and I would be 40 percent of the way to getting reciprocity.

I have decided that if you decide to bar up in two different states, the easiest way to do it is the first two bars after you graduate otherwise you get way too busy.


Old Man v. New World

In the last week or so I read both The Old Man and the Sea and A Brave New World. I was struck by the exceptionally different views of mankind each book contained.

The old man is the story of a man who has been a fisherman for all of his life. He catches swordfish. The story starts as he is nearing the end of his life. He goes out by himself and manages to hook an enormous fish. The way that he fishes if to hold the line himself, without any pole. The line runs over his shoulders and into his boat. His own strength is all the keeps the fish hooked. Over the course of days, the man stays with the fish as it fights itself out. He fights all kinds of physical ailments (cramps thirst hunger age etc.) and in the end he manages to catch and kill the fish. The fish however, is too large to fit into the old man's boat. He has no choice but to tie the fish alongside his boat and begin to row back to his port, days away. As he is rowing back, sharks get the scent of the dead swordfish and begin to attack and eat the swordfish. The old man fights off the sharks but loses the battle until all that is left if the head, tail, and skeleton. The old man finally makes it back to the port. An interesting subplot is how the other people from the old man's town respond to the old man before and after he catches the fish.

The new world is a futuristic dystopia. the story follows a man who does not fit into society because according to some he had a form of futuristic fetal alcohol syndrome. he goes to a "savage" reservation, and brings back a savage fathered by his boss. this makes him popular with society because the civilized people all want to see the savage and he is the savage's guardian. The resolution is that the head of europe sends the man to an island for discontents. This leader also reveals that he at one time did not fit into society, but chose to give up honesty for power. The savage is forced to live in society, until a mob of people beat him senseless when he tries to escape from society.

The contrast of these books is how each author views the human spirit. the old man triumphs over all obstacles, and even when he fails he manages to be triumphant and unbroken. the new world humans are nothing more than what they are conditioned to be. fleeting happiness is more important than anything else. man has no or very little choice in what he or she is. i do not think that the author of new world thought this was good, but he believed that man could become that.

This has caused me to wonder about myself, do I believe man to be a majestic and triumphant creature, or pathetic and weak? I do not know yet, but i want to believe in the old man, and not the new world.


Scalia at his best.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional Republic. But it is this Court’s blatant abandonment of such a principle that produces the decision today.

In the long term, then, the Court’s decision today accomplishes little, except perhaps to reduce the well-beingof enemy combatants that the Court ostensibly seeks to protect. In the short term, however, the decision is devastating. At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantanamo Bay have returned to the battlefield.See S. Rep. No. 110–90, pt. 7, p. 13 (2007) (Minority Viewsof Sens. Kyl, Sessions, Graham, Cornyn, and Coburn) (hereinafter Minority Report). Some have been captured or killed. See ibid.; see also Mintz, Released Detainees Rejoining the Fight, Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2004, pp.A1, A12. But others have succeeded in carrying on theiratrocities against innocent civilians. In one case, a detainee released from Guantanamo Bay masterminded the kidnapping of two Chinese dam workers, one of whom was later shot to death when used as a human shield against Pakistani commandoes. See Khan & Lancaster, Pakistanis Rescue Hostage; 2nd Dies, Washington Post, Oct. 15, 2004, p. A18. Another former detainee promptly resumed his post as a senior Taliban commander and murdered a United Nations engineer and three Afghan soldiers. Mintz, supra. Still another murdered an Afghanjudge. See Minority Report 13. It was reported only last month that a released detainee carried out a suicide bombing against Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, Iraq. See White, Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Joined Iraq Suicide Attack, Washington Post, May 8, 2008, p. A18.
These, mind you, were detainees whom the military had concluded were not enemy combatants. Their return to the kill illustrates the incredible difficulty of assessing who is and who is not an enemy combatant in a foreign theater of operations where the environment does not lend itself to rigorous evidence collection.

A mere two Terms ago in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U. S. 557 (2006), when the Court held (quiteamazingly) that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 had not stripped habeas jurisdiction over Guantanamo petitioners’ claims, four Members of today’s five-Justice majority joined an opinion saying the following:
"Nothing prevents the President from returning toCongress to seek the authority [for trial by military commission] he believes necessary.
"Where, as here, no emergency prevents consultation with Congress, judicial insistence upon that consultation does not weaken our Nation’s ability to deal with danger. To the contrary, that insistence strengthens the Nation’s ability to determine— through democratic means—how best to do so. The Constitution places its faith in those democraticmeans." Id., at 636 (BREYER, J., concurring).1
Turns out they were just kidding.

Thats probably enough for now.


McCain over Clinton

With only three real candidates left for president, I have settled on my final order. Obama first, then McCain, then Clinton, (then Nader evidently). the reason is quite simple. I believe Obama will try and to an extent succed in creating a government that brings different interest together to figure out the best way to solve the country's problems. that is the ideal for me. While clinton and Obama have very similar plans for the country, I think that Clinton is incredibly divisive and will marginalize any republican voice. She will feel entitled to do whatever she wants. An article in the times called her a democratic george bush. While I think she is much more intelligent than bush, I agree to the extent that both are incredibly polarizing figures. (Bush is still a popular president among republicans). since I believe that democrats are going to increase their control of both the house and senate, if we are going to have a polarizing figure in the white house I would prefer that person to be from the opposite party of the party that controls congress. I harbor no love for McCain, but prefer deadlock in government to a polarizing figure with near complete power.

Rejection letter

On Friday I received a rejection letter telling me that the firm is only interested in candidates that have 2-3 years experience. I applied to this firm in February 2007. I am tempted to write them back and tell them that if they had just waited one more year I would have that experience requirement and then I could tell them to piss off.

The persistence of isms

I was talking with one of my friends the other day about Hillary Clinton and how her run for the presidency has exposed certain sexist attitudes in the country. From there was also talked about Obama and racism. It was and is my opinion that Hillary has faced more sexist negativity than obama has faced racist negativity. But that got me thinking about how both sexism and racism persist in this country.

I cam to the conclusion that the vast majority of sexists are people who do not think they are sexist. Most people do not say that a woman, for no other reason than she is a woman, cannot do X. But I think that there are many people who say that a woman can be president but only if X, while never imposing that same restriction on a male. With racism, it is much harder to justify that kind of assertion. I think most rational people have a harder time justifying a race distinction, and for that reason there are fewer racists who do not think they are racist than there are sexists who dont think they are sexist. So I have come to the conclusion that even though I strongly oppose Clinton's run for the white house, and will vote for McCain if Clinton is the democratic nominee, I am grateful to her for having run because I think it has exposed some latent sexism. And recognition of the problem is the first step to solving it.


Man in the Iron Mask

I was looking for quotes because I decided that it was time to change my quote at the top of my blog, and I started with different quotes from some of my favorite authors. One of my favorite authors is Alexandre Dumas. This came up because I saw that by far his most famous quote is "all for one and one for all" from the three muskateers. I recently learned that the three muskateers is actually a trilogy, with the man in the iron mask being the third and final book in the trilogy. This book actually pits the muskateers against each other. the reason that i mention this is that when I read muskateers i thought it light hearted and very dissimilar to dumas other works (the book count of monte cristo for example makes the recent jim cavezel movie version look like bambi before mommy gets slaughtered). I find it incredibly amusing that Dumas, one of the darkest authors ever in my opinion, is best known for a line that is used as a rallying cry for unity, when the point is (I think) that unity only lasts until private interests outweigh group interests, and no matter how unified in spirit, the unity cannot last.


Obama in S.C.

I thought Barack Obama's speach in south carolina today to be one of the best i had heard in a long time, and exemplifying all the reasons I am supporting his candidacy. I thought I would post it in its entirety for those of you who didnt get it emailed to you. Warning though, it references a bible story.

The Scripture tells us that when Joshua and the Israelites arrived at the gates of Jericho, they could not enter. The walls of the city were too steep for any one person to climb; too strong to be taken down with brute force. And so they sat for days, unable to pass on through. But God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city, and on the seventh day he told them that when they heard the sound of the ram's horn, they should speak with one voice. And at the chosen hour, when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.There are many lessons to take from this passage, just as there are many lessons to take from this day, just as there are many memories that fill the space of this church. As I was thinking about which ones we need to remember at this hour, my mind went back to the very beginning of the modern Civil Rights Era. Because before Memphis and the mountaintop; before the bridge in Selma and the march on Washington; before Birmingham and the beatings; the fire hoses and the loss of those four little girls; before there was King the icon and his magnificent dream, there was King the young preacher and a people who found themselves suffering under the yoke of oppression. And on the eve of the bus boycotts in Montgomery, at a time when many were still doubtful about the possibilities of change, a time when those in the black community mistrusted themselves, and at times mistrusted each other, King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today:"Unity is the great need of the hour" is what King said. Unity is how we shall overcome. What Dr. King understood is that if just one person chose to walk instead of ride the bus, those walls of oppression would not be moved. But maybe if a few more walked, the foundation might start to shake. If a few more women were willing to do what Rosa Parks had done, maybe the cracks would start to show. If teenagers took freedom rides from North to South, maybe a few bricks would come loose. Maybe if white folks marched because they had come to understand that their freedom too was at stake in the impending battle, the wall would begin to sway. And if enough Americans were awakened to the injustice; if they joined together, North and South, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, then perhaps that wall would come tumbling down, and justice would flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.Unity is the great need of the hour -- the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it's the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country. I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans. I'm talking about a moral deficit. I'm talking about an empathy deficit. I'm taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny. We have an empathy deficit when we're still sending our children down corridors of shame -- schools in the forgotten corners of America where the color of your skin still affects the content of your education.We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick.We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others; when our children see nooses hanging from a schoolyard tree today, in the present, in the twenty-first century. We have a deficit when homeless veterans sleep on the streets of our cities; when innocents are slaughtered in the deserts of Darfur; when young Americans serve tour after tour of duty in a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged.And we have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion; when it takes a terrible storm to reveal the hungry that God calls on us to feed; the sick He calls on us to care for; the least of these He commands that we treat as our own. So we have a deficit to close. We have walls -- barriers to justice and equality -- that must come down. And to do this, we know that unity is the great need of this hour. Unfortunately, all too often when we talk about unity in this country, we've come to believe that it can be purchased on the cheap. We've come to believe that racial reconciliation can come easily -- that it's just a matter of a few ignorant people trapped in the prejudices of the past, and that if the demagogues and those who exploit our racial divisions will simply go away, then all our problems would be solved. All too often, we seek to ignore the profound institutional barriers that stand in the way of ensuring opportunity for all children, or decent jobs for all people, or health care for those who are sick. We long for unity, but are unwilling to pay the price. But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won. It starts with a change in attitudes -- a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts. It's not easy to stand in somebody else's shoes. It's not easy to see past our differences. We've all encountered this in our own lives. But what makes it even more difficult is that we have a politics in this country that seeks to drive us apart -- that puts up walls between us. We are told that those who differ from us on a few things are different from us on all things; that our problems are the fault of those who don't think like us or look like us or come from where we do. The welfare queen is taking our tax money. The immigrant is taking our jobs. The believer condemns the non-believer as immoral, and the non-believer chides the believer as intolerant. For most of this country's history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man's inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays -- on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system. And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity. Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation. So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others -- all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face -- war and poverty; injustice and inequality. We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late. Because if Dr. King could love his jailor; if he could call on the faithful who once sat where you do to forgive those who set dogs and fire hoses upon them, then surely we can look past what divides us in our time, and bind up our wounds, and erase the empathy deficit that exists in our hearts. But if changing our hearts and minds is the first critical step, we cannot stop there. It is not enough to bemoan the plight of poor children in this country and remain unwilling to push our elected officials to provide the resources to fix our schools. It is not enough to decry the disparities of health care and yet allow the insurance companies and the drug companies to block much-needed reforms. It is not enough for us to abhor the costs of a misguided war, and yet allow ourselves to be driven by a politics of fear that sees the threat of attack as way to scare up votes instead of a call to come together around a common effort.The Scripture tells us that we are judged not just by word, but by deed. And if we are to truly bring about the unity that is so crucial in this time, we must find it within ourselves to act on what we know; to understand that living up to this country's ideals and its possibilities will require great effort and resources; sacrifice and stamina.And that is what is at stake in the great political debate we are having today. The changes that are needed are not just a matter of tinkering at the edges, and they will not come if politicians simply tell us what we want to hear. All of us will be called upon to make some sacrifice. None of us will be exempt from responsibility. We will have to fight to fix our schools, but we will also have to challenge ourselves to be better parents. We will have to confront the biases in our criminal justice system, but we will also have to acknowledge the deep-seated violence that still resides in our own communities and marshal the will to break its grip. That is how we will bring about the change we seek. That is how Dr. King led this country through the wilderness. He did it with words -- words that he spoke not just to the children of slaves, but the children of slave owners. Words that inspired not just black but also white; not just the Christian but the Jew; not just the Southerner but also the Northerner. He led with words, but he also led with deeds. He also led by example. He led by marching and going to jail and suffering threats and being away from his family. He led by taking a stand against a war, knowing full well that it would diminish his popularity. He led by challenging our economic structures, understanding that it would cause discomfort. Dr. King understood that unity cannot be won on the cheap; that we would have to earn it through great effort and determination.That is the unity -- the hard-earned unity -- that we need right now. It is that effort, and that determination, that can transform blind optimism into hope -- the hope to imagine, and work for, and fight for what seemed impossible before.The stories that give me such hope don't happen in the spotlight. They don't happen on the presidential stage. They happen in the quiet corners of our lives. They happen in the moments we least expect. Let me give you an example of one of those stories.There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organizes for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She's been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and the other day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there. And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.So Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who's been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he's there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley." By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.But it is where we begin. It is why the walls in that room began to crack and shake. And if they can shake in that room, they can shake in Atlanta. And if they can shake in Atlanta, they can shake in Georgia. And if they can shake in Georgia, they can shake all across America. And if enough of our voices join together; we can bring those walls tumbling down. The walls of Jericho can finally come tumbling down. That is our hope -- but only if we pray together, and work together, and march together. Brothers and sisters, we cannot walk alone. In the struggle for peace and justice, we cannot walk alone. In the struggle for opportunity and equality, we cannot walk alone In the struggle to heal this nation and repair this world, we cannot walk alone. So I ask you to walk with me, and march with me, and join your voice with mine, and together we will sing the song that tears down the walls that divide us, and lift up an America that is truly indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. May God bless the memory of the great pastor of this church, and may God bless the United States of America.