Sunday, April 30, 2006

Big up

Big up....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage in Indiana

Mike Sodrel (R-IN) "won the razor-close race" for his seat by riding on President Bush's coattails. Now that the president's popularity has reached a new low, what does Mike think about the pres?

"My attitude is, he is my president," Mr. Sodrel continued. "My wife and I have been married 38 years and we don't agree all the time. When there are things we don't agree on, I tell him so. But I am happy to have him come in here and stump for our campaign

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Double the Pleasure, Double the Sam Roe.

Guest Blogger Noah Feldman: My Universal Lesson Plan

1. Ask provocative question.
2. Improvise--you're brilliant.

[With apologies to general readers, this post is just for those cramming for finals at N.Y.U. Law School.]

Friday, April 21, 2006

Moment of Zen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Here is a funny article about the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts told lawyer Theodore Olson in a recent dispute over municipal tax exemptions, "If the argument is that the claims ... can be piggybacked onto the other ones, then we do have to consider whether there's a pig to piggyback them onto."

"Yes," Olson said, "but that would ... allow the tail to wag the dog, the exception to swallow the rule."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Taken from a friend's blog....

Bunnies doing
Reservoir Dogs. Bunnies doing Reservoir Dogs in 30 Seconds. viewer discretion is advised

Also, Bunnies doing Reservoir Dogs in 30 Seconds, the EDITED version.

Caption Contest

Friday, April 14, 2006

16 States Impose iTunes Tax

CNET News reports that 15 states and the District of Columbia impose iTunes taxes -- taxes on digital purchases of songs and movies:

New Mexico
South Dakota
West Virginia
Washington, D.C.



Thursday, April 13, 2006


Those NYU Law students among you will probably agree with me that there are numerous annoying problems with the school's technical services: bad connectivity in the library, annoying downloads and examsoft updates, participant trackers that don't actually track your participation in such a way as to be useful (that reminds me, DAMN YOU PILC!), various internet based applications that are glitchy and slow, and tech nerds that don't seem to know or care what is going on.

So, presented with the annual survey on the ITS service (or, to be more specific, the wireless network aspects of ITS) I saw an opportunity to provide some constructive criticism.
After all, that's what these evaluative surveys are all about, right?


After spending several minutes carefully crafting my answers and offering honest opinions, I found that I could not submit my survey. "____ is a required field" it says.

I went back, double checked the field, noted it was filled out, and clicked "Submit" a second time. Nope--same error.

I erased my answer, typed it in anew, and clicked "Submit" again. Ha! Why would it be that easy?

I logged out of the ITS system, then logged back in and redid the entire survey. I clicked "Submit" and still, my survey was rejected.

Very crafty you tech nerds. It would seem that the ITS's (lack of) expertise has completely insulated them from criticism. As the sole organization in charge of surveys, they hold all the cards, and apparantly, are much too smart (read: inept) to open themselves up to evaluation.

You win this round, ITS.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

And that's just for starters...

Julie Lynn Wolff knows how to write an effective brief:

In 76,235 words, rambling and ranting over the opening brief’s 202 pages, appellant’s counsel has managed to violate rules of court; ignore standards of
review; misrepresent the record; base arguments on matters not in the record on
appeal; fail to support arguments with any meaningful analysis and citation to
authority; raise an issue that is not cognizable in an appeal by her client;
unjustly challenge the integrity of the opposing party; make a contemptuous
attack on the trial judge; and present claims of error in other ways that are
contrary to common sense notions of effective appellate advocacy--for example,
gratuitously and wrongly insulting her client’s daughter (the minor in this
case) by, among other things, stating the girl’s developmental disabilities make her "more akin to broccoli" and belittling her complaints of sexual molestation by characterizing them as various "versions of her story, worthy of the Goosebumps series for children, with which to titillate her audience."

The Hits Just Keep on Coming!

Build up to war?

Check it out.

A news story from the Drudge Report.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Google "Glitch" ?

If you go to, and type "failure" into the search query box and then press the "I'm feeling lucky" button, you will end up...

here. (<-- Make sure to click the link, kids!)


They will probably "fix it" soon, but I tried it and it worked, and they can't take that away from me.


The following is from just released reports of the Department of Defense:
This TALON report is not fully evaluated information. The information in the TALON report is not be used in any finished product withou the specific approval of Command HQ. This information is being provided only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity.
The report then includes an e-mail sent out to the OUTLaws indicating their plan to protest in Furman lobby during JAG recruitment.
The term "OutLaws" is not defined in the posting. [Source blacked out] is concerned that this is a security issue. Specifically the term "OUTLaws" is a backhanded way of saying it's all right to commit possible violence and serve as "vigilantes" during the symposium. Therefore, it is possible that physical harm, or vandalism, could occur at this event.
Then the following "Update" was added to the report:
Per a US Army Counterintelligence Agent...the term "OUTLaws" may refer to members of the gay community that are now 'out' in the open that are studying at law schools. Moreover, per the original source there is almost nothing about the term "OUTLaws" available with conventional Internet search engines. It is not clear, if this is an organized group or if it is a term for gay law students. However, the source believes there is still a potential for confrontation at NYU.
The actual report is here. Skip down to p. 11, which, appropriately, is upside down.

Yale's Most Wanted

If you see the following candidates for the Yale College Council, report to Yale Campus Security. They have all been cited for violations of the Council's Election Rules:

  • Presidential candidate Wells O'Byrne, '07, sent e-mails regarding the election to "acquaintances" but not students that he "knows personally." His e-mail privileges for the remainder of the election have been revoked.
  • Presidential candidate Larry Wise '07 has turned himself in, and is no longer at large. Wise used $60 from his "innovative spending budget" for his "flyer budget." He has been forced to surrender 50 posters, not bearing the requisite stamp, and is forbidden from making posters for the rest of the campaign. Wise's case is on appeal. Wise claims that because the flyers were slipped under students' doors they were not "posters," as was intended by the Election Committee Regulations.
  • Presidential candidate Emery Choi '07 was cited because one of his supporters, without Choi's knowledge sent out an unsolicited endorsement e-mail. Moreover, Choi had set up a group, in clear contravention of the election rules.
  • UOFC Chair candidate Ned Mitchell '09, who had been endorsed by the African American Students Association, wrongly claimed to have been endorsed by one of the Association's subcommittees.
  • Presidential candidate Bill Fishel '08 has been cited for postering in dormitory entryways (as opposed to doorways), and has been compelled to remove said posters.
  • Funding Committee Chair candidate Hassan Siddiq '07 has been fined $5 for "accidentally" sending an e-mail to a "panlist." "It was never meant to be sent, and the TCC has officially forgiven me for this mistake."
  • Presidential candidate Stephen Fedele '07 committed the most egregious violation of all. In his candidacy petition, he submitted 101 signatures, as opposed to the 100 required. He has been fined $2.
Current Council President Steven Syverund has urged candidates to clean up their acts. "It's a student government election." They should be held to a higher level of ethics, he noted, continuing that candidates "remember that they are not running for Congress."

Syverund is a recovering election rule violator. Last year he was penalized for submitting his some paperwork late. He was penalized with a reduction in spending limits.

Tales from the IM Window...

[15:35] Red Owl: The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider.

For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon.

[15:35] The Bee: at least he didn't hit the catcher in the face

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dropping a REAL Bomb

A quote from a New Yorker article:

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

Wow. Hey, who's ready for another war?

I wonder if Bush is right in thinking that history will vindicate him after he invades Iran. I don't envy the task of any future historian who attempts it. After Iraq, I mean, who would?

And for that matter, will he be vindicated in invading Iraq?
And if he was, what would that mean for all of our collective world views?

Regardless, the idea the Bush is ready--no, not ready, actually think that it is his duty--to invade Iran scares the shit out of me.

I wish I had a joke to make.

Friday, April 07, 2006

So the commies in Taxachusetts are at it again. Pending approval by Mitt Romney, everyone in my favorite state will have health coverage. What about the inefficiencies created and what about fundamental issues of choice. What if as a healthy 25 year old male I feel that I don't need health care? What about the current policy holders who will have to pay higher premiums? What about the aforementioned is the dumbest crap I've ever heard. Thank God for Massachusetts and thank God for universal health care.

Why I'm Not Asleep

Well, it's official--something in our apartment building was on fire.
Now it's not.

God bless the FDNY.

So, it's 1:15 AM, and I hear a smoke alarm going off in one of the other apartments; the alarms in our building are characteristically sensitive, so this is usual, though annoying.

I pull the covers over my head to muffle the noise. The beep is persistent, though less cutting.

1:25, and the alarm is STILL going off. I get up, and shut the bedroom door.

1:30. Hmmm...maybe there's a problem?

1:32. I put on pants and wander up stairs. I don't see any smoke, but, as I get close to the 4th floor, I start to smell the faintest whiffs of it.

1:35, and I am back in our apartment recruiting Des and her sniffer. A few moments later, Des confirms that the hallway smells, "stinky." This is not helpful--our hallways are often stinky.
Des reconsiders, and then decides that hallway is in fact, "stinkier than normal."

1:38, a neighbor emerges from the OTHER 4th floor apartment (the one that is not on fire), and we take turns pounding on the suspect door and ringing the door bell.

1:40, while our upstairs neighbor continues to pound on the door, I call 9-1-1 and enlist the help of our local firefighters.

1:42, the local FDNY shows up (damn that was fast! I barely had time to get downstairs). A four man team walks up, bangs on the door and rings the door bell for another two or three minutes, the ever-beeping alarm continuing its persistent monophonic tune, and then decide to take action.

1:45, the FDNY breaks down my neighbor's door. They work on it for about two or three minutes, alternating with axes and prybars ("Damn, that's a good lock" our non-fire neighbor Calvin says) before it happens.

1:48, a woman, from inside the apartment that is on fire, mind you, says, "Who is it?" Her door is cracked inward and her lock is busted up, and, after thirty-three minutes of smoke alarms alarming, bells ringing, and Firefighters beating the living shit out of her door, she is awake and aware. And, she asks, "Who is it?"


The fire fighters, having already beaten her door to the point where only a crowbar will open it, ask her to step back. "I'll get it!" she insists. "You can't get it, it's broken," they reply.

1:53 the door swings open. The house is full of white smoke. The woman is nowhere to be seen, though presumably not dead. "Thank God for fire detectors," the fireman says, and then he ushers us off to our respective homes.

So now my hallway is full of smoke. Toxic white smoke (read: not weed, trust me). And I can't sleep.

And now you know why.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Georgia v. Kwik-E-Mart

To all you Con Law and Crim fans out there (and you KNOW who you are...)

Hey, remember Yick Wo?

[For the unitiated (read: smart enough NOT to go to law school): Yick Wo was a case in California, wherein a facially neutral law regulating the laundry business was applied only against Chinese Americans and not members of other ethnic groups (whites, mostly). The law basically said that the owners of any wooden building housing a laundry facility must obtain a permit from a local agency before they could continue to launder. The agency more or less denied permits to EVERY Chinese American, despite the fact that the Fire Marshall had approved their buildings as safe for the purposes of their business, but then allowed every non-Chinese person, save one, to obtain a permit, no questions asked.]

So, Yick Wo was basically a squeeze out move, to help break Chinese dominance of the impressive and highly desirable mid-20th century laundry business.

Here's another case of interestingly applied law.

Now, we all know meth has been a problematic drug for many white populations (as Mr. Hughley put it, "I call it crack for crackers"). Accordingly, state reactions to meth have been far-reaching and pervasive law promulgations, including attempts at regulating the sale of "necessarily dangerous" items such as matches, charcoal, cold-medicine, and aluminum foil (all useful items for creating the drug; It is intersting to note that no one ever tried to crack down on the sale of baking soda).
In an attempt to "bust" various convenience stores in the state for selling items to makers of meth, law enforcement agents in Georgia walked into local stores and purchased the goods. The hitch? As the cashiers were ringing them up, the agents would casually say, "I need this stuff to finish up a cook." Sell the stuff after a comment like that, and you're a felon.

What the fuck?

Apparently they performed this sting operation on a number of local stores, but nearly ALL of the people they actually charged and arrested were Indian (South Asian Indian, jackass). Surpised? Why should you be?

"Of 629 convenience stores in the six-county area in the sting, 80 percent are owned or operated by whites, according to the A.C.L.U.'s court filing, but fewer than 1 percent of the stores in the sting are white-owned or operated. The filing said the clerk at the only white-operated store was known widely as a methamphetamine addict whose husband was in prison for making the drug."

They exploited a language barrier to arrest individuals who spoke limited English and then even tailored their stings to only hit up Indian owned stores. Granted, maybe Indian-owned stores sell to meth makers disproportionatley, but still, the numbers are conspicuous.

Apparently, though, not conspicuous enough for Georgia State courts. God Bless the ACLU (Ha!): I imagine they will press this one as far as they can, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No Constitutional Right to Dance

Judge Michael Stallman of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that NYC can continue to ban dancing in bars that do not have cabaret licenses. Although he cited the accompanying noise and general boisterousness complaints that attend dancing, he also commented, "Surely, the Big Apple is big enough to find a way to let people dance."

I'm reminded of another town. A town where dancing was banned, after tragedy had accompanied dancing years ago.
Even if this was not a law, which it is, I'm afraid I would have a lot of difficulty endorsing an enterprise which is as fraught with genuine peril as I believe this one to be. Besides the liquor and the drugs which always seem to accompany such an event the thing that distresses me even more, Ren, is the spiritual corruption that can be involved. These dances and this kind of music can be destructive, and, uh, Ren, I'm afraid you're going to find most of the people in our community are gonna agree with me on this.
But luckily for that town, there was a boy who moved to that small town. He didn't want to shake things up, but he also didn't want to fit in. He just wanted to dance. He talked to the City Council, and he talked to the local clergy, and he talked and he talked, and you know what happened in the end? He got through to them. And he danced. He cut loose. He kicked off his Sunday shoes. And he danced.

Save us, Kevin Bacon! Save us!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NYC Marathon

So I've never been a big runner, even though I probably would have been good at running. Why does the Best Rapper Alive have an aversion to running?

Reason 1:

(So I played competitive tennis in college, until my shoulder burned out. The dialogue below is from my interaction with a trainer)

Trainer: Hey.
Sam: I am here for the tennis physical.
Trainer: Track?
Sam: No, I am on the varsity tennis team.
Trainer: track?

Reason 2:

Sports Doctor: So you are the new sprinter.
Sam: Not quite, I am on the tennis team
(The sports doctor looked at me puzzled and I scowled back at her.)

Reason 3:
Running is boring

Despite the many reasons for me not running, I've decided to train for the NYC marathon. I did a 100KM bike ride a few weeks ago and should be up to 100 miles by the end of the summer, but my quads are weak. What better way to strengthen the quads than by grinding them into a pulp.


Hey, remember what I said in the last post about countries exerting pressure on countries that owe them money?
From the

"We've reached a meeting of the minds and a common approach on the issue of repatriation of illegal migrants with China."[Chertoff speaking]

About 39,000 Chinese were illegally in the United States, many of them brought there by people-smugglers, Chertoff said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said later that Beijing was "willing to accept illegal immigrants of Chinese nationality repatriated from other countries".

But he told a regular news conference in Beijing that China objected to Washington accepting Chinese applicants for political asylum, and suggested the issue may impede joint efforts.

[see the story here]

That's great. I especially like the line "willing to accept illegal immigrants of Chinese nationality repatriated from other countries" because it seems to suggest a sort of Chinese People collecting strategy. Maybe they need more corpses for their art displays.
Nevermind China's abusive human rights record, especially on political dissidents, if you want safe harbour, kids, you better look elsewhere. I know, I know, it's against the whole "liberty" thing, but we really, really need those cheap electronics and that hand-made (by children) office furniture.

This Just In: Chavez Trying to get Himself Killed

Nobody fucks with the IMF. I mean, if money makes the world go 'round, well...shit...IMF is in charge then, aren't they?

Look, the rich governments and corporations who make up the IMF have an interest in providing financing to dirt-poor countries--it makes them easier to manipulate and exploit. Just pretend that the IMF is Chase Manhattan and the poor countries are working class poor people: The countries pay their $50, get a "secured" line of credit (at, *cough* 35.99% interest), buy some "infrastrcuture," and then spend the next 200 years paying it off.

Times were, other countries (*cough* U.S.) could use this massive debt as leverage (wait, how much do we owe China right now? Thanks, Bush), say, to help "ease" the way for an oil conglomerate or help supply cheap crappy furniture for Pier One.

Now Chavez, having discovered the power and wealth that comes with a secure oil supply, is spending billions of dollars at home and abroad to combat things like poverty and Bushisms.

He's lucky it's not 1973, or he'd be dead already. "Where's Chavez?" "Oh, his plane mysteriously blew up over the Carribean." "Wow, I'm shocked, shocked."

He's supplied for heating oil through North and South American (including places as close as the Bronx) and even helped Argentina pay off its nearly $10 billion debt to the IMF.
Oops. Don't fuck with the IMF, Chavez, they got plans for you and your "continent," and if you try to set up some sort of populist regime, they are gonna take you down.

Sure, they never killed Castro, but Castro never HAD ANY MONEY. This guy is loaded (his country is, at least) and that presents a different challenge to an organization propped up by its massive spending power.

So take heed, Hugo, and remember what has happened to every South American and Latin American Leader who tried to shuck the "Monroe Doctrine."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

West End at an End

Word on the street is that Columbia's most beloved (well, oldest, anyway) local drinking hole (Most Important Word: "hole") is shutting down for good.

More than the spot where the spot where this author first downed three Irish Car Bombs in a row, Jack Kerouac described his time at Columbia thusly:
The soft city evenings, the cries of "Rimbaud!", "New Vision!", the great Gotterdamerun, the love song "You Always Hurt the One You Love," the smell of beers and smoke in the West End Bar, the evenings we spent on the grass by the Hudson River on Riverside Drive at 116th St. watching the rose west, watching the freighters slide by."
Indeed, Lucien Carr once had to roll Kerouac home from the West End in a barrel, and most of the characters in his novel, The Town and the City, were based on regulars at the bar.

The West End has been shut down several times in the past years for serving beer to minors (the police were shocked, shocked to discover...). It's unclear if the bar shutting is related to an incident last week, where the bar kicked everyone out at 3:00 AM, because they were too "boisterous," and they wound up getting into fights on the street and bashing in a neighboring shoe store.

The West End is expected to converted into a Havana Central, a chain of Cuban restaurants. Boo Cubans!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hang Over Potion

1) 1 Part 165 pound male with no excess body fat.
2) Have the aforementioned male not drink for 3 months
3) Go to a really bad comedy club.
4) Drink a lot of vodka, to make the comedy club not bad.
5) Go to bar with generous friends.
7) Drink more vodka.

Four Tylenol later, my head is still killing me.....