Archive for September, 2007

This is a story about blogging. Please pardon while I work out my blogging neuroses by blogging about it. (more…)

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It’s difficult for non-lawyer/law student types to appreciate who Erwin Chemerinsky is.  But he basically wrote the text book on constitutional law used by many if not most law students.  He is a giant in the field of constitutional law and would have been a huge get for any brand new law school trying to establish its credentials. 

And apparently UC-Irvine, which is starting its own law school, thought so too.  Until they realized that some conservatives were going to complain.  (See also here).

And why were they going to complain?  Because he had radical views about the constitution?  No.  His views are pretty much the standard. 

But because he’s had the temerity to point out that Bush’s views about the constitution are radical.  For examples of this radical hippie beatnick’s writings and public comments see here and here about wiretapping and here about habeus corpus. 

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A great question

From the L.A. Times

In response to the “recommendation” from General Petraeus that the U.S. should keep 130,000+ troops in Iraq until at least July and spend another $100 billion. 

What else could the United States do with a guesstimated $100 billion to reduce the strength and the appeal of Islamist terrorist groups worldwide?

If you think about it, deploying troops to Iraq is a rather ass-backwards way of addressing the threat of Islamist terrorist groups around the world.  Some, like myself, would argue that it doesn’t address that problem at all and actually aggravates it.  But all that aside, $100 billion could buy an awful lot of things.  And maybe some of those things actually works better than what we’re doing. 

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Too sexy to fly

I was going to post about this the first time it happened but then figured, eh, it was probably an isolated incident.  But then it happened again

Apparently, in addition to checking your bags, making sure you don’t have dangerous items such as bombs, big bottles of liquid, knives and guns, Southwest Airlines wants to make sure you’re not dressed too sexy.  Click on the links above to see for yourself if the women harassed were dressed inappropriately. 

I think it’s silly.  And to think that it wasn’t too long ago when flight attendants were hired primarily on their looks. 

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Six years ago I was living on the west coast in Monterey, CA.  Six years ago I woke up, rolled out of bed, put on my army physical fitness uniform, grabbed some water, and turned the television onto Headline News.  I saw the video images of one of the World Trade Center towers on fire and smoke rising.  Then I saw the second plane hit. 

I drove to the PT formation and fell in line with all of the other soldiers in training with me at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey.  There were all sorts of the rumors being passed back and forth along the rank and file.  The rumors were fueled by uncertainty, concern, and fear.  Some of us were from New York and Washington.  The White House had been attacked.  The Congress had been attacked.   The Pentagon.  More planes were in the air.  No one knew where the President was, if he was okay, what would happen to our country. 

And then of course, quite outside our concern for the people suffering, there was a lingering nervousness.  We were going to war.  That much we knew.  Most of us had never heard of Al Qaeda or Bin Laden.  But we knew that an enemy had revealed itself.  And we knew that it was on us to respond. 

Most of us joined for the benefits.  To afford college.  Somewhere in the back of our brains we understood what signing that contract meant.  But outside of the mostly air war in Bosnia during the late 90’s, there really didn’t seem to be a chance of war until that day.  So maybe some of us took that chance a bit lightly.  Maybe on that morning when the images of those burning towers, the hole in the Pentagon, members of both parties of Congress singing “God Bless America” from the Capitol Building steps were played over and over, the gravity of that contract, that uniform we put on every day, hit us like it never had before. 

Anger came later.  First, we were nervous and unsure. 

I was a Korean linguist.  Our teachers, all of them Korean natives, played the Korean language news broadcasts all day long – aired on a loop with the rapid fire Korean language commentary, watching that second plane hit again and again, picking through the vocabulary and syntax, trying to understand. 

I got my orders for Korea a few months later.  It wasn’t much of a surprise, to be honest.  I figured that’s where I would end up.  But the Arabic linguists who were in my company were almost certainly going to accelerate their training and could count on being deployed at one point or another.  I wanted to reach out to them and I felt guilty about not going with them.  When I had enlisted, I put Arabic and Chinese down as my first choices.  But Korean was the highest need language, required the most resources for training, and was considered the most difficult.  On that morning, looking over at the Arabic linguists and realizing what was going to happen to them, I thought that it should have been me. 

My heart goes out to them.  Still.  The last six years.  Some of them never made it back.  Hell, one of my soldiers in Korea died.  I’ve since gotten out and I’m living in D.C. studying the law, sleeping in most mornings, watching football on the weekends, blogging at leisure, flirting with girls, walking around town listening to my ipod, and picking through the media filter to find some clue about what it’s like over there.  The last six years.  My brothers and sisters aren’t in control of their lives, living in the desert, and getting nowhere and sometimes dying. 

All because of the tectonic shift of our political worldview from that one September morning. 

God watch over them.  I miss them. 

Bring them home. 

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Another installment of Put the Video Camera Down! 

I saw this and wanted to shoot myself.  Would any girl actually respond to this guy?  For the sake of women everywhere, I hope not. 

Maybe I’m wrong.  Is this the future of dating?  God help us. 

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Looks like the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is convening to determine whether Janet Jackson’s covered nipple was indecent or a fleeting, accidental moment on live television for which CBS should not be fined

If CBS wins, it will insulate television and radio broadcasters from sudden or accidental slips of the tongue or “wardrobe malfunctions” from the people being broadcast through their airwaves. 

I understand people’s discomfort with the idea that the major networks could be a source of violent programming, sexual content, or foul language.  I really do.  But I found it funny during that Super Bowl, where it seemed every other commercial was about erectile dysfunction, where the entire halftime show performance used sexual undertones, where scantily clad cheerleaders danced on the sideline, where the major sponsors consistently used sexual images to sell their products, that everyone went into orgasms of outrage when Janet’s breast was uncovered. 

I’m shocked!  Shocked to see that nudity is going on here! 

And if I remember correctly, that was the Super Bowl during which Moveon.org was not allowed to air a political aid because it would have been “inappropriate.” 

 What a fucked up sense of values we have. 

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