Sunday, October 31, 2004

Going Up River

The Long War of John Kerry. Check it out HERE.

Florida Voting Machine

This is GREAT!

This is what it is like to vote in Florida! - obtained from this blog HERE.

The Next Four Years

Calvin College has an interesting site on Hilter that... are worth checking out given our current political situation.

Here's a guy (with some great links) who has dedicated his life to unseating Bush. I'm not sure what he is going to do after Bush's reselection, but I wish him well.

After brushing up on Propaganda tactics of the Nazi's, do yourself a treat and learn about Karl Rove aka Bush's Brain. It will at least help make sense of the closing days of The Republic and the rise of The Empire.

Cheney: History will label Iraq war 'brilliant'

Hitler said the same thing about invading Russia. Hitler didn't learn from Napoleon, who also said that history would prove him correct. I hope for our sake, Cheney isn't just lying again.

“MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday the invasion of Iraq will go down in history, along with the war in Afghanistan, for its "brilliance."

At an airport rally at a hangar in Montoursville, Pa., Cheney said the U.S. invasions of "Afghanistan and Iraq will be studied for years for their brilliance." ... "Our troops were doing their job," Cheney said as he called Kerry an "armchair general," a characterization the vice president has been using for several days.

Calling Kerry an "armchair general" is a bit ironic coming from Cheney (click for background on his DUI) who, unlike Kerry, never served in the Armed Forces.

A Few Video Updates.

I added a few videos here that I picked up from another law student on the margins HERE.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Mepis Linux Review

I have been a Linux user since the mid-1990's, although it was only two years ago (give or take) that I found Linux becoming truly useful if not exceptional for desktop usage. My preferred Linux distro of choice is Mepis. If you ever consider making the leap to Linux, Mepis is worth a look.

A solid review of the distribution can be found HERE.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Politics - A Place I Can Call Home

The League of Pissed Off Voters.

Check it out HERE.

Also a great video HERE that sums up this entire election in abuot 60 seconds.

The European Union Constitution

An interesting document - the EU Constitution. You can download it in PDF format HERE.

A review of the infrastructure / goverment system HERE.

And an analysis HERE.

FYI: A fair number of Republicans and Fundamentalists in America believe the Anti-Christ will emerge from the EU.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate

I know, I know. I said no more conspiracy stuff. .. Well... I'm taking it back this one time:

"George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons. "

The story is HERE and of course not HERE or anywhere else close to the GOP media poodle.

Fun Videos and Such about Bush and Cheney

First up – a video I’ve been meaning to post and never got around to. This is an EXCELLENT video of Dick Cheney. I sure wish we had a press in this country that actually analyzed more than each other.

This video, in Real Media format (or use Helix if you’re using Linux) HERE:

I remember coming across this video of Bush drunk during the election season of 2000. My right wing Christian friends dismissed it. They’re neat people, I love many of them like family, but truth be told they make even better ostriches. Bush as drinker video can be found, among other places – HERE or HERE.

Bush acting like Al Gore (this video I admit is funny and unsettling - as Gore was kinda scary in his own way) is HERE.

Peace Little Daisy - A Classic is HERE.

Dick is a Killer. It’s funny for about, oh, the first 30 seconds, then it grows old. It’s HERE or HERE.

Bush being groomed and prepping for addressing the nation about the Iraq War. I don’t think this video is a big deal, but it’s HERE.

Bush – this one is funny and short.

Bush as the second WTC tower was hit. I’ve never thought this video was a big deal, but I guess some people are alarmed by the fact that Bush just sits there for something like 10 minutes and says nothing. It’s HERE.

Greg Palast - an interesting lecture can be found HERE.

A mildly funnny remix of Bush's State of The Union is HERE.

Test your Generation Gap HERE.

Bush giving one finger salute - HERE.

Found these thanks to another marginal law student (Law School Neurosis) HERE.

Video of Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan giving a speech about why college students don't believe a word Bush has to say about anything, let alone denying an impending draft.

Here is a nice song/video about the Bush administration, with a few cameos by other, um, well you'll see.

Bonus:Bill Maher video, just because it's funny on so many levels.

Note that these links will probably go silent pretty quick as Federal Empire of America forces take them down. Until then, enjoy.


More Fun John Titor Time Travel Links

"The year 2008 was a general date by which time everyone will realize the world they thought they were living in was over. The civil war in the United States will start in 2004." - John Titor

I think the story of John Titor is very interesting. Do I believe it? Not especially. However, I enjoy an entirely fictional language called Klingon, it logically follows that I would find the fictional story of John Titor equally interesting. John Titor's mom compiled a book about him during his visit to our worldline. Some of his comments are worth noting from the book:

John, Page 20:

"As far as war goes, I have faith you are quite capable of starting one all by yourself. I am hard pressed to accept any criticism on my outlook on that subject. Growing up might have been a vastly different experience for me than it was for most of you. Personal responsibility, determination, honor, friendship and self-reliance are not just words we try to live up to or fantasize about. "

John, Page: 21

"Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep. Perhaps you should be less concerned about me and more concerned about that."

A reader comments from Amazon:

In terms of the content itself, I find it intriguing. ... [The] course that he said the U.S. would take is generally unfolding in a strikingly similar fashion to what he predicted. And this was BEFORE 9/11. Here are some rather interesting points to bring up in its favor.

- At the time John Titor was online, there was no book and no commercial efforts. That was back in 2000. Just because the printed version comes out in 2004 does not show this to be a money scam. To all the skeptics who repeatedly bring this up, please... Its hardly going to make anyone a millionaire, and certainly a bit late in being capitalized on even if it were true.

- Most of his predictions about the emerging police state, and the possible upcoming civil war were made long before 9/11. As preposterous as it might have sounded back in 2000, well look at where we are today with the Patriot Act, and all of its implications. Frankly, with our current Republican agenda both internally to our country and internationally, I'd be amazed if his predictions didn't come true. Time will tell soon enough since John said that by 2008 there would be no doubt to our country being in a civil war.

Pictures of John Titor's Time Machine and some better ones - HERE.

A few more Titor fun links HERE and some interesting MULTIMEDIA LINKS HERE.

I think this stuff is great fun. I am so sick of Torts!

Pete The Porno Puppet

Law school does strange things to the minds of normal people. I don’t know if it is the stress, the financial cost, the volume of materials one must cover – or what, but between study breaks I’ll sometimes just wander the net seeing if I can find something that is out of the ordinary.

Pete The Porno Puppet. Pete is going to help explain why porn is wrong. Although Pete The Porno Puppet talks about Porn, the video is made by Fundamentalist Christians who actually have a sense of humor – and a point to make. After you've finished puting your head back together after that last explosion, visit The Daily Show interview with the creators of Pete The Porno Puppet.

And while I am on the subject of puppet porn, check out this Bad Movies Review of a for-real porn puppet movie made by the same people that created The Devil in Ms Jones and Deep Throat. I kid you not. It’s 1976 porno movie made with puppets. Remember – probably 30% of the US population was on cocaine during the late 1970’s, so within that context this video was just part of the mainstream (back then).

The xxxchurch is here (The #1 Source of Christian Porn) - the creators of Pete The Porno Puppet.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

John Titor - Soldier from 2036

This is just far out and fun and good science fiction.


... Or might just be a great PR stunt for Time Traveler Zero Zero

"Someone using the assumed name of John Titor and claiming to be a soldier on a mission from 2036 presented a considerable amount of information on the Web beginning around November 2000 about his mission and time travel machine, his perspective on our society, how our society is going wrong, and how society as we know it will end in a very short but massive global nuclear war in 2015. He's gone now, back to 2036 he said he was going in his last posting on March 24, 2001, and the threads he left across the Web in his five months with us have been slowly evaporating since then...

Mr. Titor made a very specific prediction about the near future that should soon prove him to be either a fraud or not: America will soon be engaged in civil war with itself; a civil war that we'll see the beginnings of during 2004 and 2005, escalating until it is indisputable by 2008 ("a general date by which time everyone will realize the world they thought they were living in was over") and "will consume everyone in the US by 2012"

The South Leaves The Union (well... it's trying)

Next time, when they seek to leave, a lot of us will be HAPPY to see them go. I have no problem with The South leaving to form their own Republic. I think it's a great idea! I want them to leave, they want to leave, I suspect a lot of people in the North would like to see them leave - by golly I bet we can even part on good company this time around.

Left Wing Red Meat

Rahul Mahajan is far more "left" than I could ever be, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this man more often than not is a Blog of fresh air.

Empire Notes
is great stuff, but mind you Rahul Mahajan is not for the faint of heart, and like dark beer, his articles are as harsh as they are good. It's worth checking out when Salon can't satisfy and and the hunger for a cold slap of reality is in order.

Bush's One Finger Salute - Bush Flips The Bird

George Bush giving the middle finger on video.

To enjoy and have a good laugh, see the QuickTime video - click here:

I know my fundamentalist friends and family, who never visit this site (fortunately), would love it as well seeing Bush act like ... Jesus?

Here's what's really scary - look how lucid Bush is in the video compared to the man he is today.

A few more interesting videos and multimedia goodies - click here.

Sometimes things are just too obvious - Cheney meeting Edwards - uhm - for the 3rd time.

I remember coming across this video of Bush during the election of 2000. My right wing Christian friends dismissed it. They’re neat people, I love many of them like family, but truth be told they make even better ostriches. Bush as drinker is – HERE or HERE.


Oyez - Multimedia US Supreme Court

Here is a wonderful site for law junkies.

Oyez - United States Supreme Court Multimedia.

There simply is NOT enough hours in the day...

Supreme Court History

I came across this link by accident. It has some real gems about the history of the US Surpreme Court.

Each year, the Society presents a series of lectures by distinguished scholars focusing on a particular period of the Court's history. Series topics have included:
The Four Horsemen v. The New Deal (an examination of the history of the Court during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt)

The Court during World War II

The Court during the Civil War

The Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court Revisted: from Brandeis to Fortas

The Chief Justiceship

The Court and Free Speech

Chief Justice John Marshall

The Court and the Art of the Written Word

The Court in Times of National Emergency

The Art of Oral Advocacy

Had I not been searching for Canned Bread link, I never would have found this site. I can also thank Evan for inspiring me to seek Canned Bread due to the fact that I felt compelled to comment on his site about his coolness.

A Great Country Song


It'll never get played on Clear Channel, but maybe a few indie's will pick it up.

Christian Law / Upcoming Planned GOP Changes to The Law

Supporting the GOP is about more than just keeping taxes low on the elites of society; it is also part of a broader hope for many GOP supporters to see the implementation of a Christian form of Sharia in America. I know a handful of fundamentalists who openly agree that making the Old Testament The Supreme Law of the land is their ideal if not outright objective. Remarkably, when one compares Sharia (Islamic Law) and Reconstructionism the two forms of law (when actually practiced) are sometimes difficult to discern…

“Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of Biblical "warfare" is the centrality of capital punishment under Biblical Law. Doctrinal leaders (notably Rushdoony, North, and Bahnsen) call for the death penalty for a wide range of crimes in addition to such contemporary capital crimes as rape, kidnapping, and murder. Death is also the punishment for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, "sodomy or homosexuality," incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, "unchastity before marriage."

The Biblically approved methods of execution include burning (at the stake for example), stoning, hanging, and "the sword." Gary North, the self-described economist of Reconstructionism, prefers stoning because, among other things, stones are cheap, plentiful, and convenient. Punishments for non-capital crimes generally involve whipping, restitution in the form of indentured servitude, or slavery. Prisons would likely be only temporary holding tanks, prior to imposition of the actual sentence.

People who sympathize with Reconstructionism often flee the label because of the severe and unpopular nature of such views. Even those who feel it appropriate that they would be the governors of God's theocracy often waffle on the particulars, like capital punishment for sinners and nonbelievers. Unflinching advocates, however, insist upon consistency. Rev. Greg Bahnsen, in his book By This Standard, writes: "We. . .endorse the justice of God's penal code, if the Bible is to be the foundation of our Christian political ethic."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It's a GOP World - "They Live"

This is a must-see classic movie that goes perfectly with our rather dark political situation.

"They Live"


I photo copied from our SBA part of a B+ exam for Contracts and took it home to study. After reviewing it I can tell I have a lot of work ahead of me, however - providing I can type the exam instead of using 1st century technology – I feel confident I can pass Contracts.

The biggest problem I face with exams isn’t my knowledge of a particular topic (or at times lack thereof); it is how to properly demonstrate actual knowledge to my professor. Writing a law exam is the closest thing to non-scholarly writing I have ever seen while still qualifying as graduate level work product. The more scholarly one is at this stage - the worse off they will be when the prof grades the paper. To succeed (so I have been told) on a law exam one must, must, must use IRAC.

I’ve struggled with IRAC, and just now I am starting to appreciate it and understand its proper application. Here is the opening line to a B+ exam in Morgan’s Contracts class…

“The remedial options available to Remodeler is either expectation damages, reliance or restitution. Expectation damages is the recovery of the contract price. The remodeler would be placed in the position of the completed contract if Morgan had not breached. Remodeler would thus be awarded the contract amount to complete the contract…[and so on it goes for another entire page]”

It is not a pleasant essay to read, but it does the job and it is very IRAC-ish. Other techniques exist besides IRAC, but since our school seems big on IRAC - it seems wise that I do things their way rather than my way.

The other thing I noticed is that students double-space when they write the exam. They also have way, way better handwriting than I could ever DREAM of being capable of. Ever get a prescription from the doctor? Well, my handwriting is about 10 times worse – and that’s when I’m trying to write neatly. I neglected to do this with my Intro to Law final and I know I will hear about it from my adjunct.

Eminem's anti-Bush anthem

This rapper says more in 5 minutes than an entire Michael Moore video could ever dream of saying in 4 years.

If you are devout and practicing Republican – this video will offend you for its message, not actual content (no sex, no nudity, none of that is in it to enable a call to Michael Powell at the FCC).

Here are two links to Eminem's anti-Bush anthem "Mosh":

For Windows Media Player click here:

For Real Media (or compatible) click here:

For a good backgrounder article, click here for a Salon article.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Intro to Law Final

I am of two minds on this final exam.

I haven’t written that much in pencil since the 8th grade. There is simply no-way I am going to perform at my best on a law school exam if I can’t type it. From my understanding this is possible, just not for this particular class. If I had been able to use my laptop, I think I would have performed exceptionally well. Almost 90% of my time was transcribing my notes/scratch paper results into the essay book. Since I type at roughly 90 – 100 wpm, I could have finished the exam early instead of barely finishing it before the bell. Actually, I wasn't able to fully state everything I wanted to state thanks to having to write by hand.

Despite now being hand-crippled - I am not unhappy with my performance, due to the fact that I knew my definitions and rules for Assault, False Imprisonment, etc, and I think I IRAC'd through most of them "ok" given circumstance. No doubt my adjunct will destroy my score and I'll be stuck in Kindergarten again next semester, but my own perception and self confidence is going up (my adjunct will no doubt attempt to crush my spirit, but I think in some ways her being insanely hard on me proved to be of some benefit). On a real exam, providing I can type it, I think I’ll be just fine. And the same goes for the Contracts section of the exam - if I could have typed it I would have been fine, but being limited to scrawling with a dull pencil took its toll.

I am also glad the class is over, excluding the obligatory meeting with my adjunct. Now I can focus on the Finals.

Aging Professors

I got on Martindale and learned that the professor for my Torts class and the other prof for my Contracts class are the same age.

Why does this matter? I don't really know...

...Perhaps because it surprised me. My loveable Torts professor does not seem nearly as spry as the Contracts professor. In fact, I was guessing Morgan was somewhere in his late 40's, not early to mid 60's. Actually, I believe he turned 64 last mid July (a Leo - no surprise on that one).

Sigh. Time to head back to the salt mines.

How I learned to stop worrying and love Torts.

Changing my study habits saved my a** with Torts. I decided to try an experiment starting several weeks ago. With Contracts, I would do everything by the book per the professor’s demands (no canned outlines, doesn’t like supplements much, etc). I read the book, studied my cases, became a diligent student, avoided canned briefs, and so on. The result? Horrible. I do, however, have a lovely and evidently worthless home spun outline.

For Torts I did just the opposite. I obtained every supplement known to man. The professor is loveable, but loveable is not going to help me pass his exam. The Sum and Substance audio, a decent hornbook, commercial outline, canned brief, the Q&A book, pretty much the works - are proving to be very helpful. Torts ended up being my best score with respect to midterms.

Law School Confession

I must confess.

I am disgusted with law school.

Why the disillusionment?

My Intro to Law class has stained my love for law and wrung it out of my soul like water from a towel, and now all that is left is the calcified remains of a jaded human being. I could go on forever about this class, but it would probably push the boundaries of my own mental health to rant and rave about it. The one good thing about having this class forced down my throat is that, without it, I would have been happy and positive for much, much, too long. Happy and positive isn’t me. Jaded and bitter – that’s more my style. I’m not talking the tongue in cheek Promptergate cynical, I mean The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy – cynical. The dark stuff. I’m there. I feel that way.

I am now a solid two weeks ahead in my class materials, and this makes class a bit jarring due to the fact that almost all of my professors are still back at Week 6 (or worse). Something is definitely going wrong with the weekend section as the only class I have that is close to being timely is Contracts – a class where I think a handful out of 117 people got passing marks, and I am sorry to say I wasn’t one of them – unless the class average is a passing grade. The school has a reputation for flunking out half the class, but almost ALL of the class? Ouch.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

My Lifeline to Sanity

If I didn't have this - I'd probably be on a tall building in downtown Lansing...

Friday, October 22, 2004

Currency News

Where does MajQa' like to go for currency news and views, and where does he get off blabbing about the declining Dollar, the budget deficit and so on? Here is just one of the sources I enjoy pulling info from (aside from Bloom, Buffett, WSJ, etc).

They have some great reports from time to time, and generally speaking when you see arrows that point down - that's the Dollar. Why is this a big deal? Well... Sooner or later oil exporting countries are going to grow tired of denominating their oil exports in a currency that is fast becoming the Peso, and when they switch to the Euro - oh boy - THAT will be an interesting day.

Bush just signed another $150+ billion in "tax relief" for corporations. Let's see, the deficit is $500 billion give or take, plus another $136+ billion - oh screw it. Wahoo! Praise The Lord and pass the Mastercard!

Enjoy The Draft

It's a funny site - unless you're draft age. Then, maybe ... not so funny...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Coming Collapse of The Dollar

I've been watching currency and bond markets with great interest for the past 5 years, and in particular the past 6 months.

While it is true that Europe and the rest of the world are unable to vote in our election per say, I argue they WILL vote with their money. The net outflow of capital from the US is approaching record levels unseen since the Carter years. Foreign central banks are working overtime propping up the Dollar - and I don't think it is because they like Bush or America, rather they need the Dollar kept alive long enough for them to divest their Dollar denominated assets. Our whole pattern when I look at it reminds me of Argentina circa 2001.

This article in the Washington Post speaks volumes and is a must-read for anyone following the undercurrents taking place in world capital markets. It's a nice summary, and doesn't get to the depth of what is really taking place, but it's a nice primer for those who are interested in what I argue is the coming collapse of the Dollar:

Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 19, 2004; Page E01

NEW YORK -- On Sept. 9, as it must frequently do, the U.S. government turned to Wall Street to raise a little cash, and Paul Calvetti bet that demand for $9 billion worth of long-term Treasury bonds would be "huge."

But at 1 p.m., as the auction opened and the numbers began streaming across his flat-panel screens, the head of Treasury trading at Barclays Capital Inc. slumped in his chair. Foreign investors, who had been voraciously buying Treasury bonds, failed to show up. Bond prices cascaded downward, interest rates rose, and in five minutes, Calvetti, 38, who makes money by bidding on bonds at one price and hoping market demand lets him quickly resell them at a profit, had lost $1.5 million.

"It's amazing," he gasped, after the Treasury Department announced that Wall Street traders, not foreigners, had been left to buy virtually the entire auction. "I don't think I've ever seen this before....

The most recent auction of 10-year Treasury notes may have been a fluke, a
momentary downturn in one aspect of the massive world market for U.S. government
and private-sector bonds, stocks and other securities -- a market so large and
diverse that it has long been the world's safe haven. But a rash of new data,
including Treasury Department figures released yesterday showing a net sell-off
by foreigners of U.S. bonds in August, has stoked debate over whether overseas
investors -- private individuals, institutions and government central banks --
are growing dangerously bearish on the U.S. economy. "

Ask yourself this question: Would you invest in a country that runs annual deficits of $500 billion, has a declining infrastructure, a shrinking economy with a hollowed-out industrial sector that has experienced a net loss of 2 million jobs, millions of additional people thrown into poverty, the most expensive healthcare system in the world, and is engaged in non-stop protracted wars that deplete its treasury at an astonishing clip? Take it one step further - would you invest in a country where the leaders say "Deficits do not matter..."??

The bond and currency markets are going to vote this November as well - and they are not, unlike the rest of America, going to vote for Bush.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


I wasn't expecting to have time to spare when doing my midterms. Our Intro to Law class led some of us to believe that we would, if lucky, have only seconds to spare to complete the exam(s). Instead, I end up with about a 1/2 hour to re-think everything, go over my answers, and change my mind more than once.

I went from having a complete lack of confidence plus worrying if I could even finish - to feeling completely confused. How could I have finished so fast? I ride the short bus to school. It doesn't make sense.

UPDATE 10-17-2004

I feel the most positive about my performance with Torts and just the opposite when it comes to Contracts. It's funny, because I thought I would be strongest with Contracts and a train wreck with Torts. I was NOT expecting the issue of options-type contracts to come up on the Contracts exam. That caught me by surprise, although I guess it shouldn't have. I was expecting more "battle of the forms" questions as Morgan's method for student-humilation, but alas nothing too huge in this regard. Frankly, I don't know if a counter-offer terminates an existing option - or not. I better check on that...

All in all - a demoralizing experience. It sure didn't help to have my truck breakdown on the first day of midterms either.

Another Update - Again 6:30pm

I blew the "options" questions - which was something like... sheezus - what, 20% of the questions thanks to Morgan linking so many things together? I've found four situations in which an offer will be deeemed "irrevocable"... one of them is via an options contract. I knew this, but ... dang ... totally blew it. If I am *lucky* I'll get an D- on Contracts, although I'm feeling a good solid B coming on for Torts.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Source of Intellectual Oxygen

God Bless CSPAN. I could watch this stuff all day.

Why yes, since you mention it - it IS a miracle I ended up married. She didn’t know I was so boring (until it was too late), and thought my CSPAN addiction was “cute.”

Working Out and Lifting Weights

I am still a hairy fat ugly guy even though I run and lift weights. I’ve been working with a nice set of free weights now for about a month. I hear my wife’s voice (by the way my wife is a smokin hot babe – I feel bad for her) in my head all the time now that says, “Do you actually work out or are you just faking it?”

I am not faking it, but alas I remain a pudgy dweeb.

One thing I have noticed is a big improvement in my strength, but I still look like an easy mark – were it not for my ape-like appearance, I suspect my ass would be kicked on a fairly regular basis going from the school to my car. Fortunately, most people seem afraid of wild animals – fat, hairy, or otherwise – hence nature and evolution at least work well for me in this regard.

I took up weight lifting not so much to eliminate the problem of being a babe repellent, but instead as I crawl well into my late 30’s I need to regain fitness plus blow off steam from reading about 5 years olds getting stabbed to death by their dads. Maybe this is why Contracts seems like such a relief with Property being downright soothing.

My goal is to be extremely buff and good looking within the next 6 weeks. If I can’t pull that off, I’m going back to eating pie and watching C-SPAN all day.

Google for Klingons

I should have posted this a long time ago. For those of you who enjoy Klingon as much as I do will certainly appreciate being able to do your Googling in your adopted tongue.

Google for Klingons.

(or at least that's what Klingon lawyer-types like to say)

Bush Then and Now

This is a QuickTime video - and it is at minimum interesting. I don't find it negative on Bush, in some ways it really does show the sharp Yale and Harvard educated man he was 10 years ago.

As of 10/14/04 it can be found here.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A State of Contrasts: Canada Posts Another Surplus

Canada seems to have a very different strategy when it comes to economics, not to mention healthcare and just about everything else. Why don't I go live there if I like it so much? Well... I'm working on it, but these things take time.

Ironic that our budget deficit is hitting all time-records, evidently the trillions in tax cuts must not have kicked in yet to help balance the budget. Hopefully, this country will re-elect the President so we can keep this train off, er, on the rails to clear up the mess that... Clinton made. God knows the fiscal crisis Kerry would create if he were elected. The deficit might balloon the way it did under Johnson or Carter or Clinton (he was the worst of the bunch).

Our trade deficit seems to have hit another record, actually - it seems to hit a record every month side by side with all of our other deficit-like constructs, but the smart guys at JP Morgan say it's nothing to worry about. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that's a bad thing. At this rate, the Dollar is on its way to becoming the peso. And let's not forget how our healthcare system is the envy of the entire world, so viva Bush!

FYI: Republicans are fiscal conservatives. Why they are known for that is a mystery to me, but among Americans Republicans are seen as better managers of the economy and the budget. I don't have any hard data to back that up, and neither do the Repulicans, but I am pretty sure somewhere out there is a poll that supports this notion.

I'll spare the rest. Facts are useless in this country anyway. Since I seem to be in a sarcastic if not sardonic mood tonight, here's an interesting Canadian.

Lawyers Being Out-Sourced

I am starting to wish I had opted to attend law school over the Internet or maybe a very affordable yet surprisingly good non-ABA law school.

A brief story on CNN about "lawyering" being shipped to India - here.

I'm starting to have days where I don't even want to get out of bed.

Mr Bass You Are a Cool One Indeed

I do not know Mr Bass, but he has one amazingly simple and useful website. Normally, I would probably just add this link beside all my other links I like, but this one needs special mention. is an excellent source for some of the coolest, off the wall, handy, useful geek tools for Windows and Linux users alike. I've used many a linux tool in my life to recover a Windows partition, so even if you don't use Linux the tools you'll find on this site might one day save you a pretty penny.

I like the fact that his website isn't really biased for or against any one set of tools. If it's cool and useful, Linux or Windows or otherwise, it'll probably make its way on to the MrBass's website.

If you have broadband you'll appreciate Mrbass's fast pipe. I just downloaded the Ultimate Boot CD and must have hit just shy of 400 Mbs on my cable modem. Very nice indeed.

Brief Treepad Review - Handy for Outlining

Since the mid 1990’s I would typically create an outline in one word processor or another if I needed to bring a concept or project to life. I despise Word, although I know many disagree and proclaim Word as being a terrific application for outlining.

After playing with the latest versions of KOffice on Linux and OpenOffice on Windows, plus an old version of WordPerfect, nothing really felt right to me. I even thought about firing up my Macintosh emulator and using one of my old Mac outlining programs from the early 1990’s, but in the end that seemed just a little too eccentric – even for my taste.

Because of the nature of law school and the materials briefed and utilized, what I really wanted was some type of formal outlining program that would also work a little bit like a database. I found and tried a wide range of programs, some were free and open source, others were shareware and some were entirely commercial. I should note that out of fool’s instinct, I thought Microsoft OneNote would prove to be an excellent note taking and outlining program, only to blow $40 on something I will probably never, ever use again. It’s not a bad program and is in fact kind of cool, but it just wasn’t for me.

In the end I came across a program called Treepad. My one screenshot pretty much sums up how I use the program. On the left I create an outline as the class progresses along with matching up the topics and headings from the book. As I click on each heading, subheading and so on forth, it bring up on the right pane the contents of each node.

With Treepad I am able to create a highly organized outline that tracks the peculiar teaching style of each professor, while at the same time maintaining an equally applicable database to store my case briefs. I can easily mold and shape Treepad to work the way I work while at the same time creating a workable, manageable outline tree on the fly as I progress through the course.

Another nice touch that Treepad offers is an Export to Web function. One can export their project in the form of a website that can be viewed by just about any standards compliant web browser – even aging browsers like Internet Explorer work fine for viewing web sites created with Treepad.

Chances are if you have already settled into your first term in law school, you’ve probably developed a method for managing your workload and outlines. However, if you are still preparing to start school I recommend you download a trial copy of Treepad and take it for a test run. I opted to purchase the Business Version for $43.95, but the free edition is also a capable outliner without the bells and whistles. I should also note that version is available for Linux as well.

Treepad Screenshot Posted by Hello

No Voting Democrats Allowed

I got this link from a friend. Wow. A news station actually engaged in a tiny bit of journalism, but that's not the story (although these days that alone can be news).

Here's the short version - A company that was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters tore up Democratic Registration forms, I guess because they don't like Democrats. So, if you signed up as a Democrat in Nevada with this particular group mentioned in the report... there is a good chance you are not registered and can't vote. Given how late it is in the season, you're also screwed.

The FBI is NOT investigating, and you get the usual denials from the usual suspects.

Republicans have yet to come up with their own version of Democrats doing this, but it should be forthcoming soon if this story grows.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Disturbing Interview with Seymour Hersh

I had at first titled this post Slaughtergate, but since the details are sparse from Hersh, it is probably best captioned as just another disturbing interview with Seymour Hersh. Here's the story in a nutshell. According to Sey, we knowingly murdered a whole bunch of unarmed Iraqi's - just lined up and shot em - and claimed we got another 30 insurgents. If this story can be verified as even remotely accurate, we can be rest assured the rest of the world is following it much more deeply than Corporate News Network or Fox or any of the other zombies called "the media" here in the states.

For the video and interview with Seymour Hersh you can try and go here.

For a brief article - go here.

For another article that sums everything up quicker you can go here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Promptergate: Ignorance Really is Bliss

My wife is a very bright woman and I am, all too often - forced to face the fact that the wrong person is attending law school. Her ability to reason and cut through nonsense is so much better than my own that within 60 seconds she can make me feel like an idiot. My ego never lasts long around my wife, and like health food this is probably a good thing that happens to taste bad.

The other day I was going on and on about Promptergate, the vast right-wing media in America, Cheney flat-out-lying –twice- on national TV and getting away with it, not to mention what I still believe is the possibility that Bush suffers from a potentially fatal disease, and so on. Blah Blah Blah Blah.

Her answer to all of my ranting and raving was as simple as it was disheartening, and at the same time strangely refreshing: “It doesn’t matter”, she says, “because people don’t care about such things. Why don’t you do something that people care about?”

These were not her exact words, but close enough and sufficiently ego deflating, and as you can already tell – I have a Super-Sized ego.

It doesn’t matter…

When I posted my little Promptergate piece that was mostly a jumping off point to better sources, my hit rate started going through the roof. Some search engines I had never even heard of picked it up and gave it a high ranking, and one of the major ones had me ranked with the big boys for a surprisingly long time. Typically a dozen unique visitors at most would show up and read my blog on any given day, now it’s substantially more than that - a lot more. It just keeps going up and up. I’m sure after I post this, it will start going back down.

As much as I want to add my voice to what is taking place in my country and help chronicle what I see as the final gasps of the Republic as it gives way to Empire (and an incompetently managed one at that), it’s just not in me – at least not from the conspiracy angle.

God (and maybe Google) only knows the number of web sites and blogs that are jam packed with facts, information, and untold truths about this regime – and it makes little or no impact (Bush is currently ahead in the polls). Those of us that follow this stuff are largely preaching to the choir and the few strays that wander our way are probably more annoyed than enlightened.

While I suspect those of us here in Blogger land get our information over the internet and from a broad-spectrum of sources, most of America still eats the stuff fed to them by CNN or Fox News or other similar entertainment venues. It’s worse than beating a dead horse, it’s more like beating a dead gnat, at least with the horse there’s some meat to work with, but with a gnat there’s nothing.

I’m going to shift my blog focus back to the quiet and interesting hell that is law school, the law itself, legal subjects, and maybe every now and then a Linux or tech posting.

Unfortunately… for some of us there is no going back. Once one explores the swamps of conspiracy, and actually starts to make connections too frightening for average Joes to bother with let alone believe – it’s over.

The Truth is Out There, and when you find it, you really start to wish you hadn’t.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Troop Reductions for Iraq Will and Will Not Happen

The headline to the CBC Story goes like this:

And MSNBC has an article with this headline:

At this point I'm ready to believe almost anything.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Promptergate Stories Continue ... Battle of The Debate Bulge

Outside of the GOP controlled zombie media machine the Promptergate story continues to catch fire. I caught an interesting post over on Cannon Fire that covers the possibility that Bush might be suffering from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In and of itself this wouldn't be news were it not for the fact that the Bush camp lives in a world of deny-first, explain later.

The syndrome is potentially dangerous and even life threatening if not properly treated. In a nutshell, what is the disease?

According to this article the disease is (among other things) a serious vitamin B1 deficit and is sometimes treated in the following manner:

"Patients who have developed signs of a presumptive diagnosis of Wernicke's Encephalopathy should be treated empirically with B-complex vitamins. Two pairs of intravenous or intramuscular high potency parenteral B-complex vitamins three times daily should be given for at least two days. Where an effective response occurs, one pair of intravenous or intramuscular ampoules should be continued once daily for five days."

I would guess that if there was anything under Bush's coat... it was a vitamin pump. Once the proper operatives in the Bush camp go "Ohhh. Yeah. THAT! That's what it was! Vitamins! Well, the President has been found to be low on B1 from time to time and did indeed use an insulin-style pump to bring his levels back up to normal, blah blah blah...." and it will be spun as unfortunate timing, miscommunication, etc.

UPDATE 10-10-2004

Looks like media is, as usual, going to look the other way, just like they did when Cheney told a flat out lie on national TV.

Turns out my theory about the President getting doses of B1 via an insulin-type pump is probably out. There was nothing under his coat. The tailor confirms this. Now - we just need to hear from the butler...

Abe Lincoln on Slavery and Union

Although Abe Lincoln would have a hard time getting elected in this day and age (Bush would defeat him in a heartbeat assuming Lincoln fought him for the nomination) - his comments regarding a certain Surpreme Court decision that sought to ... uhm ... settle the issue of slavery illustrates the quick and sharp mind Lincoln had the good fortune of owning:

"The Republicans inculcate, with whatever of ability—they can, that the negro is a man; that his bondage is cruelly wrong, and that the field of his oppression ought not to be enlarged.

The Democrats deny his manhood; deny, or dwarf to insignificance, the wrong of his bondage; so far as possible, crush all sympathy for him, and cultivate and excite hatred and disgust against him; compliment themselves as Union-savers for doing so; and call the indefinite outspreading of his bondage "a sacred right of self-government."

The plainest print cannot be read through a gold eagle; and it will be ever hard to find many men who will send a slave to Liberia, and pay his passage while they can send him to a new country, Kansas for instance, and sell him for fifteen hundred dollars..."

- Abe Lincoln, 1857
Lawyer (self-taught)

A July 5th Liberty Comment by Frederick Douglass

I don't recall where I picked this up, but I thought it was strangely applicable to our political situation of today...

In 1852, the great former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was asked by the Rochester Anti-Slavery Society to speak on the Fourth. He declined, delivering a speech instead the next day to a hall of 1600 people. He spoke for two hours, from a 41-page text. He left the audience stunned. A little excerpt:

What to the American slave is your Fourth of July I answer, a day
that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross
injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him
your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license;
your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing
are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted
impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your
prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your
religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud,
deception, impiety, and hypocrisy's thin veil to cover up crimes
which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of
the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the
people of these United States at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the
monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South
America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last,
lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of this
nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and
shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bush Wins Debate!

Today - fortunately for all freedom loving people - Bush was back to his usual self. Plain speaking, folksy and casting proper light on the man some call a flip-flopper and as being out of touch with regular Americans. Everyone has his off-days and it looks like the last debate between Bush and Kerry was just one of those days for Bush, but not tonight. Bush hit all of the right notes and gave a performance that is causing heartburn for the Kerry camp.

Bush needed a solid performance and he delivered, which in turn means Kerry is going to have to pull out all the stops if he intends to counter Bush's new found momentum.

Chris Mathews on Hardball noted how "Terrific" Bush seemed tonight and how "Dull" Kerry was. Fineman commented that this was "The Real Bush" that so many Americans have come to love, and now the race had just become that much harder for Kerry. Other pundits and analysts also gave Bush high marks, and likewise noted that while some of what he said was possibly entirely "iffy" in terms of fact, his zingers were memorable and may have changed the outcome of the campaign.

... I know ... the debate hasn't happened yet... it's just a prediction ...


I ... I need to stop making predictions.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Promptergate: Bush Wears Wire During Debate?

At first it sounds incredible, but then... a lot of incredible things turn out to be true.

The notion that Bush was wearing a wire to help him during the debate with Kerry seems more than a little astonishing, especially considering the fact that Bush has a degree in History from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard. Regardless, it's an interesting story.

For a web site devoted to this issue, see here.

For a recording of the mid-debate slip that blew this tale open, click here.

For video of the earlier occasion when news mics accidentally picked up a "phantom voice" feeding Bush his lines, click here. Some have argued that this "pre-echo", but Bush and his prompter sometimes use slightly different wording.

An EXCELLENT jumping off point for this story - check out Cannon Fire's blog. A very sharp guy.

UPDATE 10-12-2004

A few of my own comments here - and also, sadly, why none of this probably matters - here.

Cannon Fire has a piece posted that illustrates how the Karl Rovian's out that there might be attempting to utilize disinformation tactics about the Prompter Wire that Bush was wearing during the debates.

The strategy is pretty simple and it's been used for years: Plant a fake story first that appears to support the Promptergate issue with some "inside information", in this case a "Republican Operative named Scot Zale... who works in the Knoxville Bush/Cheney office" and then involve The Knoxville Times - a rather fake-ish looking paper that operates out of Australia (making the hoax even more obvious) - to follow up with the blogger leading the story for more commentary. It was pre-planned, organized and executed about as well as the war in Iraq.

In other words - discredit the truth by using truthful lies to act as a diversion from the real story. It's great triangulation and usually works fine with the unthinking regular media who just re-vomit what they're told, but bloggers are more... skeptical and didn't fall for it.

Like SCO and Microsoft, Karl Rove doesn't seem to fully comprehend the Groklaw Effect.

Second Update 10-12-2004

Do all Republicans require assistance of some sort during debates? Is this just the norm now?

" The senator refused to allow a member of the Kentucky media to be present at the RNC studio to monitor whether Bunning was receiving assistance with his answers, according to Mongiardo campaign manager Kim Geveden and WKYT news director Jim Ogle. And Bunning refused to engage reporters via satellite in a previously agreed upon post-debate news conference, insisting instead that his 15 minutes of answering questions occur by telephone, without accompanying video footage."

A Whopper with Fries

"In my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." - Dick Cheney, Vice President of The United States of America

Looks like the media, for the most part, is going to give Dick Cheney a pass on what is a 100% complete and total lie, used oddly enough within the context of telling Edwards that his facts were wrong about 9/11. That was anything but a mistatement or misunderstanding or statement out of context. It was so complete and utterly fantastic that Edwards probably didn't know what to do with it, aside from saving it for what will hopefully be some very interesting tv commercials.

I do hope Kerry hammers away at the lies and incompetence of this administration once and for all during the next debates, and uses Cheney's massive-sized lie as an example of how whacky things have become within this administration.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Batman and Robin

Something just dawned on me.

Kerry and Edwards remind me of Batman & Robin. It's kinda funny - almost cool in fact. On the other hand, Bush and Cheney remind me of The Joker & The Penguin - and that's scary.

The Second Coming of John Kerry

I take it all back. Well, most of it.

If John Kerry can keep doing what he did last night and "Kerry it" all the way into November, I just might start to feel safe enough to file away those Canadian Visa applications - at least until Jeb Bush runs in 2008.