Thursday, May 31, 2007


I just ran across this item on Reuters via Yahoo about a Bay Area resident suing eHarmony under California law for excluding gays, lesbians, bis, etc. There you have it Boalties, a news story that combines legal issues with dating. It's like BLF, Barristers, and a Shakedown all rolled into one.

More seriously, my gut reaction is that this might end up being counterproductive. There are probably tons of dating services out there for the homosexual and other communities (think J-Date). Who knows, maybe those dating services offer all plausible options (e.g., men seeking men, or Reformed seeking Reformed) and therefore they won't be liable under whatever this statute the suit relies upon. On the flip side, eHarmony is no J-Date. At best J-Date puts some post cards at Jerry's Famous Deli tables in LA. eHarmony has a nation-wide television campaign and according to the article 12 million registered users. I'm also wondering if there's a 1A associational defense under Boy Scouts v. Dale.

Stay tuned for B-Date.

Mundane Anticipation

If anyone else is checking bearfacts daily for new grades, this post is intended as a grade vigil.

I know Fried's Corp Finance & Bankruptcy and Rakowski's Trusts & Estates have been posted so far. What else?


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Baby Ruth

Armen’s previous post turned out to be a bit premature, as yesterday’s Supreme Court announcements were more of a whimper than a bang. The only case decided was Ledbetter v. Goodyear, in which the Court held that “employees claiming they received disparate treatment based on gender or race must do so within 180 days of the original discriminatory action -- not within 180 days of their last paycheck” (HT

The case is noteworthy, however, not just for its ideological fault lines (an expected and ominous 5-4 split), but also because Justice Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench. I thought this was noteworthy because I couldn’t remember her doing this in the past, yet it was the second time this term (she also read her opinion in Carhart).

The New York Times picked up on this as well, here. It quotes former Ginsburg clerk, and current Boalt superstar, Prof. Liu. The Times mentions a few possible reasons for Ginsburg’s sudden verbosity—theatrics, sour grapes, strategic judgment. But I think, and the article indicates as well, that Ruthie is just simply pissed off. She can see the writing on the wall with the new Court, and she isn’t willing to be a silent minority. Prof. Liu also suggests that she sees her own personal and professional struggles in these cases, and that “after 15 years on the court, she’s finally voicing some complaints of her own.”

I personally am happy to hear her speak out—there are too few strong liberal voices in the federal judiciary. Perhaps she can be the much needed steward of practical liberal values during the inevitable regressive slog of the next few years.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Supreme Anticipation

New cases are set to come down tomorrow. This is an open thread in case any thing dramatic happens. (Check The SCOTUSBlog for updates). Easy money? Roberts and the other conservatives are about really restrict the use of race in the two school district cases.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Growing Problems & Going Concerns

The Chronicle earned the first seven letters of its name today with this very interesting article on tenants who grow marijuana indoors. The article is written from the landlord's perspective, and concludes:

Now Brooke has added language to her rental contract. "It says flat out there is to be no pot growing in the house. And I tell them I am responsible for smoke detectors -- I will come and examine them on a regular basis. I've always been a good landlord and now I've become an even better one."

Yet what works in one county might not work in another. According to Janan New, such additional clauses may or may not be enforceable, especially in a rent-controlled town like San Francisco. "You can't screen on this -- that would be illegal," she says, adding that even the presence of a grow room might not warrant grounds for eviction. "Damaging a property would be considered part of grounds for a nuisance eviction. But in San Francisco, the damage has got to be pretty egregious."

I never took landlord/tenant, but may soon get to it in bar studying. But here's what I'm curious about: as absurd as it is, it's still a violation of federal law to grow marijuana. Why can't a landlord evict someone for violating federal law, whether or not they are damaging the apartment? What if they were just counterfeitering money? Would I not be able to evict them?

Just curious. It sounds ridiculous if the answer is no, because on the civil side, we do expect landlords to police federal law by making them vicariously liable for copyright and trademark infringement that occurs on or in their premises. The article suggested that landlords in this context could also be liable for various torts & crimes arising from growing (the threatened countersuit for mold was hilarious, & sad). If there's looming liability, why is eviction illegal? Thanks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pelosi, Honeymoon's Over

The House was busy today, passing legislation to punish something involving energy prices. There's only one place where legislation like this belongs: Venezuela. In the meantime, I hope President Bush does (finally) find his veto pen and get the ink flowing.


As for Pelosi & House Democrats. I helped vote you into power. I've been holding my tongue (pullout date). That was dumb, but this is beyond belief. 2/3 of the House apparently fails to grasp the simplest concepts underlying a market economy (though I suppose that explains Sarbanes-Oxley somewhat). But from now on, honeymoon's over. Use the majority control of the House to do smart things for this country, not stupid political gestures & not things actively bad for the economy, or else I'm going to (digitally) holler.

In other news, beautiful weather's arrived in Berkeley and life is pretty good. Have a good evening folks.

UPDATE: Never mind. Berkeley refuses to be out-crazied:

"Landlords will be required to provide free bus passes to tenants. . . . Landlords would be allowed a small rent increase (equal to $7 per month in today's costs) to pay for tenants' passes[.]"

While I enjoy the student unlimited free ride pass on AC Transit, the actual cost of a monthly bus pass for an adult is: $70.00. Not $7.00. So the proposed set of rules will require landlords to a) bundle bus passes with apartment leases, whether or not anyone wants a bus pass, but b) only raise the rent 10% of the cost of providing the potentially unused bus passes. (maybe the Chronicle contains a typo. But given Berkeley's track record, I think not.) To illustrate the extreme case, consider multi-person units. I hope the landlord is "allowed" a "small rent increase" per tenant, but even then, the landlord is now stuck losing $126/month on a two-person apartment, $252/month on a four-person. My cut-rate 8-person apartment is thankfully in Oakland, but it would take a $504/month gash out of the landlord's profits.

& finally, what if the tenants are all students, who get passes from the school? Do they get a nice $7/month increase for giggles? Does the landlord still have to provide a redundant & wasteful pass? Hopefully not. So, will landlords start having to verify their tenants are students who picked up their stickers?

"I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!"

Ok. Hopefully this price-fixing craze (absolutely illegal when done by private actors by the way) will pass.

Barbri first impressions

So DS started Barbri on Monday and, to borrow from Max Power, Wow. Just wow. DS is exhausted. After only two days of lecture and study. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the summer. And he hasn't even read the required Conviser mini-review for evidence that will be required tomorrow--although he will tonight.

DS knew studying for the bar would be tough, and require long hours. But what is really making him tired is working everyday of the week (or the first three days, so far). Sure, this is what's required of a big-law attorney, and he'll have no problem doing that when the time comes. But, coming off a semester in which he went to class only three days a week, and paid attention less than that, anything that requires more than 3 hours a day of attention is hard to come by. Sure, he just got off a week's vacation. But Barbri is hard, time-consuming work.

DS is interested in what other Boalties thought of their first-course instructors. For torts he had GW's Roger Schechter, who was funny, straight-forward, and a pleasure to listen to. Really, Schechter got as good a round of applause at today's end as any professor DS had at Boalt. And they were well deserved. How you can make Palsgraf funny is beyond DS, but Schechter pulled it off.

Other impressions of bar review and professors?

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Literary-ism

This afternoon I finally read _No Country for Old Men_ by Cormac McCarthy. It’s not really about law, but it is about lawlessness, and law enforcement. It’s also about evil. Like most of his novels, it’s a sort of souped-up twentieth-century Western, set in the American Southwest.

In my opinion, McCarthy is one of the greatest fiction writers in English. In terms of his use of language, I would place him in a class with Faulkner and James and Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. My next read is going to be his newest one. I think it’s called _The Road_. For someone new to his work, I would recommend _All The Pretty Horses_, which was also made into a movie.

Any other suggestions for summer reading?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Plan B(erkeley)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

That Pig Had Powerful Friends

It's no secret that I still have to write a paper to truly graduate. In the course of researching for this paper (on Gouverneur Morris), I came across this gem.

"Mr. Madison and Mr. Pinkney then moved to insert in the list of powers vested in Congress a power -- 'to establish an University, in which no preference or distinctions should be allowed on account of religion.'

Mr. Govr Morris. It is not necessary. The exclusive power at the Seat of Government, will reach the object."

Simply amazing. There are too many torrents of thought going through my head, so I can't really parse through this, but think about the implications.

1. A NATIONAL public university. Cool. America U or America State?

2. No less than someone of James Madison's stature, who incidentally was at the convention, and in Congress when the Bill of Rights passed, felt the need for a university that was blind as to religion. First off, this is Madison, who graduated from Princeton in 2 years (then had a burn out). This is just one example of how religious nutcases are full of it when they argue that this country "is a Christian nation." Clearly, a lot of our founders took great care to separate religion from government (and now it looks like education). Kansas School Board, I'm looking at you.

3. Morris thinks this clause is not necessary because Congress' power to do whatever it wants in D.C. will take care of it. Do the readers know of any other instance where Congress has used this power to create something that would otherwise probably not be permitted. I guess the Smithsonian comes to mind.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Graduation '07

Last year I wrote about the 2006 graduation, so I figured I’d recap the 2007 graduation too, for anyone who wasn’t there. This year’s was way better than last year’s—not as hot, not as long, and with good speeches. It’s possible I just think it was better, because this year I was the one wearing a cap & gown. But I talked to several of last year’s graduates who were also there this year, and they all agreed this year was a lot better. So congrats to the Class of 2007. Here’s how it went:

--It started an hour earlier, so it was a bit cooler and the sun wasn’t quite so direct until the end of the ceremony. Much nicer.

--LLM Speaker (Seagull Song): Her speech was light, pretty funny, and, most importantly, relatively short. She actually had quite a few funny jokes, and never took herself too seriously.

--Class Prez: El Presidente gave a nice, personal speech. He told some personal stories about classmates and had some nice words about the entire class. And, he got a huge ovation, which was nice after all the pointless controversy about the speaker, etc.

--Faculty Speaker, Prof. Bundy: About a thousand times better than last year. I was disappointed he didn’t sing, but it was still a nice speech. I wouldn’t have minded something a bit quirkier from him, but it was still Bundyesque and he kept it relatively short.

--Keynote Speaker, Bryan Stevenson: Well, maybe he's not quite Danny Glover, but after all the controversy on this here blog, Prof. Stevenson ended up giving a great speech and got an extended standing ovation. Can’t say I was real surprised that he turned out to be so good. The guy’s a dynamic speaker who does fascinating work, and his stories about his grandma and Rosa Parks et al. were particularly entertaining. I’m pretty sure he didn’t even have most of it written down—he was just talking, saying whatever he felt, and it came off great. I thought he did a good job of being political without being overly preachy.

One quibble: during his introduction Dean Edley made some overtly political comments. Personally, I agreed with the substance of those comments, but I still felt like it wasn’t Dean Edley’s place, at a graduation, to be making those comments. It was clear that Prof. Stevenson would be making a politically-oriented speech, so there wasn’t really any reason for Dean Edley to make comments that potentially could have alienated many students. I know many of my classmates will disagree on that point, but it’s just something I was thinking.

Awards, Advanced Degrees: This was totally different from last year. As for awards, instead of calling them up one-by-one, each was just asked to stand at their seat while a description of their accomplishments was read. I don’t think it would have been terrible for them to walk up on stage while the descriptions were being read, so that they could get one round of applause together on stage, after all the awards have been announced. All 4 were very deserving, by the way.

As for the advanced degrees, this was WAY better. Last year, they called up each person individually, read a description, etc. This year Dean Edley gave a general description of the type of work they did, and they all got hooded together. In total, the awards/advanced degrees part of the ceremony took 5-10 minutes, instead of 30-40. Huge improvement.

Awarding of Degrees: Maybe it was just where I was sitting, but the crowd seemed far more attentive this year (last year everyone was milling about and talking to each other). This was probably thanks in part to Prof. Stevenson, who helped to maintain everyone’s attention, as well as the shortened time for awarding advanced degrees. And the monotony of calling out names was broken up by the best moment of graduation: a marriage proposal! It was a pretty cool moment and got huge cheers from everyone in the audience.

Dean Edley’s speech: Just when you think you’re done…Dean Edley has something to say. His speech was better this year, because it was a somewhat more subtle plea for money. He also got genuinely choked up a couple of times when talking about how we were the first class to come in with him (I actually thought he was about to announce he was leaving the school for a minute there). But, I still don’t like the timing on this. Everyone thinks we’re done after we hand out the degrees! Put Dean Edley’s speech earlier in the program, perhaps between Bundy and Stevenson.

The reception: the brownies were excellent! So were the strawberries. One suggestion though: practically everyone from the graduation walks down one side of Gayley, and then tries to go down the same set of stairs into the courtyard, and there is a huge traffic jam. Put up a few signs showing alternate routes into Boalt.

BBQ lunch at my house: Excellent.

Saturday night: I know a few parties were happening, and thanks to those who organized them, but it would be nice to have a quasi-official graduation party that attracts as much of the class as possible. Hopefully next year BHSA or whoever else can pull something quasi-official together.

So that’s it for this year. It was a great experience, and I was glad to see the school make small tweaks to the ceremony that I think really helped improve it. Congrats 2007!


Friday, May 11, 2007

Graduation Tips

Smile in pictures. (Hat tip: the lovely Sharon Kim, not to be confused with LA anchorwoman Sharon Tay)


It's a Pat (on the back)

For the past year, I've been thinking about what to say as a graduation post. Do I talk about the great people I've met? The great classes? Bitch about Boalt to the death? (See, DS's post below) Maybe an ode to the Bay Area?

The truth is, I can't possibly capture all of my experiences in words. I started this blog for that purpose, and nearly three years later it's barely captured 1% of the things I hope to remember. I'm proud of all the 3Ls. All the awkward getting to know each other conversations seem like yesterday. Tomorrow we'll just become another part of this institution's tradition of grinding out lawyers. The process won't stop with us. So in that vein, congratulations to the 2Ls and 1Ls also. Do well on your jobs, and look for Boalties in your future interviews. And if any of you want to contribute to N&B when we're gone, let me know.

Congratulations to the 3Ls and a special thank you to H.P. See you all tomorrow.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

One last jab at the Registrar

DS received this email yesterday.

Dear Student,

As the semester draws to a close, I noticed that you have not submitted an address to have your diploma mailed. Please download the Diploma Request Form today at to ensure
prompt delivery once your diploma is available four months after graduation.

The mailing fee is $12 domestic; $40 international. Drop off or mail your request to Office of the Registrar, 128 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-5404. Our hours are 9AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday. Make your check or money order payable to the UC Regents.

If you have recently submitted the Diploma Request Form and fee, please disregard this notice.

You've earned it! Now have it delivered.


Never mind that $100K over three years doesn't get you a free mailed diploma. No, the best part is" . . . to ensure prompt delivery once your diploma is available four months after graduation." Ohhhhh. Okay. It would be a shame not to get *prompt* delivery of something FOUR MONTHS LATE. It's a piece of paper with some sparkly letters on it. Four months? Really? Maybe that's why grades are always so late. They have to punch all those letters into a computer in addition to printing diplomas for graduating 3Ls. Who knew?

That is all.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Join an Inn of Court!

The Earl Warren American Inn of Court is looking for seven good Boalties (rising 3Ls or 2Ls) to be Inn members for next school year. You will meet monthly in the evening at 6:00-9:00 pm on the third Wednesday of each month in downtown Oakland. The annual fee is very modest, about $150, which covers the seven or so restaurant meals. For one month during the year, your team will put on a presenation, which means you will put in about 12 hours in preparation. (At the EWAIC, the presenations are a little theatrical, so have some willingness to play a part in a short skit.) Otherwise, you will simply attend presentations, meet and greet judges and lawyers, and enjoy a nice meal. Attendance is important, so if you join, you are making a commitment to show up. Unfortunately, the Inn has given us a shorter fuse than usual, so please contact John Steele at john-dot-steele-at-fr-dot-com, if you are interested. It's a great way to get out there in the legal community as a 3L.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Fact Pattern For Next Year's MPRE

A billboard went up recently in downtown Chicago with two photos on it, one on either side: the torsoes of a man and a woman, both super hot. In the middle, in giant text (the sign is reportedly "three times the size of a regular billboard") it reads "Life is Short; Get a Divorce." See ABC's coverage here.

Any thoughts? The lawyer who sponsored the ad has evidently taken a lot of flak, but she's promising an even racier one next month.

UPDATE: Image available at urban semiotic here.


Monday, May 07, 2007

L.A. Bleg

Like a good number of Boalties, Earl is headed south for the summer, to Los Angeles. I come with my own Bay Area-ingrained stereotypes, to be sure: I expect to drive to the Starbucks two blocks around the corner -- somehow sit in traffic just the same -- and then be overcharged by a 15 year-old peroxide blond struggling reality TV star. (Or David Hasselhoff. He has to be broke by now, right?). When I come out, my stereo will be gone. I may or may not be eaten by a mountain lion, or blown into a hill fire by the Santa Ana wind.

Anyway, if that doesn't happen, I'm actually looking forward to the trip, and on behalf of all similarly situated Boalties, I wanted to solicit some input from our L.A. readers on what we should do when we're down there, what we should see, where we should go, etc.

I'm also particularly interested in L.A. history and its place in popular culture (beyond the obvious and the vacuous), hence the request for books and movies about L.A. I should add that, like a great, Truman-like President once said, this isn't my first rodeo. I've been in L.A. a good bit for business and pleasure, so I don't need to go to Universal Studios. I've seen the handprints in Hollywood at that theater. I shopped on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (er, I looked at expensive shit I can't afford in the window). So none of the tourist stuff. (Well, maybe a little.)

After taking to some folks, I got a little bit of a list going. It'd be great to be able to fill in at least the top five for each.

Places to Go
1. Getty
2. Manhattan Beach

Books to Read
1. Kevin Starr -- "Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920s"
2. Mike Davis -- "City of Quartz"
3. Anything by Raymond Chandler
4, 5, 6... ??

Bars to Patronize
1. The Standard downtown (please don't hate me)
2-5.... ??

Movies to Watch
1. L.A. Story
2. Chinatown
3. Escape from Los Angeles (kidding...)
4, 5. ...??

Restaurants to Sample

1. ????? (Dining for most of one's life in the Bay Area creates a rebuttable presumption that the food in LA is horrible by comparison -- but I'll give it a chance.)

Last but not least, a list of secret traffic routes to the Westside would be cash money. But since it's L.A. we're talking about, I won't hold my breath. And any other "must-see/do/try" categories would be great.

Future Interest

So a certain someone e-mailed me the idea behind this post. It's pretty simple. What are the 3Ls going to do? Think of it as a high school yearbook or something. Below you can see the format. And as a warning to anyone who is here because of a google search, the views and expressions of this blog are not those of the commenters in this thread.

Armen Adzhemyan
Bar/Bri - Berk
Bar Trip -- Italy, Germany, Spain
Work: GD&C (LA, practice area n/a, 9/4 start)
Fav Simpsons Episode: Bart vs. Australia

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Not So Crimson Tide

In undergrad, I vaguely remember reading about some theory on presidencies. I don't remember the details, but basically it claimed that there were four kinds of presidencies throughout American history.
1. Presidents who usher in new eras. Not era as in time, but as in political ideology (Lincoln, Teddy?, FDR, Reagan).
2. Presidents who are elected in their own era. (LBJ, Harding, Coolidge, etc.)
3. Presidents who are elected in the wrong era. These are the ones who tend to get impeached because the political tide is against them. (A. Johnson, Nixon, Clinton).
4. Presidents who are the last of their era. They immediately precede no. 1 presidents. (Carter, Hoover, etc.)
The starking feature of a no. 4 president is low approval ratings. Well Newsweek has released a poll revealing that Bush's approval ratings are at 28%. The lowest number since Carter (who was also at 28). Think about that.

Sunday Literary-ism

Robert Frost was one of our greatest poets, although somewhat underappreciated in modern times. One of the themes he returned to frequently was the social and metaphysical character of work. See, e.g., “Mending Wall.”

Another great, although earlier and less well known poem, “A Tuft of Flowers,” is about a guy who goes out to rake a field which someone else had mowed earlier in the morning:

I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

I looked for him behind an aisle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, and had been,--alone.

While he’s working, though, he notices a bunch of flowers sticking up all alone in the middle of the mowed field. They make him think of the guy who was there earlier, and who must have decided to leave them there.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
Leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him,
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

“Men work together,” I told him from the heart,
“Whether they work together or apart.”

Legal work can be lonely. You spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. The poem reminds me that there are (sometimes) ways you can feel a sense of connection through work, even when the work itself is solitary.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

More Salary Fun - Quotes From OMM

So I participated in Armen's Blogathon from months back, and got access to the blog but have never gotten around to posting. Well I figure now would be a good time to post, while I'm still an actual enrolled Boalt student (with a paper to finish and an exam to study for...let's hear it for 3L procrastination).

Anyway, I don't have much deep to say, but I just figured, amidst all of the salary talk, I'd offer these recent quotes attributed to O'Melveny & Myers:

"Over the past 24 hours, we've detected a movement in the associate and counsel compensation marketplace."
- From OMM firmwide voice mail, reported on Above the Law, May 4, 2007 (emphasis added).

"Brian Brooks, O'Melveny's talent development partner, says his firm monitors starting salaries on a daily basis. "
- May 5, 2007, SF Chronicle article on the new West Coast salary hikes

I love the whole "detected a movement" phrasing, as if they had some seismograph-like device detecting compensation tremors. And I'm imagining that during their "daily monitoring" Orrick's salary hike triggered a big red flashing light on Mr. Brooks' wall along with a wailing siren.

Well apparently the OMM salary detection device/Bat Phone/Blackberry worked. Even amidst the distractions of a ridiculousiy amazing Warriors victory on Thursday night (I'm still pinching myself), they managed to move pretty quick, so cheers to them.

PS - As commenters in the previous post have noted, MoFo has matched. Though there's dispute about whether it's a true raise as apparently they've changed their bonus structure. More on ATL.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Raising California

Well as news is spreading, Orrick just went to $160,000. ATL assumes that the big West Coast firms will follow. At best I think they MAY follow. Yeah, I know, I'm right if they do, and I'm right if they don't. I feel like the weather guy who predicts 30% chance of showers. But here's my thinking. All the NY firms already pretty much pay $160 on the WC (Simpson, Skadden, etc.). On top of that, Quinn is also at $160. Orrick is now jumping into that category.

For the Gibsons, Lathams, O'Melveny's, and MoFos of the world, the question is fairly simple: will this affect our recruiting. That's why I have to answer the question with a maybe. If it's JUST Orrick and Quinn, they might hang tough and not cave in. But I think the movers are going to be Munger, Irell, and Kecker. If they go $160, then the big guys have no choice. They have to rise up to compete. Whatever the case, theI don't have much to base this on. It's just mostly intuition.

Maybe we should apply Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" theory to all this.

UPDATE: O'Melveny has gone up to $160 according to the comments at ATL. When Frege created his mechanical reasoning, Bertrand Russell pointed out an inherent contradiction just as his work was about to be published. So in the end he just added a footnote saying something along the lines, "everything int his book is wrong." That's how I feel right now. Everything in the post above is wrong. Expect fairly quick moves from all WC firms now. Congrats to us.

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

Anthony Ciolli, the Penn 3L who was one of two people responsible for the AutoAdmit message board, has apparently lost his job offer. I have no sympathy at all. It's nice to know that when somebody does bad, bad things with their First Amendment (or CDA safe-harbor) rights, society sometimes steps in to discipline them.

Ultimate Warriors

It’s Game 6 tonight in what has been one of the best NBA playoff series in recent years. If the Warriors can pull it off, it will be remembered in the Bay Area for a long time. The atmosphere at Oracle is going to be absolutely electric.

I’m not a Warriors fan but I’ll be rooting for them tonight. Part of that is because I always tend to pull for the underdog. But really I think the Warriors deserve it, and long-suffering Warriors fans deserve it, and hell the entire city of Oakland deserves it. In a sports-as-a-reflection-on-society kind of way, Oakland sports teams have always taken a backseat to their richer neighbors across the Bay or down south. Tonight the Warriors, and Oakland, can jump out of those shadows for at least a night.

As for the game, I’ll leave it to commenters to debate, exhort, breakdown, and call me a smug fascist asshole. But a few points:
1) I jokingly predicted to some friends that the Mavs would win Game 5 and “experts” would re-anoint Dirk MVP, and lo and behold--no doubt they will reverse course tomorrow if necessary;
2) Charles Barkley is funny; Stephen Jackson is funnier. I’m looking forward to Barkley’s comments tonight, and the responses from Warriors fans;
3) The Warriors can’t fall in love with the 3. Yes, they need to hit them to win, but too often in Game 5 they settled for jacking up 3’s, rather than using perimeter passing to set up open looks (which were there when they worked for them);
4) Feed off the crowd’s energy but stay calm—the Warriors get sloppy when they get too excited and start taking bad shots. That leads to 15-0 runs by the Mavs. Play with emotion, but also with smarts and patience.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do Not Pass Go

Apropos free speech, decency, etc. following the Trustafarian episode, what do you think of this? Apparently these were the "rules" of Illegal Immigrant Capture the Flag:

1. Team Illegal Immigrants must outnumber Team INS.
2. Team INS must play with their hands tied behind their backs.
3. Team INS plays defense the entire time.
4. Every 10 minutes, those on Team Illegal Immigrants caught by Team INS will be granted amnesty and set free.
5. All other rules apply only to team INS.

What do you think about UC Davis's Associate Dean of Law speaking against this stunt? The fact that the protesters were prevented by their peers from expressing their views--even if you think they were crass and unenlightened?

I think this 'game' was in poor taste. But I don't think that justifies blocking the right to speek freely.


Did Bush just say that Al Qaeda is operating in Iraq? Pack it in guys. There is no decency left in the world. I just realized I need to explain what I'm talking about.

First he said something along the lines that Al Qaeda is responsible for the car attacks in Baghdad. This statement itself is a borderline lie. Truth: "The organization that calls itself Al Qaeda in Iraq is responsible for some of the suicide bombings, IEDs, etc."

Second, he followed this statement up with, "which everyone agrees is the enemy we should be fighting." Again, on its own, this statement is right. We should be fighting Al Qaeda, but NOT Al Qaeda in Iraq.

P.S. The title is a Monty Python reference.


Happy Anniversary

Here. Oh and Happy Law Day.