Thursday, April 29, 2004

Civ Pro

So far today I've written my Civ Pro Outline and I've done a couple hundred pages of the E&E, Glannon is my hero, read a bunch of the FRCP, and bunch of the U.S. code. I'm starting to think my study strategy wasn't so good this semester. I'm sick of Erie, haven't done Byrd, Hanna, JMOL, JNOV, or 7th amendment stuff yet. My civ pro final is at 8AM tomorrow.
I have reached a state of mental clarity, it's kind of an "out of procedure" experience. I have had an epiphany and my conclusion is that Erie sucks. Not because it's confusing, but because it just sucks. It's an area of the law that's sufficiently vague to let Civ Pro Profs go nuts when they're writing hypos. They can have twenty people in some hellish diversity love triangle thing. Is it substantive? Is it procedural? RDA or REA? The poor exam taker who put off studying until the last minute is stuck in Erie limbo, which is basically like stepping in a cow pie. When Civ Pro Profs start getting excited about hypos regular people like you or me, or at least 1Ls, start to suffer.
Anyway, I've still got a bunch to do, and only 10 hours until my final. I've got a practice test to take and then I'm going to condense my outline one more time, and I still have about 100 pages of Glannon to read. I love that man.
If you know any interesting websites with basic flash games, please feel free to email them to me, it won't distract me, oh no. I'll just take a quick break.

Monday, April 26, 2004

What do you want?

Three Years of Hell has a post asking us what we want to get out of lawschool. I joked that I came to lawschool to sell out. That's basically become the truth. I'm turning my back on my punk rock past and buying into the middle class "mindless happiness through consumerism" lifestyle. It seemed funny before I got here. Anyway, I want a Norton Commando (preferably a 850), some dogs( The ones that aren't going to get adopted because they're old or sick or hyper), and a Tequilera (my jimadores could call me Don Gonzalez, see how much I've sold out. I aspire to be recognized as a member of an aristocracy). It doesn't really seem worth it when I type it out. A motorcycle, some dogs, and some land and plants in Guadalajara. I could just as easily have the first two without lawschool. The last one is a pipe dream, but it's more attainable if I'm a lawyer, as oppossed to a brewer. I think I'm actually here because I like the school.

P.S. I don't know how the track back thing works and I really have to get started on my contracts outline. If someone can explain it to me in less than 20 medium sized sentences please do, otherwise I'll figure out next week.

Hot or Not

Some of my class mates have been on Hot or Not, please show them your support.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Odds and Ends

Also in the NY Times, can you tell I haven't spent much time outlining today?, there's an article about a documentary about the Ramones. You should all read this because you can never know too much about the Ramones.

I was goofing off on the Halliburton website and I found job listings for Iraq. For all of you who haven't landed that summer clerkship yet, this is starting to bother me a touch, think about an exciting summer in the searing Iraqi desert. They still have about 560 openings.

I finished my moot court a couple weeks ago. On reflection it actually might have only been one week ago. I will only say that it was not pleasant and like the mature adult that I am, I will not be discussing it.

We're supposed to get our registration packets for next year soon. I'm also supposed to get a reimbursement from the school soon. I'm not holding my breath.


This is a great article about Padilla. The article seems to poke a few holes in many of Ashcroft's claims about how dangerous Padilla was and about how credible the evidence used to get the warrant against Padilla. There is also some information about the "enemy combatant" category that is helpful. The article doesn't define it, apparently the Bush administration hasn't offered an definition, but it talks about what is at stake for the administration and one expert said it has no foundation in international law.
The biggest problem the article held for me was that the person, a pentagon official named Mobbs, who wrote the memorandum that served as the basis of the warrant used to arrest Padilla expressly stated that the informants weren't reliable in a footnote on the memo. This is compounded by the statements of an FBI official, the executive assistant director for counter terrorism named Dale Watson, that the evidence was "rather weak".
Padilla has spent 2 years in a naval brig without charges pressed against him, with limited contact with his lawyer, with basically no rights. This is apparently okay based on weak evidence and unreliable informants. Lindh's rights weren't so extremely violated. Edward Feltus, Judith Bruey, and William Krar were all arraigned. There is actual evidence against these people, the Tyler people were actively involved in a bomb plot, yet they get due process rights while Padilla is denied any legal rights. It is hard not to believe the disparate treatment is not because they are white and Padilla is Latino.

Humvee update

There's a story in the NY Times today about increases in up armored Humvees. This is good news. It means the troops will be safer, and they'll be able to do their jobs better. However, this excerpt disturbed me.
The Senate passed a supplementary $239.3 million bill in November to produce 1,065 armored vehicles at a cost of $150,000 apiece, compared with about half that for a soft-skin.

Such measures have been fueled by politicians, military experts and relatives of soldiers killed in unarmored vehicles, as well as images of insurgents gloating around burning Humvees, rifles raised in triumph.

This article indicates that the drive to get the troops the vehicles they need has not been led by the Bush administration. The administration promised to get the troops the equipment they need, but they seem to shirking their duty onto the Senate and others.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Because I don't have enough to do

Hey, having fun outlining? My genius strategy of putting everything off until the last minute has lead me to prowling online crossword sites. Here's a great site with links to crossword puzzles. Waste lots of time.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Bush's Press Conference

Like everyone else in the world, Bush's press conference made me angry. The press isn't doing their job, asking him touchy feely questions about whether or not he has been a bad communicator is not journalism.
This quote especially bothered me.

And as I mentioned in my opening remarks, our commanders on the ground have got the authorities necessary to deal with violence, and will -- will in firm fashion.
And that's what by far the vast majority of the Iraqis want. They want security so they can advance toward a free society.
Once we transfer sovereignty, we'll enter into a security agreement with the government to which we pass sovereignty, the entity to which we pass sovereignty. And we'll need to be there for a while.
We'll also need to continue training the Iraqi troops. I was disappointed in the performance of some of the troops. Some of the units performed brilliantly. Some of them didn't. And we need to find out why. If they're lacking in equipment, we'll get them equipment. If there needs to be more intense training, we'll get more intense training.
But eventually, Iraq's security is going to be handled by the Iraqi people themselves.

The part about getting them the equipment they need is what really bothered me. This article describing the problem Humvee's are having because they lack proper armor jumped to my mind when I read Bush's answer. While news stories about war profiteering by Cheney's friends at Halliburton keep popping up our troops are driving around in Humvee's without armor. I understand that they are supposed to be light and maneuverable, but when bombs placed on the side of the highway, put there because resistance fighters know about this weakness, keep blowing shrapnel into Humvees and maiming troops the vehicle should be reevaluated. I also understand that the armor is expensive, but the money that Halliburton is ripping off should cover it. If not, lets cut a little money from the missle defense shield that's never going to work anyway. Getting properly armored, I believe uparmored is the correct term, vehicles to Iraq and in use in situations where troops are likely to come into contact with these bombs makes sense and should be a priority.
The canvas walls on the current Humvees also don't offer the troops any protection from rioters. As the administration bungles relations by attacking Fallujah and Sadr the disatisfaction of Iraqis is increasing. There are going to be more riots, more snipers, and more highway bombs. The proper equipment should be in place, without the troops having to beg their communities for it.

George Raymond Mynatt (1976-2003)

Today is the day. One year ago. One of my best friends passed. He was attacked by cancers. It started with a little spot on his knee. I don't think it's over yet. I think of him everyday, I know all the rest of the El Paso Kids do too. First I want everyone to know how important it is to understand skin cancer. Skin cancer is the worst kind of pure and total shit. A tiny little freckle can steal something you love. Sun stole my friend from me. It made him go blind, made him sick, made him live in pain. It took his sight by moving to his brain.
You want the cliche of a fighter? Well Ray lived up to it, and then he went a couple steps past it and picked up his guitar. Ray fought skin cancer, and he beat it. At least that's what the doctors thought at first. He had lymphoma they said later, but he beat that and everything was alright for a couple years. It reemerged. I had moved out of Austin by that point. I kept up with him by phone calls, and not trusting him to tell me what was up, because he loved his friends and didn't want us to worry, by a network of friends. Bands would come through town on tour, artists that had done posters for Too Bad About The Kid, or people that had met him would give me info.
I got a call a year ago last march. It was from my cousin, he told me Ray wasn't doing so good. I remember feeling very important, I was going to law school, I was going to be a lawyer. I answered the phone, said hi to my cousin. He asked me if I talked to Silas or Sara yet. I said no, suddenly concerned, not happy. He asked if I heard about Ray. I never felt my soul sink faster. "He's okay right?" A lawyer can't do a god damned thing about cancer.
My cousin told me Ray couldn't see anymore, he wasn't doing well, they thought there was a brain tumor and it would be soon.
I met Ray when I was about 17. The first time we hung out we drank beers we got in J-Town with some of the other El Paso Kids and fucked around on a golf course. That kind of dumb, punk rock, get fucked up and fuck shit up kind of lifestyle is what we cherished. We weren't too much into drugs, other people ODed. It wasn't going to happen to us. If we got arrested, so what, but it wasn't likely.
Ray watched my cat for a whole year while I bounced around for a place to live. We shared our love of Teengenerate, Hickey, Screeching Weasel, and the Ramones. We argued about the relative wooing power of Built to Spill versus Jawbreaker. He was right in that regard, he had girls lined up around the corner.
I went to Atlanta at one point. I met a girl, I thought she dug me, so I went. I was lonely and this felt like hope. It fell apart pretty fast. I was left in a town I hated, with a job I hated and worst of all with myself, which I also hated. I called Ray everyday. I was embarrassed of why I moved, and what had happened. I wanted to go back to Austin, to be with my friends, but I couldn't. Ray listened to me talk and made me feel like it was OK. When I decided to come back I hung out with him first. We met everyone at a Hickey show and bought reflective Saint Anthony stickers.
Eventually Ray fell in love with Sara. Sara was hard on Ray at first. I didn't like her. She jerked him around, she was difficult. They broke up, got back together, and did it again. But when Ray first got sick she stood by him. They were going to get married. Sara was great, that's when I decided she was ok.
Anyway, Ray passed. He had a service in Sherman, Texas. I don't know if it was to the family's chagrin that we all showed up. A bunch of Mexican dirty punkrockers, who missed their friend so much, in the middle of Baptist country. Our friend Chip made it, fresh from duty in Qatar.
If I believed in God, or wanted to, I would hate him forever for stealing Ray. But I don't believe in God, so I hate cancer. I hate pain that falls on people for some unknown reason, I hate tumors that steal personality, I hate the feeling that I couldn't do anything for my friend.
I loved, actually I love him very much.
I study law and justice now. I can tell you something about justice. It ignored Ray.

13 Lines

A whisper soft blew through the air
On cold wind it traveled and fed on thought
Deep breaths in darkness I would not dare
For deceit in man will always be caught
Laid down in file, rows of wicked slate stone
If you want the truth you have bare bone
For trickery and lies of the soul they will eat
I ounce heard of a tale of a dead cat in the bag
Replaced carnations in wait for the 12th hour to strike
Childish anticipation to look upon a hoofed man
But through their fear filled eyes they never caught sight
I tell you death is a thief
Grey flesh, and broke bone is only plunder to keep.

by Ray Mynatt

The straight and narrow road only goes to nowhere
and I'm already there so why should I even care?
Just as long as there aren't any squares at my funeral,
It's okay, I'm to blame,
I've made my deathbed and now I'll lie in it
and finally get a little rest.
Just make sure there aren't any squares at my funeral,
Dying don't scare me.
Just promise me there won't be any squares at my funeral.

by Hickey

Ray, there weren't any squares at your funeral. But there were a lot of people who loved you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I got this off of Rex 2.0
This definitely isn't what I would have guessed.

According to the "Which Big Lebowski character are you?" quiz:

Why don't you check it out? Or we cut of your Johnson!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Condi's testimony

I found this site through The Leiter Report's. It's a evaluation of her testimony before the 9-11 commission. It's pretty much what you would expect, but I also think it puts Ashcroft in an uncomfortable place, and that's a good thing.

I went to a show

I went to a show tonight and I had a decent time. This used to be a common thing, not some rare occasion where I have to think back to the last time it happened. That's how it is now. The last show I saw was in November, I think. It may sound whiney, but it is really hard for me not to see at least one show a week, right now I'm at one show every 5 months.
I used Rock N Roll to create my identity. I still rely on it. I crave Rock N Roll, I sit in my classes and listen to my music in my head, I think about much better the Dirtbombs cover of Underdog is than the original by Sly. I think about how cool 12 string slide guitar is, how much Blind Willie McTell created Jack White. I want to be Rock N Roll's dog. Now I spend more time studying, without music. I talk to fellow law students, not band members. I visit the library, not my record dealer. My lawschool friends, who have replaced almost all my other friends due to time constraints, don't listen to Rock N Roll. Most of them don't even seem to care about music. They don't drool at record stores, 10 pages of reading are more important than any band. This has been one of the most isolating aspects of law school for me.
So tonight I went to see one of my favorite bands. I went by myself. I expected to, I used to do it all the time when I was a teenager in Utah, there were no punkers there at that time. So once again I sat by myself drinking shit beer and listened to great Rock N Roll. It felt really good, the last two weeks of lawschool already seem lighter.
I saw the Riverboat Gamblers. Their sound is kind of a Kiss infused Jan and Dean kicked in the ass. They played a good set to a small audience on Easter Sunday. They were lively, with anthemic lyrics and a powerful, charging guitar sound. I love the call style lyrics, with enough referencing of classic blues to let you know they've done their homework. It is sound and solid Rock N Roll. My only complaint is with the soundman. This music deserves to be loud, it deserves to shatter eardrums, to shake windows, and spontaneously combust. It should not be subued enough to allow a conversation. When the Riverboat Gamblers let their music loose it should crash in waves over the audience. The soundman failed to understand this. The Riverboat Gamblers still rocked, and anyone half serious about Rock N Roll needs to own their entire catalogue.

New Links

I put some new links on the side bar. If you're not familiar with Mixtape Marathon you might as well be, she's a good writer and she has interesting stuff to say. I put The Leiter Reports up because I like his stance against the ID people. I also put up Jack's blog because I think he's got a good take on what's happening in Portland, and because I hope to take tax from him. So there you have it, enjoy.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Alright, since I'm already kind of screwed on the homework load I'll put in on this rankings discussion/whine-a-thon that's going on. I kind of choose law school based on not wanting to leave Portland. I know that's not the best reason, but it worked out for me. I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking at the rankings. My school was ranked 69th and this year we dropped to 77th. That's a pretty decent hit and I'm not happy about it, but it's not the end of my world. What really bothers me about the rankings is that some of the schools that accepted me went up. Some of the ones that accepted me and offered me money went up. Of course, the fact that the schools that accepted me but I didn't go to went up, while the school that I did go to went down is a pretty big finger pointing in my direction. I wonder if I could be to blame, just my presence is enough to knock our school down the USNWR rankings. I've heard the line that Chicanos can hurt property values, but this is a new one. It's kind of like salt in the wound, or maybe like water on a cat scratch. It's annoying, and I think they should stop doing rankings of law schools until at least two years after I've graduated and secured a job.
Only sort of related, someone was complaining about the drop in the rankings and another student made the knee jerk response that rankings don't matter, and that everyone went down anyway. On the rankings don't matter thing, that's true and that's why we, and everyone else in the whole world, checked the rankings. It's like a David Letterman top ten list for lawyers, but funny. And those moron's at Yale buy it every year. Yeah, they're number one, they don't even get grades. The rest of the law community goes around snorting behind their backs. On the everyone went down thing, I was surprised to find that this was also true. Everyone went down in the rankings. The rankings now actually start at Yale which only ranked number 7. There are only 4 top ten schools.

Ant v. Torts

Last Friday in Torts the Prof is talking about the "last clear chance" doctrine and how it evolved out of a case where there was a fettered ass in the highway. I pass a note to my classmate saying someone should have backed that ass up. Not very funny but she laughed, so I laughed. Prof. Torts turns suddenly and asks "Mr. Gonzalez, is there something you find interesting that you'd like to share with the class?". Obviously not, and even if it you do say something funny he doesn't usually appreciate it. So I say it was not of general interest. Pretty cool, getting busted passing notes in graduate school.
Last Monday we had a make up class scheduled because Prof. Torts cancelled the Friday class before spring break. I showed up to an empty classroom and remembered that the class was rescheduled again to this Monday. So Monday, I just freakin' space class. I'm hanging out in the library reading Civ Pro and wondering why it's so quiet and where everyone is. I remembered the Torts class. Smooth.
So anyway I forgot the class and the reading and now I look at the reading for tomorrow's Tort class and it's the assignment where he doubled up on the reading so we could probably talk about tort reform some more. Basically I have to read about 700 pages of torts, and my Civ Pro. I'm not to thrilled. I might watch another episode of buffy the vampire slayer before I start on it. Actually we should start a pool and people can put money on how late it is until I actually start and when I finally finish.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Eve of Destruction

I read the Eve of Destruction by Howard Blum the day before yesterday instead of working on my appellate brief. It was kind of a let down. I was expecting something around the quality of Six Days of War. This was no where close, but it still was a good read. There was some good information about the arrogance of the Israeli Government, but it didn't go into the effects of the war of attrition on building that arrogance, on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, worries about the nuclear reactor, or on the Israeli public's feeling at the time. Also there was almost nothing about Egypt. It didn't talk about the break up of the UAR (I might be wrong about whether or not that had happened yet, but if it hadn't it wasn't as strong as it was during Nasser's time), the death of Nasser, their relationship with the Soviets, the impact of the Six Day War (I know it's supposed to be called something else but I can't remember what), the impact of the war of attrition, or what the other movers and shakers in the region were doing at the time. Most importantly it didn't talk at all about the Palestinians.
So that's what it lacked. My other complaints revolve around some assumptions Blum made about whether or not the "InLaw" was a double agent. I feel more and more that history is succumbing to the "Dutch" effect. I don't generally care to much about the authors unsubstantiated guesses, and if you're going to put some speculation in it should be labeled as such right off the bat. The most annoying thing about the book was it tried to tie one character from the Yom Kippur war into the current intifada, but it didn't really create any link at all, and he didn't really offer any support or development to the part so it fell flat and seemed like pure speculation.
The best part of it was that it did a decent job of illustrating a few of the major personalities. The Egyptian General Shazly got good treatment, and I didn't know about him so it was interesting. More could have been said about Sadat and Ismail to kind of set the political landscape and explain Egyptian motivation and obstacles. Moshe Dayan's personality seemed to get fair treatment too.
I think the biggest problem I had reading this book was that my expectations were so high from having read Six Days of War. I wanted that same kind of depth. That's a tall order. Anyway if you know nothing about the War of Yom Kippur I would skip this book until you get a good foundation and can weed some of the crap out as you read it.