Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Long Wait


Now begins the long wait.

Nothing more to say about it until November.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The bar exam starts in a couple of hours. Hopefully I can get through the three days of testing without incident.

See you on the other side.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Linguistic Delusions

Sometimes when I stare long enough at text in German I think I can make it out. This is pretty silly, as aside from a few terms gleamed from too many hours of the History Channel, I know next to nothing about it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

But football in the groin had a football in the groin

I am a big fan of the Simpsons, particularly their earlier (i.e., pre-10) seasons. So it is with apprehension that I must conclude, on the basis of the trailers I have seen so far, that the movie might suck.

Of course, nothing in any of the scenes have any real overt cause for concern. If not spectacular, the trailers have offered at least the promise of genuine amusement (and I personally like the Spiderpig stuff). But then again, that's the problem.

It has become almost a truism in American cinema that the trailers represent, if not perhaps the best, at least the most alluring parts of an upcoming film. It is a theatrical offering meant to entice, for the thirty seconds they have your attention, so that you will have no choice but to see the rest of the movie. And unfortunately, none of the scenes so far have inspired me to such unreasoning devotion.

Naturally I intend to see the movie, and I do not want to go in there with a negative mindset. However, it would be fair to say that at this point I am concerned.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A lot of homeless fleas

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A few months ago my cat Tiamat died. I wasn't blogging at the time, so I didn't get around to writing a post about it. I guess now that I'm sort of back, I should take the time to gloat.

For fifteen years this cat and I had been locked in an interminable struggle. She was mean, violent, and completely unpredictable. Among her many weapons were sharp claws, vicious teeth, and an inexhaustible supply of allergy-inducing fur. These she deployed without regard for humanitarian concerns or the laws of land warfare.

Secure, as I now am, in my ultimate victory I can admit that Tiamat was a worthy adversary. I hope she is getting to fulfill all her aggressive tendencies in kitty hell.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Study shows man self-absorbed, mercurial, and filled with useless trivia

Having recently updated my blog template, I took the opportunity to use the new post labels (new may be relative, they are new to me, at any rate). It appears I mostly write about myself, a fact that should come as no surprise to anybody.

My second favorite topic is "miscellaneous", which in addition to being hard to spell, is just another expression of my characteristic laziness. I didn't want to make 30 different topics with one post, so I just threw them in the same category. Then later when I noticed that I could actually have made a few genuine, substantive labels, sloth prevented the necessary corrections.

Finally, my "monthly" Pointless Factoids come in third. At eighteen I only actually have one for roughly every other month, but even had I been more dilligent, the entire category would only have come in second.

My least favorite topics? Religion, writing, and women. Not quite sure what that says about me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Preciousss

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Cool huh? That's the Canon XH A1 and it's mine! Or at least it will be when the good people at FedEx bring it to me. Ideally I'd have wanted the Panasonic HVX-200, but the price difference was just too substantial. It's a little painful to give up that clear Panasonic color, but c'est la vie.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pointless Factoid XVIII

In a survey of movie aficionados, 100% of respondents agreed that Mr. Miyagi would defeat Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crunch Time

Two weeks until the bar exam. Fun.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people

I have avoided for some time a clear declaration of my position concerning the Iraq war. Partially this oversight was due to mere neglect. But even when I am able to master my lazier proclivities and actually post to my blog I try as best I can to steer clear of political issues.

My Independence Day posts have traditionally been exceptions to this rule. Maybe the fourth inspires in me a certain sense of civic devotion. Or maybe it's just coincidence. Either way, the time seems propitious for a brief critique on the current conflict.

I should begin with the absolute statement that I oppose, as a matter of principle both war as an abstract concept and war as reduced to practice. This opposition is moral and absolute; it does not waiver based on the justification, or yield to the consequences of inaction. War is wrong, nothing can make it right.

Unfortunately I can take little solace from this absolute pacifism. My intellect demands from my conscious a system of belief based on necessity, notwithstanding morality. Thus while I believe war is always wrong, I accept that there are instances where the application of violence is necessary, and perhaps even the better choice to inaction (especially where it opposes a greater evil). This necessity should not be seen to justify the original sin, or absolve those who fall under it's shadow. Rather, it is a recognition of the fact that reality often provides us with a range of options, all of which are bad.

From such a preamble, it should come as no surprise that the current war does not find favor with me. I have become increasingly troubled at the mounting evidence tending to show that we were misled into this conflict by a narror clique of fanatical jingonists. Although I am willing to give a president the benefit of the doubt when he claims we are in danger, and while mere error alone does not abrogate this presumption of honesty, I think it clear we deal now with a situation of more sinister proportions.

I have heard it said, on television and radio, or seen it written that why and how we went to war is now irrelevant. That we should focus on the task at hand, and not dwell on the past. I believe this is a shortsighted and unhealthy position, born largely from the desire to avoid culpability, along with fear of its consequences. We need and deserve a full accounting from the people who brought us here, which is sadly something we will not have for many years, if ever.

Despite my distaste for war, and my suspicion regarding its architects, I unfortunately differ from many of my more respected associates (and a good number of the American public) in opposing troop withdrawal. This position stems largely from the fact that I believe we, as a country, assumed a moral debt when we went in in the first place. Right wing pundits may glibly assert that conditions now are better than they were under Saddam (a "fact" unknown to me, but assumed to be true anyway for the sake of argument), but that is irrelevant. We have broken their country. It is up to us to repair it.

Far from withdrawing, I believe the best course of action would be a massive increase in military, administrative, and financial efforts to secure the mideast. There should be a draft, and a Marshall Plan, and everywhere the evidence of a total dedication to restoring security in Iraq and providing the region with the security it needs to decide its own destiny. I believe we owe the Iraqi people nothing less.

However, the impossibility of such a resolution is patently clear. If we are unwilling, then, to do the job and make up for our own mistakes, then I believe the best option is to withdraw as fast as possible, to save as many lives as possible, and to do our best to influence the outcome with purely diplomatic and economic assets.

The president is correct when he stresses the importance of Iraq. That it is a mess he made himself will not save us from the consequences of failure. I think those consequences, both for us and for the region are so troubling as to demand a national effort of the kind employed against Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. But if we are ultimately to fail, we should do so as fast and cheaply as possible.