Moose and Squirrel Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sorry, Canada is WAY better



When I was first invited to this country to study law, I was enthralled, but after spending several months here, I am starting to have my doubts about American Jurisprudence.
Where are the red uniforms with the shiny brass buttons?
Where are the hats?
Where are the horses?
Instead all I see are a bunch of stressed-out over-acheivers who are so worried about exams that they've missed the whole point. Look, in Canada do you know what I had to do to get into "Law School" (read: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Training Camp)? You know what the rigid requirements were, eh? I had to shave. That's it. The education regimen amounted to learning to ride a horse and learning to pose for government mandated photographs--and our legal system couldn't be better off.
Ah, I know what you're thinking: you're thinking, "Yes that it may be true that we focus our energies differently, but Canada sucks and so do you."
Oh ho, ho! Not true! Let's compare the criminal justice systems shall we?

Now, you Yanks have this thing called mens rea, right? Criminal intent? That is to say, one can only be a criminal if one commits a specific crime and does so with the intent of committing said crime (hey, I know it's circular in its reasoning--It's your law, pal, not mine). So let's say I present you with this photo:Well? Can you prosecute him? Well?
What's that you say? "He hasn't done anything. It's just a picture..."?
WRONG!
He's got a mustache doesn't he? Lock him up! Look at his evil grin! And that top hat! Extra five years!
See? That wasn't so hard was it? And if you don't believe this works, then I have a poser for you: If America is better why are there so many crimes committed and so many people in prison? So there.
Canada is WAY better, sorry, it just is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date. Where's my hat?

judges I hate

Apparently the national "debate" is about Activist Judges, but as a law student I am more concerned about loudmouth judges like:

Judges who write concurrences: They got the outcome they wanted without having to write anything. They should sit back in their leather chairs on wheels and smoke a pipe. But no, their voice must be heard too, at least by law students. "Listen to me, listen to me!" Chill out, concurrers. Start a blog.

Judges who rescue the legal system as we know it by making the right decision regarding the contours of proximate cause doctrine: They are not rescuing the legal system. Stop telling me that the dissent is trying to melt the foundations of American jurisprudence and grind the market to a halt etc. If this one judge hadn't tipped the scales of this case, we'd all be dead! Well, probably not. Get over yourself, loudmouth judge. Start a blog.

Posner: he seems mean too. I refuse to check out his blog.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Like some other woodland creatures, I've been feeling a little republican lately. Either aspiring corporate ditz ("somebody was talking about somebody and it was sooo funny okay you guys let's go get trashed!") or classical study playlist asshole or just generally wearing clean, brown clothing. Thankfully outlining for torts has reminded me that at least I hate property rights.

Trespass to real property is a harm in itself, if only because you should get damages for "the treading down the grass or the herbage or as here, the shrubbery." Seriously, that's from a case. I guess it's true that bending a blade of grass = bad (bad). But that's so dumb! It doesn't make any sense! Who cares if someone walks on your lawn? Why is it a tenet of my torts outline that it matters if someone walks on your lawn? It's so embarrassing to be studying this crap, not to mention living under it.

This is why it matters: we learn trespass to real property right after battery, and the reasoning's parallel. Like any kind of herbage treading is a trespass, any level of bad touching is a battery. You're entitled to be secure in your person, bodily integrity, dignity, etc. Regarding your lawn, you have the same entitlement and the law is just as strict. But bad touching is so much worse than bad touching of your lawn! Whose idea was it to apply the same logic to plots of land as to bodies?

Well, have you ever seen a property rights enthusiast worth touching?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Application essay

I really have no idea how a writer for the New Yorker got ahold of the essay that got me into law school.

Men are more attracted to high-estrogen women. Estrogen's linked to fertility. Talk about breeders. Although looking at the pictures, the guys are right.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Longer browsing sessions during class tend to lead to lower grades, but there's a hint that a greater number of browsing sessions during class may actually lead to higher grades."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Note to congress





From here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Don't think twice it's all right

An interesting new movie, just in time for exams.

The Slate diary this week is by a senior at UNC, my alma mater. Seems like kind of a nerd, but she's getting a lot right on. It's making me sentimental.

One thing she talks about is how you can see so many students as future senators. It's a really political place. But not in the awful way like you're thinking! The great thing about Carolina is that when I remember the biggest controversies, they were all about local or university issues-- how classes were taught, how minorities were treated (conservatives identified very loudly as minorities), gentrification of nearby neighborhoods. No vague protest marches or capricious boycotts spring to mind.

My thing was defending people in the [racist, elitist, hypocritical, school spirit destroying] honor system, a branch of student government, so I was a pariah and thought all the political types were toolbags. But I can say for the toolbags that they really enjoyed their jobs and didn't seem like they were just doing them as a means to an end.

So I feel lame around here with no connection to the area or the university. Politics = arguing about the supreme court pick of the week. It's not-- or really shouldn't be!-- part of your identity like it was in college, where you had to live your politics by, for example, not being a judgmental asshole, or standing up to a prof when she "condones homosexuality." (Just trying to be balanced here.)

In college we knew our place. What's our place around here? We're specks now, but a lot of people feel like they'll be influential one day, inevitably. Maybe they're right. What do we do until then? Curl up with the civ pro book and don't do anything radical, to preserve our chances at the supreme court.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

law school: like war but with pants

Last night I went to Jarhead, the latest atrocity-as-catalyst-for-male-bonding movie. Saw the beginning and end, slept through the middle hour or so.

What I bothered to pay attention to confirmed that going to law school is the middle class and/or out of the closet version of joining the marines. First you sign your life away in exchange for automatic respectability. Then it's your superiors' job to convince you you are dumb and treat you like public property, asking you bizarre unanswerable questions in front of everyone you know. People say gross stuff to you on a regular basis. By the time of the Christmas party you're dancing around naked but for a Santa hat thong (at least, I hope that will happen to you).

War itself might not actually be analogous to my lifestyle, but luckily I slept through that part.

Sad Corners in the Liberry

Is anyone else addicted to dark corners in the liberry? I am. When I arrived in biblio today, I actually turned off lights around where I am sitting, so it would just look more like a lonely corner.

I heart the liberry. It is my favorite companion. It is the only one who understands me, and the only friend who hearts me back just as much.

Sheesh...this is going to be a rough week.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mooseal navel gazing

After being locked out of the best administrative law class, moose is consoling himself with the oversize portrait next to this article about the mini-celebs running around Washington Square Park.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm totally addicted to overheardinNY, but a lot of times it's made me uncomfortable, usually because the quotes are only funny because they sound non-white middle class (sometimes because they're gay). This wins though:

Thug guy: Yo, Dean and Deluca, they got mad expensive shit.

Yesterday Moose and I went to Dean and Deluca and talked about how expensive the food was. He said something about how they could just repackage normal food and sell it at any price they wanted. I might've said it was crazy overpriced. We didn't get overheardinNY'ed. The idea that Dean and Deluca is expensive isn't funny, just the word choice, and of course the identifier "Thug guy." And that's only funny to educated hipster tools.

So someone should start overheardinNYbythugs.com, and just transcribe dorky shit people say at our law school.

Law Degree

Turns out that getting a law degree at stanford is only a stepping stone to greatness. See gentleman in the center here (Stanford Law School 2005). And article about a call girl here.

Too bad some of you suckers chose to go to a school with public interest credentials rather than cheerleading and porn credentials.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Get rich or die tryin?

If 50 Cent sells out, someone must protect the Gangsta Image.

Monday, November 07, 2005

"By way of additional background"

Tonight's torts reading included Tarasoff, about whether psychiatrists are liable if a patient commits some violent act that the doctors had predicted not acted on. All you need to know to understand the legal stuff is that Poddar killed Tarasoff and his doctors saw it coming. For some reason the editors injected this "background" into the beginning of the opinion. Check out the narrative techniques:
By way of additional background, Poddar was an "untouchable" Bengali who had little or no contact with women in India. He had come to Berkeley to study naval architecture and found it difficult to learn American mores. Tatiana [Tarasoff] was of Russian extraction, born in China and raised in Brazil, with a much more liberal upbringing. The trouble began when she kissed Poddar on New Year's Eve, 1968, but thereafter was unresponsive to his attentions. She in turn had sexual relations with other men, which sent Poddar into a tailspin until his personal life and university work unraveled. [Four sentences redacted that are actually relevant to the legal issue.] She returned from Brazil in September, 1969, making Poddar's pain all the more acute. In late October, 1969, Poddar tracked her to her family home, shot her with a pellet gun and stabbed her seventeen times with a kitchen knife.

Wow, poor Poddar! That Euroskank totally fucked with his head, man. She sent him into a tailspin; she made his pain more acute. She's almost as big of a bitch as paranoid schizophrenia. Wait, why did we have to hear any of this in the first place...? The editor, Epstein, is a total personal responsibility nut too. Except when liberal Russian girls cast spells on men who are just trying to make honest women of them.

This came at the end of a bunch of those hysterical opinions about how holding corporations liable for their fuck ups would lead to heartbreaking soul wrenching inefficiency. That punk Cardozo analogized a water company failing to supply water to fight a fire, with a railroad failing to deliver merchandise promptly. Another opinion suggested that an 8 year old who got his hand crushed in a machine could be held liable to the factory, because he was trespassing. I get the legal point, and sure I hate kids too, but man that is COLD.

So now I want to be a plaintiff's lawyer.

Bookhunting

Like a good man, a good book is hard to find. Moose has been reading Mocassin Ranch: A History of Dakota and Billy Bump's Adventures on the Pacific Coast in his spare time.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Went book shopping today but was too fickle to buy anything. Reasons of the day to put a book back on the shelf:
  • child's POV
  • person with bad grammar's POV
  • good natured person's POV
  • exotic setting
  • poem about weather
  • felching
  • female author going by initial instead of first name
  • costs more than $10
  • satire
  • minimalism
  • the word "piss" or "shit" on the first page

Anyone have a case for tolerating any of the above? If not I may never read again...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

counseling

Moose and Squirrel are embroiled in a role playing adventure this week. So far it's involved de-woodlandizing, wearing ill-fitting suits and making eye contact (a difficulty for the squirrelly). Tonight we're writing a memo with advice for our client.

The client wants to do something that on its face is illegal. I don't know if it's 100% illegal yet but it's definitely sketch-- fudging info on government forms. We must advise him whether or not he can avoid prosecution while being sketch.

Look, I am militantly anti-authority. I fought the Man so hard I turned into a lesbian. I love defending people who have already been sketch and I love hating people who care if someone has been sketch in the past. But button up my shirt and advise a fellow professional, after some banter about baseball, about how to be sketch in the future? No, no, no. Just follow the instructions on the form asshole!

Imagine if all potential criminals got to consult lawyers first. "Ms. Squirrel, there is this girl I would like to stick it to but she doesn't like me. What are my options?" "The good news is juries have been uneasy about convicting well-dressed white men of rape. Pay for her dinner when she's not looking; it will blur the issue in your favor. Also there are some cutting edge hypnosis techniques that might be difficult to prosecute."

Last night's wines

The warm weather continues, providing excellent excuse for a sub-$10 Beaujolais binge.

2005 B&G Morgon: extremely light, surprisingly dry, little alcolhol, boring.

2004 Goats Do Roam: good, fun, fruity wine with lots of alcolhol. (More about this excellent South African wine).

Mystery Italian Mourvèdre: A nice, but not radical, departure from the fruitfest. Dryer and muskier than everything else, but still in the same ballpark as the Beaujolais and Rhone wines.

2005 Louis Jadot Morgon: standard Morgon fare, significantly better than the B&G, good with desert.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Boris "Red" Badenov

Turn-ons:
Killing Moose and Squirrel
Upsidasium
Natasha (just a fag hag)
Fearless Leader
Clever Disguises
Boys

Turn-offs:
Narrators
Socratic Method
Foiled Plans
Scalito
Dirty Hippies

Under the current administration, Fearless Leader, the fearless leader of Pottsylvania has actually altered our Mission Statement. It seems we no longer seek the destruction of the USA . . . at least so long it is led by Clueless Leader. Outsourcing has benefited Pottsylvania's lagging economy. For instance, we've been helping the CIA with some undesirables. Mr. Big has been heading up that project. A little known fact, in our language "neo-con" is synonomous with "Badenov." In fact, many members of your government are just Yours Truly in a clever disguise. Put on a shaggy mustache, some goofy glasses and a floppy wig, and I'm your U.N. Ambassador. Sure, killing moose and squirrel remains a long-term goal. But with Clueless Leader in charge of the EPA, soon there will be no mooses and squirrels left. Of course, I miss the old days, when killing moose and squirrel, taking down the USA and stealing Upsidasium was all we did, but compared to what we're doing now, all those old evil-doings seem quaint. Well, at least I still have my knitting.

Guy who sits next to me: Wow, you went to college there? But that's so conservative.
Squirrel: Your only reasons for thinking I'm so extremely liberal, you got from reading over my shoulder.
Guy: Yeah so? You know I'm conservative from reading over my shoulder.
Squirrel: No, from listening to you in class. I don't read over your shoulder.
Guy: Yes you do, and you know about my Ann Coulter bookmark.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

This is the kind of misbehavior that gives woodland creatures a bad name:
A 3-year-old Bronx girl was standing in the shower when a rat crawled through a broken tile, pounced on her back and sank its teeth into her flesh.

The child, Camille Fernandez, wiggled furiously to shake the nasty creature off her back, slipped and hit her head on the bathtub faucet

...

She still has marks on her lower back, where the rat bit, and developmental and psychological problems that require medication.

New York Magazine's cover story is Maureen Dowd. Predictably, there's some brilliance and some idiocy. Brilliance:
“When I started as a White House correspondent,” the second female in the position in the Times’ history, “there was a lot of criticism from guys saying, ‘She focuses too much on the person but not enough on policy.’ I never understood that argument at all. I just didn’t agree with the premise,” says Dowd. “Even Scotty Reston,” the storied Washington correspondent who joined the Times the day World War II began and decidedly did not groove on women in the workplace, “said that after the president got the bomb, you had to sort of focus on his judgment and who he was as a person, because that’s all you had. All the great traumatizing events of American history—Watergate, Vietnam, the Iran/contra stuff—have always been about the president’s personal demons and gremlins. So I always thought that criticism was just silly . . . as if it was a girlish thing to be focused on the person.”
Idiocy:
“If there’s one thing men fear, it’s a woman who uses her critical faculties.”

Let's riff on that. "If there's one thing women fear, it's a man who doesn't use his critical faculties." "If there are two things men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties and also a woman who doesn't but drives a car." "If there's one thing Moose is afraid of, it's Squirrel."

But the story is really about what a ditz she is (is ditz a sexist term? a term that feminists may co-opt? Maureen is a little too ditzy to help us figure that out, but for what it's worth she does maintain playfulness is different from flirtation). She is just a flaming straight flaming woman. Very distinct identity there; she has outlined herself in thick red marker. Usually only gay people achieve that level of campiness. I approve.