Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thank You Japan for Civilizing Us Koreans!

This article describes how an anti-Korean and anti-Chinese comic book have become best sellers in Japan (i.e. each book sold over a million copies). The Korean book describes how Japan civilized Korea during the colonial period and how Korea would be nothing without Japan. The Chinese book "exposes" China as the "prostitution and cannibalism" capital of the world.

The article also details Japan's historical revisionist movement (excising passages about the Rape of Nanking from history textbooks) and Japan's alienation towards Asia in their attempt to emulate the West.

I remember a friend of mine in NYU was an RA for a Japanese exchange student. She mentioned me to him and noted that I was Korean. Apparently, his response was, "Oh, I'm sure he'll hate me because all Koreans hate the Japanese, and we don't know why."

Well, I personally don't dislike the Japanese. However, considering the Japanese mentality towards their "little brown brethren" and their denials over the atrocities they committed, they shouldn't be surprised that most other Asians aren't thrilled with them.

Source: New York Times

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Compassionate" Conservation

This article describes the proclivity of the international environmental conservation movement for evicting indigenous people out of their native lands in order to sustain "biodiversity." The United Nations and other organizations estimate there may be 5 million to tens of millions of "conservation refugees" in the world. Most of these people are evicted when their native lands become environmental reserves or national parks, eventually ending up in shanty towns and deeply impoverished.

A particularly arrogant quotation from one of the leaders of the environmental movement is as follows:

"Forest peoples and their representatives may speak for the forest, they may speak for their version of the forest; but they do not speak for the forest we want to conserve."

So, add Big Conservation to the list of industries responsible for ethnic cleansing. Glad to know even the Left is capable of human rights abuses.

Source: Orion Online

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Cause of the French Riots - Polygamy!

According to top French government officials, the main cause of the riots is the pervasive practice of polygamy among immigrant families.

According to Helene Carrere d'Encausse, the permanent secretary of the Academie Francaise, "Everyone is astonished: Why are African children in the streets and not at school? Why can't their parents buy an apartment? It's clear why. Many of these Africans, I tell you, are polygamous. In an apartment, there are three or four wives and 25 children."

As the head of Chirac's Gaullist faction in the National Assembly, Bernard Accoyer "observed," there would have been no riots if the Socialist government had not been "so lax" about banning polygamy.

As this article should make obvious, France is hardly the polestar of egalitarianism that it makes itself out to be.

Source: New York Times

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Father of the End-Zone Dance

An interview with the player who purportedly started the "end-zone" dance, infused with loss, regret, and other such forms of mawkishness.

Source: New York Times

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bush and Torture

This article describes the torture and death of a detainee in Abu Ghraib by a CIA operative, and the cover-up.

Source: The New Yorker

This is an op-ed piece about Bush's torture policy, and has a description of a detainee's death after he was stuffed into a sleeping bag and beaten.

Source: The New York Times

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The End is Nigh

The world has truly gone insane, and this article confirms it.

I think a little Milton will capture the mood.

"So farewell Hope, and with Hope farewell Fear,
Farewell Remorse: all Good to me is lost;"

Source: New York Times

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Astronomers Edging Closer to Gaining Black Hole Image

According to the New York Times, astronomers are close to obtaining an image of a black hole. This would purportedly be the first form of direct evidence that this phenomenon exists. However, someone has neglected to tell the Times that I have already obtained an image of a black hole. Here it is for you doubters:

The article is here.

Source: The New York Times

James Lipton Cited in Trust & Estates

James Lipton is in a footnote in my Trusts and Estates casebook. The description is a follows:

"The Actor's Studio is perhaps best known today as the home of James Lipton,., the sycophantic host of the Bravo cable network's Inside the Actor's Studio, in which Lipton conducts astonishingly obsequious celebrity interviews that are at times weirdly riveting."

Alex Kozinski, Cassanova Jurist

Respected 9th Circuit judge and overall conservative wunderkind Alex Kozinski is also an accomplished lothario. He participated in the Thanksgiving 1968 episode of the Dating Game, and, fully in conformity with his overachieving life, won.

If you need proof, here is a clip of that show, where he rather inelegantly attempted to suck the face off the female contestant. Realplayer is required.

The article describing the clip is here.

Source: Underneath Their Robes

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Larry the Cable Guy

This guy is either a genius or an ass. Probably both, actually.

The article is here.

Source: Slate

Phyllis Schlafly

Found this "book review" in the New Yorker about WULAW's most "esteemed" alumna, Phyllis Schlafly. Her enduring contribution to American jurisprudence is single-handedly killing the Equal Rights Amendment, liberating us law students from having to study a ream of boring and tedious case law that would have surely have followed its passage.

Oh yes, not to mention that she was a former student of my delightful Evidence professor. Let's just call it my own personal brush with infamy.

Source: The New Yorker

Alito and Abortion

Everyone now knows about Alito's dissent in Casey. However, he has also ruled on abortion in several different areas.

The Christian Science Monitor has this article about Alito's opinions concerning a "partial-birth abortion" ban (struck down), whether a parent can sue for the wrongful death of a fetus (they cannot), and whether states can restrict Medicaid funds for the termination of pregnancies which resulted from rape or incest (ruled the states cannot).

The interesting thing, and what I am sure is a concern among pro-choice groups, is that he usually calibrated his opinions so that they would rely solely on Supreme Court precedent rather than standing on their own analysis. So, even though he sided with the pro-choice party in these three decisions, he did so only because he was bound by precedent. Obviously, as a Supreme Court justice, he has a lot more leeway to distinguish (i.e. ignore) precedent, or even vote to overrule.

Oh yes, his personal views on abortion. To quote his mother, "Of course he is against abortion."

Source: Christian Science Monitor

On a related note, the New York Times published this article about Alito's ruling on asylum cases related to forced abortions. He ruled that the husbands of women who filed asylum claims because of fear of forced abortions or sterilization should be granted asylum while boyfriends and fiances should not.

There is a general theme that many of Alito's abortion opinions are informed by a "traditional notion of marriage." There are obvious implications here, which seem to me a little unfair since Alito has not even stated an opinion on gay marriage.

Source: New York Times

CIA Secret Prisons, Torture, etc.

The Washington Post has this article on the extensive secret prison system of the CIA, which spans across the globe. It discusses the genesis of the system after 9/11, its goals, and how it has grown in unanticipated ways.

The New York Times has this article on the debate within the Administration about using language from the Geneva Convention in the proposed rules for the treatment of detainees.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hosty v. Carter

This is for the student writing the note (You know who you are).

I don't know if you already know this, but it appears that the Supreme Court might grant cert. to Hosty.

The link to this bit of Supreme Court gossip is here.

For those of you not in the know, Hosty is an extension of a 1988 Supreme Court case, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which stated that school officials can regulate the content of school-sponsored newspapers at the high school level. Hosty, a 7th Circuit case, extends this deference to college officials.

Source: SCOTUS Blog

Down with Halloween, You Capitalist Pig!

Hugo Chavez called on the people of Venezuela to stop celebrating Halloween, and said the holiday was the United States' way of "putting fear into other nations." [BBC News]

Link courtesy of Harper's Magazine.

Updike on Garcia Marquez

Updike reviews Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book, "Memories of my Melancholy Whores" (delightful!). The review summarizes the novel and illustrates how the May-December "romance" theme recurs throughout Garcia Marquez's oeuvre.

Updike writes in his typically pretty, elegant manner, while managing not to say that much. He does make one cogent observation, namely that Garcia Marquez is the master of the "arresting first sentence." Take for example the first sentence of "Whores": “The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.”

I personally would hold the first sentence in A Hundred Years of Solitude in higher regard than that pithy phrase, but what do I know.

Oh yes, I also like "Magic realism relies on the subaqueous refractions of memory." Or something like that.

The review is here.

Source: The New Yorker

Link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily

More Alito

The New York Times published a pro-Alito op-ed by Ann Althouse. There is also an editorial, which in my opinion, is anti-Alito.

The Times editorial may have a factual error. Alito ruled that the 14th Amendment could not support the FMLA. I do not think he stated that the FMLA could not be supported by the interstate commerce clause, and thus Congress was acting ultra vires. [I should correct myself. The Time's editorial actually said that Alito ruled that State's could not be compelled to abide by the FMLA. This is partially accurate - Alito ruled that the State, as an employer, could not be sued for violating the FMLA. Since the FMLA could not be sustained under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the Federal government could not abrogate the State's 11th Amendment immunity from suit. To see his opinion, click here]

The editorial bemoans Bush's lack of vision for not putting forth a moderate. However, Althouse makes a good point. Let us assume Scalia retires during a Democratic administration. Would anyone liberal settle for a "moderate," or wouldn't we want someone in the mold of a Laurence Tribe. Don't we want to take the court leftwards?

Sure, the Senate has an advice and consent role. But, do we want bland, unprincipled candidates for the Supreme Court just because they are palatable to all, or do we want novel thinkers capable of articulating an insightful legal philosophy?

The op-ed is here.

The editorial is here.

Source: New York Times

Michelin Arrives in New York

This post is for the epicureans and gourmands. The vaunted European restaurant guide, Michelin, has published its first book for New York restaurants. It's different from Zagat's because they use their own reviewers and do not solicit opinions from the average patron.

The main surprise was that Daniel, the most highly regarded New York restaurant year in, year out, only got two starts. Not so surprisingly, three restaurants that got three stars were French (one of them, Alain Ducasse, being a satellite of the famous restaurant in Paris). The fourth restaurant, Per Se, was described as "American."

Other interesting tidbits, Food Network restaurants did fairly well. Mario Batali's Babbo got one star as did the Iron Chef Nobu. Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill was left off the list.

Despite getting a star, Batali was "unhappy." He does have a point that there were only four two star New York restaurants, which is surprising low for what is considered one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. However, it did beat London with 39 starred restaurants in contrast to London's 34, and its 4 three star restaurants in contrast to London's 1 three star restaurant (Gordon Ramsay, another reality TV cook.).

I am just wondering when Michelin arrives in St. Louis. Will Thai Gai Yang get the coveted three stars?

The list is here.

The article is here.

Source: New York Times

NYU Grad Student Unionization

I found this article in the NY Times, which is about the NYU graduate students attempting to revive their union. It was during my last year at NYU that the NLRB directed the university to allow the grad students to unionize. But, of course, ever since Bush reappointed the members of the Board, the NLRB has allowed NYU to stop recognizing the grad union.

Anyway, it now appears that the graduate students are going to strike soon. Let's see what happens.

Source: New York Times