ustoo Dead

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Think Tanks
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Friday, March 31, 2006

A woman scorned 

Can put you in jail if you're a shady-ass lobbyist.

Via Kevin Drum.

-Ziggy Stardust  11:42 EST | |

Priorities 

So I'm attending a symposium that my journal is hosting. I also have to submit a draft of a paper in six hours (let's hope Ziggy graduates!). But what am I doing? I'm reading Unfogged of course. I love them so.

For instance, take Fontana Labs doing what he does best:

You could, if you wanted, say that religious claims aren't the kind of thing that can be undermined by any empirical inquiry, but this (I think) comes with a cost: you have to accept any possible outcome of empirical enquiry as equally compatible with your religious claims. If there's no explanatory work at all done by God, and you still want to believe, well, that's between you and your epistemologist. But this involves giving up a lot of traditional theism-- including any claims about purpose or meaning that rest on, say, an intervening, causally potent God. (Emphasis added.)


Now that's some bloggy goodness for you all.

And, if you're still not convinced, LizardBreath take it away:

Jane: [Insistently] You should buy her a pony now. Anyone with the warmth and openness to ask for a pony, should have a pony. [This goes on for a bit, with Jane berating Ideal to buy me a pony. She then turns back to me] An answer to a question like that says so much about a person... so, what kind of law do you do?

LB: I'm a litigator, representing tobacco companies.

Jane: Fuck you.


Yep--this is certainly the best use of my time right now.

-Ziggy Stardust  10:15 EST | |

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Time for my semi-annual blog post 

Read about a $1 million crack house in Brooklyn. How is a man ever to afford a home in New York?

-Daddy Brooklyn  23:49 EST | |

More evidence that there's a civil war 

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Giggling 

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Poking fun at Microsoft. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Blog Feature!! 

In addition to my semi-regular blog posts "Bibliophobe", in which I brag about my prodigious reading, I will be embarking on a new blog adventure of breath-taking grandeur and pretense!

Last night I acquired a copy of Richard Burton's Arabian Nights. It is my intention to blog my way through it.

The story begins with an extreme take on the treachery of women and blacks. Two brothers, both kings, have their marriage beds befouled by wives who sleep with slaves. First the younger and then the elder become aware of the infidelity of their households. After the elder gives the younger a pep talk on the merits of having killed his wife, they set out to investigate if this behavior is universal among women (they suspect it is).

Shortly into their journey, they come across an ifrit. A dedicated family man, this ifrit keeps his wife at the bottom of the ocean in a locked casket during the day to make sure she ain't spreading it all over town. While the Djinn sleeps, his wife spies the two kings. With the natural tone of a Cinemax late night movie, she demands they have sex with her. After some debate, the brothers double-team her and she exclaims "Well Done!" (no shit!). She reveals that she has been with more than 500 kings. This not only explains the red bumps, but the fact that all women are sluts. The kings return to their kingdoms.

The natural solution, of course, is for the elder King to take a virgin at night as his wife and execute her the next day. This continues for some time, until his Vizer's daughters are among the few virgins left. Shaharazad tells her father she wants to marry the king. The Vizer, who educated his daughters to be exceedingly wise is upset. After a story about the value of wife-beating to long term happiness, he sends her to the palace against his wishes.

After the King passes her "maidenhead", she tells him a story. And thus the nights begin.

-Miguel Sanchez  12:39 EST | |

Hell is French Leftism 

With the arrival of spring, this weekend saw the perennial spectacle of French youth in full bloom: the inane political riot.

A custom entrenched among the French as fully as stripey shirts, cigarette smoking or berets, the misunderstanding of basic economics is a very dear custom. Whether it be provincial laquiates blockading roads over the prospect of reduced cheese subsidies or billowy red-faced men shouting about yoplait's immutable import to the French character, basic economic reason is a vintage not in store.

The French economy, to be technical, sucks the big pickle, particularly for the young. Unemployment for people our age in France is around 25%. This gives them ample time to come to the wrong conclusion that they don't have jobs because workers aren't paid enough. Despite what your critical studies instructor tells you, this is not the case.

Young rioters of France, I offer you two gifts; take the second if you refuse the first. The first, a bit of common knowledge: stupidly high wage supports and extremely bloated tax levies are putting you out of work. The second, a song to sing if you don't believe me and would prefer to continue on in your ways:

Do you hear the people sing,
singing the song of stupid men
It is the music of a people
who will not have jobs again!

When the bleating of your voice
argues the bleeding of the young
There's a bleak and windswept life
when tomorrow comes!

-Miguel Sanchez  12:07 EST | |

Sunday, March 19, 2006

"If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it." 

I'm sure you've all read today's NYT story on Task Force 6-26. Marty Lederman has the appropriate legal analysis, but you don't need to know anything about the law to be sickened by what is being done in our name, under our flag. You only need to see this.


-Ziggy Stardust  12:47 EST | |

Friday, March 17, 2006

Best Picture 2006 Contender 


That movie is the new Samuel L. Jackson picture "Snakes on a Plane" (trailer here).

-Miguel Sanchez  11:59 EST | |

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Your Tax Dollars At Work 

A visual representation of the breakdown of how tax dollars are spent. Dated, but interesting. If I were smarter, I could put a small pic of it here, but alas...

Link

Via BoingBoing

-Matt  20:38 EST | |

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Delicious Food!!! 


At the intersection of my love for pop culture minutiae and the dedication of many of this blogs posters and readers to delicious food lies:

BASEBALL'S BEST BURGER!!! It's a normal bacon cheese burger, served between 2 donuts.

Inspired by this culinary apostasy, I have been hard at work developing new foods.

Curling's Best Corned Beef Sandwich!! Corned Beef and Cabbage, served between 2 slices of French silk pie! IS IT LUNCH TIME YET!!??

World's Greatest Pulled Pork Sandwich!! Pulled pork and fresh mint leaves, soaked in Wild Turkey, served in a butterscotch longjohn. A SLICE OF HEAVEN!!

Action Tacos!!
Strawberry Syrup, Taco meat, mayonnaise, and honey, served in a sopapia. Mi Gusta El Taco Loco!!

-Miguel Sanchez  10:41 EST | |

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sen. Brownback is Nuts 

Yuppies and Community 

Publius gave a typically thoughtful response to this Financial Times article about "Tribal Workers."

Read them.

Many of you know that I've been mulling the potential costs of working for a big law firm since it became a real possibility last summer. Now that Girlfriend is taking her firm job for sure and I'm going to the city-in-the-South-that-shall-remain-nameless for a year, I'll be staring at some pretty big career (I first typed "life") choices soon enough. I've been talking about joining an primary campaign when I finish in September 2007, so that gives me probably at least another year to postpone the firm v. legal services v. gov't choice(s). But, at some point, I'm going to have to commit.

Ha! Even as I type this I realize I've already committed. I've gone and borrowed an enormous amount of money that will have to be paid off by my work as a lawyer without ever really deciding to be a lawyer. Somehow I committed to law school without really thinking about the consequences. Perhaps I couldn't have done it any other way, since the very nature of law school frames and limits what you perceive as possible choices.

So it goes. I didn't have much to say, but I did want to link to Legal Fiction. Check it out.

-Ziggy Stardust  17:36 EST | |

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Funny Story 

Once, soon after Thurgood Marshall took a judgeship on the 2nd circuit, a secretary in another chambers mistook him for an electrician that had been called. Later he went back to his own chambers and told his own staff, "There's a crazy lady down in Judge Clark's chambers." When asked why, Marshall explained the mistaken assumption and stated: "She'd have to be crazy to think that I could be a member of the electricians' union in New York!"

From Tushnet's Making Civil Rights Law.

-Ziggy Stardust  15:22 EST | |

Huh 

Watch this video and read the accompanying article. Very interesting.

The middle east needs a prominent secular voice like this. Will anyone listen to her?

-Ben  02:26 EST | |

Friday, March 10, 2006

The banner is a real downer 

I believe that the current banner creates a powerful psychological disincentives for both posters and readers. The problem with the overt pessimism it exhibits is twofold.

(1) With a title like "RIP 2004-2006", it is only natural to ask "does posing on this blog make me a zombie?" The fear of being transformed into a zombie engenders very extreme behavior in people. For example, you may find yourself boarded up in an abandoned farm house, facing hard questions about race in the 60's as you struggle to survive. Who wants that? Apparently, it also keeps bloggers from doing their duty to blog. Come out of the shopping mall, people. All you gotta do is shoot 'em in the head. You won't become a zombie here.

(2) For the reader, the title calls to mind looking at either a corpse, or the grave of a dead toddler. Who wants to look at the bluish lips and worm-eaten eyes of a dead blog? Standing at the grave of a child puts you at high risk of being taught a valuable lesson about moving beyond the past, or reburying it in a magic Indian burial ground. Both are bad.

I want to make it clear that the blog is not dead, and it will not make you a zombie. The only thing crawling around in our eye sockets is love for you, the reader. The only reburying that will happen is how we will re-bury you every day with salient commentary and analysis of the things that effect our lives most, like disco duck.

The sun is rising on ustoo, if only we have the courage to see it.

-Miguel Sanchez  12:42 EST | |

This Dubai Ports thing 

I really hate to say it, but I am with Bush on this. I think that the democrats are using this as a simple political opportunity, which is understandable, but blocking this deal could have far reaching negative consequences.

(1) Blocking this deal makes us look like stupid racists. Now, if some theoretical Arab nation is weighing the costs and benefits of becoming modern and responsible, they will have to consider the fact that they will still be regarded as mad-dog killers by the U.S.

Being able to cast the U.S. as anti-Arab or anti-Muslim no matter what will give terrorists more ammunition for recruiting.

(2) This will make trade liberalization going forward more difficult in general. There is already news this morning that the UAE has tabled an upcoming trade talk with the U.S.

Come on, Democrats. I know that doing "stuff" is not really your strong suit these days, but why can't you harp on one of the hundreds of things Bush has done or approved that is inarguably wrong or stupid, instead of this George Wallace style pandering to prejudice.

I can't wait until I get my daily e-mail from the DNC with the header "They say they want rights, they say they want freedom, but all they want is what you got: your women!"

-Miguel Sanchez  11:33 EST | |

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Half-assed Dennett half-asses it again. 

I have a long-standing grudge against Daniel Dennett.

This all goes back to my purchase of his book, many years ago, "Consciousness Explained". The title is a lie, as I found out some 450 pages later.

I then saw Dennett speak at CU. For reasons that can't possibly be linked to survival or biology, he wore an all-white suit with a bolo tie, giving the impression of bloated Col. Sanders who forgot his wig.

I was therefore not surprised in the least to hear that his latest work, titled with similar bravado to the door stop I spent $16 on, is not exactly an analytic masterwork.

The only spell Dennett is likely to break is the illusion that Tufts University is anything more than a prison for delinquent children.

-Miguel Sanchez  23:50 EST | |

Sunday, March 05, 2006

An Idea to Enliven the Blog 

UsToo goes Survivor!

Yes, that's right--every week we could have some sort of contest (like see who posts the least often, etc...) and kick people off the blog. That way, soon, it'll just be Miguel blogging. Better for all!

Huzzah?

-Ziggy Stardust  22:36 EST | |

Friday, March 03, 2006

Top 10 Most Played 

1 Avalon--Sigur Ros
2 The End of Medicine--The New Pornographers
3 I've Got You Under My Skin--Diana Krall
4 The House Song--The Beta Band
5 From Blown Speakers--The New Pornographers
6 To Be the One--Ryan Adams
7 Hymm From a Village--James
8 Silver Chain--The Apples in Stereo
9 Ballad of a Comeback Kid--The New Pornographers
10 The Thrill is Gone--Aretha Franklin


From Becks at Unfogged.

-Ziggy Stardust  09:54 EST | |

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

From NYT corrections March 1 2006 

The Istanbul Journal article on Feb. 14 about "Valley of the Wolves — Iraq," a popuhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giflar Turkish-made film that depicts American soldiers in Iraq as tyrannical occupiers, referred imprecisely to scenes cited by the screenwriter as "inspired by real events." While two such scenes — the killing of Iraqis by American soldiers and the mistreatment of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison — have been documented, the scene depicting an American Jewish surgeon at Abu Ghraib removing organs from Iraqi prisoners for shipment to recipients in New York, London and Israel is fictional[em added].
How did the factcheckers miss that?

Thank you TP.

-Ben  12:43 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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