Saturday, May 26, 2007

Never Say Never

Dear. Lord.

What self-respecting director would sign on to this project? What competent producer might believe a return possible in this $50 million plus outlay? What semi-conscious writer could believably piece together a narrative interrupted by twenty years?

None. Stallone's quest to maintain relevance in his aging brand is so Quixotic and so desperate to cash in on any good will left remaining with the public that he's taken on nearly every controlling aspect of this project of himself.

Though Rocky VI was actually decently entertaining, I'll probably skip this one. If he can get Demolition Man 2 or Over The Top 2 foisted upon American Cinema however, I might have to eat the charge of admission out of utter bewilderment.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Humanitarian Intervention?

In the last year or two, I've heard "who cares" and the "Knicks" joined in the same sentence more than the sum total in all of my other years following New York sports combined.

The solution? Hat tip to William Rhoden of the NYT:

"The N.B.A. should act like the World Bank and treat the Knicks like a developing nation. The league needs success in New York and there is only one way to achieve that: The N.B.A. has to forgive the Knicks’ debt.

Last season, the Knicks had a payroll of more than $120 million, the largest by far in the N.B.A. The Knicks are perennially so far over the league’s salary cap that it will be a long time before they can obtain the sort of transcendent player who can lead them to a championship.

The salary cap was installed nearly two decades ago as a way to prevent teams in larger markets from outspending smaller-market teams and buying up the best players. But the cap hasn’t stopped the Knicks from ill-advised spending, from habitually becoming entangled with bad contracts, flawed players and star-crossed coaches.

There is a precedent for this sort of relief. In the summer of 2005, Stern persuaded the owners to include an amnesty clause in the collective-bargaining agreement: a one-time opportunity for teams to waive one player and avoid having him count against the team’s luxury-tax calculation."

Where's Bono when you need him?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dinner Bells

Last night at dinner, Waitress warned me that I had ordered a lot of food. This isn't the first (second, or third) time either I've been so admonished. I get that I spend far more on dinners than any other component of my budget, save tuition and rent. But, I don't get the point of waitstaff making remark of it. If I earned my living skimming tips from bills, I'd be pushing the blue plate special and constantly refilling wine glasses. Maybe I'm hungry. Maybe I'm out celebrating. Maybe this is just my style.

I'm not your tender child. I sincerely promise to bulldoze through whatever you bring out here, even if I risk looking ravenous by your more modest standards. This Saturday, it's off to Nobu with Girlfriend, where the people know the look of real indulgence when they see it. She's taking me out to celebrate finishing up the semester this week.

Next time I'm at last night's restaurant, however, and assisted again by that server, I'll be ordering the Sushi-for-Two. For one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now Arriving: 3L

Assuming that my term paper in Advanced Con Law is certified as "substantial" and making it fully through only 7 of 10 questions on a Tax final is considered "passing," I think it's high time to put all things 2L to bed.

Free at last. Until the summer gig starts at least.

And suddenly, I can see the whites of a law degree's eyes. One lap to go...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's The Final Countdown

It looks like summer and it feels like summer.

But until I actually study and take these self-scheduled Tax, First Amendment, and International Law exams, it is not summer.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Strange Changes

Friends, I wish I was writing a different letter. Before it filtered out through the usual Stanford fishbowl, I wanted you to get it straight from me. I won't be returning next year.

The circumstances in my life that brought me back to the East coast still persist. I'm incredibly thankful that my Mom is still around for me. But, with her condition steadily deteriorating over the last days and months, it still feels right for me to hang back and be around for her.

Knowing what the right decision is doesn't make it any easier. I was really looking forward to returning. Worse still, I just feel selfish for wanting that at a time when my family needs me to shoulder some of the burden. I can't even imagine the enormous regret that I'd have by comparison, though, if I acted on that emotion.

So while I have to accept the opportunity to graduate close to home, it feels bittersweet doing so - bittersweet because of all the good times and laughs that were compressed into one nine month period between September 2005 and May 2006.

Anyway, congrats to the 2Ls on clearing "hump" year and the 3Ls on clearing everything. If you're around NY this summer, drop me a line.

All the best,

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Decision Time

"With Vulcan's rage the rising winds conspire,
And near our palace roll the flood with fire.
Haste, my dear father, 'tis no time to wait,
And load my shoulders with a willing freight.
Whatever befalls, your life shall be my care;
One death, or one deliverance, we will share."

Book II (Dryden Translation)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Apple of Discord

The letter came this week.

The one people told me would come, but that I never expected.

To read it was both amazing and terrifying, discomforting and relieving. I've been invited to stay in these surroundings, shift from "visitor" to "transferor," and graduate here with their imprimatur.

So, what's the problem? Only that Stanford is a better fit for me and that I was really looking forward to a return. Since this turn of things, I've been struggling to figure out what makes sense here. Having spent hours in thought, I've really only gathered the following...

Why Stanford?
1. You'll spend nine beautiful months in Palo Alto with your Persian (before a few years grinding it out in the law firm trenches).
2. You get to work on death penalty and three strikes appeals for the Criminal Defense Clinic.
3. You actually feel like a part of the community and can look forward to some great times with its people.

Why Yale?
1. You get to continue spending time with Mom (and avoid the regret for not jumping at the chance to do so).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ballot Warriors

In 1314, the Scots won their freedom at the Battle of Bannockburn.

In 1707, the Scots split the sovereignty atom and crowned up with England.

In 2007, the NYT, reports:

"At the heart of the contest is a battle between the Scottish Labor Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party, once seen as a fringe party but now tipped by many political analysts and pollsters to become the biggest single party in the 129-seat Scottish Assembly. The Scottish Nationalists have promised a referendum among Scotland’s five million people on seeking independence — a move that critics say would inspire economic chaos and constitutional crisis."

...and whose supporters paint their faces blue and proudly cry "freedom" at the drop of a hat...

5/3 EDIT: Did you say constitutional crisis? Is there a Constitutional law scholar in the house?

"Two things, I think, are worth noting:

1. The geostrategic factors that existed in the 1700s, which argued strongly for British unification against the threats from the continent of Europe (especially France) have faded from view given the success of NATO and the EU at preventing intra-European shooting wars (apart from the Balkans) and trade wars

2.The decision to dissolve needs to be made by Britain as a whole, and not just a unilateral part. This was Lincoln's view, I think, and it is also myview, see ACAB first chapter last page or two.

I am delighted you are seeing connections to current events.

all best,


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quick Question. What Is This "Law" Thing?

The following exchange took place in a law school class titled "Transnational Law" between a law professor and law student.

Professor: What are the most salient legal justifications when it comes to the preemptive use of force?
Student: Really. What are we doing talking about law here? What's the point?