Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Warrior Poet

In the last twelve years I haven't seen one movie that rivals the cinematic perfection, storytelling excellence, or adrenaline drip of action and dialogue of Braveheart. We may never see another like it either. Some films in the genre make the attempt at epic (I'm thinking of Lord of the Rings, recent iterations of Star Wars, Alexander, or 300) and corrupt the effort with distracting use of CGI or bloodsport entirely collateral to the story arc. Others make the equally imporant attempt at a unifying narrative (now I'm thinking of Last Samurai, Gladiator, Batman Begins, or the Kill Bill volumes) and fall well short of being compelling. The film could be rereleased next week, next year, or next generation and still be #1 at the box.

Gibson's a bigoted narcissist. I get that. But, come on, William Wallace is a household name now. It was his ability to deliver a performance for the ages and an enduring classic that we'll always return to that will keep me hoping for a philosophical rebirth of the only anti Semite occupying a place in my heart.

In that vein, think you can top this effort from two years back?

Happy Halloween all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?

So, I was thinking to myself how surprisingly substantive tonight's Democratic Primary debate was when Tim Russert asked Rep. Dennis Kucinich a question about whether he believes in UFOs.

I don't know either whether life exists on other planets, but I know it was lacking at the moment in that room.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Little Things

I've often said that having a preschool teaching girlfriend in my life has been amazingly refreshing. Law school is full of serious types. It's nice to be so often reminded of a time when being lineleader was a status symbol.

With this as background, you can imagine just how important the Investment Company Act seems in the month that she welcomed Maxwell, her nephew, to the world.

Congrats to Mom, Dad, and my adorable aunt.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Anybody See 50+ Pages Of Ramble Here?

In Chapman v. California, the Supreme Court first held that a federal constitutional trial error within a state criminal proceeding need not cause automatic reversal of a conviction. Should the prosecution demonstrate that the error in question was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, Chapman declared that the verdict ought to be final and the sentence rendered legal. Yet in concluding that a conviction stained with federal constitutional blunder can still be consistent with federal constitution virtue, the ruling’s inherent paradox opened the door for coming generations to loot, pillage, and plunder the procedural protections won by the past. Much ink has been spilt in the last forty years bearing witness to this phenomenon. Little attention has been paid however to the problems that the harmless error rule and modern iterations of it pose to the wrongfully convicted individual. While adverting to the merits in employing a rule that aids Courts in efficiently dealing with technicalities, this paper attempts to detail and describe how colossal growth in the application of harmless error, substantial misreading of Chapman, and illegitimate judicial consideration of resource constraints all come at the expense of verdict accuracy. In arguing that the judiciary has come to embrace a subversive influence on constitutional values of the criminal justice system and the normative rock at its foundation – that society at large bears the cost of a false acquittal so the individual does not have to tolerate the cost of a false conviction – this paper concludes with some suggested reforms and preferred methods of implementing them.

Monday, October 15, 2007


And that's the end of that. I just accepted my first "real" job offer. I'll be starting at Debevoise - business card and all - about a year from now as some sort of corporate law guy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Say What?

I was having a conversation about food today (as I very often do) when I mentioned that I'm a big fan of corned beef.

Asked whether that's because my Mom makes one home cooked, I said that it really had nothing to do with it.

Asked whether Mom cooks at all, I said that she used to try.

Asked why she doesn't try to cook any longer, I said that it's because she's tired of us complaining.

I don't know why I didn't say, well, because she died this summer. I suspect it had something to do with the pity party I suppose would have followed (and, apparently, felt like avoiding?). I thought I was coping well with being left with only her lessons and our memories. Now I'm left wondering whether it's healthier to talk and acknowledge her death in everyday contexts or to left turn around bringing the Grim Reaper up when possible.

I laugh and I smile when I think of her, but the tears do still come with some daydreams.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Slave to the Teleprompter

You ever get the feeling that newsman Brian Williams doesn't give a damn about the stuff he reads?

He seems like a good guy, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the dude is an emotionless robot.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Next Stop: Nursing Home Boom?

Of all the reasons to support Barack Obama, there is chiefly one that draws me into his camp: he is not a baby boomer.

Every generation gets the chance to shed the skin of the prior one. I'm ready for that renewal. I'm ready for change. He scores points for that before I become comfortable with (or he even clarifies...) his policy positions.

What's so wrong with wanting out with the old?