Saturday, May 21, 2005

and i'm spent

hey world-o-blogging, thanks for the good times, but it's time we went our separate ways. it's not you, it's me. really.

(if and when i return to the 'sphere, it will be far different from what i've experimented with here on ab-sent. and it won't be anonymous.)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

dag. yo.

the maybach exelero. word is satan has already put down a deposit.

(3 days of) Liberty!

i have decided to honor the glorious next 72 hours with a haiku

drinking beer in class
conlaw outlines in the trash
summer where you been?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Policy in 3 paragraphs . . .

. . . is what you get, prof. x, when your issue-spotter fact pattern is 8 pages long.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Great jorb Stuttgart, now let's work on that name.

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the Porsche Cayman. I don't plan on actually buying one any time soon, but nonetheless I've been giddy ever since rumors started swirling that Porsche was developing a Boxster-based coupe (but oh how I hate saying "Cayman").

Current spy pics reveal the car's basic lines, but curiously the rear window/greenhouse area is consistently camoflauged. This has made me (and doubtless many others) wonder what Porsche could possibly be hiding. Philip Witak over at The Truth About Cars suggests one possibility: that the Cayman's motor may actually be visible through the rear window, a la Ferrari and Porsche's own Carrera GT(!)

I hope Witak's speculations prove correct; then I can lust even more after a car I can't afford! In the meantime, maybe I'll go "borrow" Tru-ant's new Cooper S while he's miles away, finishing up his term.

Monday, May 02, 2005

KFI immigration billboards going up today

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wine quasi-review: 2003 Conundrum

friday night the mrs. and i enjoyed a bottle of '03 Conundrum with bacon-wrapped seared ahi and avocado on butter lettuce. i'm not typically one to write about homecooked meals (especially relatively simple ones), but this exceptional wine has earned my extolment.

The mixed-varietal Conundrum is aptly named; that first whiff and sip is no less than perplexing. On the nose I got sauvignon blanc-like melon, muscat-like honey, and the vanilla and oak of a California chardonnay (though the mrs. picked up more oak than i did). It has terrific mouthfeel: creamy and lingering, with just enough acidity to keep it from overstaying its welcome. The muscat is especially apparent on the palate, but it's not at all a dessert wine. It would, however, go best with a very spicy dish, and I regret not coating the tuna steaks with a little heat.

But this is a wine that doesn't need food to be properly enjoyed; in fact it's such a delightful, playful tipple that perhaps it's better on its own. Either way, I highly recommend it, especially at under $25.

Amen sister

I was surprised (and a little saddened) by Professor Bainbridge's response to the Governator's "close the borders" remark. So I was especially pleased to see Michelle Malkin take Bainbridge to task.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The VC Abortion Bill Discussion

The Volokh Conspiracy enabled comments for a discussion on the constitutionality of the recent House-passed bill requiring parental notification before a minor can travel to another state for an abortion.

This would be a great ConLaw 1 exam question, since it raises Commerce Clause, right to abortion, and right to travel issues. But as several of the comments note, the real issue is whether the bill meets the Casey "undue burden" test; it seems to fall well within Congress' Commerce Clause power (sigh), and it doesn't likely violate the right to travel because it's traveling for a paticular purpose that the bill prohibits.

I Park Like An Idiot

I love this, and I'm tempted to buy some, but the law student in me hesitates. The site says the stickers are "low-tac"; I assume that means they don't damage paint and are easily removed. So tort liability is out; anyone know about potential city code violations?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

America voted

every once in a while, i empathize with heartland-hating liberals.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's official: The Chinese can bootleg anything

Chinese automaker Hongki has unveiled the new Red Flad HQD, a knockoff of BMW's Rolls-Royce Phantom. It kinda gives those ripped DVDs a little perspective.

The Passion of the Hippie

Sunday the mrs. and i went down to the Newport Beach Film Festival and were treated to a documentary about Lonnie Frisbee, Orange County's forgotten hippie preacher. Here's the short of the Frisbee story:

In the late 60s, a god-seeking, 17 year-old Frisbee drops acid and finds Jesus. Soon he's hosting LSD-enhanced Bible studies in the wilderness. Shortly thereafter, Frisbee meets Chuck Smith, the prominent Calvary Chapel pastor, whose wife had recently convinced him to minister to the dirty hippies. Oddly enough, the two men hit it off, and soon Frisbee is helping to ignite the global Jesus People Movement.

People compare Frisbee to Jesus and John the Baptist. He helps thousands find God. There are eyewitness accounts, even by skeptics, of Frisbee healing the sick and performing other "signs and wonders." He lights the flame that would become the huge Calvary Chapel and Vineyard church networks. It seems it would be hard to exaggerate Frisbee's influence: that is until the church leaders riding Frisbee's thermal into relevance discover his involvement in the Laguna Beach gay scene.

Frisbee's former mentors and disciples couldn't drop him quickly enough, especially after they learn he has AIDS: he died in 1993. Today, you'll be hard pressed to find mention of Lonnie Frisbee in accounts of the Calvary and Vineyard church histories.

There's nothing new about churches trying to sweep under the rug homosexuality in the fold. What makes this story unique is the rise that came before the fall. The mainstream press covered this guy. He was recognized by strangers on the street: in Europe. And even though I don't attend Calvary or Vineyard, I know several notable OC Christian figures, including two people interviewed in the film; the first time I heard the name "Lonnie Frisbee" was last week (granted, he was before my time).

I'm not sure if the documentary will ever get distribution, and as the director admits, the film needs polish, both technically and with the narrative. But if it does make it to the public, I recommend it, especially to OC churchgoers: you're likely to discover some attenuated link between your church and Frisbee.

Apparently we don't teach Mexican history here in Mexico

This afternoon on KFI, John's and Ken's heads will officially explode. (Thanks to BSKB for brightening my evening with this story.)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

"One nation, under your belief system"

Have I mentioned that I adore Ann Althouse?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Actually, it would fit on most of the cars in this town.

From a Quad-City Times Op-Ed:

There is only one answer — quit beating our chests and revoke the invitation. Let’s direct our enforcement efforts at every restaurant, hotel, construction site, ranch, farm or office complex in America that knowingly hires illegal immigrants in violation of the law. Let’s also take a hard look at businesses that play dumb and pretend not to know whom they’re hiring. And don’t forget the ordinary folks who pull up to the local big-box home-improvement store on Saturday mornings and pull out with a carload of day laborers to help them build a deck or plant a garden.

Of course, that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

But "making out with Bob Guccione Jr. in the stairwell"?

For those who have not already devoured it, be advised that the current issue of Time’s cover story on Ann Coulter is, to my surprise, quite good. Most pleasing is John Cloud’s general refusal to shy away from exposing why (I think) she is so loathed by the Left: the possibility that “Ann Coulter [is] that most unlikely of conservative subspecies: a hard-right ironist.”

Why should Ms. Coulter’s detractors be concerned that she is valued more as a humorist than as a policy-shaper? Because (and pardon the sweeping generality) winners make fun of losers (as opposed to throwing pies at them).

In honor of my favorite “hard-right ironist,” below are some recent Coulter quotes that have made me laugh.

[Ward] Churchill has said . . . Indian reservations are the equivalent of Nazi concentration camps. I forgot Auschwitz had a casino.

Instead, Mapes described Burkett in the abstract as: "solid," "without bias," "credible," "a Texas Republican of a different chromosome," a "John McCain supporter," "reliable" and "a maverick" — leaving out only "Burkett is convinced he can communicate with caterpillars" and "his best friend is a coffee table."

John Kerry's meal ticket, Teresa Heinz, continuously made remarks that were wildly inappropriate, such as when she strangely referred to the "seven-year itch" in relation to herself and John Kerry, creating at least three images I didn't want in my head. On the other hand, for any voters who considered the most important campaign issue to be whether the first lady was an earthy, condescending foreigner who had traveled extensively and spoke several languages, Teresa was a huge asset.

Also on the pro-killing [of Terri Schiavo] side are conservatives still pissed off about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 who are desperately hoping to be elected "most consistent constitutionalist" by their local Federalist Society chapters.

The anonymous “studies” about female officers invariably demonstrate that women make excellent cops — even better cops than men! One such study cited an episode of “She's the Sheriff,” starring Suzanne Somers.

Teddy Kennedy's big new idea is to wheel out his 18th proposal to raise the minimum wage. He's been doing this since wages were paid in Spanish doubloons (which coincidentally are now mostly found underwater).

In the three weeks following the dismissal of all charges against my attackers, three more conservatives were attacked [with pies] on college campuses . . . . If there had been that many attacks on Muslims in the weeks following the 9/11 attack, we'd still be watching Showtime specials about it.

Despite all those years of important, searching litigation we keep hearing about, Terri has yet to receive either an MRI or a PET scan — although she may be allowed to join a support group for women whose husbands are trying to kill them.

[Abortion is] a "constitutional right" — taking its place alongside all those other "sad," "tragic" rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as religious expression, free speech, freedom of assembly and so on. Who was it who said, "Free speech should be safe, legal and rare"?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Well at least I caught the gonorrhea all by myself...

I am not an outdoorsman. Nobody in my family is. In fact, the most rustic experience we had as a family unit was renting a cabin in yosemite so we could play yahtzee and get slush puppies at the general store. We did go on an 8 mile hike one year to the legendary "Upper Falls", but regretted it 3 miles into it when all of us had drank the contents of our canteens, my mom blamed my Dad for trying to be macho, and I started crying because my brother made fun of my butt-hugger shorts. So this weekend when my roomate and I spontaneously decided to meet some friends at a beach campground a little ways up north, neither of us really knew what to expect. We had images of our tent snugged up against a remote cliff, the stars shining, bonfire raging, the lot of us kicking back enjoying a brew or four. There might even be some nice girl whom I could convince to take a walk with me, ya know, someone to share both my feelings and sleeping bag with.

I was mistaken. Aside from the fact that "camping" on the beach consists of renting a numbered 30'x30' square, half of which is concrete, my romanticized thoughts of roughing it were deflated when I realized that beach camping is what people do when they were too busy during spring break to do anything fun. Remember in junior high how you bleached your hair and then two years later after that fad was more than long gone, the mormon kids were doing it completely unashamed? That's kinda how I felt this weekend. Instead of raging parties, there were a couple groups of college kids with a cooler of mikes hard lemonade and some inflatable tits they strapped to their truck. Live it up doods. Instead of the Budweiser girls handing out kegs and signing their own boobs(???), there were two pimply girls driving a redbull truck asking if we "needed wings." Now I'm all for free redbull, but it just seemed a bit out of place. Either force us to catch our own food and take away the bathrooms and lighter fluid, or slam down that redbull as a chaser, ask the increasingly cuter redbull girls if they're "down", and party like Andrew W.K. would.

So in summary, beach camping is fun because it's not camping. You don't have to worry about bears eating your skull because Cody thought it'd be funny to put peanut butter in your hair while you slept. The most vicious animals on the beach can only threaten to crap on your newly washed car or steal the graham crackers you left out from the night before. Maybe I'm being too hard on this whole camping thing though; in fact, you could really get the best of both worlds if you think about it. Homelessness is pretty manly in my book, and what exactly makes beach camping any different from voluntary transience? So you can get the satisfaction of not showering with the added bonus of being able to pass out piss drunk without worrying about which direction is north when you wake up. Whatever your opinion is on Spring Break version 1.1 however, just make sure there are NO REGRETS.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Now we're getting somewhere

It took long enough (weeks!) but it looks like the House of Representatives finally discovered this blog, and has accordingly responded to an earlier post, which discussed the inability to square the federal estate tax regime with the House's efforts to save Terri Schiavo.

Last week the House passed (by a wide margin) a bill that will repeal the estate tax entirely in 2011. As I understand it, the bill will need 60 votes in the Senate to overcome the provision requiring the 2011 sunset of the current repeal law, but this may not be much of an obstacle given the bill's largely bi-partisan support.

Before you start blowing kisses to (or for you redistributive types, shaking your fists at) your congressman, be advised that in addition to abolishing the 50% "death tax," the bill eliminates the at-death step up basis for capital gains. I imagine Congress did the math and realized they could take in more with this new plan, while placating the vast majority of Americans who oppose the estate tax.

And on that note, should we think it strange that most Americans despise a tax that affects only the wealthiest 3% of the population? Perhaps, but then again we are a People often defined by our wishful thinking.