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Battle of the Desperate Network Poo-Bahs

September 28, 2005 at 3:55am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Middle of the 2005 Fall TV season. From my vantage point - seems like ABC is the winner so far among the 3 networks for keeping their recent hit shows “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” strong (and I am biased as a big “Lost” fan); shoring up so-so formulae shows like “Boston Legal” at a respectable pace; and looking to the future with a strong gamble in “Commander in Chief” (Geena Davis/Donald Sutherland). In the meantime, looks like CBS is hedging on CSI and its cookie cutter variations and the same old reality show shit, and NBC’s bets are hedged on Martha and Donald.

I am waiting to see if “Commander in Chief” can somehow better NBC’s now tiring “West Wing” - inevitable comparison- in a creative, refreshing and challenging way. I don’t have TIVO so I switched from CIC to the season’s second “The Office.” Seems like an odd placing ratings-wise because both (according to press rumblings) are intended to/will appeal to white collar workers: Geena Davis/Donald Sutherland-white house family-friendly drama vs. dark comedy/Carrell fans.

By the way - “The Office” this season is sooooo much better than it was in the in its first chaotic no-identity/no-concept season. 

Kudos to CSPAN: Better and Better…

September 27, 2005 at 2:38am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

C-SPAN remains the most important (and entertaining) tv channel in operation today.

The Iraq War Debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens was engaging and raw as hell. The
Judiciary Vote on John Roberts was must listen radio after the hearings. Kudos also to this past weekend’s coverage of both the pro and anti war demonstrations in DC. So far, my top two C-SPAN moments of recent months have been the first Senate Foreign Relations Cmte hearing on Bolton (I love our Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and the James Yee media roundtable.

Seriously. Its better than “Lost.”

Saddam Hussein Trial Nuts Rejoice

September 25, 2005 at 6:20pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

I’ve been following some of the rumblings about the upcoming SH trial, although purely as an avid observer of the ECHR’s developing doctrine on extraterritorial jurisdiction and how it might apply as a possible defense.  Personally I think little will come out of any extraterritorial application of the ECHR however, for both political and legal issues. It is indeed a stretch, although worth a noteworthy mention.

In anycase, the good folks over at Case Western Reserve Law School have assembled a pretty good selection of international law experts and put together a Saddam Hussein trial blog called Grotian Moment. Lots of good reading over there for those with an interest in following trials other than Scott Peterson’s or OJ’s.

A Minor Thought About Law Journals

September 25, 2005 at 12:12am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

The law journal world. Yes law journal editors and faculty advisors take a lot of shit, some of it deservedly, and some of it not. Now I would like to offer some thoughts to any takers out there.

In my opinion, possibly one of the stronger reasons why the law journal status quo should remain is pure speed. The journals would lose much of its utility, both to practitioners and academics, if recent case analyses and developments were not published in a timely manner.

The problem is, even with the current set-up, truly timely publication is becoming a rare experience. There are of course exceptions. For instance, much kudos to the American University’s Human Rights Brief. Not exactly a school with an Ivy League reputation, but their edit of an earlier article I wrote for them was the best I have ever received and the process was extremely fast.

I can’t say the same for several other journals. This week I received an edit back from a journal (which shall go unnamed) affiliated with one of the Ivy League law schools for an article I had submitted in the early summer. The article contained an analysis of a case decided in February of this year. In his communication to me, the editor informed me that actual publication wouldn’t occur until 2006. Thus, this article containing an analysis of a case decided in February 2005 won’t actually be read by anyone until a year after it was originally decided.  (In all fairness, I should add that the edit itself was outstanding however).

Then there was another experience I had with a journal affiliated with a middle of the road law school. In this article, which I submitted in the late summer of 2004, I made a prediction about a yet undecided case on the dockets that was – at the time I thought – likely not to be heard until the spring of 2005. I accepted an offer of publication from this journal with the under

standing that it would be published promptly and in a timeframe which made me comfortable believing that it would come out prior to the actual decision on the case. Needless to say, the article didn’t get published until after the case was argued (and a year after I had originally submitted it) and the court made its judgment. So here I was predicting the outcome of a case that was already decided. Luckily for me the prediction was correct. In both instances of negotiating a publication offer with the aforementioned journals, the editors informed me of “timely publication” in an identifiable time period, and in both instances that has not occurred.

Yes I am complaining, perhaps unfairly. Any publication is a good publication (unless it truly is horribly mangled by the editors). But I would like to urge editors and faculty advisors to be less discreet and more transparent when it comes to informing potential contributors about publication timelines. And if a journal is behind schedule (and I have heard of journals that were several issues behind schedule), the editorial staff should do their utmost to prioritize getting back on track. I am not a fan of unnecessary faculty intervention, particularly when it comes to substantive issues. But having said that, faculty advisors should take more of an active role if the journal they are advising is woefully behind schedule and the editors aren’t taking the appropriate initiative to speed things up to a reasonably acceptable professional standard. Not doing so hurts the reputation of the school in general. Of course, I would be amiss NOT to criticize writers who do not work with editorial staff in a timely manner. Nothing is a worse than the errant contributor/lazy law professor who is offered and accepted a publication slot, and then decides that he can completely ignore the editorial timeline, jeopardizing timely publication of the entire issue. And yes, that certainly occurs much more often than anyone would like. 

Just Plain FUBAR

September 23, 2005 at 4:14am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

I like Jeb Bush a lot more than his brother. Seriously. The guy is a damn good governor. I’ll give him that. But when he gets all “mystical/exotic/oriental” I find it a bit strange, particularly as an Asian-American. Hmmm.  I got no “moo-goo-gai-pan” recipes or karate moves to teach him… 

“Create your own blog, remain anonymous and get round censorship!”

September 23, 2005 at 12:08am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Issued today by “Reporters Without Borders” - Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.

The Final Word on The Correct Name for Those Displaced by That Bitch Katrina

September 22, 2005 at 11:59pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

From the American Society of International Law:

Victims of hurricane Katrina are internally displaced persons, not refugees

In widely circulated media reports in the days following the disaster of hurricane Katrina, victims of the hurricane were labeled “refugees.” Other reports had victims rejecting such classifications and insisting on their status as American citizens. As a matter of international law, it is clear that persons who were forced to flee the hurricane and the subsequent disasters on the Gulf coast are not refugees. Rather, the international community refers to such persons as internally displaced. A particular set of international standards applies to them.

Refugees are persons who flee abroad because their own government denies them human rights protection either by persecuting them actively or by not helping them against dangers emanating from third parties.  International law protects such persons by means of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and regional instruments such as the 1969 Refugee Convention of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the 1984 Cartagena Declaration.

The victims of hurricane Katrina who had to flee their homes have neither left the United States nor lost any of their human rights vis-à-vis the U.S. government. However, they have left their homes involuntarily and thus are internally displaced persons within the meaning of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.  The Guiding Principles describe such persons as “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not cros

sed an internationally recognized State [international] border” (preamble, paragraph 2).

Kudos to NBC

September 21, 2005 at 3:54am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

The only scripted network show I currently watch is ABC’s “Lost.” But after watching the second season opener of “The Office,” this may change. Much better than some of the first season’s offerings. Kudos to the NBC writers and producers behind “The Office” for depicting an idiotic (yet often encountered in real life) “office party” that left the audience cringing in embrassment. The expression on the womens’ faces as Carell’s character was speaking in a faux asian accent and giving out the “spicy curry” award was timeless.

It Was Foretold….

September 18, 2005 at 9:12pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

It seems like my worst meltdown-scenario/nightmare about the Minnesota Vikings is becoming true…at least 2 games into the season. This is just disheartening. Now excuse me, I think I’m going to go hang myself from the shower curtain rod.

A nice resume buff

September 15, 2005 at 2:35am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

As defined by the dictionary, “wisdom” is:

1. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
2. Common sense; good judgment: “It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things” (Henry David Thoreau).
  A. The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge: “In those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations” (Maya Angelou).
  B. Wise teachings of the ancient sages.
4. A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.

I’ve always wondered what criteria exists to actually deem a person or people as “wise.” I thought it was a personal, subjective thing. But it seems like the Council of Europe knows.

Here we go again….

September 15, 2005 at 12:24am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Get ready for round 2 - or should I say - round 1, since his first suit was dismissed for lack of standing and it sounds like this will finally get argued on the merits. My prediction, in the end, after all the hooplah, is that “under God” will stay in the pledge vis-a-vis use of the “historical usage” test.  (although I would argue that a better test is the O’Connor endorsement test).

Lights out for Los Angeles!

September 13, 2005 at 12:33am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

This sort of reminds me of the days when Davis was governor.

Way to go loser

September 8, 2005 at 7:24pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

An alumni email from my alma mater, St. Mary’s College of Maryland:

9.  Hacking Sends College Web on Two-Week Vacation

An aspiring Class of 2009 student decided to show off his computer prowess by hacking into the school’s Web and posting directions for others to do the same on his BLOG.  We regret any problems alumni experienced trying to access the College’s Web during mid-to-late August.  We are happy to report that no areas with personal information (for alumni or students) were compromised.  The student was expelled before he ever set foot in a classroom.

Beta Time

September 7, 2005 at 1:38am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

This past Saturday I got into the beta trial for Roma Victor and have been playing on and off since then. I chose a “barbarian” starter area as opposed to the Roman side and am just beginning to get my bearings. So far there has been no Romans vs Barbarian combat at all - in fact one of the most helpful players in my village is a Roman character who ran a couple hours from the nearest Roman colony and has been helping us noobs out by teaching us new skills and handing out weapons. Also, there are no animals in game yet (at least I don’t think) so there is no PvE combat. I’ve only had a few hours of play time and much of it has been spent learning the interface and trying to figure out the crafting and directional framework.

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