Sunday, November 30, 2008

Redistribution of Wealth

In my research for my paper discussing the Sixteenth Amendment's Effects on the Fourteenth Amendment, I came upon a terrific quote about the history of taxation:

The history of taxation from the earliest ages has been the history of the attempts of one class to make other classes pay the expenses, or an undue share of the expenses, of the Government.
Aristocrats have always been trying to shift the taxes on to the people, and the people on to the aristocrats; the landed interests on to the commercial and the commercial on to the landed. There has not been a single instance of the coming together of a community to contrive a scheme of perfect fairness and equality for everybody.

Edwin L. Godkin, "The Income Tax Decision," Nation 60 (April 11, 1895): 272.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be sure to gorge yourselves a few times today. Repeat as necessary until left-overs disappear.

A little history for anyone interested.

And for a little turkey fun, here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ahh, Home Crap Home

So, I left Mississippi Saturday morning to return home to Georgia for Thanksgiving break. Ma made mozarella sticks and buffalo crispers. Got home in time for the drubbing Oklahoma laid on Texas Tech and all was right in the world...until 2:37 a.m. when it all went horribly wrong.

I received a phone call from a close friend at 2:37 a.m. I promptly hit ignore assuming it was just a random drunk-dial from my friend who I had not seen since January of this year. I fell back asleep only to be awoken again by people talking loudly in the cul-de-sac. I peered through the blinds and saw a white SUV parked. Two people were talking quite loudly for 3:30 a.m. and they began shouting at me.

"Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Are you f*ing serious?!" one of them put articulately (we'll name him 'Some Duder' for now since I did not know who he was).

I couldn't hear the other individual, but he clearly wasn't acquiecsing to the other's inquisition. At this point, I checked my cell phone and saw I had a text message from the same friend that called at 2:37. This message, delivered at 2:13 a.m., read as follows: "im outside your house."

So, I gave said "friend" a call to see if he made it home okay fearing he was seriously intoxicated. When suddenly Some Duder starts making like Brock Lesnar on the side of the white SUV. My friend answers his phone, while Some Duder just kicks and punches the heck out of the vehicle.

My friend says, "what's up?"

I ask, "what's up with you? Were you at my house earlier--what the heck is that noise?"

He replies, "somebody is banging on my car. I gotta call you back."

Well, the bangs I hear on the cell phone correspond perfectly with what I was witnessing in the cul-de-sac. I didn't recognize the white SUV because my friend was driving a rental due to the fact that he got t-boned just a week earlier (not his fault).

After his rage, Some Duder approaches my parents house. At this point I walked to the top of the stairway to see what he was going to do and had 911 at the ready. Some Duder rings the doorbell once. He leaves, but I didn't see which way he went.

I text my friend asking who that guy was, to which my friend replied, "some dude who lost his shit."

Well that doesn't explain anything. So, I text back, "this is unacceptable, get him the f*ck off my parent's porch. Do I need to call the police?"

"He's drunk and unpredictable, but I don't think he's that crazy."

I went back to my bedroom to look through the blinds. Nobody was out in the cul-de-sac and the white SUV had all its interior and exterior lights off. I figured my friend had been taking Some Duder home, they argued about something, then Some Duder just walked home and my friend tried to catch up with him and explain himself. Wrong.

I laid back down for about 40 minutes and was awoken by my brother knocking something over in the bathroom at around 4:00 a.m. Again, I looked through the blinds just in time to see a Dodge Ram pickup hauling ass up the street towards my parent's house. Some Duder got out of the driver's side, hopped up into the bed of the truck and pulled something up that was long (looked like a bat or a crowbar). Some Duder proceeds to walk over to the white SUV and pound the ever-living hell out of the windshield. Promptly I dialed 911. Some Duder was done after 4 - 5 whacks. On the phone with dispatch I described the event in real time. As Some Duder was walking back towards his truck, my friend got out of the white SUV! He had passed out in the driver's seat and was in the car while Some Duder was destroying the Enterprise vehicle.

It took the cops approximately 15 - 20 minutes to respond to my call. I alerted my parents and I just waited in the living room for the police to ask me what I had witnessed. Much to my surprise, they told me not to cover for my friend. They said he was drunk and his story didn't make any sense. They accused him of bashing his own car windshield with a tire iron that was laying out on the side of the car and accused me of lying to cover it up. WTF?! Are you kidding me? Are you f*ing serious? So, they question whether or not I actually witnessed another person do the damage. Once I told them I was a second year law student, they eased up on their hasty accusations and tried to make sense out of it.

After their initial prognosis of the scene was inaccurate, they completely failed to do a proper investigation. You can see shoe prints on the side of the car where Some Duder was kicking it that completely do not match those of my friend. I witnessed another person actually do the damage, but they wrote me off as a liar. They did not question any of my neighbors (one of which actually heard it happen, then saw as the Dodge pick-up was driving away).

The cops were just pissed because they couldn't bust my friend for being drunk, drunk driving, and beating his own car, so they phoned in their investigation and failed to do their jobs properly.

I still only have one side of the story and what I witnessed, but my friend tells me he was at a bar with Some Duder and some other people. They left before last call and drove to my house (I'm guessing to hang out with me since I came home for break). My friend hit a curb outside of my neighborhood and popped the tire. They tried to fix it in my cul-de-sac but were too drunk to do so. At that time, Some Duder wanted to ask me for help or to give them a ride, but my friend refused to wake me and my parents up for that reason. Some Duder got mad and kicked the door a few times.

He must have phoned a friend or his wife to come pick him up and that's when he went to town on the windshield.

So, that was my first night home on Thanksgiving vacation. My parents are so happy to see me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Immutable Rule of the Universe #42

Drinking only leads to good things...except when it doesn't.

Law Professors Are Monday Morning Quarterbacks

So, I've been working on a paper that's due tomorrow criticizing a Yale law professor's argument about redistributing wealth (hence, I really shouldn't be posting to my blog right now, but this just hit me and it will better the world to get it off my chest). And I notice a common thread among all the academic papers I come across.

All these law review articles I've been reading criticize the Court one way or another for argumentative and intellectual mis-steps. Always ending with something like, "so you see, Roe v. Wade was improperly decided. We should only allow extra terrestrials to perform abortions, not other human beings because that'd be murder!" Or, "FDR was such a genius. By disregarding the Constitution's mandate of Seperation of Powers during the 30s and 40s, we not only got out of the Depression as quickly and efficiently as possible, but he laid the groundwork for such awesome government entitlement programs that will self-sustain forever like Welfare, Social Security, and hopefully--now that The Chosen One is taking office--Socialized Health-care. *crosses fingers!!!*"

My point is this, law professors are just Monday Morning Quarterbacks. They're Sean Salisbury, Steven A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Keith Olberman, Sean Hannity etc. They didn't have to deal with the difficult decisions faced by these judges with the knowledge (often times limited) and resources as they faced them. They also don't have to hack up their opinions in order to compromise with the 8 other brilliant and ideologically diverse members of the Court.

Now, what the law profs do is necessary. We may come across these issues again in the future, and in order to progress, a little retrospection and learning from our mistakes never hurt anyone (G-Dubbya, I'm staring in your direction).

But, while these profs like to pat themselves on the back every time they get published because they are so enlightened, and we peon law students try and chip away at their Ivory Tower of Intelligentsia, it helps to remember that they write things every bit as ludicrous as this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All Kinds of Funny

A hilarious chain of e-mail gaffes from's Justin Peters.

And remember: "Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like nobody's watching."—Robert F. Kennedy

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Brain Map of a Liberal Democrat

Thought this was funny.


It's Official, Obama Announces Plans to Nationalize First Organization

In an interview with 60 Minutes last night, president-elect Obama stated he would "throw his weight around" to create a college football playoff system. While I am in favor of a playoff system, I utterly oppose anyone in the Federal Government using their seat of power to effect this change.

I mean, how ridiculous would it be to nationalize the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)?!

(Pointer from here.)

Ron Paul Speaks the Truth

Here's a butt-load of comments from Freakonomics readers and Ron Paul's answers.

Pay attention to what the man says, our future depends on it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clooney Rails About Prop. 8

File this one under the heading of: Who Gives a Shit?

Note to celebrities: Shut the fuck up. Nobody who matters seriously cares what you think. Yes, you are citizens and thus have the right to voice your opinion on political matters. However, just because you have an auspicious pulpit from which to speak, does not mean that what you have to say carries any weight or validity. I've written about this before:

May 13, 2007
So, I heard Green Day's latest "Working Class Hero" about a week or two ago. Didn't listen to the lyrics until this past Thursday. What kind of egalitarian, populist crap is this? I'd say they took about as much risk as Toby Keith when he wrote/sang "American Way" after the September 11th attacks. And let's be honest here, Green Day sold out the year the Expos got hosed, but still. Then I learned that it's a cover of the song written by John "Karl Marx" Lennon. Too bad Lennon didn't live long enough to see the fall of the Soviet Union. Too bad he didn't listen to any reputable economists.

This is an unfortunate side-effect of a free society. We allow entertainers to achieve stratospheric levels of celebrity and status. Long enough in the public eye, they start to become politically "active." We listen to the misguided policies they tout and falsely assume the talents that have made them popular to be testiment to their regulatory acumen.

Inequality and turbulence are a small price to pay for material progress. Like Joseph Schumpeter, one of the most accomplished and honored economists in history notes, "The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens, but in bringing them within the reach of factory girls in return for steadily decreasing amounts of effort."

Who are factory girls if not working-class? Capitalism benefits those on the lower rungs of society.

*For the record, I am pro-Gay rights. There is no reason people should be restricted in declaring whom their benefits should go to. This is a flat-out violation of Equal Protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. If marriage is a religious institution, then I'm okay with those institutions defining it however they wish. However, the benefits afforded to same-sex couples should not differ from their hetero-counterparts. And if marriage is a legal institution it cannot be narrowly defined.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's the World's Most Addictive Substance?

According to two of the world's best economists: people.

Lame, and probably wrong.

The link here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Take THAT Elitists

A good post on "Intellectuals" from Thomas Sowell.

Bank Robber Escapes on Inner-tube, Later Foiled by DNA Evidence

This bank heist is just too good to be true. The suspect posted a Craigslist add for work and asked that all candidates wear a certain outfit. The suspect then made the robbery wearing the same outfit. Suspect later escaped on an inner-tube, but got nailed on DNA evidence from his chewing tobacco. Amazing.

Monday, November 10, 2008