I question the premise

It never seeks to amaze me how many people think I need — for my law practice in all its splendid aspects, including blogging — consulting.

Consultants think this.

Consultants this that and the other.  “IP consultants.”  And all divers types of consultants.





Dissent is insanity

Montana has passed a law, certain to be declared unconstitutional or otherwise rendered a nullity, declaring that, as the AP puts it, “guns manufactured in Montana and sold in Montana to people who intend to keep their weapons in Montana are exempt from federal gun registration, background check and dealer-licensing rules because no state lines are crossed.”

Color that dead on arrival.  That doesn’t mean I’m pro-guns or anti-guns — I’m mostly pro-, for a guy who’s never touched one — but it’s just some very simple lawyering by yours truly.  I think a political science major could figure this out, too.  So I don’t mind that gun control advocates are describing this measure as entirely symbolic, even provocative.

But that’s never good enough.  Because remember:  Being liberal means never having to say your adversary is rational or moral.  So here’s the money quote from the same AP story:

“Guns cross state lines and they do so constantly, and this is a Sagebrush Rebellion-type effort to light some sort of fire and get something going that’s pleasing to the gun nuts and that has very little actual sense,” said Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

I'm Insane, so YOU can't carry on campus
That’s the communications director, folks.  He’s in charge of choosing words.

And you?  You agree with him.

Or… you’re a nut.  A gun nut.

New regime, not-so-new tone of debate:  My way or the nut way.

Specter of defeat

“Specter: I’m not an automatic 60th vote” Not an automatic 60th vote”?  Really!  Then this is news! He really is “switching”!

There’s more:

In a statement, Specter said he does not want to be “judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.”

Actually, that’s the part that Politico, for some reason, chose to excerpt.  I actually saw this, via a the Google Talk status message of my friend the Punning Pundit:

I am unwilling to have my 29-year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.

Punning didn’t seem too ironic about it, but I was floored by this.  These words might constitute the single most arrogant expression of entitlement to power that I have ever heard a politician utter.

At least for public consumption.

UPDATE:  Check out John Hawkins on this.

Mocking the Sabbath

Now here’s a weird story:

The National High School Mock Trial Championship is esteemed for bringing young people into the best traditions of the American legal system. But now the organization is being broadly criticized from the halls of Congress to state bar associations and attorneys general for clinging to one of the nation’s worst traditions: religious insensitivity.

The charge stems from the national mock trial group’s refusal to accommodate the need for an Orthodox Jewish team from Maimonides School from Brookline Massachusetts to reschedule its event from Saturday—the Jewish Sabbath—to a Thursday or Friday as has been done in the past.

Is this accomodation entirely reasonable?

Four rounds were slated for Thursday and Friday instead of Saturday. Moreover, they elected to delay commencing the final round until after sundown on Saturday—the end of the Jewish Sabbath—should the New Jersey students win finalist status. Apparently the adjustment was easy. Only two teams needed to volunteer for new schedules and more than 10 offered. The adjustment was applauded for demonstrating the value of religious tolerance in a pluralistic juridical system.

But the national body’s leadership was outraged, according to attorneys familiar with the case. It passed a resolution prohibiting any such accommodation in the future. “During the meeting of the State Mock Trial Coordinators in May 2005,” explains John Wheeler, Board Chairman of the National High School Mock Trial Championship, “the coordinators voted not to permit future modifications to the competition schedule format. It is the opinion of the State Coordinators and the Board that while the [New Jersey contestant] accommodation may have allowed full competitive participation, it unreasonably affected the conduct of the national tournament and forced unreasonable alteration to the planned schedule of events.”

Unreasonable alteration — that’s where the rubber always hits the road on these things.  More explanation, because your (Sabbath observant) blogger doesn’t suggest or believe there’s any legal right for a private group to accommodate anyone:

Wheeler’s letter to the ADL defended the organization’s policy and rejected the 2005 North Carolina-New Jersey precedent as one that “forced a departure from this system in a manner that fundamentally impacted the integrity of the prescribed power match system and was unfair to the vast majority of participants.” Specifically, claimed Wheeler, “In the second round in 2005, the New Jersey team should have faced a power-matched opponent, but this was impossible since no other teams had yet competed. This created an unfair advantage for the New Jersey team. In the fourth round for New Jersey on late Friday afternoon, its opponent was only given minutes notice that they would be competing in this round, thus affording them no preparation time; while the New Jersey team knew several weeks in advance that it would be competing at that time.”

Wheeler’s rationale were dismissed out of hand by critics and jurists alike contacted by this reporter. Steven M. Freeman, ADL Legal Affairs Department director, stated, “We recognize that the accommodation the Maimonides School is requesting may complicate the tournament scheduling for other teams, but are troubled by the apparent hostility of tournament officials and fail to understand their unwillingness even to consider alternatives which would enable the deserving Jewish students to participate.”

Wheeler did not return two deadline calls for comment.

A number of well-known legal advocates for the rights of religious Jews have now entered the fray and suggested that, while the group and the event may be private, there’s enough public involvement in the affair to make it a “rights” issue after all.

So… what’s really going on here?  (More here.)

Oh, yeah… him

Last fall I reluctantly supported John McCain for President.  I wasn’t even sure why at the time, and could mostly focus on why I thought Barack Obama was not up to the task.  But shame on me — there was a reason, and it’s the same issue that made me realize I am a conservative in the first instance.  And the inexcusable Obama “policy” on “torture” — which is merely a political hiccup, a gesture to the left, a classic instance of liberal symbolism as government, that just happens threatens to undermine the ultimate safety and freedom of every one of us — reminds me of it now.

Here comes a long excerpt, but worth it.  Here’s the crux of the matter from last October’s issue of  The Atlantic, and we pick up the article at the end, where Jeffrey Goldberg is discussing McCain with Henry Kissinger:

I pointed out that McCain has changed many of his positions during his candidacy in order, it seems, to better conform to Republican orthodoxy. Kissinger replied: “Under the pressure of a presidential campaign, it’s possible that he will make adjustments. He may deviate from his positions, but he will not like himself for it.”

In my conversations with McCain, however, he never appeared greatly troubled by his shifts and reversals. It’s not difficult to understand why: tax policy, or health care, or even off-shore oil drilling are for him all matters of mere politics, and politics calls for ideological plasticity. It is only in the realm of national defense, and of American honor—two notions that for McCain are thoroughly entwined—that he becomes truly unbending.

Kissinger learned this at their first meeting. “When I was in Vietnam for negotiations on implementing the Paris Agreement, the North Vietnamese prime minister had a dinner—I was leaving the next day—and he said if I wanted to take McCain on my flight, it could be arranged,” he said. “I told him that I won’t take McCain or anyone else on my plane. The prisoner release would have to happen on a schedule previously agreed. Somehow McCain heard about this and months later, at the White House reception for returned prisoners, he said to me, ‘I want to thank you for saving my honor.’ What McCain did not tell me at that time was that he had refused to be released two years earlier unless all were released with him. It was better for him to remain in jail in order to preserve his honor and American honor than to come home on my plane.”

For McCain, the doctrine of preemption clearly falls outside the realm of mere politics, as does the need to “win,” rather than “end,” wars; the safety of America demands that they be fought, and honor demands that they be won.

McCain’s father, Kissinger said, saw the world the same way McCain sees it. “He was a military man, not a diplomat. Both men grasp the notion of consequences.

Consequences.  They are the reason the buck stops in the Oval Office.

The consequences of this lashing out at the previous regime, this post-Vietnamesque attempt to exorcise the hated, manly self, are not going to be “respect for the law” and widespread international warming toward America.  It will, to the contrary, give aid and comfort to those most contemptuous of law, and of our country, and most readily prepared to make every possible effort to destroy both.

That’s it, isn’t it?  Democrats really don’t seem to think about consequences, or at least to weigh them compared to gesture, self-regard and a need to please.

How many chances will we get to escape the consequences of a policy of vanity this time?

Cross-posted on Right-Wing News.

Not in the spirit

A little too friendly

A little too friendly

This makes sense to me.  Via Above the Law I found this item on something called “Facebook ghosting”:

One popular Facebook “ghost” was a blond female temptress, the site reports.

The team allegedly would use these fake profiles to get friend-level access to recruits’ information on the site. The thinking there is that if a team official spots a player in Facebook photos smoking dope or partying hard, the team might avoid a bad draft pick and a potential public relations problem.

The fake profiles are called “ghosts” because they disappear soon after they surface.

I wonder if this technique exists in other spheres of recruiting? At law firms? At banks? In other sports?

There’s no hard evidence the NFL ghost-profile incident is part of a trend, said Justin Smith, editor of the blog Inside Facebook, which tracks the social networking site.

It’s not only going on with athletes and prospective employees.  I’m 99% sure that the rash of friend requests that I have recently received from essentially unconnected, untraceable young women claiming to be Christians but looking decidedly, um, different in their mode of dress is part of some attempt to get conservative bloggers of a certain level of prominence (like somewhere above the C-list, I guess) to do and say stupid things for later use.

Quite the dirty trick.  Lucky for me I — well, no, it has nothing to do with luck.  I’m just not stupid.

Careful out there, boys and girls.

UPDATE:  A famous blogger friend passes along this link — all that “principles are for everyone” stuff is for political consumption, don’t you know.  Duping righties is completely cool.  It all depends on the ends!

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman