August 29, 2003

Interview by Tom

Tom asks:

1. You made the switch to Mac over a year ago. All politics of the decision aside, are you happy with your choice? If the opportunity presented itself, would you make the same decision?

Happy? Absolutely. I would still go Mac, but I might splurge for the Powerbook.

2. Northwestern's playing Florida State. Pick a side.

First of all, I assume you're talking football. For the most part, I would pick FSU, because football is far more important to FSU than Northwestern, and a loss to NU would mean far more to FSU than a win over FSU would mean to NU in almost every circumstance I can imagine. Of course, I got asked that question in law school once, and I said I'd just root for the offense. So my answer has changed.

3. Where is the coolest place you've ever been? Tell us about how you got there.

I've been to a lot of cool places, actually. When I was in high school, we took three vacations in particular that were pretty spectacular - one cruise up the BC coast to Alaska, a trip the following summer to the Soviet Union (1989, the summer before the Berlin wall fell) and a trip to Hong Kong and China in 1990. Of those, I think the trip to the Soviet Union was the "coolest" because it was so outside my world experience up to that point.

4. You're the district governor for Virginia for the nation's largest undergraduate fraternity. What's the hardest thing you've had to do in your tenure as DG?

Give it the time it deserves. The "District Governor" is a coordinator and mentor for people who volunteer at each chapter in the area, mine being D.C. and Virginia. Many chapters in the area lack sufficient volunteer support and I have not been able to bring that support to those chapters. Part of that is because I also volunteer directly with two chapters in the area, and devote a great deal of time to that. Part of it is because of geography - there aren't many potential volunteers in the areas where need is greatest. Part of it is because I just haven't given it the time I should have.

5. If you won the gubernatorial election for California in October, what would you do first?

Laugh my ass off. Then I'd pledge not to run for re-election, so that I would be able to work for controversial remedies without worrying about my poll numbers. Then I'd look for places to cut those expenditures - it's not so much the revenue in California that's been the problem, it's the spending without restraint, or so I have heard.

Wait, that was three things. OK, just keep the laugh part then.

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Interview by Krempasky

Mike asks, and I answer.

1. You've got a son, brand-spanking new. Give me five words, no commentary, describing how your outlook/perspective has changed.

More responsibility. More love. Incredible.

2. In your practice of law, have you ever been tempted to use the "vigorous defense of your client" excuse to do something you'd not be proud of?


Ha! I always tell my clients, "only answer the question that was asked." So if I followed my own advice, I would stop there. But that wouldn't be fair in the spirit of the interview.

The full answer is that, even when tempted, I've never seriously considered doing anything unethical for the benefit of a client. And in truth, the lawyer's call to be a "zealous advocate" for the client should never be interpreted to be a call to exceed the bounds of ethics.

3. What's it like not having Steve Spurrier to hate in Florida anymore?

Just because he's moved doesn't mean I like him any more. Fortunately, he's moved to a pro team I never really liked - the Redskins - and this gives me an opportunity to dislike him here and take delight in his inevitable misfortune as an employee of Dan Snyder.

It's odd because his new team has colors and a logo that look suspiciously like the Florida State colors and spear logo. At a pre-season game last year, I wore my Florida State gear, in proud garnet and gold. When 'Skins fans assumed I was one of them, I knew they has failed the reading comprehension test.

Of course, now that Spurrier has left Florida, it's easier to pity the Gators than hate them.

4. Future legal career: Judge or high-powered partner. Assume you can only do one for the rest of your life, and why.

No contest: a judge has power - often great power - but that power comes at a great sacrifice of freedom, in speech, action, and conduct. To me, power is an ends mainly to guarantee my own freedom and well-being, so if I had to give up that freedom to acquire the power, even to do good for others, I'd choose to turn it down. Besides, I'd never make it through a confirmation hearing.

And I'm already a partner at my firm, and like it quite a bit.

5. Would you ever move back to Chicago, and why or why not?

Permanently? Never. I hate winter. Otherwise, though, Chicago is a great town and I love to visit during non-winter months whenever I get the opportunity.

Might I ever move back to Florida? Absolutely, if I got the chance.

The rules:

  1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
  3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So, let me know if you want to get cross-examined. I hope you do - I can think of about a dozen folks I'd love to interview.

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August 20, 2003

Increment Population

The baby boomlet continues: Lex is going to be a Daddy!

Cool, since they'll probably have the same hairstyle for the first few months.

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August 13, 2003

San Antonio for Conclave

I'll be in San Antonio for the next few days for the 48h Grand Chapter Conclave of Sigma Phi Epsilon, usually the largest gathering of fraternity members - both undergraduate and alumni volunteers - on the planet.

It looks like I might have a little free time Friday night, so if you're in town or have suggestions for things to see and do, give a holler.

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August 12, 2003

How to Beat Bush

Nick Denton: How to beat Bush:

The Democratic candidate for president should appropriate the traditional Republican values of limited government, individual liberty, and fiscal responsibility.
Because these Republican positions are up for grabs.

Nick is right: these positions are up for grabs, because the Republicans in Congress and in the White House have largely abandoned them. The fatal flaw in Nick's theory, however, is that there is no Democrat who can credibly embrace these values either. Name a Democrat who votes against spending hikes. Then name a Democrat who voted this year against the largest expansion to the already-hungy entitlement monster. And then name one who really, truly embraces "liberty" over the nanny and regulatory state.

If you've got a name that answered all three questions, I'd like to hear it. I'm certain it's none of the Nine Dwarves.

Nick says if such a candidate existed, "he would not survive the Democratic primary." That's probably because he wouldn't be a Democrat. Looks like it's going to be another Libertarian vote for me in 2004.

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Recall Again?

A call to action from the Daily Kos:

Seriously, it's too late to fight the recall. And if a Republican wins, I plan on helping make sure there's another recall on the March 2004 ballot (we should be able to score 900,000 signatures in three weeks, tops).

I think that's a great idea - if you're trying to shoot yourself in the other foot. The failure - and it will fail - of such a recall effort will only underscore the difference between Davis and his successor. (Successinator? Successenegger?) It will make the new Governor more popular than ever, and give Republicans a remote possibility of winning California's 55 electoral votes in 2004.

Go for it, Kos.

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Legal Links

Some court and other legal links for future reference:

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August 11, 2003

Family Law

For Dineen, via Denise:

Because lawyers can be mommies, too.

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August 09, 2003


Style switcher is active, in beta mode. You have the following choices:

Let me know if anything looks too weird.

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August 07, 2003

The Running Man

So Arnold is running.

On his appearance with Jay Leno last night, Arnold seems like he's ready to tackle one of his biggest challenges yet. He was smooth - he neatly deflected the personal attacks he expects from the Davis camp and elsewhere, and skillfully portrayed himself as an outsider who would "clean house" in California. He was a little shrill about Davis, almost trying too hard to convince California voters what they already know - that Davis is a failure. Despite that seeming flaw in his announcement, it was obvious that Arnold was well prepared for the announcement and for the coming race.

Many have underestimated this man, but that's a mistake when you look at his consistent lifetime record of accomplishing unlikely goals. What Arnold wants, Arnold usually gets. It would be a mistake to bet against him in this race, because no matter who else jumps in, Arnold already has a formidable lead. I think it's very likely he will take the governorship in October.

Of course, that leaves the unanswered question: with California in the shape it's in, why would he want the job?

By the way, can we please never hear another "Total Recall" joke?

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August 05, 2003

Fray... INC!?

Fray goes corporate. Don't worry; it's not what it looks like.

And there's no truth to the rumors that Google might be in the market for a digital storytelling community.

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August 03, 2003


Yes, I'm playing with a new re-design. Please drop me a comment if anything breaks.

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August 02, 2003

Life vs. Labor?

Conceptual Guerrilla boils the pro-life movement (and several other conservative positions) down to a cynical ploy to guarantee cheap labor:

Cheap-labor conservatives oppose a woman's right to choose. Why. Unwanted children are an economic burden that put poor women "over a barrel", forcing them to work cheap.

I guess he missed Ben's post of Dr. Swingle's letter explaining his opposition to abortion:

When I was in medical school, abortions were done up until 28 weeks (full term is 40 weeks). It was confusing that on one side of the obstetrical unit, pediatricians were placing extremely premature infants on warmers, intubating them to help them breathe, and rushing them off to the NICU, while on the other side similar premature infants/fetuses were being delivered in bedpans and covered with drapes.
As a neonatologist who has cared for numerous spontaneously aborted and a few intentionally aborted fetuses in the past 20 years, I now realize that the difference between a fetus and a premature infant is a social distinction, not a biologic one. If it is wanted, it is a baby; if not wanted, it is a fetus.

I left out the more graphic descriptions of some of the procedures Dr. Swingle had to learn, but you get the idea.

Think Dr. Swingle bases his pro-life position on access to cheap labor? Think again.

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Dems Weaker Than Ever

George Bush may be vulnerable as his approval ratings slowly fade, but the Democrats are weak as kittens.

Good for the country? Probably not, unless we see a libertarian surge to replace the Left.

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