You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 21, 2005

baloney and hotham for a cold day

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:48 pm

first the Hotham:




loud wind–

the bed unmade

all day


rook horiz


my move

their move

morning clouds


a pile of orange peelings–

the night watchman

away from his desk





by dagosan:  

a green mitten

at the curb —

warming one small red hand


                                           [Jan. 21, 2005]


now the baloney beat:


“tinyredcheck”  There may be some excellent reasons for entering the Pacific Legal Foundation‘s 6th

Annual Judicial Writing Contest, but getting extra spending cash — the point stressed by both

PLF’s Tim Sandefur (free money) and Crime & Federalism’s Mike Cernovich — does not come readily

to mind as a benefit you can count on.  Mike (Fed84) says that not entering the Competition while

in law school is one of his biggest regrets, because “First, it’s an excellent way for you to make some

extra money.” 


Maybe I’m being uncharacteristically curmudgeonly, but PLF is giving away a total of $9500 to the  boy writing

top three prize winners.   I don’t know how many entrants there usually are, but if Tim and Mike are

successful in drumming up a lot more essays through weblog publicity, I think the odds will start getting

kind of long.   It takes an investment of two bucks and a moment to scratch off a lottery card, but the New

York state Lottery gives you the approximate odds of winningAnd, laws like Montana’s “Disclosure of Odds

requirement exist in all states for such games.  Do PLF’s entrants — who are expected to submit publishable

essays of 8,000 to 14, 000 words — deserve less, even in the libertarian world of laissez faire?


To my cynic’s eye, it’s ironic that the essays this year will cover the Takings Clause of the Constitution and

theories of government “givings.”  It seems PLF is taking a lot for all the time and effort the entrants will be

giving, basically, to help PLF brainstorm and draft future briefs and other documents.  The usually tough-minded

and skeptical Fed84 says “I can’t see a downside to your entering the contest.”  It seems to me that the likelihood of doing lots of unpaid work, and the need to take the libertarian side of the argument for a realistic chance at some money, might be downsides to many law students.  If your financial aid office counts any winnings aginst your aid package, you might also see another downside.

  • If the odds of winning are actually quite high — because there are only a handful of entrants

     — why not just pay a half-dozen selected law students $1000 each for a finished essay, with

    perhaps a bonus for two considered to be the best?  Too much like a pig in a poke?  Rather

    let a law professor do the editing?  Too free-market-like?

  • A final note: PLF’s entry rules say “Students are encouraged to seek the guidance and

    input of a faculty member of their own choosing.”  This suggests to me that PLF wants

    a really good finished product more than it wants to see what the individual law or graduate

    students can produce. 

computer weary  p.s. PLF calls this a poster.


tiny check  What kind of wine goes with Inaugural Baloney?  Prof. B knows, and he takes

Hugh Hewitt to task for his over-the-top praise of President Bush’s speech, while quoting

Peggy Noonan, and worying about “mission inebriation” in the White House.

tonight, I’d rather be politically incorrect

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:17 am

   didn’t work! [but get one here“no W”  

Despite the fact that our twice-elected Crusader-in-Chief is a haiku president

I didn’t find much consolation in the pomp of this Inauguration Day.  Indeed,

given the state of our politics, I felt the need to be especially politically-incorrect.

And, you know what?  I had myself quite a few belly laughs (and cheek spasms).


First, I listened to all of George Carlin‘s newest book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?,

and then I ended the evening thumbing through my John Callahan cartoon collection. 

CarlinPorkChops  George Carlin has done it again with Pork Chops, and I even forgive

him for usurping some of my favorite topics — e.g., euphemisms, politician-speak, and the

Virgin Birth.  I know this book has sold a lot of copies in hardback, but I have no doubt

that listening to Carlin’s delivery on audio cassette or audio CD will enhance your

experience.  [I found that the least funny or insightful parts of Pork Chops center on

merely being vulgar, but it was well worth getting through those passages to hear the rest.]


CallahanBest  It recently came to my attention that a lot of people have not yet experienced

 the work of John Callahan — our most famous, most wickedly-funny paralyzed cartoonist. 

[Warning: As the back cover of Best of Callahan (Ballantine Books, 2003) notes: “This book

is not for the timid, the easily offended, the politically correct, or your grandparents” — unless

you have really cool grandparents!]  Click here and here for two examples of his work that concern

lawyers.  And, check out a few pages from his newest collection Levels of Insanity (2004), which

deal with politics. 

Sigh.  With Charlie Rose on tv interviewing Newt Gingrich as I type, I just put Jan. 20, 2005,

behind me.  I do so with a smile and hope.  With Carlin and Callahan around to point out our foibles,

prick our consciences, and make us laugh, America can surely become all it says it wants to be. 


the great lord
forced off his horse…
cherry blossoms


the great lord’s wood fire



                                              by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue 


Powered by WordPress