Archive for the 'Life' Category

No more domestic disasters

I have grown fairly bored of politics and news lately. Part of my inattention to the news is because I have been busy doing law work, which sometimes stresses me out because I am still fairly new and don’t always know what I am doing. But more than that, I think the news lately has just been boring ever since the new Republican congressmen got sworn in this year. We got to hear about a week or two of news just about Gabrielle Giffords getting shot — mainly, I think, because she was pretty. Then later we got to hear a week or two or three about Charlie Sheen’s insanity. But his show basically sucked, so although his breakdown was funny, I have a little bit of a hard time seeing why people consider him important. And then since then, we have gotten to hear about three weeks straight of talk about revolution in Egypt, then two or three weeks about revolution in Libya, and of course there was the week or two about disaster in Japan.

Note that from a domestic policy standpoint, none of these events has been all that important. Maybe the moral of the story is that once Republicans take office to block continued Leftist activity, the domestic disasters and general heading off the cliff tend to die down, and hence the media have less of the exciting domestic doomsday information to report.

I guess the two or three weeks spent discussing the stupid teacher strike in Wisconsin was at least mildly important. But only mildly. And I never did find it interesting enough to warrant a post. Even listening to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin lately has become somewhat of a chore, and I have frequently found myself changing the station to listen to music by Katy Perry, Kesha, and other somewhat annoying artists. I don’t know; maybe I am just getting too old for this politics stuff.


Physiognomy and the preservation of the flesh

A little while back, I discussed that you can often see a person’s wickedness by examining his appearance:

Wickedness corrupts and destroys, and frequently that destruction involves the body itself. . . .Righteousness exalts a man. However good-looking or bad-looking a person may be, he will look even better if he embraces righteousness — because he will be better.

Of course, I should probably have also clarified that such a principle would operate most significantly in cases of long-term wickedness. Just as you can see smile lines on people who are happy all the time, you can often tell mean people by the expressions permanently etched on their faces. Looking at demeanor and physical vibrance, you can see the wimpiness of men who live their lives like women and the ugliness of women who live like men. And then of course, the wear and tear on the body and mind produced by the abuse of drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex is not usually all that difficult to spot.

But anyway, what brought this subject back to my attention was a post at another blog that advocated essentially the same point:

Face and body are witnesses of character–a fact of the human scene that people once readily acknowledged. There was even a science called physiognomic that attempted to catalogue and interpret facial and bodily expression and to draw moral conclusions from close observation of aspectual (having to do with the face) traits and bodily dispositions.

So when I wrote my post attacking the hideousness of many Democrats, I guess I was just ahead of my time! Or behind my time. Or something. But I do think that there is something to this “physiognomy.” The whole book The Portrait of Dorian Gray was about this principle that evil corrupts the flesh. Even the Bible states,

Psalm 91
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 . . . .
If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
   and you make the Most High your dwelling, 
no harm will overtake you,
   no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
   you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Modern Christians do not really teach this point much. But maybe they should.

While it is true that no one perfectly loves God in this life and that God therefore does not perfectly preserve us from serpents and stones in this life, such a blessed status is of course something positive to pursue. And when we make no effort to pursue a righteous lifestyle, it usually is reflected in our faces and demeanor.

Stupid holidays

Man, this whole “Labor Day” thing is really ruining my day. First, I was gonna go ship a textbook that I sold on Amazon. But I just got back from over at the post office, where I found out the post office was actually closed. Then, after shipping the book I was planning to go to the gym. But I just looked on the website of the Williamson County Rec Center, and it turns out they’re closed, too. And I had so much energy from sleeping a long time.

And the crazy thing is that my brother works at Home Depot hauling big items, and he didn’t even get the day off. Labor Day…Bah, humbug.

At least Mark Levin is still on the radio today (unlike most of the talkshow hosts).

Edit — Oh, it’s just a recording of Mark. My bad.

A couple events and thoughts

Last night a friend took me to see a concert performed by Zooey Deschanel, the co-star from the excellent M. Night Shyamalan movie The Happening (his redemptive work following The Village). I’m not normally real big on concerts, partly because they’re expensive and partly because I figure that a band sounds optimal on its official recordings and thus can only get worse when you hear them live. Nonetheless, she and her band  seemed rather talented and ultimately, I was thoroughly impressed.


I do think it’s a bit interesting how this old timey music seems to be making a come-back in certain circles. This song sounds a bit 50s-ish or possibly 70s-ish to me, but some of her stuff seems even older, like 20s-ish. Older music like this makes me wonder if modern people are reacting to the non-melodic (i.e., non-musical) excesses of many modern types of music, from country to rock and roll to rap — where volume and rhythm are glorified at the expense of genuine musical spirit. You can also hear this older type of music a lot on Apply commercials. I have noticed what is possibly a similar trend in the realm of dance. At least where I attended college, a surprising number of young people were becoming interested in old timey, more formalistic dance like swing dancing or salsa — again, perhaps as a reaction to modern, formless, hyper-sexualized hip-hop dancing.

Anyway, then today I had my interview with one of the Tennessee Bar people, the clerk of the local chancery court who apparently has a law degree. She seemed pretty nice. The interview is generally just a formality, I think, but anyway she officially has deemed me “not crazy” and “not unethical” and thus, good to go — assuming I passed that ridiculous test I took a month ago.

Comparative grammatical confusion

One grammatical issue that kinda bugs me is when people state that action B is “[x] times [more/less of something] than” action A. For example, a person might say that Vehicle B is moving “three times faster” than Vehicle A. What the speaker actually means is that the second vehicle is moving at three times the speed of the first vehicle. For example, one horsedrawn carriage might be traveling at five miles per hour while a bicycle might be traveling at three times that speed, meaning 15 miles per hour. Thus, the communicator should have used the phraseology “three times as fast.” But unfortunately, the speaker clearly took no effort to articulate his message accurately, so he wound up implying that the bicycle was actually going four times the speed of the slower vehicle (i.e., twenty miles per hour).

If you play your music “one time louder” than I play my music, that obviously does not mean you are playing the music at the same volume. Rather, if you are playing “one time louder” than me, that must mean you are actually be playing twice as loudly. Hence, “two times louder” would mean three times as loudly, and “three times louder” would mean four times as loudly. The same goes for vehicular speed, and the same principle applies for any comparative adverb or adjective.

And don’t even get me started about phrases like “three times slower.” What in the world could that possibly mean? If an object was moving one time (100%) slower, that would presumably mean that the object was not moving slowly, but was in fact stopped altogether! So if something is three times slower, is the object moving at negative speed? (And unless you are referring to vectors, which describe direction, then negative speed is obviously impossible.) If a guest lecturer speaks “two times slower” than your professor normally talks, doesn’t that mean that he is speaking at a negative rate and that his lecture never ends??

Anyway, the instance that recently brought this matter to my attention was the claim that Justin Bieber’s songs sound better when they are “slowed down 800%.” I don’t think the communicator actually means that we should play Bieber’s songs backwards, so I imagine the song is actually slowed down 89% — down to one ninth its normal speed. But who knows exactly what the person means. He is in fact correct about one thing, though:  Justin Bieber does sound better this way.

Weekly update

Got done with the Bar exam late Thursday afternoon. It was a bit rough. I suspect that I probably survived, but it is too early to tell for sure. Now I have at least a couple months before I can start practicing law, and if it turns out that I failed, then it’s more like nine months.

Anyway, I am now attempting to recover, I guess.

As I was coming home from the first day of the exam, I heard about the federal district court’s decision about the new anti-illegal immigrant law in Arizona. (An anti-illegal law, how radical!) I cannot understand how those Leftist lawyers or that judge can take themselves seriously whatsoever after making the absurd argument that states are not allowed to enforce federal laws. One of the first things you learn in law school in Civil Procedure I is that there are certain instances where a party has no choice but to ask states to enforce federal law. For example, if I print an accurate newspaper article against the mayor and he sues me in state court for defamation, I am not allowed to remove the case to federal court merely because my defense (freedom of speech) is based on federal law. Rather, I must pray for state intervention in protecting my federal rights. (If someone from your own town sues you for a state claim, the federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the case merely because you assert a federal defense.)

Anyway, that was just something that came to mind when I heard about that stupid case and the result against Arizona. Now imagine that after I have asserted my First Amendment right to freedom of speech (in state court), the federal Justice Department walks into the courtroom and says, “No, sorry, it’s our job to enforce that federal law. Your Honor, you’re gonna have to just strike Drew’s First Amendment defense because he’s trying to interfer with our discretion about enforcing federal rules. This court is part of the state and it may not interfere. You’re just gonna have to give the mayor a default judgment against Drew.”

At least in my mind, what Obama is doing is basically that stupid. It’s hard for me to imagine that he will win on appeal.

The end of school

I just finished my last exam today so I have finished my duties as a student. Specifically, I am done as a student…forever. Conceivably, I guess I might go back to school again some day, but I doubt it.

I never particularly liked school. In my mind, actual accomplishment in life is preferable to study. If you absolutely must study, practical study is the most ideal. Practical study is best because it at least helps you to accomplish things later. In school, not only do you basically fail to accomplish anything, but often you have to study subjects that are largely a waste of time. Obviously, law school suffers a bit less from this problem than lower forms of education — because law school aims to prepare the student for a particular profession. But even law school offers its fair share of boring, overly vague, and/or pointless classes.

For example, this morning I took an exam for one class. The main purpose of this class was to look at millions of situations where the one debtor borrowed money from two different banks, and then determine which bank got to keep the collateral when the debtor when the debtor could not pay back the money. That was seriously, like, most of the class.

Other classes were less pointless but tended to be too general for my taste. Give me substantive and non-pointless law! It is the air I breathe!

My Innocence Clinic class this year turned out to be probably my favorite class at the law school because it involved practical work. Not only was it entertaining and not only did I gain experience acting as a lawyer, but I actually learned a good bit more in terms of substantive law than I did in many of my classes. I wish more classes were more like it. (And I actually only took it because I needed another class at the last minute and my friend Kristi recommended I take it with her.)

But anyway, the exams and tedium are over now. Graduation:  Friday

I do still have to study for the Bar over the next two months. Hopefully this upcoming studying will be more fun than ordinary study because it is mostly practical and substantive. That is, now I finally get to learn ALL the laws in Tennessee. At last, my power will be complete!