Friday, March 31, 2006

A Reason We Need Lawyers

Driving down the road, listening to the radio and a car dealership commercial comes on. Before the actual commercial starts you hear that familiar, yet unintelligible blurb: "Tax, title, license, fees blah blah blah." A guy has just read a full page single spaced disclaimer about the commercial you are going to hear in under 3 seconds.
I swell with pride every time I hear such a commercial knowing that some lawyer somewhere came up with this brilliant way to give the public full disclosure about the coming commercial. It also ensures that people who can speak 100 words a second are paid handsomely for their skills. Lawyers: looking out for your best interests, even when you can't understand a word that is said.

Greatest footnotes of all times

There are some great footnotes out there - and I am not just talking about the seminal due process footnote in United States v. Carolene Products, 304 U.S. 144, 152 n.4 (1938).

For those of you who have yet to see these gems, you absolutely must check out the greatest footnotes in modern jurisprudence:

United States v. Murphy, 406 F.3d 857, 859 n.1 (7th Cir. 2005).*

In re King, No. 05-56485-c (U.S. Bankr. Ct. W.D. Tex. Feb. 21, 2006) (order denying motion for incomprehensibility) (note 1).**

*Sorry there is no link to this one, but if you aren't in a position to look this up, you probably wouldn't appreciate it anyhow...

** Thanks to "Nye!" at YCGAFBA for this one

E-mail of the Day

My dad receives a voluminous amount of email every day from one of my other relatives. While sorting through it, he forwards what he considers the good email on to me. This usually consists of between 5 and 10 emails a day, most of which are at least mildly amusing. Because I have a plethora of old email from him, I thought that I would pass them along to you from time to time.

Without further ado, here is today's nugget of joy:

"Slipped Out"

An elderly couple was attending church services.

About halfway through, the wife leans over and says:
"I just slipped out a silent fart - what do you think I should do?"

The husband replies:
"Put a new battery in your hearing aid."

Allow ourselves to introduce... ourselves...

Well, since we have just sort of jumped right into this blogging thing without much by way of introduction, I thought now would be a good time to let our readers (both of them) know what to expect from us. Here are some basics:

(1) We are all law students at a school in Alabama - If you read this blog at all, I'm sure you can figure out which one...

(2) We all have pretty conservative views, and intent to use this blog as a forum to discuss them - however we will be glad to entertain any contrary (i.e. Pinko) views that you wish to advance in the comments section

(3) We intend to remain anonymous (hence the Groom pseudonyms) - if you read this blog and you think that you have figured us out, please keep it to yourself so that we can pretend that nobody knows

(4) Our content will not be restricted to any particular theme or topic - you can some expect serious entries, some entirely frivolous entries, some dealing with substantive points of law that we find interesting, and some just poking fun of people and/or things (what you will not find are cutesy-putesy posts with headings like "Law School is Like a Box of Chocolates...")

(5) Anyone is free to comment on this blog free from censorship - provided you refrain from profane or outright slanderous language

(6) We are not bitter people (moderately disgruntled sometimes, but not bitter), so don't expect a lot of posts about how much we think law school sucks. I don't suggest that we all love law school all the time, but bitching is just not what we are all about. Call us gunners, call us a bunch of dorks, we don't care - law school just aint that bad. If you are looking for a pity party, there are plenty of those law school blogs out there... (See e.g. Law Bitches; The Bitter Law Student; and Barely Legal)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Prayer Study in the NY Times

The NY Times just posted a story entitled "Long Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer." The paper described the study thus:

"In the study, the researchers monitored 1,802 patients at six hospitals who received coronary bypass surgery, in which doctors reroute circulation around a clogged vein or artery.
The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.
The researchers asked the members of three congregations — St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul; the Community of Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Mass.; and Silent Unity, a Missouri prayer ministry near Kansas City — to deliver the prayers, using the patients' first names and the first initials of their last names.
The congregations were told that they could pray in their own ways, but they were instructed to include the phrase, "for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."
Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.
In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers' prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety."

Well, I am convinced. I will never pray again because of this study, and I certainly won't tell people I am praying for them because I don't want to make them sicker. I mean I only prayed in the first place because I thought that faith was scientifically verifiable and that there was no supernatural being that could act on people in ways we don't understand. If God won't intervene in instances where people are told by researchers to pray for other people for the purposes of proving that prayer works, when will he intervene? It takes a lot of faith and requires a lot of sincerity and deep belief to pray for people when you are told to pray for them by 3rd parties.
Could somebody please explain what the purpose of this study could possibly be? We can't pin God in a box and force him to heal certain people for the purposes of a scientific study. Any mature person of faith would tell you that. If we could, then why not just do studies like this all the time with every person in the world? If the study had come out the other way, I seriously doubt that the Times would have proclaimed that God acts when we pray; instead they would almost certainly have stated that one study seems to show that prayer works but that it hardly proves anything except that when people believe God will help their belief influences their healing. Somehow God would lose either way and the study would end up signifying nothing. If the results aren't going to be believed either way, why conduct such a useless study in the first place?
This study was privately funded, but did you catch the line in the story that said " The government has spent more than $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000." I thought that there was an insurmountable wall between church and state? So how come the government is funding research that is trying to prove or disprove prayer? Must be a pretty low wall. I am so proud that my tax dollars are going to fund such laudable research. I would pray that it is successful but the studies haven't shown that my prayers would do any good.

Shrimp Boat's Law School Quote of the Day

Student: Professor, can we have a floating exam?

Professor: I don't know; I've never given a floating exam before.

Student: Don't worry, we'll be very gentle since its your first time.

Recruiting Lessons

Though I do not pretend to be an expert on sports, I have come to the conclusion that I know more about basketball than Mark Gottfried and more about football than Mike Shula. Well, maybe not more about the sports, but more about recruiting. If I were the coach of either team, I would make a mandatory requirement for recruiting.
For basketball, I would promise not to recruit anyone who cannot dribble. I don't care if this high school great with tons of "upside" is 7 feet and can jump out of the gym, he must be able to dribble and pass. On this year's Alabama team, I was forced to watch our team play with 2 of 7 scholarship players who cannot dribble (Brock and Felix). This has been bugging me for a while so I thought I would vent.
For football, I would promise not to recruit wide receivers who cannot catch the football. I don't care if a guy runs a sub 4.0 forty, it doesn't matter how open he is if he can't catch. I'll take the 4.7 forty with great hands any day even if he doesn't have "upside." Possession receivers ala Hicks Poor and Chad Key are always good to have on a team.

Marriage and TV: the Vows Need Amending

During college, while I was single, I watched what I wanted on TV. This usually consisted Sportscenter for at least 3 hours in the morning, the Simpsons in the afternoon, and some sort of sporting event in the evening. I was happy and ESPN was selling ads at a premium price because it stayed on my TV for most of the day.
When I got married, all that changed. I really think that wedding vows should be amended to be "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, through chick flicks and the OC, until death do us part." Maybe I just missed it, but I was blind sided by just how much my TV viewing habits would change.
I am now hooked on Desperate Housewives: have never missed an episode. I have also seen every episode of Gray's Anatomy. To avoid watching the OC, One Tree Hill, and Gilmore Girls (the absolute worst show on television; there will be a separate post about that later), I am forced to leave my own living room.
Gone are the days of College basketball, baseball, and football whenever I wanted to watch them. This is not to say that I would give up my wife to get my TV freedom back (I would give up TV for good if she wanted me to); I just wish that I had been warned in advance about the change.
So single guys, I hope you enjoy watching those Thursday night football games and random college basketball games. There is some woman out there who will take them away from you one day and replace them with shows that feature giggling teenagers, college kids, and shallow plot lines. Prepare yourselves. You have been warned.

Time for Bush to go over the media's head

Perusing the headlines lately, I have become convinced that Bush is Hitler, Cheney eats babies, I am going to melt next week due to global warming, and that within a week Iraq's "civil war" is going to cause the South to secede from the union again. Does anybody else think the media is slightly overheated and has already chosen sides for the mid term elections this year? If I didn't know better (in other words, if they didn't tell me how objective they are), I would swear that they are intent on defeating Bush next fall even though he is not running.
To counter this, it is time for Bush to do what past presidents have done to rally the American people: go over the media's head by talking directly to the public. He should give more press conferences and speeches where he can explain, without the media's editorial remarks or distorting headlines, what he believes and why he should be supported. Reagan, Nixon, and Roosevelt did it; if it can work for them, it can work for Bush. While he is not the most articulate person and tends to invent words, he is genuine and passionate when he speaks and people respond to that. They don't say the president has the bully pulpit for nothing; it is time for Bush to use it to push back against a media eager for his, and his party's, defeat.

Investigating Barry Bonds: Its about Time

All I have to say is that it is about time. He should have been investigated years ago. Bonds saying he does not use steroids is like when the media tries to say that it is not biased or when you read at the top of the New York Times that it is "All the News that is Fit to Print": anybody who is paying any attention at all knows it just ain't true.
A few years ago Pete Rose was kicked out of baseball because of gambling on games and, because of the passage of time, he will never be in the baseball hall of fame. No one challenges that his records and statistics are not 100% real; in other words, when he was on the field, it was his talent and his hard work that resulted in an amazing career. I won't argue that he made poor choices in gambling, I just ask how he could be kicked out of baseball and kept out of the hall of fame for gambling and Barry Bonds can be allowed to continue to play year after year and come close to owning one of the most coveted records in baseball (the career home run record) without even a serious investigation into whether he was using steroids? The rumors have been floating around for years and he is as big as the side of a house, yet baseball has never bothered to seriously check into whether he was using steroids or not. While I can't predict the outcome of the investigation, I have a feeling that it won't vindicate Barry.
Should he be found to have used steroids, it will be interesting to see what the MLB does. It took them years to get up enough guts to investigate him; if that investigation reveals that he used steroids, how long will it take baseball to punish him? Will they have the guts to impose a proper punishment? If he did use steroids and there is any justice he will be kept out of the hall of fame and his name will be expunged from the ranks of Aaron and Ruth, two players who did not need steroids to hit 700 home runs. Baseball wouldn't do any favors for Pete Rose; it certainly shouldn't do any for Barry Bonds.


I may not be a smart man, but I know what blogging is.


Glad to you allowed the token female to join.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Our Patron Saint