This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby Boomers Can Blow Me: British Invasion

"What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?" ~ Cicero

"Every generation needs a new revolution." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Law Students Are Just Like Us! Felons!!!

"An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain - the equality of all men."  ~ Ignazio Silone

"If the laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the lawyers in the first place." ~ Lord Halifax

So I was going through my daily routine of information sources, see above, and read about the thrilling conclusion to one my favoritest stories of an aspiring law student's shenanigans ever.  Now my absolute favorite is that piece of shit from HLS who committed arson and got away scott-free for no other reason than he was an HLS student 

*Sidenote, I sincerely hope that jackass gets brutally raped by a pack of ravenous hyenas or at the very least has to field test Bob Dole's viagra prescription...that way he'll have something to blog about when Above the Law hires him to write about the gay dating scene in NY BigLaw

No no, the story of law student gone batshit crazy is good old Kumari Fulbright (see below).

Welp, she done be going off to prison in the Cactus State or whatever the fuck represents Arizona. Readers? Any idea? I'm not wasting my time Googling a place that should still rightfully be a territory.

Good Luck Kumari!!! Maybe you'll become the next great made for TV movie about someone who pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, gets that jailhouse law degree and fights for justice!! Or maybe you better learn how to make a shiv real quick...

Till Next Time!!! Watch Out For Drunk Harvard Law Students!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All the Real Reasons Lemmings Go to Grad School

College Humor hits it on the head again...sadly this pretty much sums it up for 99.9% of the population whether you're a Master's Student, PhD, or Law Student.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

City With Stupid Children In It!!! Part Tres - What Makes An Education?

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." ~ Albert Einstein, considered functionally retarded for the majority of his education 

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it." ~ J. Bronowski

Miss me fuckers? Why yes, this has been the longest period of time between posts since I started this blog, and that is on purpose.  As many of my fellow scambusters have commented on before, it's awfully depressing once you get a full grasp of the scope of the problem we rail against (doing it on a regular basis very quickly turns into a downward spiral for me although I've heard it helps some to know they're not alone--as if seeing other people drowning with you in the Atlantic after the Titanic went down somehow made up for the fact that you are still going to drown).  I wanted to give this post some thought and look at the world around me (as I may very well be nearing the end of my blogging days).  Which brings us to my current topic:

It's been said that an educational system isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn't teach them how to make a life--but it really isn't worth a damn if it doesn't do either.  

The reason that education is often touted as a silver bullet is that it's assumed the key to all of our problems as a society reside in our minds.  Education is supposedly like re-engineering the mind to be better.  I should know.  The administrators and powers that be in the Higher Ed Industrial Complex would have many of you innocent readers believe, or at least include it in their catalogs & brochures, that I am an example of the "elite."  Having reached a pinnacle of the educational mountain...a spot worthy of admiration, recognition, and emulation...I represent what you could one day hope to be.

I can firmly assert for you that my "doctorate" in law has neither given me the knowledge nor opportunity to make a living let alone know what constitutes a good life.  If anything, I think my study of the law has hurt me as I am now far less creative, bold, or generally upbeat than I used to be.  Whenever I do anything, the issue of liability always pops up whereas before I only thought about responsibility (these are two very different concepts).  I don't believe that the type of knowledge we want to endow to students can be actually be learned in a fact there doesn't seem to be much of anything being learned in the classrooms.

So this all started with me getting pissed at the release of a bullshit documentary entitled Waiting for Superman created by a child of ultimate privilege (Yes I actually do know the Guggenheims so I don't mind saying they're an odd bunch irl, no it's not bragging and it probably makes it easier to identify me--but I bring it up so it doesn't sound like it's the bitter ranting of someone who is just suffering from class envy).  I loathe going into an exploration of another person's intent, for that is a slippery slope, but I can look at the argument being presented.  Suffice to say, that it's the kind of film that could only be made by an outsider looking in (meaning someone with Guggenheim's background and political bent).  In the same way that all many law schools put the onus on the individual student to recoup the losses from shelling out a ridiculous tuition just for the privilege of having a chance at practicing law, also called blaming the victim, so too does Waiting for Superman make the error of focusing on people and not the systems in which they operate.

I could waste a lot of space by lambasting what's wrong with the argument presented by Guggenheim, but if you really care that much about the first step in the process depicted below, ***See the Emperor Has No Clothes On argument by Professor Ayers...of course he's not tenured.

Now as the greatest fucking place on Earth would assume that Amerika, also having the finest higher educational system ever known to existence, would have a citizenry who are really fucking smart or at the very least "educated." would be entirely wrong.  We've been steadily getting stupider as a society with every passing decade.  Well that's really just hyperbole isn't it?

What I meant was that we have been getting progressively more ignorant as time marches on as a society (which in a lot of ways is way way worse because it's largely a conscious decision whereas you can't fix stupid).  Waiting for Superman and other like-minded education reformers bemoan the disparity in testing scores and opportunities for all to "thrive" in high school and get a chance to go onto college or even *gasp* graduate or law school.  Here's the thing, I don't equate formalized education to providing a better life.  There was a brief glimmer in American life when having a degree did actually help, but as many recent grads not so much.

There's a fantastic book entitled "The Dumbest Generation" by Mark Bauerlein which speaks directly to this subject.  It's also the only book I've come across, amongst the many lately released about how the television, videogames & the interwebs are making us stupider as a people by usage alone.  Bauerlein's book actually makes coherent arguments instead of many authors who just write the equivalent of a drawn out, Frankenstein-like cry of "Fire Bad!" while watching people using facebook or texting.

**For more on this trend you can read articles like this one Is Google Making Us Stupid? which I believe just became a full fledged book entitled The Shallows (he's part of the anti-tech crowd).  Also check out the counter arguments by people who claim that this is really just an older generation completely out of touch, here's one from a Video Game Guru and here's one slamming Old, Out of Touch male fiction authors portraying young whippersnappers as the assclowns that ruined America.

However, I don't blame technology, at least not entirely, for the increase in our societal stupidity.  Instead it's a cultural shift where we're no longer actually focusing on learning.  We've got a program that's focused on testing not thinking (certainly not questioning).

The human brain is basically the best computer on earth.  Like all computers it has a couple of key functions: memory and processing.  If we look at how people think, we all have a memory of figures, facts, data, etc.  For example, any 1L can tell you that an assault is the immediate apprehension of blah diggity blah.  Even though many of us read on a regular basis (as those news stories the picture box about e-reader sales would have me believe).  When we do read, we aren't reading the kind of stuff that makes up a "healthy" literary diet (*See Twilight).

Although as we're all going to be diabetic in fifty years, the fact that we both read and eat crap shouldn't be surprising.  That we're reading crap like Twilight or spending the majority of our time watching television will affect only the "memory" part of our brains.

The far more important element is the processing part.  If we follow our assault example, this is where we would look at a fact pattern and explain how what happened relates to the rule of law.  From what I and many of my friends who are teachers will tell you about the trials and tribulations of passing knowledge onto the young, whether it's elementary school or community college courses on "justice" which is not a bad gig for you soon to be Lawyers out there, the Holy Grail of learning is critical pedagogy (go ahead and google it as that is replacing your brain functions).

Teachers would love to teach their students how to think, process, question, etc. but they can't because they have to spend all their time focusing on some bullshit standardized test.  Here's the type of question you will be asked, here's what the answer the test wants is, here is your needed score, blah blah blah.  There actually used to be a time where tests of any kind didn't exist, but then so many people started going to school that they had to create some way of grading whether the student got anything from their time learning.

Here's one problem with a test.  Testing benefits a very specific portion of the population.  This is exacerbated by ongoing, unaddressed structural issues that have persisted across generations.  However it's pretty clear that it's become an enemy, or at the very least an unwelcome nuisance, to real education.

For those of you who've stayed with me, here's where school/education comes in.  Comparatively, America has more people spending more of their life in school, be it elementary or postgraduate, getting an education than ever before.  If that's the case, how in the ever loving fuck can anyone explain some of the facts accumulated in Bauerlein's book?

Here's some of my favs:

- 2001 NAEP history exam of high school seniors, 57% scored below basic on history knowledge [basic defined as "partial master of prerequisite knowledge and skills that allow for proficient work at a selected grade level].  52% thought that Gemany, Japan or Italy were America's allies in World War II.  When this test was administed in 2006, 75% couldn't explain a photo of a movie theater's door that read "Colored Entrance."

- 2005 NAEP science exam for high school seniors, 46% of the test takers didn't reach the basic threshold.

Uh maybe it gets better in other areas or higher grade levels?  How do the college kids fare?

- Well how about for starters that there has been a 20% drop in engineering degrees awarded since 1985.  I wonder what the percentage increase of law degrees awarded since 1985 has been (and no I don't mean that rare few who have science backgrounds and go into patent type work when they can find it).  Of all the doctorates awarded by American Universities in the sciences like engineering, over half go to foreign born students.

- 22% of college seniors recognized a line from the Gettysburg Address, but 98% recognized Snoop Dogg

-63% could not identify Iraq on a map

It goes on and on and on...

When there are even modest improvements in some of these indicators, as in the latest NAEP scores released from 2009, there's a very unsettling phenomenon...

"Reading scores for 12th-graders have ticked up slightly since 2005, but have dipped when compared with 1992. The reading-score gaps between white students and their black and Hispanic counterparts haven't budged."


"State test scores are revealing for Jefferson County Public School students.  Here’s a look at the number of proficient students in reading based on last year’s state test scores.

-    70% of White Students

-    47% of Black Students
-    61% of Hispanic Students
-    79% of Asian Students

“It is an issue of racism, passive racism.  It’s not something where someone is trying to hurt somebody. It’s a passive racism and it sometimes comes out as a culture and not being able to work with that,” said Dr. Bernard Minnis with Jefferson County Public Schools. Minnis says there is a cultural divide in the classroom.  Often times, teachers don’t understand some of the challenges Black kids face, issues like poverty, low parental involvement, and tough neighborhoods. There is also the issue of kids not wanting to appear “too White”.  There is sometimes a perception that doing well in class means you are not being Black enough. “It really does hold kids back.  I watched my kids struggle with that ‘you don’t act Black, you talk White,’” said Minnis."
[taken from here, also this trend holds nationally not just for Jefferson County for those of you fact a lot of other studies shows the gap is far far worse]

We're teaching everyone what they need on a test by test basis rather than say trying to create a society of well-informed, thinking citizens.

Here's another interesting correlation between test scores & who does well on them:

Yes that's right.  The wealthier your family is the stronger the correlation is to high test scores.  Now it may have something to do with the fact that a lot of these wealthy parents have the kind of disposable income that they can put their 5 year old into tutoring classes for thousands of dollars.

Anyone who has an eye on law school knows exactly how important the LSAT is to their so called future (which is why so many people shell out thousands of dollars for study courses, programs, materials etc.).  Does it have any bearing on law school performance or the "art" of lawyering?  I and many others have doubt, but that doesn't matter.  The entire legal profession has become ruled by 2 things: the LSAT & the US News Ranking.  That's it and that's not a good thing.

When you have a system that focuses primarily on tests it's not education.  A test is supposed to function like a gauge for measurement.  Imagine if rather than enjoying the experience of actually driving a car like on those black and white commercials, you focused instead only on how well the fuel gauge was moving on the console. 

Education in America is not about educating or enlightening.  It's become a stagnant pool of outdated methods and measurements.  The only ones who truly benefit are those with enough resources, usually financial rather than intellectual, to escape the matrix-like environment in which they find themselves.  In essence, it's a failure of what public education was meant to be.  School was never intended to make "teachers" wealthy (I put teachers in quotations because I'm sure many school deans, presidents & administrators self identify as teachers).

Nor was it meant to impoverish those who attend.  Maybe that's why so many first world, industrialized nations have removed education from the market place.  Those who can't or don't want to attend school past a certain point don't have to...and society will figure out a way to allow you to actually contribute while earning a living (in say the trades).

I'm sure Nando knows how much public law schools, in say California, are charging in tuition compared to their peers (I'd be willing to bet it's disproportionately high and it's gotten totally ridiculous compared to where it was two decades ago).

When I started to learn about this, back when I gave a fuck, I had the same reaction as when we I looked around the room at my peers as we spent incredible amounts of time in my law school classes on what used to be considered basic civics (such as what are the three branches of government, their responsibilities, what the constitution and its many amendments are, how people get electecated..derp derp derp).  This was literally the first time many of them had come across some of this information.  Rather than teach me which court form I will actually have to include with my latest motion in my local court house, I had to hear about how some asshole used to divide his land in feudal Europe.

And this is where education becomes nothing more than a vehicle to continue a destructive cycle, the systems that supposedly creates "lawyers" as the so called "defenders of liberty" is a complete sham, and we're totally fucked as a generation all dovetails nicely into the simple act of a child wanting to read a book.

Stay Tuned for the thrilling conclusion of A City With Stupid Children In It!!! Till Next Time, Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A City With Stupid Children In It!!! Part Uno

"We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." ~FDR, the first president whose mother made him wear a dress till he was really check that shit.

Hello readers, and I guess I should welcome the haters too.  But let's be honest, haters gonna hate no matter what I do.  So y'all can go suck a fresh bag of dicks instead of wasting my time with bad comments after reading this post.  As I was saying my last couple of posts have been kinda...oh I don't know...See below

Not that this blog is intended to be a ray of sunshine, although in my defense it's pretty cloudy outside nowadays  (that's called a metaphor assclowns I use them often, see if you can pick up on them).  The vast majority of my posts have focused on the lost generation of law students.  Some of my fellow scambloggers are taking a hiatus or have permanently quit the thankless biz.  I don't blame them because in all honesty, it's hard to stay positive in the unemployment office legal profession today (not that lawyers are an upbeat population in the first place).  It's especially hard to keep posting to their target audience, the dreaded Law Zombie or Zero Lemming as I call them.  Why? It barely makes a dent in the sea of upturned faces of stupidity who are sure they'll be different.

They're a lost generation in so many different ways.  However, why limit it purely to law students? I define the lost generation as more than those people who have graduated from higher ed between the years of let's say 2006 to every year henceforth.  I also consider anyone between the ages of under the age of 35 as lost* (*does not include portion of population whose "mommy & daddy" will take care of things for them or expatriates).  I'm talking about the people who are subject to and highly influenced by the system we call "society," "America," what have you.  Because one way to look at it, as many social scientists do, is that any society is just a highly complex dynamic system subject to a number of different factors.  The ultra-wealthy have largely either exited the system entirely, as we have for the first time in human history created an entire class of wealth that is transnational, or influenced it in a way to cause sub-optimization throughout (also known by less scientifically minded communities, i.e. lawyers, as the "tragedy of the commons).  *See recent data on income disparity in the US being the highest ever as well as the "wealth gap."  Now I'm not a raving leftist, Marxist lunatic--Marxism is only one theory and I would hope that everyone knows by now that it's a shitty philosophical basis for a society.  *See history of the world.

Back to the under 35 crowd.  I think we're called Gen Y, Millenials, or whatever some Thomas Friedman old fucking blowhard decides to dub us on the cover of a bullshit book they sell to other old people or talk to even older people about on the picture box.  Besides the general lack of a future, there's another common understanding that we all seemed to have reached.  We're fucked up, most of us are one some kind of medication, and our future is bleak.  But the next generation is really, really really fucked.  I blame you Teachers for America, yeah that's right I said it.  You're all just window dressing on a burning building (more on that later & how the program is horseshit, but then again so is the Peace Corps, the Army Corps of Engineers, and many others so don't feel too bad kiddies).

Now the mainstream media & major news outlets, ever desperate to push some bullshit that a foppish fuck will find interesting to read on an Apple product, are going to be following 2 narratives in regards to the youngins in the coming weeks and months.

First, we got teenage kids dropping like flies by suicide all over the place, especially the gay ones from being taunted.  Hell, even the bullies are offing themselves--see Ohio case--which is a new development to me.  Most of the bullies in my past schools are still around & they're still assholes...they just got humbled by life now that they're older and kinda pitiful.

I was going to do a post explaining how the law is utterly useless to deal with this specific problem & why that's the case.  I hate to sound callous...but I couldn't really care less about this issue.

Even though suicide & the academic research on it has always fascinated me, there's more pressing shit in the world than teen suicide for whatever reason.  I find it especially interesting that the suicide rate has been going bananas since the end of World War II in the developed world.  I'll say it again because I don't get to use it enough, bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  In fact, even in the U.S., the world's #1 in so many good things like % of population in prison, the rate has gone up dramatically in the past decade.  Now I attribute this to what Durkheim called anomie or the Hopi called Koyaanisqatsi.  Proof of this may be found below

Oh boo hoo white kids, your life is hard it makes you wanna quit.  You know what kids in the other parts of the world are doing?  They're fighting wars.  Go try to be one of those kids for a day & then come back to bitch about how hard you have with "bullies"...well actually if you were in their spot you'd probably just stand still in a line of fire.

For the record, I'm obviously being facetious...or am I?  ANYWAY...

The second story that the mainstream media is gonna be dis-semini-nimacating, and the one I'm going to write about, is about the so called "education crisis."  By education crisis, do the gray ones mean that there's "too much of a good thing" and that most people have no fucking business being in higher ed annnnnnd they've created a generation of debt slaves that will cripple the nation?  See Cryn's stuff @ Education Matters


It's all basically going to be a long winded complaint about the quality of the goods in the marketplace, i.e. these schools are rotten I say!  Why! Look here! You just dyed the spoiled school red to make it look like fresh school before you canned it!!! You son of a bitch!!! (Replace "school" with "meat" for the history of how the USA got one of its first forms of consumer protection).

One of the problems that have been plaguing schools for the past few decades is that society allowed education to become a public commodity.  It turned the whole learning process into an arms race rather than a sincere exchange of knowledge, an honest search for truth and meaning, or endowing the next generation with the capacity to make the world better than they received it.  Instead it's what the Germans call a clusterfuck.  Once the standardized tests got involved that pretty much spelled doom for real learning.

Now Jonathan Kozol & many others have been crying in the wilderness about school reform 4-evs.  Kozol specifically links the failure of modern schools with their funding (relates to property taxes).  Rich people either cluster around neighborhoods with the best school and drive the poor, usually black, families out by raising property values OR they just do it the old fashioned way and opt out of the system entirely by using the private school or boarding school option.  The best part about being that rich, is that you can afford to pay taxes for public school & still have money left over for outrageous private schools whose tuition can easily be the same as a year at college (like the ones I attended, uniforms and all).

Oh yeah, it's a well groomed white girl who would find herself in such surroundings, although the argument could be made the artist did this deliberately because your close minded brain would have ignored a more realistic image.

See there's this new movie coming out called "Waiting for Superman" from the same jackass that made An Inconvenient Truth which was a spaghetti plate against the wall argument about global warming (because apparently we can't learn anything as a culture anymore unless there's a movie about it).  Coincidentally, he comes from one of those families that has so much money education made no difference for him.  Also, this piece of shit Guggenheim went to Sidwell Friends.  For those of you readers unaware of this Harvard-like institution, it's a private school in D.C.

This motherfucker had the audacity to make this video:

Oh yeah, it was that teacher that made the difference in your life.  Not the fact that you were a Guggenheim or that the teacher was at Sidwell Friends.  I haven't seen this movie yet nor do I intend to see it.  I have a guess it's going to go something like this, "Gee let me pontificate on something I know literally nothing about from an ivory tower."

As a sidenote, you know who else goes to Sidwell Friends?  Those Obama girls.  Now here's something their dad said:

But here's something else he's said about education...

"Obama, 49, had made the comment in response to a woman who asked whether Malia and Sasha Obama "would get the same kind of education at a D.C. public school" that they are getting at the D.C. private school.

"I'll be blunt with you: The answer is no," the Washington Post quoted Obama as saying on NBC's Today show.

"Right now D.C. public schools are struggling, but they have made some important strides over the last several years to move in the direction of reform. There are some terrific individual schools in the D.C. system," he stated.

Oh ok.  I see what you did there.  You know I've heard commentary about Obama being a black Jimmy Carter.  If I were Jimmy Carter I'd be pissed, at least Jimmy was fucking consistent...feckless & naive...but consistent.

Sidwell Friends, part of the grounds yes just part of them pictured above, is a little over $31,000 dollars a year in tuition.  Yeah that's right, even if you're in the 5th grade it's the same as a year at most law schools in the country.  So for two kids to be educated at Sidwell Friends from K-12, you're looking at over half a million dollars before you even try for college and the now mandatory graduate degree to follow.

Now I'm pretty sure Obama did some back-peddling on this comment and chalked up the need for Sidwell because of his girls' above average intelligence...for reelz they are like fucking rocket scientists multiplied by brain surgeons with some Ramanujan thrown that they need really advanced basic algebra compared to others in their age cohort.  Seen that movie with John Travolta called Phenomenon?  They're like that...all the time...and they don't die prematurely like he did.

But what if you're a girl who's just as smart as Sasha or Malia & your family can't afford Sidwell Friends, you don't get a voucher for one of those schools, or you don't win the literal lottery to get into the fabled "charter" school?

Let's say you drop out and focus on working, do you really need the added insult of having failed your country on top of it?  Are you just fucked?  Can a good teacher "make the difference" for you?  Is it that simplistic?

Stay tuned for Part Dos!!! The problem with teachers, schools & edumacation!!! Till Next Time, Go read an actual book you dumb fuckers!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HLS Law Grad Overdoses on Happy Pills - Dead at 44

"I didn’t think I was older until I went into an Abercrombie & Fitch and they looked at me like I was walking through a playground with my cock in my hand." ~ Greg Giraldo, very smart, very funny & tragically under-appreciated

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." ~ Ernest Hemingway, bought the gun he used to kill himself at an Abercrombie & Fitch before it was a gay nightclub

Yeah I bet you weren't expecting that...But consider this news as it relates to what you want out of your life, plucky Zero Lemmings and Current Prisoners of the Law School Industrial Complex (especially you lower tiers).

El Grego was actually a Harvard Law Alum back before the Great Purging of the Great Recession at BigLaw and went to work for the renown Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Fllom LLP (sounds a lot like Wolfram Hart from the tv show Angel no?).  Having literally made it to the very top of the legal world, he found himself wanting and changed careers.  Like a lot of other future suicides ex-attorneys he decided to try his hand at another career (see recent news articles about the same and also comedian Demetri Martin who got out after his first year of Law School--that's a smart one).  He also had what could easily be considered a successful career in comedy and it's a shame that he took his own life had an accidental overdose.

HLS grads dying at their own hand is nothing fact I'd be willing to bet it's as strong as a tradition there as the summer associateship.

Till Next Time!!! Duck and weave and watch out for accidentally ingesting a fatal dose of pills!!!!...That you have to consciously put in your mouth and swallow...accidentally...(seriously though RIP Greg).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lawyers, Guns & Money: Texas Edition

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~ Alexander Hamilton, shot to death in a duel

Just a quick post because this made me laugh out loud in my cage cubicle and I thought I'd share it (if you want to have a longer discussion on what law school did to my sense of humor and humanity, feel free to email as it will likely make me rofl!).  

As a member of the Federalist Society and a gun owner myself, which I look forward to using once society collapses in the next few years, I'm not making a political statement at all.  But about bad timing.  I'm sure that the Federalist Society will press on with the presentation (seriously someone let me know if that shit gets cancelled).

For those of you not in the know, on the same day the UT Law's Federalist Society was planning on having an intellectually stimulating and well thought out debate on arming the public, a 19 year old kid named Colton decided to go to the Austin campus library and light the place up before killing himself.

In no way should you draw a parallel to the "clueless" nature of the fishbowl known as law school and the larger legal profession (Legal profession could not be reached for comment as it is currently re-locating to the second world, see India). Regardless of this unfortunate incident, as I'm sure someone will either use that phrase or the word tragic, my Federalist Society's chapter presentations were always quite rational with topics ranging from gun rights, to gays are the devil and spoil children, why the federal government is evil in every way, and other prescient topics that I thought it would cover when I first joined (they made sure to collect the dues before I dropped out too).  For more data on how gun ownership directly causes a decrease in crime--see Iraq, Afghanistan, Ivory Coast and some spots in  Sub-Saharan Africa!  Kiss kiss bang bang y'all!

I could write a long, pithy insightful post about the many facets of this...but fuck it....picture's worth a thousand words.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recession Done Gone Mainstream

"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." ~ Henry David Thoreau, yeah that's right the jackass who lived in the cabin...

Go check out our new combined site Down by Law!!!

What can I say my darling readers, when you're working as many hours as I do just to scrape by the last thing I often have the energy for is to blog about exactly how shitty everything is right now, how it was preventable & thus hastening the ever darkening spiral into eventual suicide depression.  Don't worry recent law grads, you'll soon find out what I mean.  In the meantime...

The post I have about the arguments made by the book Life Without Lawyers is coming, 4 reelz, along with many others but if you really can't wait and don't have the money for the book by Mr. Howard check this shit out:

In other awesome news, the Great Recession is getting its first major Hollywood treatment.  In a society and a media culture where literally nothing is sacred or above being distilled down into consumable, money making entertainment, the Great Recession done be getting it's own movie!  In a world where the entertainment industry makes a movie about facebook, several about 9/11 & at least a dozen about the Iraq War even though soldiers and civilians are still dying in it--btw every single one of those Iraq movies even the award winning Hurt Locker is basically a recycled Vietnam movie...only with sand.  The fact that they're making this gem makes my genitals tingle with glee.

This is great for so many reasons, the following come in terms of immediacy rather than importance:

1)  It's definately about the Great Recession because well just fucking watch it, and read the description:
"Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers.

Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humor, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells (the creator of "ER") introduces us to the new realities of American life."

2)  Quote of the clip "I'm a 37 year old unemployed loser!"  Bee-tee-dubs, anyone notice that all the Company Men be white...all white guys with the whitest names possible besides John Smith...maybe that's why this Recession is so hard.  Even though the numbers still reveal which segments of our society benefit from structural privilege, for the first time this portion of society is discovering what so many women, "minorities," and blue collar people already's hard son...we are so so sorry you can't golf no more.

3)  Chris Cooper threatening to shoot up everybody at his job, because that's the new norm!!!  

4)  The little girl equating unemployment = unhappiness...on many levels this is true, especially for Americans.  But I was recently talking to a friend, who was raised in Thailand, about this and she pointed out that Buddhist monks may be amongt the poorest in the world...yet they're surprisingly happy.  I asked, "Don't they know better?"

5)  Kevin Costner is playing what appears to be a blue collar, working with your hands type carpenter/construction worker--rather than some corporate pansy.  I'm going to take a wild guess that his depiction will be "unsophisticated" and yet somehow self-reliant (for my take on the white collar v blue collar debate go check out my post on the epic book Shop Class as Soul Craft).  Also Kevin Costner has a beer in his hand for most of the trailer, that's so blue collar!!  Hollywood knows where it's bread is buttered, the vast majority of moviegoers are the "everyman" not corporate executives who spend their days detailing a $100K sportscar and golfing.  The trend of the movies where the "everyman" was the hero began in the 1970s, partially as a reaction to the counterculture of the 60s (and has picked up steam ever since).  One thing I noticed is that Kevin Costner has an expression in all his trailer scenes which suggest an "above it all-ness" when talking with Benjamin Affleck much like a parent watching a pouting child.

6)  Uh there's one black guy in the whole thing.  Shocker--it appears he's under/unemployed as well like Ben Affleck.  However, if the movie industry rarely makes a movie like this with a black male lead (or any movies with a black male lead, can't wait to see if NBC's new series Undercovers tanks because of pigment).  When Hollywood does do a movie with a black male lead who is intelligent and well spoken it's pretty much always the story about the black guy rising above the fact that he's black (*See Grand Canyon, Pursuit of Happyness, etc. ad infinitum, also see Denzel Washington's acceptance speech for Training Day where he did a WTF? After all my movies you give it to me for playing the most stereotypical black character possible?).  

No really, there are a couple of minorities in the background in some street shots but that's it.  This is a white person's movie, like so many rom-coms and baby boomer featurettes.  Don't believe me? Try to stop it at the scene towards the end of the trailer where Chris Cooper is sitting in some kind of dining room...all whites, smiling, happy, wealthy white people...oh you do love to stereotype and/or reinforce them.

7)  Let's face it, we all know life coaching, trainings and all that other feel good self-help stuff is bullshit...and it's been getting jammed down our throats in the mainstream press more and more as the Recession doesn't let up.  We don't even have to comment on it we can just tell by Ben Affleck's face (btw that's who the audience is supposed to connect with which is also why he's the archetypal white American male).  Dave Chappelle sums it up well below...

8)  Chris Cooper's gonna shoot some bitches with an AK47!!!!  I know I mentioned it...but does anyone else find it weird that in the USA he could probably get an automatic rifle easier than another job?

9)  The tag line "In America, we give our lives to our jobs...This Fall...It's time to take them back."  Chris Cooper get your AK!!!!

Well since they're making a movie, that must make it real.  As Stephen Colbert says, the market has spoken about Global Warming.  The Great Recession has been going on long enough that they had time to make a movie of it.  Oh America...when will you grow up?


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Are you a Lawyer? Probably Not

Just to lighten up my posts--happy 90210 day!! Literally, it's 90210. Also watch out for that hurr-e-kane Earl.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Have a Dream: Life Without Lawyers

"Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady or gentleman of seventy years complete, Who've made 'us youth' wait too--too long already For an estate, or cash, or country seat." ~ George Gordon aka Lord Byron

Since the last time I posted dear readers, there have been quite a few developments.  It's actually been the longest break between posts since I started this blog, but I've got shit to do to try and survive and sometimes I just don't have the strength to deal with this shit on a regular basis.  Instead, I skip across the surface like a rock on a superfund pond because the kids can't go swimming in it anymore.

         First, the ABA should, based on Locke's suggestion, change their name to Always Be Accrediting.  They've already destroyed the "legal services" market by allowing too many schools to pump out way too many graduates for too many years.  However, just for good measure they want to beat the dead horse by accrediting law schools OUTSIDE OF THE US for the purposes of bar passage.  It's the most ridiculous shit I've ever heard.

     Second, the number one question I had when Ethan Haines announced its hunger strike was whether it was legitimate.  Guess what?  Ethan Haines turned out to be some useless shill who did the whole thing as a publicity stunt to try and sell a book about "how to succeed in law school."  As I commented on another blog, she's simply a traitor to the legitimate grievances aired by groups like Law School Transparency and the scambusters on blogs like this.  She's the law school equivalent of an askari soldier in east Africa working for the British empire or a jewish guard in the Nazi ghettos.

My favorite is that she's a self-declared international lawyer and went to Thomas Cooley....that's in Nebraska or something right?  A few questions I have for the "international lawyer" would be along the following lines: Parlez-vous fran├žais? Deutsch? Spent alot of time working in a civil law country? ANY OTHER COUNTRY? Do you currently live and work in an international city like NYC, DC, London, Paris, LA, Berlin, or anywhere but Nebraska or wherever the hell you are?   Answer to all of the above?...Highly doubtful.  Based on her logic, I can now start calling myself Iron Man just because I want to have his high tech suit of armor.  You know who else operates like that? The people in the padded rooms screaming I am Napoleon!

Getting a book about how to "make it in the law" from Zenovia Evans/Ethan Haines is the equivalent of hiring a pedophile for kindergarten teacher, getting a facial from a leper, or being poor white trash in Kansas and voting Republican.  That moron is the last person to give advice, but I certainly have some for her---

        Third, and most interesting to me, is the fact that the Great Recession is turning out to really be a poorly named combination of the historical Great Depression from the 1930s & the Long Depression from the 1870s.  Things are not improving and all of the stories I come across are that the current rate of unemployment may stay steady for a decade or more.  The birth rate has actually dropped in the US for the first time in a century, which is probably due to the recession.

In fact, it's so bad that some assclown out there is proposing that our society has managed to create a new stage of development dubbed "emerging adulthood."  It's so ridiculous I don't have the strength to really go into it but go check out Scammed Hard! for an excellent deconstruction of the bullshit story.

I will say that it's not surprising that people who are physically older in our society seem to be culturally/emotionally/psychologically younger than what used to be the norm, however I attribute this largely to a culture that infantilizes its subscribers.  For example, everyone in our culture idolizes youth, being young, and youth culture much more than they ever have before.  Also frightening to me is the sexualization of children, but for great coverage on how fucked up we are go check out this EPIC SOCIOLOGY BLOG and search the tags.

Now back to what I was saying, I have a dream--a life without lawyers But someone beat me to the punch...

Stay tuned as I go through what I agree with in this book & some of the flaws and shortcomings of this guy's vision and action plan!!!! (hint, the book got an endorsement from Newt Gingrich)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Who is Demosthenes & The Ideal Lawyer

"All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind. You fucktard." ~
Abraham Lincoln

Every time I see some piece of shit, law school dean or beneficiary, such as the cabal of pedophiles formerly known as US News and World Report, they extoll the virtues of gambling.  Here's the bet they encourage you to make.  If you sign up with them to throw down 100K of debt or more can be assured of a salary starting AT A MINIMUM of $60,000.

Hisssssssssssss, no master Zero'll be different....mathematical certainty plays no part in your potential'll be fine after shelling out hundreds of thousands in non-dischargeable debt with no job market and cocksuckers claiming that legal outsourcing to India is a good thing...hissssssssss...btw do you see any small children whose genetalia I can fondle? I work for US News & World Report.....

Such deception is not new, and has a long history in the passing of human affairs.  In fact, in Nazi Germany, they decorated the train station of the death camp at Treblinka to appear as if it were a mountain ski resort rather than the place where men, women, and children would be gassed and burned so as to destroy any evidence.  The logic behind this, on the part of US News and World Report Nazis, was cold and calculated, "If we make them believe that they are not being led to the slaughter, then they will much more readily comply with our demands."  It worked back in the 1930's and it works today (true story--learn to read).

In terms of readership, I often get more pageviews when I discuss my personal situation.

Who am I? What school did I attend? Where do I practice law? How was my academic record there?  Did I "network"?

***Above, A young Demosthenes at play at one of his/her parents many country club events...

Apparently, these are the questions that every aspiring Zero Lemming asks of him or herself in comparison with their personal situation after viewing a scamblog.  I will say this--and it will be the end of any discussion about who is Demosthenes.

Right now, I could quit the job I currently have, which is the same thing I was doing before I went to law school, and use my family connections to make 3 or 4 times my current income (equivalent to over 200K dollars a year).  In fact, I know that I could quit my job tomorrow & make more money using nepotism than someone who was on the Harvard Law Review could ever dream of making in a single year (Ridiculously Racist HLS 3L Law Review Editor gets away with it LOL).  I'm close friends with numerous millionaires who attended the finest schools & inherited more money than they know what to do with.  Unfortunately, I'm retarded (much like Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins who had to go thousands of miles away before anyone forgot his name).

I happen to be of the opinion that my happiness can only be measured against those of my peers; that my freedom is only equivalent to those of us at the bottom of society.  To quote Frederick Douglass, "Truth is of no color, right is of no sex, God is the father of us all--we are all brethren."  If I were to take the "easy" way out, then I would have such a low opinion of myself that I wouldn't be able to face myself in a puddle in the street corner mirror every morning.  My childhood looked nothing like that of my fellow scamblogger Locke, nor would I ever pose that the struggles I faced through my life could be compared to that kind of material deprivation. Suffice to say, I have had my own struggles as do we all.  Ironically, despite our disparate backgrounds, scambusters like Locke & I find ourselves on the same side of the fence in the scambusting battle--I know this may make some people's heads explode with confusion.

I would rather struggle on my own in anonymity than cash in on my "connections" because I wouldn't have earned it by my own two hands.  I value that far beyond my own material comfort, and maybe that makes me a poser or a piece of shit---but fuck you I don't answer to you.  Were you to do a google search of my real name and background info, you would find someone who comes from a highly successful family with great "connections" who was amongst the highest achievers in every forum that he/she found him/herself & had the best grades and test scores possible, & has received all kinds of recognition (feel free to make comparisons to the William Shatner & Ben Folds cover of "Common People" in emails or comments).  That's as far as I'll go in terms of the whole JD Underground argument of "All scambloggers must be bitter, underachieving losers," because really it's not worth taking the time to refute. 

Thus, we find ourselves in America's current climate and what law schools promise prospective students versus reality.  ***See below

In such instances, my undergraduate, far more than my graduate, training is helpful.  I quote now from the same Vocations book that I did several posts ago.  Therefore dear reader, I ask of you this question, asked by the writer some 100 years ago, "Who is THE IDEAL LAWYER?"

Who is the ideal lawyer, what are his characteristics, what his essential elements and qualifications?

Much like David "Douchebag" Lat, of Above the Law who believes that female lawyers need to develop a thicker skin and that the answer to the question "Why did the woman cross the road?" is "Who gives a shit what was she doing out of the kitchen?"----the quotations  from this book assumes that the ideal lawyer is a man.  As a male, am I or am I just blogging that I am?, I personally find this offensive.  Not only because it diminishes the potential and the contributions that my female counterparts have to offer the legal profession, but that it makes males out to be pompous, sexist assholes...oh fuck it let me just say again David Lat of Above the Law is a fucking Douchebag and I hope he gets raped at gun point ala Jodie Foster  in The Brave One (a bad modern remake of Death Wish).  Maybe then he'd have some semblance of a soul (also I have noticed for some time that the phraseology or subject matter of my, and my fellow scambloggers, posts have "reappreared" in various Above the Law posts...but far be it from me to accuse those pieces of shit journalists with theft plagirism).

Let us instead examine what the "ideal lawyer" looked like 100 years ago before this shit got out of hand (black italic the book, blue bold is me).

And first let me say that he is honest with his clients, with the court and jury, with the public and himself.  And this honesty is not, like good clothes, put on for prayer meetings and social occasions, and put off in times of meetings and social occasions, and put off in times of business or politics.  It is that thorough, ingrained honesty which knows but one time, and that is life; but one duty, and that is action.

Upon reading this, the culpability of the asslickers policymakers at the ABA, state bar administrations, and big law firms should be readily apparent.  It is the greatest criticism that I could make of them, that I happened to be one of the suckers who believed the shit they shilled about lawyers being the defenders of liberty, pursuers of justice only to find myself surrounded by snakeoil salesmen and kiddie rapists like no other industry I had been a part of thus far is my fault alone (and you out there considering law school after reading scambusting blogs have no fucking excuse whatsoever).

I have been on the bench, trial and appellate, for forty-one and a half years, have held court in a dozen states, have had before me thousands of lawyers, and only in a single instance did I ever detect one in a deliberate intentional lie, and I soon made his practice in my court so inconvenient that he left the state.

Oh, just judges, defenders of freedom and truth!!!!  We need you now (besides the federal court in California).  Should the members of our profession to be held, consistently, to such a standard as they profess then we would never find ourselves in a situation where the ABA washes their hand of responsibility and US News says the problem is that there AREN'T ENOUGH LAW SCHOOLS!!!!

It must be confessed that there is on the part of many engaged in criminal practice a desire to succeed even at the expense of justice--delaying the trial by all the strategy known to the profession until feeling may be supposed to have died out, some of the witnesses have disappeared or their memories become uncertain, striving to get a friendly juror on the panel, seeking in all possible ways to cast some technical error into the trial in order that, if the verdict and judgment be against their client, a reversal may be secured in an appellate court; in short, so conducting the whole trial that justice becomes weary and the guilty escapes. Anything for the sake of acquittal is their motto, and a victory however gained is heralded as proof of their ability.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....Totally unbelievable....that attorneys, criminal or otherwise, would employ such methods just to win.  As a practicing attorney, I can tell you right now, Plucky Zero Lemming who loves to lick the hot cockshaft of the lies they shill you to believe the highest professional aspirations and standards put out by law schools, that I have never encountered such "dishonest" practices by my fellow members of the bar in the name of the billable hour.  No no no no.  It's all Perry Mason and Law & Order episodes in the real world kids.  Go suck a bag of dicks if you can't pick up on my sarcasm.

Were I called upon to name the one element most important in the make-up of the ideal lawyer, I should unhesitantingly say, Character. And wisely in the economy of life that is also the one element most essential to success.  Brains without character may display a brilliancy of achievement. But pyrotechnics are short-lived. That which endures, upon which all rely, is Character. The lawyer who has it has the confidence of the judge and jury; he who has it not is suspected from the moment of his appearance.  A story of Abraham Lincoln is an illustration: he was appointed to defend one charged with murder....

This is what the law schools and pieces of shit like Andrew T. Hayashi hope you, as a Zero Lemming, don't pick up on.  Law school does not equate to character, nor does it develop it.  The people I went to school with, who had the most "character" had it before law school, during, and after.  There was nothing magical in the process that granted it to them.  They either arrived with it or they didn't.  The scumbags on law review & moot court who had that "brilliancy" sans character were just that--shells of what human beings and the ideal lawyer should be.  Were they to go "solo" you wouldn't trust them with a potato gun let alone your business' incorporation, divorce proceeding, or neighbor's tree going over your property line (mostly because they're quasi-autistic weirdos who can't relate to human beings face to face--not that I'm knocking autistics if you're stupid enough to still go to law me you'll see what I mean).

While the ideal lawyer must be an honest man, the converse is not true.  An honest man will not always make an ideal lawyer.  He must be a constant student...Every increase in civilization, making as it does the social and business life more complex, increase the demands for a larger storehouse of knowledge on the part of the lawyer.  Two men living alone on an island, with no dealings save between themselves, require little but the simple rules of barter and sale; but one living and dealing in the whirl of New York business life has a right to expect from his counsel familiarity with varied branches of life.  A boy may use a jackknife skillfully, but put him into a large manufacturing, transportation, or telegraphic office, and he is lost. So a lawyer may draft a good deed, but fail when consulted concerning the rights and obligations growing out of the complex bank or other business transactions of to-day.

Surprisingly, I have little to add or comment about this.  In fact, I wholeheartedly agree and this was one of the biggest surprises I came across in law school.  When I first started, I thought that my fellow classmates would be well versed in a number of various human endeavors and be intellectually curious.  In fact, the opposite was true.  Save for the occasional engineer hoping to be a lucrative patent lawyer, my law school classmates were wholly uncultured, incurious, and uneducated.  They had backgrounds in political science, communications, history, and other worthless humanities degrees without being particularly well-versed in any of their respective fields.  I was surrounded by people who idealized being a "lawyer" and regularly mentally masturbated in front of "lay people" by mentioning civil procedure or some obscure point of law as if that made them intelligent or interesting.  After 3 years of being surrounded by those kinds of people, I found myself yearning to be in the midst of a leper colony for want of better company.

The question is often asked, Is not commercialism destroying the character of the profession? Doubtless it has its hurtful influence. The golden calf has many worshipers both in and out of the profession.  Indeed, it could hardly be expected that the community generally would be affected and lawyers escaped untouched.  It is said that it affects the legal profession more than others.  It may be that its effects more obvious, but there are sufficient reasons therefor,---and this without referring to the slurs sometimes cast upon the doctor and the minister...Multitudes of law schools scattered all over the land are annually turning out thousands of disciples of Blackstone.  By reason of this multitude the struggle for subsistence becomes more intense, and in such struggle the character of the means employed is not infrequently ignored.  

Mind you, even 100 year ago, we were dealing with the same questions--at some level--that scambloggers today ask of the profession.

On the other hand, the pulpit is not crowded.  Indeed, the supply scarcely equals the demand.  The doctors multiply almost as fast as lawyers, yet the sick room does not afford the same publicity as the court room...This rush into the profession is not to be wholly condemned, nor need we unduly lament the fact that a good farmer is wholly sometimes spoiled to make a poor lawyer or doctor.  Indeed, the eagerness to seek a professional life is evidence of a growing desire on the party of the young for the better things of life.  They do not wish to give their time and strength to mere manual labor or even that which requires a preponderance of such labor.

Well, actually now I can statistically show that the author a century ago, David J. Brewer, was eventually proven wrong.  Medical schools and specialties highly regulate and limit the number of people in their profession, whereas if you have a pulse you can pretty much get a J.D.  The pulpit is not only crowded, but overflowing with useless assclowns both here and abroad who can perform "legal" services.

Let us remember that every aspiration and struggle to secure a higher and better life is worthy of commendation rather than condemnation, whatever may be the result of the aspiration and struggle.  The eager, enthusiastic American youth is not content to always be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water.  He looks forward to becoming a potent factor in the marvelous life of the republic.  It must also be borne in mind that the thoughtful men of the profession are striving to put additional safeguards around their ranks, which will prevent the entrance of, and also remove after entrance, the unworthy and incompetent, and at the same tie lift up its character.  The time was, and that at no distant day, when a very brief study was sufficient to secure a license to practice law or medicine.

Once again, this was written a hundred years ago but might as well be penned today.  There's so much packed into that single statement that applies to the current landscape that I don't even have to comment on it--other than the sentiments expressed about the possibility & potential of law school in the imagination is the fuel that keeps the scam going cycle after cycle of Zero Lemming.

It has been well said that we are all workers on the loom of time, fashioning the fabric of civilization.  The humblest as well as the highest has his shuttle and runs his thread into and through the fabric.  And as we look upon the fabric of our American civilization in this morning of the twentieth century, we may well be proud of its splendor.  To the thoughtful mind, nothing in the material world can compare with it in richness and beauty.  But with that beauty it will crumble and fade like the civilizations of ancient times unless through all its warp and woof there runs the golden threads of universal, equal, and exact justice.  Beneath the fabric the weakest must rest in perfect security, and the strongest must never dare to break a thread.  These golden threads it is the special work of the profession to run, and the ideal lawyer's threads will be as pure and clean as the sunlight, and stronger than the wildest passions of the most gigantic enemy of social justice.

So I sum the matter up with the statement that the ideal lawyer will be thoroughly honest in all his relations to individuals and the public; that he will be a constant student; that he must possess brain power and common sense; and that he will never forget that he is a citizen, and that the weal or woe of the public depends largely on his loyalty to high ideals.  Does any profession appeal more strongly than that of the lawyer?  The minister speaks for the life beyond.  The doctor cares for our bodies.  But the lawyer takes social and business men as they are and strives to adjust their actions to the present well-being of all. Truly, without disparagement, I may claim for the profession to which I have given fifty years of constant devotion, that it makes high appeal to every brainy, honest young American; and add to that the great roll call in the last assize the response of the ideal lawyer will be, Ever present and on duty.

Guess what kids?  Modern lawyers are an epic fail on every level and standard proposed...FML. Fuck you ABA, Fuck you Law Schools, Fuck you US News, Fuck you State Bars, Fuck You Lawyers.

Till Next Time!!!  I need the darkness will someone please cut the lights!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Escalation: The Merits of Active Starvation (Instead of Passively Starving from Unemployment)

"For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences. " ~ Miguel de Cervantes

We interrupt my regular banality to bring you a new development.  Someone out there named Ethan Haines, has decided to try and up the ante on the scambusting/transparency movement by essentially committing to suicide by hunger strike.

Ethan says --

On August 5, 2010, I emailed the following Notice to administrators of ten randomly selected law schools ranked in the Top 100 of the 2010 U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. These schools were selected because they stand to gain the most from keeping the current rankings structure in place. Throughout the next two days, I will post a listing of the selected schools.

This hunger strike was motivated by the recent Report issued by the American Bar Association (ABA), the organization charged with regulating legal education, which investigated U.S. News & World Report’s annual law school rankings. It specifically examined the methodology behind the rankings and the public’s overwhelming reliance on these controversial rankings. The Report identified U.S. News’ rankings as having an adverse effect on law students by increasing the cost of legal education, discouraging need-based financial awards, and reducing the incentive to enhance diversity in the legal profession.

My greatest concern with the Report is its conclusion: “there is relatively little that leaders in legal education can do to change [the adverse effects of U.S. News' rankings] in the short term.” I disagree. My classmates are pawns in this legal education standoff and are powerless to resolve any of the aforementioned concerns without the full cooperation and support of law school administrators.

Not that I'm hoping he dies, but hunger strikes only work if you shame the authority figure enough to relent to your demands OR you die because it's better than subjecting yourself to further intolerable treatment/conditions.  Some say it's foolish, others say it's a desperate plea for help, while many could consider it a last act of dignity in the face of outrageous fortune.

Having spent time in places where hunger strikes were actively used, I'll leave it to the reader to try and guess which country/countries I am speaking about, it's really not something to joke about (although if you have any good one-liners feel free to email me).  Of course there's always the occasional human interest story on local news about a high school senior or some crank committing to a hunger strike for some seemingly inane purpose.

However, it's really an Irish phenom, and they're a passionate people.  The Irish have been doing it forever and will do one pretty much at the drop of a hat, even though Gandhi is perhaps the best known for it in Western culture.  Like Ireland's other major contribution to world culture---namely drinking---the hunger strike has become ubiquitous in many social justice movements.

Here's a glimpse at a dramatization of the famous 1981 hunger strike led by Michael Hughes (some peepz died in that one 4 reelz):

My questions are numerous.

1) Is it legitimate?

2) Is Ethan Haines willing to die for this cause?

3) Will the Law Schools actually relent, or like so many others in their positions before, figure out a way to placate Haines & then reneg on the deal once the crisis has passed?

4) Was it really that hard for the ABA to do their fucking job rather than wait for something like this to happen?

Of these, guess which ones I think are most likely...until then feel free to visit the site and support Ethan.  Hell, if you're feeling plucky why don't some unemployed J.D.'s out there drowning in debt, while the schools that robbed your dreams roll around in their salaries, head on over to your local law school and give them similar notice.  For many of us already literally starving, no it's not hyperbolic many of my classmates have to choose between food and bills, you might as well starve for a cause to increase media attention.

After the first 3 days, Ethan's pain will become intense.  It should take about 50 to 70 days before his body starts to consume itself for nourishment (even if he drinks water during this strike).  So we should have an update by then.