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Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573:legal-reasoning-redux-5&catid=38:there-and-never-back-again&Itemid=65

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The National Intelligence Law Job Opening You Didn't Need Illegal Surveillance To See Coming

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Remember when Senator Ron Wyden as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" And James Clapper answered "No, sir." Remember that?

Then it came out that the NSA collects data about pretty much every communication that happens in the United States. And the NSA tried to argue that telephony metadata isn't data, because you know, it's metadata, even though Wyden said "any type of data," and metadata is a type of data. The NSA's argument would have been more plausible if they said telephony metadata isn't data because it's phoney.

With even more news about our government's extensive spy program coming out, people are pissed off and calling for heads to roll. Specifically, Clapper's head and a charge of perjury for lying to Congress. A poll conducted in five states found a substantial majority of Americans want Clapper prosecuted, 69% in Kentucky, 68% in Texas and 65% in Iowa; even in the blue states of Hawai'i and California folks want Clapper behind bars, with 57% and 54% respectively supporting prosecution. [HuffPo]

So, it should come as no surprise that the federal job opening has a high-paying job available. No, it's not Director of National Intelligence. Not yet, at least. But as of last Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is looking for legal counsel:

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Provide expert legal advice and guidance to senior Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) leadership on complex areas of law affecting ODNI’s duties and responsibilities under the National Security Act, Presidential directives, Executive Orders, and other related laws and policies.  

Provide expert legal counsel to support the development, review, and preparation of United States (US) Government-wide and IC-wide policies, procedures, guidelines, rules, and standards.

Counsel clients, including senior ODNI leaders, on complex legal issues and provide innovative and highly effective guidance on possible courses of action; expertly prepare complex, high profile, and persuasive legal documents on complex legal issues for a variety of internal and external recipients.

[USAJobs]

Interestingly, the job appears to have zero qualifications other than U.S. Citizenship, a resume and a cover letter:

 

No mention of having attended law school, or passing a bar and having a law license, or experience in a relevant field, or even the typical X years at Y paygrade. None of that. For $150,000 a year, you'd think the government could afford to hire someone with at least a JD (though according to the Department of Education, if you have more than $96k in student loans, the $150k salary doesn't get you out of financial hardship, so maybe not). Maybe this is how Clapper got in trouble in the first place.

Hint: If you're called before Congress to testify, and are given the questions in advance, and one of the questions will require you to either perjure yourself or to disclose classified information, and a non-answer would in effect be disclosing classified information, you're allowed to request a closed session so that you can answer honestly without violating any laws.

Blind Drunk Justice, Season 4 - Episode 1

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It's baaaaack!

That's right kiddies, Blind Drunk Justice is back, but this time with a new co-host Orange Julius! (Because Namby Pamby is currently busy trying to rescue Philadelphia Lawyer from a Nazi castle on the Austrian-German border.)

In this episode BL1Y and Orange Jules alienate the Jewish community, the Syrian community, the gay community, the transgender community, the feminist community, the international maritime shipping community, the law school construction subcontractor community, and of course, Sovereign Citizens. Though to be honest, all of those are due to BL1Y, not Orange Julius, except for the Sovereign Citizens, that's all on OJ (lock your door, bro).

Stories include The Incredible Expanding Law School, China passing a law requiring their citizens to behave themselves while on vacation, and Syria.

You can check it out using the handy dandy player on the left side their (clear your cache if the playlist hasn't updated), or just click here to play it in a new window (or right click to download), or visit this page to download old episodes.

About that thing going on in Syria

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Here's what we know is going on in Syria: There's a rebellion that's been going on for about two and a half years. A ton of people have died, including a lot of civilians known to have been killed by the Assad regime. We also know that someone has used chemical weapons, it was probably Assad, but may have been the rebels, there may be some false flagging going on, and it may be the case that both sides have used chemical weapons.

Anyone who heard Obama's "red line" comments a while back would know that Syria using chemical weapons would be apparent regime suicide. Assad can possibly win a protracted civil war, but if the United States gets involved it's going to be game over for him, and chemical weapons have such a huge stigma that he should expect to gain many other opponents and lose any allies who are on the fence.

Of course, he probably has used chemical weapons, and ended up calling Obama's bluff. That's going to be deeply embarrassing for the President. Even if Congress does vote to strike, asking for permission to back up a threat makes him appear weak, so even the best case scenario for Obama is still pretty bad. There's a problem with this plot though -- it doesn't explain why Assad would use chemical weapons. What does he gain from embarrassing Obama, or even for making the US look like it won't back up its threats? It might embolden his supporters some, but that's a huge risk to take for what may be minimal gains.

There is the possibility that Assad is either stupid or desperate or desperately stupid, but at the international level you have to suspect that there's a larger strategy at work. Our Mentat is suffering from a dental emergency at the moment though, so we're going to have to turn to another angle of the Syria crisis, the legal angle.

 

Under international law, there are only two grounds for an attack against a foreign nation: Self Defense, and a United Nations Security Council resolution. With China and Russia holding veto power, such a resolution against Syria will never come, and a civil war in Syria poses no imminent threat to the United States. ...Political gymnastics aside, of course. Could a civil war result in chemical weapons slipping out of the country and into the hands of terrorists? Yes. Is destabilization in the Middle East something the United States should be worried about? Yes. But if that counts as a threat so imminent that an attack can be classified as self defense, then so could a preemptive strike against any leader who we thought might have sympathies with our opponents, along with a whole host of other very weak reasons, and self defense would become an utterly meaningless concept.

Doug Bandow, writing for the Cato Institute, pointed out another interesting legal angle to the Syrian conflict. As we all know, chemical weapons are banned under international treaties. What you might not know is that five nations have not signed on to that treaty: North Korea, South Sudan, Egypt, Angola, and yeup, Syria. (In South Sudan's defense, they're a new nation and maybe haven't gotten around to it yet.) In addition, Myanmar and Israel have signed it, but the treaty was not ratified by their national legislatures.

Since Syria hasn't signed on, that makes it very hard to argue that the United States should intervene solely because of the use of chemical weapons. Plenty of dictatorial regimes have killed their own civilians, and with a wide variety of weapons. Chemical weapons aren't even particularly deadly compared to other modern weapons. The high end estimate is about 1400 people killed with sarin in Syria. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it killed about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers without the use of chemical weapons. Since the invasion, over 20,000 coalition and Iraqi security forces have been killed -- without the use of chemical weapons.

And one last point... DMDNB, 2,3-dimethyl-2,3-dinitrobutane, the explosive in C4 and other plastic explosives, is a chemical, so the distinction really is a pretty silly one.

This is why we can't have nice things kept away from not nice things

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In New York City, real estate developers often cut deals with the local government in order to get zoning variances and tax breaks, and often what they have to give up is a slice of their profitability by providing a certain number of affordable apartments. A new development on the side of the Hudson River on the Upper West Side has just such an arrangement; developer Extell is making 55 out of the 219 units in its luxury condo building affordable. Condo owners have to shell out a minimum of a million dollars to live their, but the affordable units will go for as little as $845 a month.

So of course, Linda Rosenthal, who represents Manhattan in the State Assembly, wants to shut the project down. Why? Because the condo would have a separate entrance and elevator for the affordable units. Oh the humanity!

Speaking to the local Fox affiliate, Rosenthal said:

My question is, why do the affordable units have to be segregated apart from the condos that the wealthy can afford to buy?

Developers up and down the west side and across the city manage to inter-mingle the affordable units with the non-affordable units – it’s done everywhere. There’s no reason that there needs to be segregation.

Rosenthal's objection underscores the basic problem with government in the Big Apple. "What do they have to be segregated," "There's no reason that there needs to be segregation."

They don't have to do it, they choose to do it, and private citizens shouldn't have to justify their choices to a government niceness council. The government can rightly put certain stipulations on the zoning and tax perks, things like the units need to have windows, and a minimum size, and maybe some paint on the walls. But Rosenthal wants to go beyond that and use the building process as a way to ensure that poorer residents of New York City don't have to suffer the indignity of using a separate entrance from the rich folks.

Well here's a news flash Ms. Rosenthal: There already is a separate entrance. It's called the Triborough Bridge.

Page 7 of 342

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