Monday, December 14, 2009

Robert Conquest's Three Laws of Politics

  1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
  2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left wing.
  3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
I've read this before and it, of course, makes perfect sense. (h/t Useful Fools)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Poor Widdle Tewwowist

Three navy seals are being prosecuted for punching a terrorist in the face while capturing him.  He's got a bloody lip to prove it.

This sucks, they should have just shot him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"... sneaky-ass lawyer"

So I send a guy a letter in the mail saying, look, your wife wants a divorce, here are some terms we think are fair (too fair probably).  He calls me a "sneaky-ass lawyer" for sending him this in the mail (the horror).  He seemed  genuinely upset that I hadn't served him, I suppose by process server.  Of course I hadn't had him served, I hadn't even filed the case yet.

Anyway, if I were a really dirty sneaky-ass lawyer I'd have gotten service by publication and just sent him the decree when it was done with.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I think I understand their position on animal rights...

... but what's their position on human rights?

Friday, October 16, 2009


I'm taking a course on divorce and family mediation from the esteemed Jim Stovall at the Mediation Institute in Oklahoma City.  The goal is to learn how to get divorced/divorcing couples to agreement on issues that exist between them such as custody, property division and child support.  The other students include attorneys, counselors, ministers, and lay people (so to speak) who want to learn mediation.

It's been a pretty good course and I feel like I've learned a lot even if I don't end up practicing mediation.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How Messy Should My Desk Be?

There seem to be lots of theories about this.  A prominent one is that your desk should look "busy" so that people think other people are hiring me and they want to hire me too.  Another one is that your desk should be empty so that people can see you are organized.  I think personality has a lot to do with what people's desks look like and doesn't really impact their performance at all, but I wonder if it impacts what people think of you.

My desk looks like the first option on steroids.  Any thoughts?

Update:  Corrected redneck grammar.

Why You Should be Represented by Counsel in Your Uncontested Divorce

Divorce is a serious legal matter even in the best of cases.  You need representation to ensure that you get what you're entitled to even if the matter seems to be amicable.

Example: This is a nice lady I'm representing in a post-divorce modification proceeding.  Her ex-husband is an employee for a large municipality and he gets relatively good compensation compared to the average Oklahoman.  Before their divorce, she stayed at home to raise their children.  She gained some weight from child-bearing, so he started sleeping around on her and eventually decided to divorce her because he liked an extra-skinny 18-year-old girl better.  So he got a lawyer and his lawyer drafted up a decree saying that he got to keep all the retirement accrued during the marriage, didn't need to support his now indigent (dirt poor) wife even temporarily, and that he only had to pay an extraordinarily low child support payment.  He got everything, but she didn't want to cause a row, or pay for a lawyer, so she just signed the papers hoping to keep things peaceful.  She didn't even get full custody of the kids even though she raised them alone while he was out screwing around.  She literally got nothing.  And now he's dragged her back into court to bully her over the kids based on this same crappy decree.

Take your divorce seriously.  If you don't know your rights you're gonna get the shaft and the worst part will be that you agreed to it.

That is all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Intellectual Property Unnecessary?

This article by Kevin Carson in The Freeman basically says that intellectual property is a stumbling block to the growth of human freedom (competition) in that it makes demands about how we use our physical property. By way of example:
All-pervasive DRM prevents the easy transfer of content between platforms, even when a CD or DVD buyer simply wants to play the content somewhere more convenient. And the DMCA legally prohibits circumventing such DRM, even when–again–the purchaser simply wants to facilitate his own use on a wider and more convenient variety of platforms.
Obviously this is overreach by the publishers of the media colluding with government and demonstrates that the current regulatory regime is profoundly flawed. I think that I should only have to buy media once. I shouldn't have to buy a new copy of Pink Floyd's The Wall or Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream every time I want to listen to it in a different format.

That said, I think that the implied solution, no intellectual property at all, is throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Carson gives the examples of phish and radiohead who essentially give away certain versions of their intellectual property with the expectation (realized in their cases) that users of their media will pay them anyway or pay them for auxiliary services like live performances. I don't, however, see how this can work for all artists.

I'm wondering in particular how novelists would get by if there were no prohibition on the endless electronic distribution of their materials. For full disclosure's sake my wife is a novelist currently trying to get published. She writes books for teenaged girls.

Supposing she writes something that becomes fairly popular, how would she get paid for it without copyright protection? Anybody who wanted it could have an electronic copy for free since anyone with a scanner could scan it in and post it as a torrent (this happens with books all the time). A few good-hearted souls would fork over the money, but most people would pay exactly zero, and I expect that the average profit per copy distributed would also approach zero.

I like libertarians because I like independent, liberty-minded people. But full execution of the libertarian idea almost always ends up going one step too far.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roman Polanski

This dude should most definitely be prosecuted. The dude (44 yrs old at the time) got a 13 yr old girl drunk, drugged up, then, among other things, anally raped her.

I'm amazed this is even a question. Who defends this? (h/t Patterico)

Update: Well, now I know who defends child rape (through Bill Bennett on the Corner).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bizzaro World

It's a bird, it's a plane, its... Barack?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Business Website

After messing with things for four days I'm much happier with my new website. It's much better than my old site which I was making with netscape composer 7.2, which isn't bad stuff but requires you to know much much more about what you're doing. I recommend tandem server's software. You can make a fairly professional site without spending any great deal of money (well, time is money, but that's another conversation).

I don't know if the website will actually bring me any great deal of new business, but that's not really what it's for.

Anyway, good night.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Cowbell!

Courtesy of J. Goldberg. (I don't know where he got it.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Can't Be an Oathkeeper

I stumbled across the Oathkeeper website. This is a Ron Paul inspired organization. I was kind of excited when I first found it, but then I found their list of orders they won't obey and saw that, as with pretty much all things inspired by or associated with libertarians, they go one step too far. This one in particular strikes me as the one that is most troublesome.

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

One of the causes of the American Revolution was the denial of the right to jury trial, the use of admiralty courts (military tribunals) instead, and the application of the laws of war to the colonists. After that experience, and being well aware of the infamous Star Chamber in English history, the Founders ensured that the international laws of war would apply only to foreign enemies, not to the American people. Thus, the Article III Treason Clause establishes the only constitutional form of trial for an American, not serving in the military, who is accused of making war on his own nation. Such a trial for treason must be before a civilian jury, not a tribunal.

The international laws of war do not trump our Bill of Rights. We reject as illegitimate any such claimed power, as did the Supreme Court in Ex Parte Milligan (1865). Any attempt to apply the laws of war to American civilians, under any pretext, such as against domestic “militia” groups the government brands “domestic terrorists,” is an act of war and an act of treason.

Now, I'm pretty much a libertarian, so I support most of the things that libertarians are in favor of, but there is always the wacky little bit that I just can't go in for and each little libertarian group seems to have its own wacky bit. So, although I used to be a card-carrying LP member, I no longer am because I don't support ridiculousness such as abortion-on-demand, open borders, and isolationism abroad.

The problem with Oathkeepers' #3 above is that if I took that seriously it means that I can't participate in warfare against anyone who happens to be an American citizen regardless of their ideology. So if Osama bin Laden happened to possess US citizenship while doing what he did on 9/11 this group would want him arrested in the mountains of Afghanistan with a warrant, etc. by proper police forces.

Screw that, if someone attacks us in a way that is unlawful under the international laws of war then I'm perfectly willing to have them be defined as an "unlawful enemy combatant" regardless of their citizenship and shoot them on sight. Assymetrical warfare ain't beanbag and libertarians should stop pretending that it is.

Update: Added a label.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is pretty much what I dislike about the left:

On the one hand, the Left believes that no laws or rules govern their own effort on behalf of "social justice" -- the end justifies the means. But when the Left gains power, they rigorously enforce laws against their enemies.

At least with the right, they consistently enforce their standards against their own (contra Rangel, Geitner, et al, but let a private citizen or political enemy do that and see what happens).

UPDATE: Edited for formatting (sue me, I'm a noob)

Expertise needs to be confined to what it's good for

I pretty much agree with everything in this article, except that I don't really trust any authority totally. I need experts like doctors to tell me facts such as: smoking contributes to lung cancer. I don't need them to tell me not to smoke, it's none of their damned business whether I do or not. I practice law pretty much the same way. I advise my clients so that they can make their own decisions; I don't tell them what to do unless they beg me to.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tribal Court

I'd never been to a tribal court before (I'm not going to specify the tribe). It was a very low key affair and actually pretty comfortable for me personally. Here are a couple of things I noted (which will possibly be obvious to Indian Law people, one of which I am not):

1. The tribal court I saw was very protective of, even defensive about, its jurisdiction (my client is a non-Indian being sued by her Indian husband for child custody; the notion that the tribe has personal jurisdiction over her through the mere fact of her marriage to a member strikes me as a breathtakingly broad assertion of jurisdiction, and, oh yeah, neither of them or any child of theirs live on any reservation or anything else that could be classified as Indian land.) BLEG? Is that even legal? I can't really find a case on point that talks about whether intermarriage is enough of a contact, by itself, to give the tribal court personal jurisdiction over a non-Indian. I objected, but more or less got over-ruled and told to file a motion and briefing, etc., even though I entered a special appearance to argue about jurisdiction over the non-Indian.

2. The tribe's statutes aren't secret, but they're very hard to access (you can buy them for $30 per title, and there are about 50-60 titles which all fit into 3 large binders, so about $1800.00 for three binders that all go on one CD). Or if you're nice to the court clerk she'll let you look at them (especially if you plead to her that your client is indigent), which is what I did. This isn't a universal deal, just this particular court, other bands of the same nation publish all their statutes online.

3. The conduct of court itself was very open and comfortable for me personally. I was able to ask the judge questions in open court about how his court worked, etc., and he just answered which was unusual to me.

4. Pleadings are very free form and not necessarily related to anything state courts might require. This case is based on a Petition for Temporary Custody and that's all the pleadings asked for (this I found out is a court form that the court clerk fills out for people who wander in not knowing what to do). I asked the judge what the final resolution on this type of matter would be and he said he would eventually enter a final custody order. This strikes me as odd because (1) the plaintiff didn't ask for a permanent custody order in any pleading and (2) I can't for the life of me see how this was a sufficient pleading at all because there is no underlying court case, no divorce, no separation, no paternity, nothing, just a temporary custody order between still married parents. CONSEQUENCE: Plaintiff files a one page pleading asking for nothing specific (or even delineated by the tribal code). But, apparently, that's just how they do it there.

Overall, honestly, except for the jurisdiction part and the non-publication of statutes, this is how I'd run a court if I got to do whatever I wanted. It would be low-key, less confrontational, and have a more settlement-oriented culture. I would practice in courts like that all the time if there were enough clients (this was only the 15th civil case filed all year in that court).

Anyway, that was my day. How was yours?

...smooth, generally flat, occasionally a bit whiny...

I am very glad that i don't have the job of actually reading the speeches of or listening to the most boring speaker alive, our illustrious president. Instead I can just read about the speeches. No offense to any who love the man, but I just don't see what inspires the love.

For the record I couldn't really stand listening to President Bush either. President Clinton on the other hand...

EDITED: Link updated. (I'm a noob)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inaugural Post

Hi, I'm E. W. Childers. I'm a lawyer in Oklahoma. And I'm an INFP. I just learned some of this personality stuff maybe two weeks ago and I was wondering what to do with it. I'm self-employed and this has lots of ups and downs to explore as well. Hopefully anyone who stumbles upon it will find this stuff at least a little edifying, but if not, oh well.

I just got back from Iraq with my National Guard unit and I've re-opened my shop in a new (but not that far away!) location and I've been thinking heavily about marketing, particularly internet marketing as I'm presently on a shoe-string budget. People keep trying to sell me outrageously expensive advertising options most of which in my prior experience don't work. I plan on writing about them and anyone who stumbles upon this may as well benefit from my mistakes. As far as networking goes, I think my personality type may have a lot to do with why I'm not much of a self-promoter; I have difficulty striking up conversations with strangers and I'm not super good with chitchat with people I do know well. So I'm mostly exploring what might work for me. Comments, of course, are welcome.

Another thing I've been thinking about is employment relationships, supervisor/subordinate, that sort of thing. This also ties in to the National Guard stuff because I wasn't very happy during my deployment. This also seems to be related to personality type. The short story is that I don't really ever want to work for (in a semi-permanent relationship like that of employee/employer) anyone again. If I did it would have to be a pretty special deal because I don't think I could stand it otherwise.

Anyway, writing this blog is my attempt to "stretch" my emotional muscles, so to speak and ruminate on better ways to do what I'm already doing anyway.