Thursday, May 28, 2009


This helps.
In response to the many requests for an extension received, the deadline for the submission of papers to the organizers of the XI International Kant Congress has been postponed to 15 September 2009.
A lot. Thanks, dudes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The hell?

I guess Justice Kennedy won't be lonely on the dim end of the bench anymore.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Happy Memorial Day.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nice State You Got There

What to do about California?
There is a surprisingly sizeable blogger contingent arguing that we have to bail them out because however regrettable the events that lead here, we now have no choice. But actually, we do have a choice: we could let them go bankrupt. And we probably should.
Come now, we have a better choice than that! We could just transfer the whole thing, encumbered as it is, to Mexico. After all, didn't we steal California from the Mexicans anyway? If we want to stop illegal immigration, we can cut the Gordian knot and move the border instead of defending it!

If any other pathetically dysfunctional states risk bringing the union down, we can float the Mexican option as a threat. Or worse, the Canadian option.

Monday, May 18, 2009

oh hai

Whoops! I was just getting my worthless degree upgraded to a different kind of worthless degree, and I didn't bother to update. Will get to that shortly. In the meantime, wooooo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I imagine everyone who cares has heard that Justice Souter is retiring. This has lead to many articles talking about Souter's history, and many more articles speculating on which minority highly-qualified woman person Obama will appoint. Neither of those kinds of articles are particularly striking, and they make easy filler for papers desperate for content.

However, it's also led to articles like this one. It's no secret that Obama will pick a liberal to replace Souter. Souter, in general, voted in a liberal fashion, which means replacing Souter will make little or no difference. I guess those topics have been exhausted, though, so now it's time to talk about "influence." Souter was "devoted to deciding one case at a time, sifting through the facts and making incremental adjustments in legal doctrine to take account of them." This is apparently bad. It appears the court needs a justice who "sets agendas, forges consensus and has a long-term vision about how to shape the law." I notice that "reading and understanding the Constitution" is not in that list.

Never mind the Constitution, though, because we must have agendas and law-shaping. We must have an influential justice like Brennan. Now, reading his biography would certainly give the impression he was influential when liberals held a majority on the Court, and less influential when conservatives held a majority. This almost sounds like his influence was simply because he was part of the dominant group for part of his tenure. If he had been able to sway some of the conservatives to his causes while in the minority, then that would be influence. However, simply being a vote in the majority block and then being reduced to a long series of dissents doesn't sound too influential.

Also, we must have eloquence because "'Souter, despite being an intelligent jurist with a wry sense of humor, is as eloquence-challenged as the others, and there are few memorable lines in his opinions.'” So, intelligence is not enough. Memorable lines are a must.

In summation, the Court needs someone who will decide multiple cases at a time, not worry about the facts of the case, set agendas, forge consensus, and shape the law, all while writing eloquent opinions full of memorable lines. I think I know just the person for the job.

Monday, May 11, 2009

To the Last They Grapple with Sanity

I know when grades were due.

I know when I graduate.

Using my genetically engineered intellect, I have been able to deduce that the registrar has had enough damned time to get 3L grades entered. As it is, we will be learning our grades no earlier than the week of commencement! How utterly incompetent and stupid!

It never ends.

Friday, May 08, 2009


We live in a damned fascist world.

This will continue to be true until I can visit the website of a brewery without having to enter "my" birthdate.

Seriously. Retarded.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Put a period on it

Hey Nick, you know what's worse than "long sentences and lots of commas"?
One sentence in the Xth fascile, for instance, contains no fewer than 255 words but only one comma -- obviously unproblematic for Kant, a genuine test of the interpretive skills of the reader, a nightmare for the translator.
From the translator's introduction to the Opus postumum.

The Opus postumum is fun because Kant literally wrote notes to himself on the draft of the book he was working on when he died. Thus, you get notes about whom he's inviting for lunch and what to do with the drunkard servant. Nothing about winding any chicks' watches, though.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

George di Giovanni, why?

This is tiresome.

George di Giovanni's little essay in The Cambridge Companion to Kant, "The first twenty years of critique: The Spinoza connection," just bothered the hell out of me. I liked his translation work in Religion and Rational Theology, although the sentences were often so long that I had to take a coffee break after the first dozen commas. Kant's fault, not his, but yikes. Anyway, this stuck in my craw:
1799 is when Fichte was being driven away from his position as professor of philosophy at Jena because of charges of atheism -- and also, unofficially, because he was suspected of Jacobin leanings.
Uh, not quite true. Not utterly false, but here's the whole story:
In the heat of this crisis [the Atheism Controversy], Fichte seriously miscalculated and badly overplayed his own hand. He and Niethammer, as requested, prepared and sent to the Weimar authorities a "Juridicial Defense" of their behavior; and then, as a tactical move, Fichte wrote a letter to these same authorities in which he stubbornly declared himself unwilling to accept the slightest censure and threatened to resign if he was found in the least blameworthy. On March 29 he received a letter from Duke Karl-August of Weimar "accepting his resignation." Despite frantic efforts to repair the harm he had inflicted on himself -- efforts that included the ill-advised publication of his Juridicial Defense Against the Charge of Atheism -- and despite equally frantic efforts on his behalf by friends, colleagues, and students, Fichte failed to retain his position at the University of Jena.
Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other Writings.

Fichte sort of...did these things. He threw fits all the time. So, while losing his job over some writings that could broadly be interpreted as atheist was unfair, he didn't handle it well.

What concerns me is that this feeds a narrative of religious oppression that is often overstated. I expect Allen Wood to do this sort of thing. Let's be better than that, George.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


At 2:27 PM today, I completed all the work I need to finish law school, assuming I passed 10 of the 16 credits I took (fingers crossed!).

Thanks to Freiheit for breaking the silence a couple times, thanks to Nick Milne for being the only person really to read this blog, ever, thanks to Villanova for not quite being Third Tier.

Time to start flipping burgers!