Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Some dabbling in non-legal/political writing

With loving car
Bike, April 2010, at 36 (British motorcycle magazine)

I have noticed that car drivers here in the United States are also becoming more aware of motorbikes (Bike, January 2010) and often pull to the side to give us more room. It must have quite a bit to do with bikes becoming more mainstream now. Add to that the fact that most bikes here are sold to those whose primary source of transportation is a car and you will notice greater co-existence. So I am willing to bet many of those we see pulling over to give us room to pass are riders themselves. Add to that a dose of monkey-see-monkey-do from other drivers and the nunbers will increase. And they will continue to rise if we continue to acknowledge them by a simple wave, nod of the head..... [so long as it is safe to do so, of course!]


More than a Pretty Face
Cycle News, April 21, 2010, at 4

Nicky Hayden's great (almost podium finish!) performance in Qatar confirms that he remains a great rider and not just a pretty face. Kudos to Ducati for sticking with him.

Also, as a Gixxer rider and lover of all things Suzuki, I would be remiss if I did not mention how much I love the new Team Rizla colors -- courtesy of Troy Lee Designs. I cannot wait to see the new colors on their policewomen umbrella girls.


Letter From America
Visor Down, May 2010, at 25 (British motorcycle magazine)

The interview with James May reminded me of my very first episode of Top Gear. It was the "Vietnam" episode that got me hooked on the show. It was about these three British guys....

More recently they did a show featuring the bike on every collector's short list: a Vincent Black Shodow (ridden by Hammond).

Clearly both Hammond and May are quite enthusiastic about motorbikes. Though May asserts that motorbikes will not be a regular part of Top Gear, I hope they continue to at least throw us a bone from time-to-time.


Past Darkly
Metal Hammer, Oct. 2010, at 30 (British music magazine)

I'm a U.S. Maiden fan who bought their albums post-Nirvana and I'd enjoy either a nostalgia act or music of the past 10 years when they tour. Nevertheless, I don't understand why Maiden cannot continue to tour the way they did in the past: play the best songs from their catalogue and throw in new songs to promote the new album. The way they do it now has a paternalistic feel to it.

[Metal Hammer editors think it is because "[a]lternating tours means they play more often per album."]

Chemerinsky now dislikes filibusters?

There is Existing History of Filibusters Against Supreme Court Nominees
Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 21, 2010, at 7

Erwin Chemrinsky -- legal scholar turned liberal talking head -- again is trying to use his soapbox to mislead and re-write history. In his most recent [Daily Journal] opinion piece (Kagan Commentary Misses the Point, May 19, 2010) he writes, "[t]here is almost no history of filibusters against Supreme Court nominees. Forty-eight Democrats voted against Clarence Thomas and 42 against Samuel Alito Jr., but these are not filibusters." What he fails to mention (as I am sure he remembers) is that then-Senator Barack Obama and practically all other Democratic presidential contenders voted to filibuster Alito; they simply did not have enough votes to succeed. Their failure was in part thanks to the so-called "gang of 14" which compromised the standstill between the unprecedented number of filibusters against lower court judicial nominees (Charles Pickering Sr., Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owens, Miguel Estrada, etc.) and the Republican threat of the "nuclear option" to do away with filibusters (at least vis-à-vis judicial appointments). It was for this reason that Alito (and possibly Chief Justice John G. Roberts) was not filibustered (they did not have enough votes).

As can be seen on this exchange between Chemerinsky and a questioner, posted on the Washington Post website, Chemerinsky was in favor of the filibuster of Alito (and other judicial nominees):

Fairfax, Va.: I have always thought that the Gang of 14 "Compromise" was really a total cave-in by the Democrats wherein they agreed to eviscerate the filibuster rather than fight for it. What is your opinion about that agreement?

Erwin Chemerinsky: The filibuster has existed throughout American history. The effort by Republican Senators to eliminate it was power politics pure and simple. I am not sure why Democrats went along with the compromise unless they felt that they did not have the votes to keep the filibuster and it was the best they could do.

However, now that the tables have turned, "there is almost no history of filibuster of Supreme Court nominees." Then again, maybe he was capturing the existing history by saying there is "almost" no history of such a thing.