The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
MiseryI can admit when I am wrong. (I can also find ways to shift blame...stupid doctor!) So, my brilliant plan to schedule oral surgery right before Thanksgiving to avoid missing work...well, that fell through. In fact, today is Thursday (one week and one day since surgery) and not only did I miss Thanksgiving, but I still have not returned to work. I am beginning to get a grasp on a misery I have never known before.
Believe it or not, I actually have a high tolerance for pain. Due to multiple ear surgeries, I get to go to a doctor every six months for the rest of my life for him to pull the skin out of my ear. (Imagine someone pulling a scab off of your eardrum.) Yeah, I am honestly accustomed to pain. But this week, my friends, I have felt pain like I have never felt before. The throbbing and the sore and the sheer pain.
The wisdom teeth removal part was not that bad. It's the post-op infection that has brought me to my knees.
I have a huge mound-o-infection on the side of my face. I am on my second refill of vicodin (which is a lot considering I am anti-pain medication). I still cannot chew real food. It hurts to talk (which, for those of you that know me, realize it is extremely difficult to fathom me silent). I cannot sleep for more than a few hours at a time and when I do sleep it has to be sitting up. I have watched well over 50 episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and I am going absolutely stir-crazy in this apartment. The worst part is that I can't even catch up on round-the-house sort of things like folding clothes or decorating for Christmas. Nope, the pain becomes too much after about 30 minutes of being off the sofa.
I have learned quite a bit thus far in my 192 hours on my sofa:
-the saying "misery loves company" is bullshit. Ask my roommate. I am not a fun person to be around right now and I prefer to stew alone;
-although I am not a huge ordered pizza fan, the Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza commercials have become pure torture to watch;
-CSI comes on four different stations and there is a "marathon" at least once a day;
-when clothes test positive for GSR (gun shot residue), they show up blue in the lab test;
-I am not programmed to sit around;
-I have a great job and I miss being there;
-there is difficulty in taking pain medication that you must take on a full stomach when you can only eat jello, ice cream and mashed potatoes;
-when you tell the doctor that you are an attorney they take you more seriously;
-when the doctor sends you home with a plastic syringe to stick in the wisdom-toothless hole twice a day to clean it out...it's actually not as bad as it sounds.
Wow, what a whiny rant of a blogpost. Blame it on the pain.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
No Turkey for you!Actually, no turkey for me.
I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. The day before Thanksgiving. Before you say "oh, you poor thing" like everyone else, I should tell you that I am looking forward to this.
I will not have to travel on the busiest travel days of the year.
I will not be consuming the 5,000 calories the average American consumes on Turkey day.
I will not be missing any work days...but more importantly, I am unable to work over the break if someone needs me.
All swelling *should* go down by work Monday.
I will have little pills that will help me catch up on the much-needed sleep I have not had in recent weeks.
I have a good friend that will wait on me hand and foot as long as I continually provide him beer.
Personally, I think I could not have scheduled this for a more brilliant time!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Amicus blog for DC gun case*(Alternate title - My Two Cents: Added to the Already Overflowing Piggy Bank)
Dear Supreme Court of the United States,
As I am sure you are well aware, especially after your private Friday meeting last week, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down D.C.'s handgun ban in Heller (or Parker depending on where you find the case) v. District of Columbia. I have spent weeks now reading and analyzing the situation surrounding this case that has been put before you in a petition for certiorari. I believe I have some insight that may be of value to you.
I have rifled through endless pages that discuss the different views interpreting the Second Amendment (individual rights, collective rights, sophisticated collective/limited individual rights). I have read multiple 36 to 50+ page cases with in-depth Second Amendment analyses (see Parker, Silviera, Emerson) laying out arguments on both sides. I have sought out and documented other Supreme Court precedent that may help shed light on the subject. (I even read Miller 7 times.) I have read the historical text of constitutional debates, conventions and the First and Second congress (well, the House debates since the Senate debates were conducted in secret). I have referred to multiple dictionaries for definitions of words such as "bear", "keep", "arms", "regulated" etc. I have read the work of countless scholars on both sides of the debate (see Tribe, Volokh and Dorf).
But Sirs and Madam, I feel as if today I may have found the source that will really help to clear things up for you. Might I suggest you put aside all other case-law, historical text, textual analyses and even scholarly work. Dearest Justices, you should be reading blog comments to shed light on this alleged 62 years of confusion. For example, you can find multiple helpful views and comments right on the SCOTUS Blog:
- Mr. Spencer writes "Remember, had the Second had been written to say: “A well-fed militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to store and eat food shall not be infringed,” in no way could that be interpreted to mean that only the National Guard has the right to eat."
- Mr. Crim vigorously defends Mr. Heller's position by ending with "Osama bin Ladin is no more than a pirate."
- Mr. Donath describes a well-regulated militia as ranging from "the nation needing more troops than a standing army has...to a lone woman stopping a rapist in the parking lot."
- I would advise you pay special attention to Mr. Donath's foreshadowing "Should, at the Supreme Court level, anything less than a full “individual” interpretation of the 2nd Amendment be rendered, in light of my above comments, what do you seriously think the reaction of “the people” - who are already armed - will be? Think carefully before answering." and of course, his disclaimer: (I advocate nothing - but hear much.)
- Mr. Shaw (whose motto is "an armed community is a polite and respectful community") thinks "the Supreme Court has heretofore contorted the language and intentions of the framers to abandon a result that certain fragments of the Court and special interest found unappealing…" Yeah, what he said!
- Mr. Rickers finally clears up the confusion surrounding Miller..."Essentially, the defendant Miller, said, “Hey, the NFA34 is unconstitutional because of the 2nd Amendment.” The judge said, “Yeah, your right. Nevermind.”
Quite frankly, I believe I am most drawn to the openness and honesty found in Mr. Anderson's comment:
- "Folks, please forgive an old country boy from Mississippi for butting in. I will not pretend to be as well educated as the majority of you here, nor as verbose as many. I will say this however: Rakur, you scare hell out of me. I can think of a number of nations in the past whose governments infringed on individual’s rights to keep and bear arms. Their militias then proceeded -under the government’s direction- to annihilate large portions of its defenseless population. Our sons and daughters have died and are still dying to protect and free such people. I pray your mindset does not gain in popularity. Shooting and killing one’s own son or daughter who is an unfortunate member of my nation’s “militia” wouldn’t set very well with me. I fear I would hold men such as yourself directly responsible. Good day and Godspeed, gentlemen." (emphasis added).
I do not intend to give the impression I am advocating for one view or another. The above blogger comments, while seeming to slant in the direction of an individual rights interpretation, are a mere sampling of those that were readily available to me this morning prior to departing for work. Other blogs out there contain many more well thought-through arguments from commenters.
I request that you take these views into account when determining not only whether to grant certiorari but also when analyzing the depth of the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Labels: The Law