51 Thrilling Ways to Seduce Your Man

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9th, 2011 by bl1y

That’s right, it’s time for another look at stupid advice given by Cosmo.

First thing to do, is head over to Constitutional Daily and read my new piece: Department of Law and Motor Vehicles

As for the other 50 things, I do have a new Cosmo to tear into.  I’ll try to get to it soon.

Blind Drunk Justice, 2.2

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4th, 2011 by bl1y

Blind Drunk Justice Season 2, Episode 2 is now live over on Constitutional Daily.

Blind Drunk Revival

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1st, 2011 by bl1y

In case you missed it, Blind Drunk Justice Season 2 – Episode 1 is now available at Con Daily.

Constitutional Daily is Go

Posted in Uncategorized on February 25th, 2011 by bl1y

New site.

Check it out.

‘Nuff said.

Constitutional Daily

Where’s Billy?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20th, 2011 by bl1y

Some of you may have noticed that my posting has slowed down considerably over the last few weeks.

You may have assumed that this could only mean that I’ve been spending my time assembling the greatest team of writers the legal webosphere has ever known in preparation for launching a new website.

And you would be right.

As Gandalf said, “Look for my coming on the fifth day, at first light, look to the East.”

No HoMo

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11th, 2011 by bl1y

What better way to kick off the weekend than with two very controversial ideas about how the revolution in Egypt should go.

First, a disorderly, violent overthrow may be for the best.

In the American Revolution, we lost 25,000 soldiers and had another 25,000 injured.  This was probably one of the best investments of blood that the world has ever known.  So, it’s hard to see why the world considers it absolutely imperative that no one be hurt in the Egyptian revolution.  It’s “Live Free or Die,” not “Live Free or Sulk.”

More importantly though, violent revolutions may be stick better.  When something costs us a lot, we value it more.  If you revolution has a high price, it stands to reason that you will be less likely to let the freedoms you have won slip away.  And isn’t that what the US and Israel are worried about?  That a secular autocrat will be replaced with a radical Islamist autocrat.

“This isn’t what we fought and died for” is a lot more inspiring than “This isn’t what we petitioned for.”

Of course, maybe the victims the revolution has already seen will be enough.  There’s not likely good studies on how many people have to die to make a revolution stick.  My point is only that peace and order should not be the priorities in a revolution.  Revolution should be the priority.

Second controversial claim, the Muslim Brotherhood should have a presence in the new government.

Right, I know, that’s what everyone is afraid of.  But which scares you more, the thought of radical Islamists being marginalized by their society, brooding out of the public eye, and without a legitimate forum to express their views, or radical Islamists sitting in a committee meeting with representatives of other political groups discussing the price of wheat and transportation funds?

People are far more dangerous when they do not feel that their concerns are being listened to.  This is what drives people to “want their day in court.”  Even if you don’t get the result that you want, people derive a huge psychic value from knowing that others are at least listening.  Much better to funnel radicals into legitimate government processes than to exclude them from it.

The Problem With Enterprise

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1st, 2011 by bl1y

Gonna try to keep this short, which will be a miracle based on how much I’ve written about LotR and Harry Potter.

First, let me admit I’ve only watched a few episodes of Enterprise.  Now, when most people admit to having watched a few episodes, they’re confessing to having seen too many.  I’m saying that my opinion is informed by only a handful of episodes.

That out of the way, onto the meat of it.

Enterprise is the prequel to the original Star Trek series.  It’s supposed to be set at an earlier time when Earth and the Federation are not the powerhouse force in the universe like they are in the other series.  Nothing wrong with a prequel, especially since there wasn’t much direction for the series to go forward after the Q plot line in The Next Generation.

The problem with Enterprise is that mankind isn’t in a developmental phase, what you’d expect from a prequel.  It’s basically just a Star Trek re-imagining.  You don’t see the humans struggling with inferior technology, dealing with the political implications of space travel, or any of the stuff that would make for a good underdog story.  And that’s really what the humans should be in a prequel.  We know from First Contact that when humans develop the warp drive, other civilizations are far beyond them, like the Vulcans and Romulans.

We’ve already seen a powerful Starfleet vessel tromping through the galaxy. Not that this is a bad concept for a show, it’s just that it’s been done.  Part of what made StarGate so appealing was that humans were using bullets to fight aliens with energy weapons.  The clash of technologies matched the clash of ideologies and made the whole thing more engaging.  Battlestar Galactica just wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t a story of humans on the run from a more powerful aggressor.  …Though, that’s also for plot reasons.

Anyways, the problem with Enterprise is that the story doesn’t really bring anything new.  Deep Space Nine at least tried the space station angle, which forced a different type of story.  A worse type, but at least they tried.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1st, 2011 by bl1y

As an American, I believe that all people are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and my desire to feel warm and safe does not trump another person’s rights.

Take for example the freedom of speech.  If the options were listening to nothing but angry, obscene, idiotic, diatribe (aka: Avatar), or having the government ban such speech, I would much rather just have to learn to deal with the idiots.  Freedom means accepting that other people will use their rights in ways you don’t like.  I’d rather live in a world with Avatar than a world in which the government bans uninspired plotless films with an overbearing hippy message.

I don’t see the democratic revolution in Egypt any differently.  Setting aside for the moment that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t look poised to win the presidency of Egypt, and its leader has publicly stated that they will not even seek the office, even if none of that was true, I would still support democracy in Egypt.

That’s right, I would rather live in a world in which Egyptians voted in free and fair elections for a government that publicly advocated for terrorism and open war against the United States than one in which we support a dictator who oppresses his people.

Never mind that democracies do not go to war with each other or that supporting dictators has generally gone very poorly for the United States in the past.  Democracy means the right to vote for people that other people hate.

Could you imagine if the tables were turned?  Imagine a presidential candidate who advocated war with North Korea or Pakistan, and the international community rallying to disenfranchise the country and keep in place a dove president.  No chance we would tolerate that, and there’s no reason why we should support doing the same thing to other nations.

Remember, it’s life and liberty, not life then liberty.

Congratulations, Pay Me

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28th, 2011 by bl1y

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail telling me about a mandatory CLE for all newly admitted attorneys in Alabama.  It’s 6 god damn hours.  Well, 6 hours of instruction, the total program lasts 2 hours, I assume there’s some time for breaks and whatnot.  8:00am-4:00pm.

The cost is $279.00.

Each year, the University of Alabama, Cumberland, and Jones Schools of Law produce about 440 graduates.  The combined pass rate of these three schools is about 92%, so we’re looking at about 400 newly minted attorneys every year.  Sure, some people will practice in other states, some people from out of state will come to Alabama, and some people will take the AL bar as their second or third state.  That’s too much math this early, I’m going to keep it simple.  400.

400 x $279 = $111,600.

And we don’t even get printed materials.  We get a fucking CD.  A CD?  A fucking CD?!

Who the fuck uses CDs?!

No paper, and a fucking antiquated piece of technology that’s just going to take up space and get scratched before I ever use it.  Thank you very fucking much.

And they don’t even validate your fucking parking.  Fucking $9.

Battle of the Pelennor Fail

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27th, 2011 by bl1y

I know you’ve all been waiting very patiently to hear my thoughts on this, what with Hu Jintao’s visit and the State of the Union and all that.  …The cavalry charge at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in Return of the King is freaking retarded.

I’ll be going with the movie version, not the book, because, well, the movie is more fun and more people are familiar with it.  Besides, it’s a lot easier to just post a link to YouTube than find the text in the book. (Embedding is disabled, sorry.)

So, the entire strategy was some of you go down the left, some down the middle, and some down the right?  What?  Oh, man, that’s just a plan that can’t be beat!  Now, you might be thinking that in a movie it’s pretty difficult to explain complex battle tactics, especially while keeping it entertaining.  Maybe.  But, The Last Samurai did it. Gladiator did it. Return of the Jedi did it. Hell, earlier in Return of the King you see that the strategy for defending Minis Tirith is to fall back and force the army of Mordor to conduct a siege at every level of the city. This strategy would make a lot of sense to people who saw in Two Towers Saruman’s army get wiped out by the 600 defenders of Helm’s Deep without a single Oruk reaching the top of the wall.

But, nope, just a simple left, right, middle plan is called for here apparently.  And of course, when the actual charge happens, it’s basically just a big wall of cavalry moving straight ahead.  A simple “everybody just go forward” would have worked.

Anyways, on to what really makes this retarded.  At the start of the battle there are 200,000 orcs, against 10,000 Gondor defenders.  Gondor looks way better defended than Helm’s Deep, so by the time Rohan arrives, I think we can estimate that Mordor’s army has been reduced by a good 50,000 or so.  That still leaves 150,000 orcs, and that’s a big number to charge your 6,000+ cavalry into.

So, here’s how a cavalry charge works.  Your guys get going really fast, on big heavy horses, with really long lances, and try to just plow into the enemy, trample all over them, and hopefully disorganize their ranks and send them into a quick retreat.  But, as you engage the enemy, you get slowed down and lose that momentum.  That means that whoever is behind you also has to slow down, and the guy behind him slows down and so on, and if you have a cavalry formation 20 ranks deep, about 75% of your guys will have come to a halt without even being able to see the enemy.  They’ll just be staring at the back end of another horse.

That is, in a best case scenario.  What’s more likely is that the guys in the middle and back will have too much speed and not enough room to stop, and will just end up trampling on your own guys.  You’ve just charged the guys in the back of your army into the guys in the front.  It can work when you’re trying to get that extra yard in football, but not really a good move in war.

In addition to running into the enemy instead of just running into your own dudes, choice of weapon is important in a cavalry charge.  As the Rohan army is lined up, we see a lot of lances out in the front.  That’s exactly what you want.  Lances are really effect when charging, while swords and axes and stuff are better once you’ve slowed down and are fighting man-to-man.  But, once the army gets on the move, those lances seem to be disappearing.  And, by the time they actually crash into the orc army, there’s not a lance to be seen.  The axe and sword dudes are in the front.  I guess that means that when the guy behind you slams into you because he didn’t have room to slow down, he’s going to slam into with a big ass sticking-pole.  Ouch.

Here’s what should have happened.

Rohan divides its army into 3 groups, each with a specific task, instead of 3 all doing the same thing.  First group of 1,500 cavalry line up in 4 rows (instead of 20) of 375 men each (or, 374 men, 1 woman, and a hobbit).  These are all your guys with lances.  They charge and do exactly what you saw in the movie.  Then after they have hit the orc line, they push as deep into the orcish army as they can.  Why?

Because all the spears and things that are good at killing horsies are on the outside of the formation.  The easy pickings, like archers and catapults will be in the middle.  Now, to protect the orcses getting slaughtered by the horses, the spears on the outside will have to turn around and pursue the cavalry.

At this point, group two with 3,000 cavalry lines up in a formation 4 rows deep, 750 long, and they charge into the backs of all those spear orcs that just turned around.  The spear orcs will either get slaughtered, or will have to break off attacking the first group, or, more likely, will end up some going one way, some going another, and just completely disorganized.  But wait, there’s more.

When we get the nice overhead view of Rohan’s charge, it looks like there lines of about 300 troops long present a front the same length as the orc army.  A line 750 troops long is going to be way bigger than that, so won’t a lot of the troops just end up running on empty field, going straight past the battle?

Yes.  This is called flanking.  They ride past the wall of orc spears, and then turn and charge.  With far more orcs taking the full force of a cavalry charge, as opposed to fighting a traffic jam of horses, and the fight coming to them on two fronts, morale will be shot and there’s a good chance the orcish army will break ranks and flee.

But just in case they don’t, you still have group 3 in reserves.  That group of 1,500 cavalry breaks into 15 subgroups of 100 each, form up in 4 lines of 25, and wait to reinforce parts of group 2 that need help.

Now, maybe not all of this will translate into film exactly, but it doesn’t need to.  The audience might not follow the details of what’s going on in the battle, or why certain troops are doing different things, but you’ll at least be left with the understanding that there was an actual strategy, and not just a battle orchestrated by a 9 year old.