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This diary is entirely a little bit of ego, though I hope it's tolerable. I no longer have the money to spare to keep up my old website, let alone hire an artist. I like to think I can write, and I'm a very active storyboarder, but I'm not really any good at art myself. But I came across my old stuff and I missed having somewhere to point it to people. This is the start of a comic I used to write a few years back; I worked on many comics, but this is the only one I'm still rather fond of.

I had a fourteen (!) year plan of thrice-weekly updates, but I lost my job; 40 hours a week working on comics plus 50 hours a week at a high-pressure job I was underqualified for in the first place leads to shoddy work at the latter. So this stalled out a few months in. Even though I'm following a career into law now, I really want to get back into this some day. It's my baby.

Click the image below to see it in its sixteen page glory. :)

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AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

...

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.

I think this deserves serious consideration. The United States has been, for my limited experience, oddly reverent of rather than reflective on its constitution when compared to other countries. This has been true with the gun debate, where people have often fallen to hiding behind the existence of the second amendment as a defense in moral and philosophical debate rather than leaving it to the legal side of matters and defending gun rights on their own merits. It is also true, of course, that much of our fiscal dysfunction is the result of rules that were written for an educated patrician republic which could be checked by democracy, which we've slowly tried to evolve to a plebian representative democracy, and ended up with a corporate-steered leaky hybrid.
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Lol?

Did you know that Phelps is a Democrat? In Fox Nation he is.

In a post called, "Bikers Turn Out to Protect Newtown Mourners from Westboro Baptist Church," Fox Nation captions its photo with, "Bikers Turn Out to Protect Newtown Mourners from Left-Wing Westboro Cult."

Merry Christmas. On the first day of Christmas, I give to thee, a Fox News absurdity.
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A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Iowa's Supreme Court of seven members is all male, and consists of four Republican appointees and three Democratic appointees.

A pertinent bit from the decision itself:

Nelson also raises a serious point about sexual harassment.  Given that sexual harassment is a violation of antidiscrimination law, Nelson argues that a firing by a boss to  avoid  committing sexual harassment should be treated similarly. But sexual harassment violates our civil rights laws because of the “hostile work environment” or “abusive atmosphere” that it has created for persons of the victim’s sex.  See, e.g., Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 786–90, 118 S. Ct. 2275, 2283–84, 141 L. Ed. 2d 662, 675–78 (1998).   On the other hand, an isolated decision to terminate an employee before such an environment arises, even if the reasons for termination are unjust, by definition does not bring about that atmosphere.
I'm personally of the opinion that this allows a different kind of sexual harassment altogether - granting the ability to fire a person of the opposite sex on the basis of nothing substantial whatsoever creates an environment where anyone who fears they might be somewhat attractive to their boss must dress down and basically walk on eggshells. The court rightly notes that they would step in, in a clear case where multiple women had been fired under such a pretext - but it shouldn't have to go that far.
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We thought Uganda with their Kill the Gays Lifetime Imprisonment In Horrible Conditions That Will Lead to Death for Gays law was bad enough. But it apparently gets worse.

An appeals court in Cameroon has upheld a three-year sentence against a man found guilty of homosexual conduct for sending a text message to another man saying: "I'm very much in love with you."

Activists said the court's ruling on Monday in Yaoundé, the capital, marked yet another setback for gays and lesbians in the west African country, widely viewed as the most repressive country in the continent when it comes to prosecuting same-sex couples.

...

"I am going back to the dismal conditions that got me critically ill before I was temporarily released for medical reasons," he told Associated Press by telephone. "I am not sure I can put up with the anti-gay attacks and harassment I underwent at the hands of fellow inmates and prison authorities on account of my perceived and unproven sexual orientation. The justice system in this country is just so unfair."

Mbédé's provisional release earlier this year followed pressure from rights activists over his deteriorating health aggravated by malnutrition and repeated assaults.

...

Homosexuality is illegal in many African countries, and MPs in Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda have recently presented legislation that would strengthen anti-gay laws that are already on the books.

But even in those countries, prosecutions are rare or nonexistent, said Neela Ghoshal, a researcher in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights programme at Human Rights Watch.

As a shining beacon of hope and morality, one would think that the United States would be at least somewhat outraged over this travesty of justice. After all, when I've mentioned to anti-gay evangelicals the role that some of their fellows had in pushing the Ugandan bill:

They've consistently said that this is going much too far.

So, how outraged are we? ... Well, Korean Hip-hopper PSY's Gangnam Style went viral in August of this year, and had won several awards by September which would make it old news by October. However, with the minor exception (and I do mean minor) of MSNBC - the above clip comes from when Uganda's law was just a proposed bill, a while back - cable news still found Gangnam Style to be more relevant to the national discourse during all of November and then some.

Hat tip to Media Matters.

That's sad.

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Just a small bit of world background history; this article is written by one of my fellow classmates, who is Bangladeshi himself. I found it very interesting, and worth passing on. Detailing Bangaldesh's separation from Pakistan, as well as some of the modern developments on that front... it is hopefully something small and positive to end what has been a very bad day.

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Patrick Henry College, a Northern Virginia-based fundamentalist Christian school, has gotten into an uproar about a new blog they've been introduced to; it is, appropriately enough, called "Queer at Patrick Henry College." Run by three alumni of the college, it was founded in the tradition of other LBGT-friendly support groups at other Christian fundamentalist universities, like BJUnity for Bob Jones University.

The school's chancellor is convinced that this is an elaborate hoax.

“[Homosexuals] could not sign our honor code,” as “part of the honor code is to be sexually pure.”

“We don’t think that there are any such students,” Farris said of LGBTQ students at the school, adding that the administration thought our blog was a “hoax.”

(Quick! Clap if you believe in fairies!)

Ahem.

There’s a stark difference in the definition of our terms. In the eyes of those like Farris, homosexuality is just a sexual action or sexual lifestyle. For us, it’s an orientation, a marker of personal identity. Is it possible that there are no students having gay sex while enrolled at PHC? Entirely possible. But that doesn’t erase the existence of LGBTQ students at the school.

Chancellor Farris, who has a long legal career and at one point was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of our fair state, initially threatened to sue the blog for a copyright violation in using the school's name as part of their name. I'm sorry, I haven't even taken any classes remotely related to intellectual property yet and I know the difference between a patent, a trademark, and a copyright. Not to mention that there are numerous reasons that this would never be considered a trademark violation. He also wanted to sue the creators for damages related to violating the honor code. I almost want him to try, but I want the (apparently closeted) creators of the blog to be able to maintain their anonymity as long as they deem it necessary.

Read more about this at the Loudoun Times.

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I was waiting for someone else to cover this, since I've been busy with preparing for finals. Still am. But this got very little play in my usual channels, so I'm going to write about it, in my usual trainwrecky fashion. This contains minor spoilers to all three of the most recent Bond movies, and a major one to the first movie; I will try my best to minimize it.

What the hell was Director Sam Mendes thinking when he okayed what is essentially a rape scene in the new James Bond flick, Skyfall? Now, I understand that Bond is not historically a sterling example of gender equality. Goldfinger established that for the ages; the scene I link below might be considered a playful bedroom scene, were it not for the fact that the two are enemies and the woman is a lesbian.

However, it seemed for some time that Bond was on a slow correction course back to reality. In 1995 Dame Judi Dench took over as M, the head of MI6, the British government agency responsible for Bond's employ. Her character very openly scorned Brosnan's Bond at the time, calling him a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War." While the two eventually warmed up to each other, that line set the tone for their relationship in contrast to the Old Boys approach that was taken by her predecessors.

(More after the divider.)
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This is not me. I am fortunately not in this situation.

Friend of mine - no one close, just someone I've gamed with on and off for a year - is currently in incredible pain. Wisdom teeth came in, crushed his molars, some of the teeth are beginning to rot, and he's running high on debt and already receiving whatever financial support he can from family. Our gaming group's trying to get him to go to a dentist, but apparently, last time he saw one - work was quoted as being over $5k, and he's afraid to spend the money to get another appraisal because it's been long enough that he expects it'd be more expensive.

None of us have the finances necessary to be able to back him up. Is there any recourse - some sort of charity or even a loan program - that exists to help people like this who are actively seeking jobs and would pay back at first opportunity? We're all really worried about him, but he either can't, or won't - and I don't want to push to find out which it is, he's already ashamed of his inability to get work - add more debt through a credit card for this.

Sorry, this is the only non-gamer community I'm really part of, so I don't have a lot of other places to ask for advice.

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A week after Arthur Lopez guarded the president and Mitt Romney, he was shot dead with an illegal gun. Now the woman who asked about gun violence at the second presidential debate would like a real answer.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/...
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Uganda will officially pass the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill at the end of this year despite international criticism.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the anti-gay bill will become law by December since most Ugandans ‘are demanding it’.

Referring to the law as a ‘Christmas gift’ to the population,  she spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals.

http://www.gaystarnews.com/... <--- If the link does not work for you, I'm getting some reports that certain people cannot access the site, while others seem to be able to access it. I'm not sure yet if that's due to a netsplit between backbone providers, or if the site has gone down and my local ISP is maintaining a cache.
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Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:52 AM PST

I have the best classmates ever.

by ConfusedSkyes

I am just so touched that I had to share this.

A few days ago, I had to rush to the emergency room, due to the development of an extremely large and painful incarcerated hernia. This was actually right after President Obama's victory speech, which was a small consolation as I dealt with ridiculous amounts of pain. I stayed two days in the hospital, getting surgery and recovering, with a ridiculously large suture now traveling up my stomach.

Then I needed to go home, but though I had barely managed to drive myself there, I needed someone to drive me home. The painkillers they prescribed for me are narcotics and I have very limited range of motion for a few days. Two of my classmates - I am in law school, my first year of law school, I have only known these people for a few months - picked me up and took me back home, graciously stopping along the way for me to get groceries.

And by 'get groceries', I mean I was told I would stay in the car while they got the groceries for me, because they didn't want me moving. They helped me home, they brought my car back, and took one look at my bachelor pad and decided that I was not going to be subsisting on a cereal, fruit, and yogurt diet, as is my wont to do.

I just had one classmate march in here and lay out a schedule she had developed with several of my other classmates, after looking up recommended nutritional needs for my recovery. I am going to be having people marching in and out of my apartment, cooking for me, when I barely even cook for myself. They're also recording the classes I'm missing, and stuff.

And I've barely known these people for three months. I'm just very overwhelmed with the level of kindness right now. I have the best classmates in the world. We'll be thoroughly blessed to have all of these wonderful people in the legal profession within the next few years.

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