It is important to be clear about the issues that are at stake in an inquiry into the legality of the American war in Indochina. It is not in dispute, among rational people with some concern for the facts, that the United States command is responsible for major crimes in the layman’s sense of this term. What we may reasonably ask is whether the acts that are documented beyond dispute are also crimes in the lawyer’s sense, recognizing that when we raise this question, it is not the war that is on trial but the law. We are asking–if we are serious–whether the law is a sufficiently precise and delicate instrument so that it can label a monstrous crime as a violation of law. Similarly, in considering the legality of the intervention itself (apart from the means employed), a person who is serious about the matter is not examining the propriety of the act but rather the adequacy of the law. Suppose we were to determine that international law does not condemn the United States intervention as criminal in the technical sense. Then a rational person will regard the law, so understood, with all the respect accorded to the divine right of kings.

Noam Chomsky, For Reasons of State, 1973, 19-20.

Letter I sent to LA Times reporter

Dear Mr. Muskal,

Your article on Lupe Fiasco’s performance at the inauguration party provides little information about the incident and is grossly unfair to Mr. Fiasco.

First, you allow the concert promoters to say both that Fiasco “was not forced off” and that organizers “decided to move on to the next act,” without pointing out the explicit contradiction between these two positions. You also fail to note that video of the incident appears to show Mr. Fiasco being surrounded by burly men and escorted from the stage.

Next, you cite the promoters for the claim that the audience was “annoyed” and “vocally dissatisfied” with Mr. Fiasco, but again do not reference the video, in which no such reaction can be heard, and in fact, enthusiastic chants of “Yeah, Lupe” are heard throughout. You also do not quote any of the supposedly “dissatisfied” concertgoers.

Finally, you have allowed a headline that is patently false to appear, which is that Fiasco issued an “antiwar rant.” You know that the “rant” was actually part of the rap; the word “rant” suggests that Fiasco engaged in some separate verbal tirade outside of his performance. If this had been true, it would better explain the alleged dissatisfied audience. That there was no such separate rant undermines the claim that the audience was annoyed.

Of course, this is all beside the fact that you fail to investigate why Fiasco had grievances against the Obama administration, etc., or what he was referring to when he mentioned Gaza, which a responsible journalist wishing to give the full story would do.

Again, this article is shoddy in its presentation of the facts and entirely biased in favor of the promoters and against Fiasco, who is made to appear a raving madman without being given any opportunity for comment.

Thank you,
Nathan J. Robinson

Peter Eisenman and the Totalitarian Inhumanity of Architecture

They assume that [I’m a leftist], but here’s proof that I’m not. You know, I can tell you this: most of my clients are Republicans, most of them are right-leaning. In fact, my client in Spain for the cultural center at Santiago de Campostela is the last Francoist minister. And I have the most rapport with right-leaning political views, because first of all, liberal views have never built anything of any value, because they can’t get their act together. I find this public process about what monument we should build in downtown at the WTC site an aberrant one, because since when does the public choose?

Eisenman reiterates his seething contempt for the public and affirms that Francoist fascists are close allies.

Purposely ignoring the idea of form following function, Eisenman created spaces that were quirky and well-lit, but rather unconventional to live with. He made it difficult for the users so that they would have to grow accustomed to the architecture and constantly be aware of it. For instance, in the bedroom there is a glass slot in the center of the wall continuing through the floor that divides the room in half, forcing there to be separate beds on either side of the room so that the couple was forced to sleep apart from each other.

The experience of living in a house designed by someone who hates people. The house literally breaks couples apart.

What must one think of [Cézanne,] who spent all his life trying to paint round apples, and who never succeeded in painting anything but convex apples?… One has to be extremely awkward to be content with painting apples that are such a failure that they cannot even be eaten… Le Corbusier also made a disgraceful mistake: never will reinforced cement be used on other planets…Yes and yes, he sank like a stone, the weight of his own reinforced cement ulling him down like a masochistic Protestant Swiss cheese. On a structural basis, Cézanne is like Le Corbusier; the only difference between them is that Cézanne was a rabid reactionary and full of good intentions whereas Le Corbusier was irremediably Swiss, left wing, and full of bad intentions. Piñero, on the contrary, is an authentic Spanish genius…with Fuller, he is capable of making the molecular structures of deoxyribonucleic acid–ingredient of eternity–come to life. Buckminster Fuller has freed architecture from the right angle and has substituted for structures that are heavy others that seem to take flight; he has demonstrated that the ideal shelter for man is a spherical translucid structure which might cover the earth–a cupola! This is an eminently monarchistic, vital, and liturgical principle. Dali says No to Le Corbusier and to Cézanne! But Dali says Yes to Fuller and Piñero!

Salvador Dali, from Dali by Dali, 1970, p. 40-42

The Stabbing of Razzaq

“Razzaq was an inmate at the Leavenworth Detention Center, a federal penitentiary operated by the CCA. Razzaq alleges that on the morning of March 16, 2010, Volle informed Razzaq that he would be receiving a cell mate. Razzaq replied that he was on “single cell status” and did not want a cell mate, and especially not the cell mate in question, who Razzaq said was a big troublemaker with a history of assaults. Razzaq was removed from his cell for an hour of outdoor recreation. When he returned, Limeweaver, Garcia, and Castellon were there with the new cell mate. Both the cell mate and Razzaq were handcuffed. Razzaq again voiced his desire not to have this particular cell mate and asked to see a supervisor. Razzaq and the cell mate were placed inside the cell, and Limeweaver, Garcia, and Castellon went outside the cell. Limeweaver then uncuffed the cell mate. The cell mate pulled a knife out of his pants and stabbed the still-handcuffed Razzaq seventeen times.”  Razzaq v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 2012 WL 966077 (D. Kan. Mar. 21, 2012).

To summarize, as a three-line drama:

RAZZAQ: Please don’t put him in with me, I will be stabbed.
THEY: You will be fine.
RAZZAQ: Please don’t put him in with me, I will be stabbed!

*he is put in with Razzaq; Razzaq is stabbed.*

For his trouble, Razzaq receives a ruling as follows:

Because the CCA is a private entity, and Bivens and Section 1983 do not extend to private entities, Razzaq has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Therefore, the court grants the motion to dismiss as to the CCA.

Caught Practicing Law Without a Van

Though I love the man, my deepest fear regarding my legal career is that I will end up practicing out of Irv Pinsky’s FAST SETTLEMENTS law-van:


Source: Death Threats And Legal Obstacles – Lawyer Withdraws $100M Newtown Lawsuit

Pinsky, a controversial character who is pictured on his Facebook page in front of a van emblazoned with garish signs advertising his law practice, quickly filed against the state of Connecticut for $100 million.

Also, though the photograph doesn’t show it, that oval glass to the rear of the blinking “Legal Referrals” LCD sign houses a neon light in the shape of a motorcycle. Just to give you a full sense of the thing.