Friday, July 11, 2008

First Semester memories...

First semester of law school is now done and I'am now 2.5 years away from finishing school forever. It was a pretty interesting semester overall. It all started with the ANU sending me my acceptance package on the first day of classes. It turns out that they (the law school) 'loss' my original acceptance and did not realize this until the first week of school. So once I received my acceptance letter and whatnot, I had to run to the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. to start my student visa process. In most cases, it would take roughly three weeks to process a student visa but the Aussies at the embassy did mine in 6 hours! (Aussies Rule). Got my plane ticket and started on my 22+ hour journey to Canberra, Australia.

Canberra was not what I was expecting a national capital to be like. I should have figured out that something was wrong when I found out that there are no direct international flights to Canberra. But anywho, I arrived at my home in Duffy which is no where near campus but is still a nice place. I went to the law school (two weeks late) and introduced myself to my professors and whatnot and started classes. My courses for the first semester were; Foundations of Australian Law, Torts Law, Contract Law, and Criminal Law & Procedure.

First person I met in ANU Law school is a dude named Marty(aka Big Pimpin aka Capt. Awesome). Mad chill guy, he's pretty much one of the frontmen of the JD class of 2010. He's also the first person I went out drinking with (it was either at King O'Malleys or Mooseheads for the Law School Launch party or something). I think I met Amy (aka wahine) around the same time, she's a pretty solid chick, kinda crazy, but fun nonetheless. There's also Terry, a interesting fellow but really cool. I kinda destroyed his kidney or liver due to excess drinking but he'll be ok. Desiree....well, Dezzi is a bit odd in her own right, and its hard to tell but I'm still trying to figure out what species she is. She sleeps on average 11-12 hours a day which makes me think shes a bear, but when she's awake she is always sleepy which would make her a sloth, but she sleeps during the day which would make her a vampire.

First met Carmel in the library, she helped me out with my criminal tutorial question. I kept calling here Caramel but mistake until Terry (i think) corrected me. I still call her Caramel to pick on her but when I do she beats me(devastating). Then there's my main man J.R. who loves his Starbucks coffee along with his other vices. Lady Jin, kickass Korean chick who likes to go "extreme". Charles, future leader of China and will lay the smackdown on all who opposes him and Vic, the first of my list of "Aussie Made, Jinx Approved" ladies who likes/loves to party but still manages to do all of her work and do it well. Some of the guys who I haven't hung out with alot but still are mad chill dudes and brother JD's are Nick, who is a guy I think will change the world one day by finally helping Africa get it's act together, Big Sam who at first was a quiet dude with a thick burly Aussie accent then after a party I met him at the bar and found out that he is quite crazy. Matt, who is overshadowed by his....umm...'better' half and a fan of a team that will be killed by St. Kilda is a cool dude. I cant wait to see him cut loose. Long-Haired Sam is a chill dude, he's a studier but does come out to party once in awhile and Dan, who I haven't gotten a chance to really chill with him outside of class but is also a cool dude.

Kate......well, she's special. She's kinda the outspoken leader and representative of our JD class. She's loud, frantic, and a bit insane but that is what everyone loves about her. Feel kinda bad for Matt though...hang in there Matt!(No offense Kate, haha). Brydie the missing JD'er will hopefully start hanging out with us next semester. Kali, who has a excellent taste in style in my opinion is a cool chick, need to hang out a bit more though. Josh....sigh, well Josh doesn't hang out with us because we are evil I think. Nice guy though. Last is Roman, a North American brother studying Law at the ANU. He's a chill guy, hangs out with us a bit and laughs at us when we get drunk.
(I think thats all the FT JD's) The semester started off without a hitch, and everything was going well until we received our first law assignment.

I like Anne, I really really do but she is absolutely worthless when it came to that case note we had to write in Contracts(fucking contracts). Nobody had any idea what he/she was doing for that assignment and it showed somewhat when we got our grades back. I did well on it, I got a 77 which amounts to a 'D' in Aussie-style grading. I also had a problem question and a analysis to do in Foundies and Criminal Law. Foundies I did pretty well on, I got a 68 which is a 'C' but in Criminal I messed up badly and ended up getting a 48 which is a failing grade that is marked as 'N'. My first sit-down exam was in Torts (fucking torts). I thought I did pretty well in it but when I got my grade back....50 which is the lowest passing grade marked as a 'P'.
After exam hell, we (the JD class) went out to celebrate our victory/defeat of midsemester exams. The night ended up going pretty well. The entire break consisted of Terry, Dezzi and myself going to the Pub everyday. Goodtimes. The second half of the semester went kinda quickly. I had the JD's and other people over my house for a BBQ which turned out to be the death of Terry's liver. We had all meat and no veggies, it was a Man's BBQ. Good amount of people showed up and hopefully enjoyed themselves. We worked through the rest of the semester and then prepared for finals

The JD Finals schedule had 3 finals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Foundies, Criminal, and Torts) and the last final a week after. I moved into my second home during this time (the Law School Commonroom) which became my place of study for finals. After finals were done, we had an excellant cocktail party at Kate and Matts place. I drank.....well I drank alot. There's pictures...which I hope will not see the light of day. I got my final grades back the other day, which can be described as bittersweet. I got a 80-HD (a fucking HD!!!) in Contract Law, a 72-D in Foundies, 70-D in Criminal but I got a PX in Torts which mean that I have to take a extra exam to try to pass the course. (FUCK!)

So it's been an interesting semester, met cool people, had sweet parties, made good friends. I cannot wait for next semester...wait...Australian Public Law, Legal Theory, International Law and Lawyers, Justice, & Ethics? Fuck me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dramatic Chipmunk Headlines Presents; Unimportant but Dramatic Stories!

Gay Clergy in the U.K. marry and Elian Gonzalez becomes a COMMUNIST!

Two men who happen to be clergy marry in the U.K. So you know what that means...CIVIL WAR between the libbys and the conservatives of the Anglican Church of England. While the liberals believe that marriage between men is not such a big deal, the conservatives want a full-fledged investigation into the matter. Archbishop Orombi of Uganda has stated that the Church of England needs to take action or else see the church disintegrate. He concluded by stating;

"What really shocks me is that this is happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us."

Although civil unions are legal per se in the U.K., it is frown upon if members of the Church of England blesses the ceremony. There will be a investigation into this matter and the futures of the clergy now rest in God's hands...or people who claim to represent God's wishes...its hard to tell nowadays.

But even more shocking is that Elian Gonzalez, the little boy who took the minds and hearts of all Americans have become the most dreaded of America's enemies...A Card-Carrying Commie!! That's right people, he has become Cuba's Youth Communist (they should probably look at a name change in my opinion). Why Elian Why?? Were we not good to you? What made you turn on us? Was it the fact that after you and your family rowed 50 miles in a leaky boat only to live in Miami for like 2 minutes and find out that you are to be deported back to Cuba and trying to fight the deportation only for then Attorney General Janet Reno to tell you to "fuck off" and orders the immediate deportation and for you and your uncle (i think) to be caught hiding in the closet by a BORTAC agent pointing his MP5 Submachine gun directly at your eye??? you joined the communist party because we treated you like shit and you live in a Communist country? Makes sense.

See you next time.

Viva la Revolutionaries

I just want to address this issue shortly. The ideal of the 'revolutionary' in it's past state is a dieing breed. Staying within the 20th century, the ideals of past revolutionaries such as Che Guevara, Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. have usually either been thrown aside (more or less), been generally forgotten, or have been mocked in a rather ironic way (see picture to the side). These men have forfeit their lives to serve the greater good of the people they represent. They are not looking for glory or wealth or even recognition. They are just looking for a better way of life. Their ideals will probably last forever which have gained these particular men a sense of immortality but with so many historic figures, the ideals they fought for usually ends up becoming "altered" along with the passing of time.

Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) was a champion of civil rights among minorities within the United States. He faced many death threats, had his phone and hotel rooms "bugged" by the FBI, and even had his home in Alabama bombed with his family still inside (the family survived) and yet he still fought on. While his dream of his children growing up in the U.S. and being judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin has somewhat come true (its a work-in-progress), White AND Black Americans have done much to diminish his legacy. White student's at a university in the U.S. celebrated MLK day by having a "Gangsta" party where they dress up as hip-hop artist and gangsters where they drink 40oz of malt liquor and act 'thug'. For Black Americans, I'll go to the unlikely source of Aaron McGruder(creator of the Boondocks). The episode of the Boondocks which featured MLK went on to discuss what would happen if MLK were alive today. It is stated during the show that the current generation of black people have willfully assumed the negative racial stereotypes associated with them and that the people of the Civil Rights Era did not fight for this kind of future. I believe this to be true.

Che Guevara is a revolutionary who fought against neo-colonialism and capitalism within Latin America before his death in 1967. He sacrificed his life for his people through war and suffering and he eventually became a representative of the people on the world stage, which lead to his eventual execution. After all that he has taught the world, how do we honor him? By putting his image on a pair of fucking socks. It's quite ironic actually. A man who dedicated his life to fight foreign capitalism is now having his image printed on a T-Shirt and sold for $24.99 at Old Navy retail stores across the U.S.

There will always be revolutionaries as long as there is conflict within the world we live in today. But will they suffer the same fate that past revolutionaries have? I think so, but at the end of the day some will gain an amazing insight to what the revolutionary brought to their lives, others will ignore the message and go around wearing a Che t-shirt. Its the way of the world.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Look at the Future

The JD program is a newly formed group of super geniuses...some say with awesome super powers, who attend the Australian National University. With all new super groups though, comes the strain of the building process. The LSS approached our group begging us to lend them a Representative from our collective of super geniuses. A candidate stepped forward and ran unopposed for about two weeks, that's when I decided to take my shot in the deadly arena of law school politics. I will not run a smear campaign against any of my opponents but instead highlight my lies...i mean promises that I will fulfill when elected into office. First, I promise to have the ANU Law School drop the requirement of Constitutional Law from the JD program. For us to learn a document in which the entire Australian system of life is based off of is ludicrous, we're Americans damnit. Secondly, I will implement a plan to give JD's unlimited Internet access and a paper quota of 30,000 pages a semester. What is this 80mb bullshit? We deserve more as JD students. Thirdly, I will work day and night to have JD's graded with either HD or D. JD's don't get C's, P's and N's. We are only getting them now because of racism. I have more plans for the future so check out this spot later for more updates for what I will do for the JD program. But just in case you do not know who I'am;

My name is Jinxy Best and I want to serve YOU as the Juris Doctor representive of the Law School Society.

My Love-Hate Affair with the Death Penalty: Jinx's subjective view of the death penalty in America

The Dreadful Death Penalty. The Repulsive Death Penalty. The Necessary Death Penalty?

When I was about 9 years old I was asked; "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At that time I had already begun to dabble in human rights issues (very lightly though, i was only 9) and I answered; "I wanna be Secretary-General of the U.N., or a ninja." Leaving my fall-back plan of being an practitioner of the ancient japanese art of assassination aside for the time being, I wanted to (and still want to) be in charge of a organization that deals with and attempts to solve issues dealing with the problems of the world. At the time I had no real understanding of human rights issues but I knew what was right from wrong.

Now, is it ever right to take one's life due to a crime committed? In the United States you are eligible for the death penalty for Murder, Treason against the U.S., and rape of a child under the age of 10 in Louisiana. During my early to mid teens, I was a somewhat hesitant backer of the death penalty. In the late 90's (i think 1997-98) the state of Texas executed Terry Washington, a mentally handicap male with communication skills of a 7 year old. What makes it 'ok' to ever execute a person with a diminished capacity? I asked myself that question over a thousand times when I first read about Mr. Washington's death while I was in high school. It was then that I decided that the United States needed to abolish the death penalty. I started going to rallies, and other protests directly after Mr. Washington's death but my newly found passion for the death penalty to be abolished was short lived.

Texas-1998. James Byrd (the victim) accepted a ride home from Three..."men" by the names of John King, Lawrence Brewer, and Shawn Berry. Two of the three (King & Brewer) were members of a white-supremacist gang while in prison. Instead of taking Mr. Byrd home, the three "men" took him behind a store, began to beat him, chained him by the ankles to their pickup truck, stripped him naked, possibly slit his throat (but still alive) and dragged him about three miles. The autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive for much of the dragging and died after his right arm and head were severed when his body hit a culvert. His body had caught a sewage drain on the side of the road resulting in Byrd's decapitation.

King, Berry, and Brewer dumped Byrd's mutilated remains in the town's black cemetery, and then went to a barbecue. The Texas State Police found Byrd's remains scattered in 75 different places across the road the next day. King, Brewer, and Berry were caught by the FBI quite quickly. In a jailhouse letter to Brewer which was intercepted by jail officials, King expressed pride in the crime and said he realized he might have to die for committing it. "Regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history. Death before dishonor. Sieg Heil!" King wrote. John King & Lawrence Brewer were charged with murder and sentenced to die. Shawn Berry was given life in prison.

After hearing about this, I became more pro-death then I have ever been. Being black myself, it could have just as easily been me in Mr. Byrd's position. I felt a strong 'hatred' for these "men" mainly due to King and Brewer having felt no remorse for what they have done. Why should they live when they gruesomely took the life of a man just for the color of his skin? When they were sentenced I felt as if they were getting off a bit too easy(I wanted cruel and unusual punishment thrown out - me being evil), but in the end I was content with the way they were sentenced. If you are not a minority then it would be difficult to understand why I felt this way. Being killed in this day and age because you are not white is never a pleasant thing to think about and is still a real possibility that it could happen to any minority.

I stood by this position until one day I decided (along with a friend) to visit men and women on 'death row' for a college program and gain a perspective of what the accused have to go through after sentencing and knowing they are about to die. That was truly a life-changing experience. Most if not all were just 'normal' as you and me. What brought them to jail was a robbery gone wrong, a fit of passion which got out of control and other situations that plenty of us have been through, but in our case we just stop short of doing something stupid. The people I visited were humble, soft-spoken, and a bit...broken. I left there with a new grasp on what these people have to go through after their mistake. While I still have my reservations about King and Brewer, I began to soften my stance on the death-penalty. My beliefs were later tested after the events of September 11th, 2001.

I know what you are thinking; "Oh, here's another American that wants to kill the Muslim world." The events of 9/11 will always be burned in my mind, but I was talking about the events after 9/11 with American society in general. A close friend of mine who is Indian of the Sikhism religion received a call 3 days after 9/11 saying that her father was killed. He wasn't killed by "terrorist" per se but by a group of men in New Jersey who mistook him for a Muslim and beat him into a short coma which then proceeded to death. He was wearing a turban, which the perpetrators saw and began to verbally harass him calling him a "towel-head" and a "Sand-N*gger". They began to beat him for what he "did" to the U.S. and left him for dead on the side of the road.

This situation hurt me quite badly. I knew her father, I met him on a few occasions and he always carried himself with a sense respect for everyone around him. He is and always will be a great man. The men that killed him were sentenced between roughly 17-30 years. I remember my friend telling me sometime after that although she wanted these men to suffer and die, it would not bring her father back. She visited these men in jail, which is one of the bravest things I have ever seen. She reasoned with them, listened to what they had to say, even at some points joked with them. Although she could never forgive them (which she told the men) she will prey that they make a positive difference in someones life while in jail and when they are released.

My friend and I ended up agreeing that it was a fit of rage, ugly and terrible but they should not be executed for it. Although I believed they should have received at least 40-50 years for their deed. When you kill someone, you take away their past, present, and future. 17 years is nowhere near enough in my book.

As of today, I feel that the death-penalty in the U.S. should be changed...drastically. I still cannot honestly say that I'm against the death penalty now, but I'm still rather disgusted for what you can be executed for also. In the end though, who are we to judge who can live and who must die. There are crimes where you are executed for a momentary lapse of judgement and there are times you are executed for horrific crimes which makes it hard to make a case for the perpetrator not to be executed. How do you judge on who deserves to die?

Monday, June 9, 2008

I should be studying for my law exams but instead I'm creating a blog...

I`d like to welcome any and everyone to my blog. I'm currently "studying" for my first law school finals at the Australian National University. I have Foundies, Criminal Law, and Torts this week which I'm in no way prepared for but you know...procrastination, that's why i decided to do this blog thingy (again). Lets hope this will be the first of many blogs unless I either get tired of writing day after day, win the lottery and go to Vegas and blow it all on cheap hookers and booze, fail out of law school and accidentally run over a police officers' foot and then refuse to drive off, or die from multiple beating from the ladies of the JD class for trying to get in their pants by saying;

"Makin` love for two. Makin` love for two minutes. When it`s with me you only need two minutes, cause I`m so intense. Two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven."

But before any of that happens, I'm going to be as honest as possible so I hope I won`t damage anyone`s feelings beyond repair but I do intend to ruffle a few feathers now and then. Whether it be political views, religious input or how Coldplay doesn't rock one little bit. Come on, Speed of Sound, Clocks, ITS THE SAME FREAKING SONG! Everyone says how great they are but they really don`t notice this. It`s like I`m taking crazy pills. Freak out aside, I`m not going for shock value in my upcoming blogs, just some old fashioned debate on everything under the sun. You will be hearing from me very soon. Till then, aloha