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Messages - fsohn

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Transferring / Transfers within the T14?
« on: November 03, 2008, 05:55:51 PM »
I'm currently a 1L at Cornell.  In some ways, I love it here.  I've met a lot of awesome people, have awesome professors, and am generally able to forget about the dumpishness that pervades the town most of the time.  However, for a variety of personal reasons, I'm strongly considering transferring back to my hometown of Chicago.

I guess not very many people are qualified to discourse on the subject, but does anyone know what the likelihood of either Northwestern or Chicago taking a guy like me is, or what sort of grades I'd need?  I was waitlisted at Chicago (rejected after accepting Cornell) and I didn't apply to NU.  I expect median or ever-so-slightly above median grades (not for lack of trying, but generally because I don't feel I'm amongst the top kids in my class), which would put me around 3.25.  Any advice, anyone, on what I should do?  LORs shouldn't be a problem.

Black Law Students / Re: End of Summer Vacation ideas?
« on: July 11, 2008, 07:08:27 AM »
Chicago is the best baseball city in the world. Period.  The Sox play Boston the second weekend of August, and the Cubs are playing St. Louis.  If baseball is at all your thing, Chicago would not be a bad place to spend a summer weekend.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: test PDFs anywhere?
« on: July 07, 2008, 07:25:13 PM »
If it is a licensing issue, then he has already paid for some kind of license for the questions with his TestMasters course.  The remaining issue are whether or not he retains that license after the test is over (I printed out all of my bonus practice stuff, so I have them at least) and whether or not he has a license for the questions organized in test form.  That seems to be the main issue to my ignorant self, and I am probably running roughshod over a half dozen legal issues, at least.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: test PDFs anywhere?
« on: July 07, 2008, 04:19:54 PM »
I wonder if what the OP is requesting is really so serious a breach of copyright law anyway.  Part of the reason TM is so expensive is because of their licensing of test materials.  If my instructor didn't lie to me, I have every published LSAT question ever made in my old TM books and additional materials.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Columbia vs. NYU
« on: July 04, 2008, 12:17:24 AM »
Part of the reason people don't see Iran as a serious threat is the fact that most people don't understand the reality of the political situation there.  Ahmadinejad is president, yes, but he does not have anywhere close to the same sort of power as George Bush does in the US.  People may whine and moan about the US being/moving towards being a theocracy (I think they are wrong), but Iran is straight-up a religious state--its official name is "The Islamic Republic of Iran."  If the ayatollahs don't give their go-ahead on anything, it doesn't much matter what the Iranian president says or wants to do.  He could try to start some sort of power struggle and dethrone them, but I would not be too optimistic about his chances.

There is also, as someone else said in this thread, the fact that Israel will destroy any plant they have that is near operational stage, insofar as it is capable of doing so.  They are, for better or worse, like a tripwire for the rest of the world with regards to many of the Middle East conflicts, and if the US or the EU won't act to stop something because they don't have the requisite proof, Israel, whose existence would in a very real way be threatened by a nuclear Iranian state, would act on lesser information and take them out.  Again, for better or for worse, depending on what side of the debate you fall.

Finally, there is the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome, I think.  My parents are both reliable Republican voters who are voting Democratic for the first time in a presidential election, precisely because of the war.  Many people I know are simply not willing to believe anything regarding war from the current administration, since they were mistaken on so many of their estimates, not only intelligence, but also cost and post-war planning.  The American people got a crappy sell on the war in Iraq, and they don't want to see our troop totals in the region swell up to three hundred or four hundred thousand troops on anything other than absolute, ironclad evidence, preferably coming from a neutral, non-Bush-administration program related activity source (sorry, I couldn't resist the jab, and it is late...). McCain seems to be a lot of the same with regards to the war, and if he sells what he has sold so far (that is, the surge), progress means tens of thousands of troops tied up indefinitely while a group of political incompetents jabber at each other and squabble while their own people and our troops die in the streets.  Coming from a military family (Grandpa in WWII, uncles in Korea and Vietnam, dad in the Korean Army) and with the brother of a dear friend of mine in the war zone now, I don't want to see it either.  I think a lot of people are willing to risk sticking their heads in the sand and just ignoring the problem, whatever it might be.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Columbia vs. NYU
« on: July 02, 2008, 07:26:35 AM »
Oh man. Right, wrong, yeah. We've been funding Musharraf who has been undemocratic AND a bad leader. He declared a truce with the radicals in the mountains that allowed them to regroup stronger than ever. He's wishywashy and hasn't committed to anything. Why even try.
Also, the lack of knowledge all you 'patriots' have is disgusting. Do you realize that we just spent 400 million dollars (this just came out in the past week) on covert operations and 'destabilization' in Iran? They have REASON to believe we want war with them because we're funding their political dissidents and trying to negotiate hit jobs on their leaders. Nevermind whether they are a good government or  bad government, they are fairly legitimate and we can't really fight their crimes by trying to subvert them. When we toss out the values we purport to defend, we lose all weight in the fight. It no longer matters who wins.
Henry Kissinger and other similar  men are still remembered as practical war criminals in South America. Time and time again, in Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, socialist leaders have won democratic elections over the past decades. What do we do? Pump money (like in the Iran-Contra scandal, to the right-wing Contras of el salvador) into rightwing paramilitary groups and dictators, helping them defeat the democratically elected leftists, all in the name of fighting communism... and protecting swish business deals.
In Guatemala, the United Fruit Company was so tight with the government in the 50s that if a local could not pay taxes, he was subject to working 150 days a year not to the government, but to UFC. And UFC was closely tied to the US government.. indeed, a later head of the CIA was previously in charge of the UFC. Just one example of the collusion of power, money, and rightism. We forget, we FORGET the impression we have left in other countries, then we act shocked and appalled when we get illegal immigrants fleeing the economic destruction we have wreaked (we have so many el salvadorans and the MS-13 because they fled the 10 year civil war reagan's right wing funding set off).

And in Iran, we forget that in the 80s, we supported Iraq(yes, IRAQ) publicly while secretly selling Iran weapons and giving the proceeds to the El Salvadorans in the Iran-Contra scandal. The Iranians remember this, they remember our willingness to declare our support against their enemies while selling them weapons on the side, and they remember it all and don't forget- they cannot trust the United States, not even as a partner, let alone someone to come in and tell them how to run their country. Let alone the fact that Ahmenwhatever is actually a presidential figurehead, but not a real leader- the Ayatollah is in charge. They just use their president to poke at us and make us angry.

Iran is a place of political repression and violence and oppression of minorities, but America has lost any ability to dictate change in the region. We have no credibility.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to what you're saying.  But, there are nuances, as always.  Not every democratically elected government is necessarily the best for its own people.  Frankly, the unenlightened, uneducated masses are not equipped to know what's best for themselves (that's why they elect the likes of George W. Bush).  Unfortunately, there is nobody above the US of A to install a "friendly" regime, like we can do in Nicaragua or even Colombia. 

My problem with your argument is that not every "legitimate" government necessarily has a moral right to govern.  A regime that hangs women for failing to wear head-scarves is morally corrupt.  As is a regime that sponsors illegal drug trade, like most of the leftist regimes in the Latin America do.  Let's not forget one thing - Social Democrats were ELECTED in Germany in 1932.  The Germans paid a heavy price for their "mistake", as they well should've. 

I, personally, don't think that we should fight Iran.  Iranians are not Arabs, they can be reasoned with and even trusted.  Most of them are sick and tired of the ayatollahs' rule.  If the American intelligence elite hadn't been decimated by the maniacal incompetence of this administration, we could make efforts to overthrow the Iranian regime through support of their resistance and similar measures.  However, your argument that they have a right to hate us because we intervene with their  business, doesn't not stand scrutiny.  If we don't intervene, who will? 

I grew up in the Soviet Union and even though I consider myself fairly liberal, I never forget that fighting for freedom is a noble cause.  Even if you need to exhibit some toughness which for some screwed up reason most associate with "red blooded" "patriotic" Americans.

The Social Deomcrats were not Nazis, and were in fact persecuted, along with many other leftist groups (they were actually pretty leftist in the earl 20th century) by the National Socialists, i.e. the Nazis.

Law School Admissions / Re: Cornell Decision Waiting Room
« on: July 01, 2008, 03:37:17 PM »
Definitely call admissions rather than email.  They almost always pick up during business hours, but sometimes take over a week to answer emails.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« on: June 27, 2008, 02:52:40 PM »
Very easy to install, though OpenOffice gets better with every release.  It is a memory hog, but if you don't use OneNote, it is a pretty decent alternative to MSOffice, as long as you make sure you are saving in the correct format.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Do I need to purchase a suit?
« on: June 23, 2008, 09:28:24 PM »
Black is not tacky per se, but is considered by many to be too formal for business-wear.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« on: June 22, 2008, 12:42:08 PM »
Dell has great prices on factory refurbished m1330s and m1530s at  I will probably be getting a m1330, simply because I want to have a small computer after having a 15.4 widescreen for a while.  You can also get it with a (somewhat) decent video card, so if you want to do some editing/gaming, it'll serve you fine.

Talking to a friend of mine, he told me that I shouldn't need more than 2GB of RAM, but if you plan on keeping Vista (I don't--downgrading to XP) and doing a lot of other stuff beyond wordprocessing and such, you might want to consider 3GB, though that is likely serious overkill. 80GB of HD space seems a bit on the small side, especially if you plan on migrating your music over to it.  My current comp has a 120GB HD, which is fine for me, but I think the m1330 starts with a 160GB HD, which is more than enough.

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