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Messages - nekko

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Job Search / Re: OCI question
« on: September 14, 2006, 04:15:11 PM »
The percentage of people getting jobs through OCI varies considerably by school. I think at Mich the percentage is around 75% or something.

Firms do look at resumes/transcripts from people outside of their OCI. This is particularly true of firms with limited resources that just can't afford to go to schools all over the country. I think there are typically a number of job fairs you can go to but a lot of them have already occurred. A mass mailing couldn't hurt. As they say, all you need is one offer.

Job Search / Re: after an OCI
« on: September 10, 2006, 06:14:26 AM »
The recruiting co-ordinator prefaced the remark by telling me the firm gets "thousands" of apps, and then proceeded to say they did over 100 "call-back" interviews; they only hire about 12-20.
Right I'm not sure you're factoring in how many people refuse offers. Some firms almost certainly could have 100 callbacks, give out 50-70 offers and expect 12-20 to accept.

I think it's really dependent on the firm. I've known paralegals who went to law school and came back as associates but they went to top schools so would've been in the running in any event (although they were also given 1L summer spots which they probably would not have got had they not worked as paralegals prior). One of my friends works at a big firm with a branch in SF where he says they indicated to him a willingness to hire someone they thought was impressive paralegal wise who was in a night program. I think in determining whether a "big firm" would be willing you'd have to look at the qualifications of the attys. there. If they are all Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc. people  then the odds of getting hired there are unlikely if coming from a night program regardless of whether or not you're a paralegal there. If the background is more like Santa Clara, USF, etc. and the attys. you talk to there don't really seem focused on law school then I think you'd  have a very good shot at getting hired there if they liked you as a paralegal. I'm not sure if this is helpful or not.

Oddly I have heard some attys. think of Davis a bit more highly than Hastings but by and large most of the SF attys. I've met have said that Hastings is more well regarded.  They're about equal but I think if there's any edge it's with Hastings rather than Davis. If you do really well at Hastings I think you're in a much better position than if you do really well at Davis.

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 26, 2005, 11:38:38 AM »
Hmmm. Interesting.  Actually, the point you are missing is that I am keeping my arguments withing the framework at hand, while you are trying to justify your arguments by bringing in irrelevant historical circumstances for support.  Again, trying to use the circumstances of WWII to somehow shed light on our actions with Iraq is, well, not relevant.
1) You're arguing with a circular framework. You first argued that the Iraq war was bad because wars which were not purely defensive were wrong. I argued that making a judgment on that basis was flawed and used historical examples. Your response is essentially that this is a proper basis for judgment because you think it to be so.
2) You argue that the Iraq war was bad because of XY and Z harms caused by the war. I argue that the only way to judge those harms is by looking at the likely harms of the alternatives. Your response is to say that the alternatives are irrelevant. By this standard no war is justified because by looking at any war in isolation you can say it killed X many of people, destroyed Y amount of stuff and was therefore bad. Whether a conflict was ultimately positive can only be judged based on what the results would have been absent conflict.
It's pretty much a seperate topic.  Sanctions had nothing to do with our decision to go to war, although Rumsfeld did try and justify going to war by claiming the US could not afford to spend 30 billion dollars over the next 10-15 years in order to support the sanctions.  How many billions of dollars have we spent on Iraq so far?  How many more is to come?  And it's a very weak argument to say that a war is justified because, in your view, placing sanctions are worse.  Th pro's and con's of sanctions is a seperate argument in regards to the justification of war.
Well this is just flat out false. Of course sanctions had something to do with our decision to go to war. If sanctions were effective, strong and likely to be maintained there'd be an entirely different situation which would have substantially altered the calculus for war. You're looking at two different spending calculations. $30 billion may be a low price relative to war or it may be a high price. $30 billion is a very high price if ultimately you have to go to war anyway. A very low price if it accomplishes the same thing as war. The pros and cons of sanctions are very much part of the justification for war because that is one of the primary alternative policies upon which the war has to be judged.

Your facts are wrong.  Before the war, it was made clear that Iraq possessed WMD and if the US did not act, Saddam would use them against us.  It was also stated that Saddam was on the verge of developing nukes as well, which would also be used against us, and that we did not have time to wait for Saddam to obtain nuclear proliferation, not WMD as you claim.  Not only have these facts been found to have been false, but also documented as to have been known false prior to our gov't stating them.  And if you have read the DSM's, then you would know that the British were going off the assumption of WMD because there lacked any strong evidence of them.
WMD as in chemical weapons? Biological weapons? It was stated that Saddam if he acquired enriched uranium would be able to produce nuclear weapons within a timeframe of a bit less than a year. Is that on the verge of developing nukes? As to the DSM memos your argument doesn't make sense. Why would the British go off on the assumption that there was WMD because they locked strong evidence of them? You're saying they assumed Iraq had WMD because they had no evidence to believe it.

While the strong claim was made that Iraq was harboring and training terrorists in order to justify an action for war, it has been shown that this was not the case.  Documents printed in the NY Times back in 2004 showed that prior to 9/11, not only did Saddam tell his military leaders to not join forces with incoming Arab terrorist, but also that Osama bin Laden rejected entreaties to work with Saddam.
Wait a second Abu Nidal one of the most prominent terrorists in history was living in Iraq until killed for treason against the regime. Isn't allowing him in the country to live and operate evidence of harboring terrorists? Not necessarilly of supporting the broader terror operations that we might be concerned with but certainly within generally accepted definitions of terrorists. The 9/11 commission report documents
that Osama sought to establish training facilities in Iraq. These efforts were rejected however Iraq tolerated AQ establishment anti-Kurdish groups and may have assisted them.
Re: Powell in 2004 he said, "I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection. But I think the possibility of such connections did exist, and it was prudent to consider them at the time that we did." That's very different from saying he said there was no connection, indeed he also said in 2004, "It's not that we are trying to find a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq. It's there. It's not something we're making up -- it's there and we can't fail to take note of it or to talk about it or report it."

The answer to your question is how can you sell something you do not have? Again, no WMD means no selling to other countries, plain and simple.  Trying to assume what may/may not happen in the future is, once again, irrelevant to the argument that the claim was made Iraq possessed WMD when, in actuality, US officials knew they didn't have them.  You cannot base an argument on assumptions. 
Your entire argument if based on the assumption that alternatives were superior. Also you make claims of "officials knew they didn't have them" without any historical context of our past when we underestimated Iraqi WMD development during the 1980's and up through the first Gulf War.

Basically I think it's entirely reasonable to find the Iraq war to be a mistake. But in order to do so you have to judge it based on the then existing alternatives and the then existing knowledge of the situation. You do neither and instead choose to judge the Iraq war based on a criteria which starts with fundamental assumptions which predetermine the result. You then go further by not even choosing to defend these assumptions arguing such discussion is irrelevant.

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 21, 2005, 03:23:08 PM »
I would not take any position that argues what happened in WWII is anyway relevant to what is going on in Iraq.  So I will let this one be.
Your lack of putting your arguments within any sort of framework makes your arguments kind of circular. It's like war is bad. Why? Because it's bad. Is sort of your chain of thinking.

However, you have taken the position that War is just because the sanctions have killed a vast majority of civillians.  My position is that killing large numbers of civillians is wrong.  If you want to discuss the pro's and cons of sanctions, then we can do so, but that is an entirely seperate topic from whether or not the Iraq War is just or not.   
It's not a completely separate topic. Decisions aren't made in a vacuum. You can't take a decision in isolation and determine whether or not it was a good decision. You have to put it within the context of the circumstances. If you argue war was a bad choice then necessarilly you have to argue in favor of another choice. If you say no to war then what does that mean? Yes to sanctions/status quo? Yes to forgetting about Iraq entirely? How can you judge whether something is good or bad without explaining why an alternative would have been better?

We entered into this war under the beliefs, given to us by our current administration, that Iraq possessed WMD and were going to use them against us.  Now that such information has been shown to have been a lie, the new mantra coming out of the administration now is "the world is a safer place... etc, etc." 

If you look at the pronouncements at the time they're quite clear in arguing that we couldn't wait for Iraq to get WMD, meaning Iraq didn't have WMD. Don't you remember those Congressional arguments in which going into Iraq was criticized on the grounds that there was no immediate threat, to which the counter was that by that time it would be too late? You're reinventing quite a bit of history there. Also there is the fact that intelligence generally believed by everyone at the time was quite explicit in the belief that there was WMD. If you read the Downing Street Memos the British certainly seemed convinced of WMD to the extent that they specifically cited it as a reason not to invade for fear of a WMD strike on Israel or Kuwait.

Again, the issue sold to the US, and the world, was that Iraq possessed WMD's, that they were going to use them against the US, that Iraq was training terrorists, and that Saddam would be selling his WMD to Osama and other terrorist organizations.  Condi was stating how if nothing was done, there was gong to be a mushroom clound over NY!?!  Again, all of this has been shown to have been a lie.  What's left you ask?  Osama, mastermind of 9/11 and terrorism against the US in the past, is still free.
1) See above.
2) Iraq actually was harboring terrorists so I'm not quite sure what the argument is there. There's plenty of criticism in the sense that we shouldn't have cared about the terrorist they were dealing with but they were absolutely working with terrorists.
3) How is selling WMD a lie? By that I mean are you saying it wouldn't of happened? Even if true how is this now a lie? If I say if you drive drunk you'll get someone killed and then stop you from driving it would seem odd for you to then say me saying you'd get someone killed was a lie.

It's not judging.  It's calling a spade a spade.  Up until now, Iraq has been a failure.  I can only argue what we know now.
Umm that's called making a judgment. I'm not sure why you're defensive about it. Nothing wrong with making a judgment. Anyway Saddam is out of power, that's a huge plus and a big success. Regime change in Iraq has had a clear positive impact so far on Lebanon and a less dramatic though positive impact on Iran. We're in a much better position now to pull out of Saudia Arabia and by extension better able to put pressure on them and they in fact have been much more aggressive in cracking down on terrorism than they have been for the last decade or so. There were elections in Iraq. How many genuine elections were there prior? How are we defining failure? Is it until Iraq is at a US type level of governance? At a Turkey level? What?

We can debate all you want over whether or not establishing a US presence in Iraq is a good thing, or if having Saddam behind bars is a good thing.  Those are irrelevant facts.  What is at issue is whether or not our involvment was just...if waging war was necessary...if our administration was forthright in it's motivations...if whether or not this war was waged under legal pretense.  The evidence weighs heavily on the side of "no."     
Once again you're attempting to judge the war in isolation which doesn't make sense. If you choose not to do regime change and let the status quo remain then you're choosing to keep Saddam in power. If you choose some other alternative there are would be positive and negative consequences. You're arguing against war with some nonexistent undefined alternative. Decisions have to be made and the only way to analyze what is the "best" decision is by going through the other choices. If you don't and just take them in isolation then all the decisions are wrong because when you hold any choice to some perfect alternative then by definition the alternative will be better. But what good is that?   

There have been many recent instances where the US has acted swiftly in order to address ruthless behavior.  But such recent acts have been done honestly and with the support of most  major leaders and organizations throughout the world. 
Can you name some of these recent instances?

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:17:42 AM »
And yes, the US would not have been justified to enter into WWII unless an act was performed against them or their allies which forced their hand into waging war.  Hence, the exact reason why it took so long for the US to enter into the war, and why we waited to be attacked before declaring war on Japan.
This is certainly a defensible position but the result you get then is France conquered by Nazi Germany, China crushed with millionis of Chinese slaughtered, Jews rounded up and systematically exterminated and the millions killed in Eastern Europe.  Personally I find this to be a sub-optimal result. Now you certainly don't have to argue that Iraq would fall into the same category but if you did view the above consequences as less desirable than the alternative of war then I think the philosophy of never do anything until attacked fails. Personally I wish we had gotten involved in WWII earlier since I think saving the lives of several million would have been worth it.

A)  So, in just over two years of war, in which the US is suppose to be freeing and liberating the people of Iraq, we have killed over half of the innocent women and children that were killed during an 8 year period of sanctions placed on the government of Iraq.

B)  To date, the elections in Iraq have been a failure.  And with only a small percentage of the population actually voting for unknown candidates, I'm not sure I would even call it a remotely a good thing.

C)  The cry of "The world is a safer place with Saddam not in power" is a complete 180 from the reasons that were sold to the US and the rest of the world for waging war on Iraq.    There are many dictators in the world, whom are allies  of our present administration, that have performed much more horrific acts towards it's people than Saddam.  (China, Uzbekistan, Chile to name a few)

D)  Considering it was Bin Laden who was responsible for 9/11, and the mastermind behind terrorism against the US, then I would say yes, capturing Osama would be significant...more significant than holding Saddam in a prison cell while the insurgency in Iraq grows larger by the minute, and the target on the back of the United States grows larger and larger.

E) The effect of our presence in Iraq is yet to be determined.   
A)Ah so the superior choice would then to just indefinitely starve people for say another decade or two. With not only no solution in sight but the prospect of an even worse leadership coming into power. The better choice is not always a good choice, simply better than the alternatives.
B)The Iraqi people seemed to have been pretty happy with the elections and if you have some examples of democracy being developed post-dictatorship faster than the current situation I'd love to hear about it.
C) A complete 180? Haven't we been talking about removing Saddam from power from the first Bush administration, through the Clinton administration and into the second Bush administration? Also the excuse that there are worse dictators out there is a recipe for not trying to stop any problem. Am I wrong to give homeless person money if I don't give every homeless person I meet money? Must every dictatorship in the world be destroyed before destroying one?
D) Capturing Osama would be great no doubt, but the issue isn't Osama. There was terrorism pre-Osama, there will be terrorism post-Osama. It's not like in the movies where once you remove the one bad guy everyone thing is okay. The larger problem is authoratarian regimes in the Middle East and how that not only stunts their development but encourages radicalized Islamic beliefs.
E) Ah yet you still choose to judge it now?

Simply said: Killing people is wrong and should be avoided at all costs.  And I believe our killing tens of thousands of Iraqi's was avoidable. 
Part of the problem is the belief that we weren't killing anyone with the status quo. We were killing Iraqis pre-war, in fact we were killing thousands.

According to the Westphalian System, the war at Iraq is not 'necessary.'
Well sort of. But in terms of what's probably the larger point I concur but once we go off the reservation and decide that we care about human rights, freedom, etc. the Westphalian system leaves us a lot of problems. Perhaps my main issue are the folks who are big believers in human rights who essentailly were content with letting Saddam stay in power.  Folks who believe in a realist theory of IR where you don't concern yourself with the domestic issues of other countries, I think is a bit heartless but I find logically sound.

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 05, 2005, 09:15:09 AM »
im just saying that WWII and the Iraq war are not comparable
I'm not saying that the Iraq war and WWII are comparable. What I'm doing (or trying to do anyway) is to take your analysis and apply it to a different situation. WWII is just a good one to use because generally speaking people identify less moral ambiguity with WWII. So it's not Iraq and WWII are the same; it's (for example) if war is last resort how would such a philosophy work when applied to other situations (such as WWII). If we get a result we don't like then either (A) the analysis is wrong or (B) the analysis is right but the facts are different such that the analysis doesn't apply. Too often though people just spout out general philosophies of X is the proper moral course of action but only apply it to a specific situation that works in their favor and then discount it when it does not.

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 03, 2005, 11:14:15 AM »
That means that war is ALWAYS the last resort.  That seems plain enough.  Iraq was not presenting a threat becasue it wanted to build a set of weapons.  ALL countries want weapons and Iraq needed weapons to deter Iran from aggression.  Iraw had not bombed us and presented no capability nor intent to do so.
It isn't plain enough because "last resort" is a relative term. "Last" relative to what? "Last" meaning go to war or be annihilated? "Last resort" relative to suffering what harm?

i think that the OP was refering to the corruptness of the Bush regime in preplanning a war wiht Iraq before a reason existed.  He trumped up the dangers of WMD to the US and people bought it.
Yes but whether true or not is irrelevant to whether or not it was objectively justified.

If Iraq was not a threat to us then how can we invade and risk US lives?  HAve you ever fired a shot or been shot at?  Ever put on a uniform?  The fact that Iraq was a threat to our interests is a moot and almost irrelevant point since nearly EVERY country is a threat to our interests in some way.  How was Iraq actively threatening us?
A) Was Iraq a threat worthy of risking lives or not? If you say no are you saying that we shouldn't have had troops in Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc. who were all risking their lives to keep Iraq in check, maintain the sanctions and maintain the no-fly zone, etc.? If you say no but aren't saying that then what are you saying?
B)In answer to your specific questions No (at least in how you mean), No, Yes. But is this relevant? I.e. can only those who serve in the military make decisions about conflict? Can I not make decisions or have opinions of decisions about how law enforcement should be conducted without ever having worn a police uniform? Have a say in what fires should be put out without having donned a fireman's uniform? If everyone in uniform decided hey let's invade China does that make it okay? Wasn't this all decided during the Clinton era (i.e. Clinton never having served not being a barrier to decision making over the military; though really FDR hadn't ever served either and things worked out okay).

Like i said, everyone wants WMD for protection and regional parity so this only shows that Saddam was rational
Being rationale doesn't make it either non-threatening or justifiable. Rationale simply means that they are behaving in a manner in which a certain action can logically lead to a certain result. Stalin taking over Eastern Europe was rationale but that doesn't mean we just say, "Well as long as it was rationale it was okay." Being rationale does not mean being either reasonable or free from miscalculation.

Why?  There were no weapons to be found so i guess it can be frustrating looking for something that isnt there
I say it was unreasonable to think that inspections could be conducted over a long period time by the fact that inspectors had been kicked prior to 2002 and that the only reason they were allowed in is the extreme threat represented by US forces, a threat which could not be maintained indefinitely. Were there no threat there would be no continued inspections. I haven't yet seen an indication that either the massive threat of force or that the continuation of such a threat would have been unnecessary to maintain the inspections regime.

3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
and...?  are you saying that the gov knew it's intell was faulty?
What I'm saying is that totalitarian regimes are very difficult to have intelligence on. We can't just look up a Department of Defense annual and find out how much is being spent on nuclear weapons.  That being the case we only have so much ability to know what's going on.  Prior to the first Gulf War we thought Iraq was several years away from a nuclear capability. After the first Gulf War we discovered a much more advanced capability than we thought. So what this means is we have to temper our intelligence with the knowledge that the likelihood of error is considerably higher than in more open societies and have to match that with the potential threat presented. Once again prior to the first Gulf War we thought Iraq would not invade Kuwait. The CIA actively supported the view that Iraq was merely posturing. It wasn't that the CIA wasn't doing it's job or were disingenuous, it's that it's simply difficult to have good intelligence in a closed society. Also the information we have that indicates that there was no WMD also indicate that those working for Saddam actively worked to make him believe there was WMD. Thus one explanation of why things panned out as they did rather than Saddam rationally opening up Iraq to inspections without condition it's that he wanted to limit inspections because he in fact believed he had an on-going program.  Otherwise, rationally why take the risk he did?

Too late for what?  You think Iraq was going to threaten the US?  Not a chance. BTW preventive war, as the 2003 Iraq Invasion, is generally considered illegal because no one can see the future that far ahead. 
Too late for intervention. Let's say Iraq gets WMD but has zero intent on initially launching a nuclear strike on the US. Can we continue a no fly-zone against Iraq? Seems unlikely given the threat posed by nuclear weapons. Can we effectively protect SA/Kuwait/etc.? Let's say he invades Kuwait, U.S. forces are there but do we fight it out with Iraq knowing that they have nukes? Let's say Iraq launches a nuke strike against Iran, can we evenly remotely intervene?

Yes preventative war illegal. When did the world population vote on that measure or who was the elected world body that made that legislative decision? People complain about voter turnout in the US, I'm guessing the voter turnout for UN members was substantially lower. Well at least we can complain to the cops which would be?? Or the courts which would be??

People that compare WWII with this war are off their rockers
Such a logically sound argument. Here I was trying to have a nice discussion. 

Current Law Students / Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« on: June 02, 2005, 06:46:26 PM »
Other options to war are always preferable.  War is preferable only when there are no other options left to exercise. 
But what does that mean? What constitutes no other options? Is war only justified when you've been invaded (thus the U.S. would not have been justified entering WWII prior to the Pearl Harbor attack)? Just glibly saying other options to war are always preferable is meaningless.

The evidence you give for why war was a good choice is really a moot cause.  This was not a war where the evidence to go to war tilted the scales so heavily that we had no choice.  Rather, the decision to go to war was decided far before we began making a case for it.  Instead of basing the decision on strong evidence, we tried to conform weak evidence in a manner that somehow supported this predetermined decision.
Your argument really doesn't say anything. You say the evidence presented is irrelevant because the decision to go to war had already been made. That's like saying Pearl Harbor as a reason for entering WWII was irrelevant because it is clear from history that FDR had always intended to enter the war on the side of the allies. Even if the war was preordained that doesn't change the factual basis for or against war.

In this case, we knew Iraq was not a threat to us.  We knew Iraq was not a threat to it's neighboring countries.
Not a threat to us in what sense? In the sense that Iraq couldn't conquer the United States? Sure. In the sense that it was not a threat to our interests? False. We knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries contingent upon our continued presence both in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait to maintain regional security. That is quite different than saying we knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries.

And we knew Iraq possessed no WMD.
And we also know
1) That the various reports indicating there is no WMD also indicate that Saddam intended to develop a WMD capability once oversight was removed.
2) That on-going inspections had proven to be almost impossible to maintain over any significant period of time.
3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
4) Once Iraq had WMD capability it would've been too late. A country in possession of WMD creates a deterrent making future intervention virtually impossible (see N. Korea).
Just to note the claim wasn't that Iraq had WMD. If you recall the arguments in Congress at the time and the statements at the time the argument revolved around stopping Iraq from obtaining WMD. Thus the argument that it was a preventative war rather than a pre-emptive war.

Over 100,000 innocent women and children killed by coalition forces, thousands of US soldiers dead, a continuing growing number of insurgents that now outnumber US forces, a still deteriorating US image around the world, Bin Laden still roaming free, Iran and North Korea more dangerous than Iraq ever was, and a country still out of control with no real end in sight.
Contrast that with
A) If we believe various reports about the sanctions over the period sanctions were in place (specifically the 1991-1998 period) there were 100,000-227,000 deaths for children under 5. I assume some level of mortality assigned to sanctions for those above age 5 though probable concentrated on the opposite end of the age spectrum.
B) I think the Iraqi election was a good thing don't you? Especially since off-hand I can't recall a remotely moderate election in Iraq for at least a hundreds of years.
C) We did get rid of a dictator who's brutality was remarkable even compared to the various horrors that have been inflicted on populations from Stalin to Pol Pot.
D) Bin Laden roaming free is an issue? Will terrorism go away if we get rid of Bin Laden? It'd be nice to get him but remember that it would be more of a PR victory than a substantive victory.
E) The further impact it has had on the Middle East generally (i.e. progress in Lebanon, allowing us to remove troops from Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Alright I really need to work on school.

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