Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Internets Do Not Welcome You, Mr. Schill

My University of Chicago spam filter just tagged a message from the new Dean of the Law School. Ouch.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Cheap Talk

Snarking at a Bob Herbert column which -- quite accurately -- frets that Americans are getting distracting from the critical issues facing our country by obsessive focus on a few issues (such as the would-be Detroit airline bomber), Jeffrey Goldberg titles his post "Easy for You To Say" and writes "Try telling this to the people on that plane."

What does that even mean? Anytime someone faces a serious threat to their life, that's going to be a big deal to them. I don't mean to be callous, but that fact does not mean it automatically is a big deal for us as a society.

The failed attack on the airliner obviously is not a minor issue. But neither is it worthy of the all-consuming focus that it risks morphing into.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Do People Really Deny This?

I can never figure out if I grew up and continue to exist in a totally unique environment, or I'm just totally disconnected from the broader Jewish psyche, or what, because I had no idea that it was a Jewish article of faith that al-Qaeda's actions and support are entirely unconnected to Israel.

Of course they are! Opposition to Israel is part and parcel of the package that al-Qaeda represents. And so it make sense that, as a high profile enemy of Israel, persons upset with Israel for a variety of legitimate or illegitimate reasons will be attracted to it.

I do think Ackerman is right that some Jews get nervous when this is expounded upon too vigorously, because it can lead to Michael Scheuer-esque positions basically advocating throwing Israel to the wolves to appease al-Qaeda. But there are separate issues.

Moreover, Ackerman is clearly right about this:
The answer for the U.S. is not to sever ties with Israel or turn hostile toward it. It’s to seek an end to the Israeli-Arab conflict and a stable Middle East. That will not stop Islamic extremism. Maybe I should say it again in capitol letters: A TWO-STATE SOLUTION WILL NOT STOP ISLAMIC EXTREMISM. Extremists are going to be extremists. They demagogue. They use pretexts. That’s what they do. You deal with that. The proper response is to reduce the circumstances under which their demagoguery resonates. And that’s why ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and midwifing a Palestinian state is so important. This is in our interests, it’s in Israel’s interests, it’s in the Palestinians interests, it’s in the Arab world’s interests, and it’s expressly against al-Qaeda’s interests. It’s in absolutely no way an “appeasement” of al-Qaeda unless you believe that Arabs and Muslims are naturally inclined to bandwagon with al-Qaeda. And that makes you a racist and safe to ignore.

Maybe not "safe to ignore", because such racism still has plenty of purchase in American life. But the general sentiments are right.

New Jersey Rejects Gay Marriage Bill

The state senate just voted it down, 20-14.

I wonder what went through the minds of the 20 nay votes? I hope, for their sakes, that theirs was a vote of conscience. They have to know that in 20-some years, they will be regarded as some of the great political villains of our time. That's a rather high price to pay for mere political expediency or populist demagoguery.

LOL....sob



Fun fact -- I actually have been on the phone with my health care provider over the past few weeks to settle some stuff (they have my birth date and gender wrong, and they are approaching Minnesota-levels of passive-aggressiveness in "attempting" to solve the problem).

ChaitBlog

Jonathan Chait gets a blog all his own on the TNR website. Nice!

UPDATE: Turns out it's replacing the old Plank blog, so that's bittersweet. Meanwhile, a nice sample of Chait's newest forum is his post on the transgender quota of one. "It's very odd to witness a part of the political discourse where one side understands that its actual views are so completely socially unacceptable that they can't be expressed, and must be replaced with nonsense terms."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Why Does Jennifer Rubin Hate American Jews?

When DougJ asked "why do so many right-wing Jewish Americans hate other Jewish Americans so much" in response to reading this Jennifer Rubin piece asking "Why Jews Hate Palin", I thought he might have been being a bit harsh. Then I read the Rubin article, and, geez, I'm eating my words. Rubin's piece simply drips with contempt towards the American Jewish community. They are just outraged that Jews are Jews. We saw the same thing when Norman Podhoertz published Why are Jews Liberal (Leon Wieseltier's evisceration of this was classic).

There are two things going on here. First is Rubin's befuddlement that Jews don't run like teen rock fans into the arms of anyone who is "vocally" pro-Israel. We're savvy enough to interrogate what that means, and not everyone who says (or even believes) they are pro-Israel actually qualifies in a manner consistent with how Jews understand the term. Palin's creepily maximalist positions on the conflict are way out of the Jewish mainstream -- her position here is a bug, not a feature! And no, it's not a manifestation of "stereotypes" against Christian evangelicals to say so. We're entitled to choose what constitutes being our friend.

Second, while Rubin at least doesn't succumb to the common misconception that Jews are single-issue Israel voters, she does brush all the other issues we care about aside with careless ease (how many brownie points is she supposed to earn because she didn't commit to pursuing an actively "creationist" agenda as Governor?). Sarah Palin inspires special animosity amongst Jews because Sarah Palin is currently the highest profile member of the purely anti-intellect, theocratic wing of the Republican Party that is an anathema to virtually all of the broadly held positions of the average American Jew. I doubt, say, Jim Inhofe would fare much better if he had been nominated for Vice President (I was trying to think of another politician who is not just as identified with the far right as Palin is, but at least approaches her positive vibration of hostility towards intellectual attainment).

And our other (supposed) attributes are met with nothing short of seething hatred. Jews are snobby elitists, Jews don't have respect for the working class, Jews look down on anyone who isn't sipping a latte at a Harvard bookstore, Jews would never stoop so low as to join the military or play hockey. It's amazing to me that it's a Jewish writer we're dealing with here -- this simply a litany of anti-Jewish stereotypes. Moreover, she even throws into the pile a bunch of supposed "problems" with Palin that had no linkage to the Jewish community whatsoever except through her amateur psychoanalysis. Jews don't like the "sexual" Palin because they like their female politicians frumpy. Jews don't like Palin having five kids because we're post-sexual revolution liberals who hold mothers in contempt (or something -- maybe it's because Jewish women are frigid? It was a bit more incoherent than usual here).

It is certainly true that Jews value education, intellect, and policy knowledge greatly. And we're perfectly willing to admire these traits when they manifest in persons of whatever background (Bill Clinton grew up dirt poor, and Joe Biden comes from decidedly working-class Scranton with degrees from not-exactly-elite Delaware and Syracuse). Governor Palin isn't just missing these qualities, she holds active contempt for them. She doesn't just govern on "instinct", she thinks wonks are worthy of scorn. She doesn't just come from a rural area, she thinks that city-dwellers aren't real Americans (I have continued concern about how the distinctive GOP trope rallying against "urban intellectual elites" is an anti-Semitic dogwhistle). She doesn't just lack basic awareness of important political issues, she actively seeds misinformation.

Of course we're going to dislike her. She is the culmination of every trend in the modern Republican Party that's led to its virtual abandonment by the Jewish community.

That's why Jews hate Sarah Palin. The question is, why does Jennifer Rubin hate us so much for it?

UPDATE: See also Ned Resnikoff, Capital J, and especially David Frum.

Another Organ Trafficking Case

As Harry's Place put it, "You won’t have seen this on Press TV".
In September, 11 Jordanians were extradited by Cairo and charged in Amman with trafficking in human organs, mainly kidneys, and selling them illegally in Egypt for up to 30,000 dollars each.
[...]
According to a recent government study of 130 cases in which kidneys were sold, nearly 80 percent of "donors" were Palestinians from Baqaa in northwest Amman, the largest refugee camp in the country.

Most were under the age of 31, lived in absolute poverty and had no criminal record.

The study said operations to remove the kidneys used to take place in Iraq, but since the 2003 US-led invasion, young men are now sent to Egypt, India and Pakistan.

I write this not to mirror the insane hellstorm that came along with the sensationalist "Israel organ theft" story (see my guide for the perplexed on that issue). The point is merely that crime happens; it happens worldwide. When it happens, it should be punished. But crime is not an example of a incurable sickness in an entire culture. One shouldn't take this story to say "Jordan should be destroyed" or "Jordan should be a pariah state". And I doubt anyone will.

Yikes

At least one Dakotan is upset by the announced retirement of Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND). Real upset:
Fuck! I bet Pomeroy doesn’t even run.

In ND, a popular, well-liked Republican with a good track record will beat pretty much any Democrat. Dorgan won an open seat to get in. Conrad squeaked by an asshole (Mark Andrews) in a semi-upset. Never seen even a good D beat a decent R in an open election in my lifetime in either Dakota.

But, goddamit, once they get in they fucking stay in for life. That’s just part of the deal, D or R. Karl Mundt, Nixon’s right-hand man on the HUAC, was in a fucking coma for half of his last term after he got into the Senate. Quentin Burdick died in office, like a real man, after forty-fucking-two years in the Senate. Tim Johnson’s brain fucking exploded and he can barely talk, but he ran for re-election and won.

Dorgan has always been a prissy little bitch. He wasn’t man enough to run against Andrews, so Conrad went for it and won. Fucking Byron had to sit around and wait for Burdick to die before he could sack up and run.

He should have been making a smelly puddle in his Depends before he even thought of retirement. What a sorry excuse for a politician.

The Democrats should snatch that ridiculous fucking toupee off of his square farmboy knothead, burn it in the middle of the mall, bury the ashes and have the rest of the caucus piss on the spot.

Family lore is that my father is mortal enemies with Senator Dorgan. This is obviously an exaggeration -- I think they were on opposing sides of some matter years back, and it got somewhat acrimonious, but I suspect it's much like the supposed rivalry between my high school and Montgomery Blair HS -- all in the head of one side.* Dad did once beat Rudy Giuliani in court though.

* Blair thought they were our arch-rivals, but we didn't know, because as far as we were concerned our rival was Churchill. One day a bunch of Blair students came in the middle of the night and painted our school rock Blair colors -- but it took us the entire day to figure out it was them, because we had no idea what their colors were.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On Refusing to be a "Good Jew"

The "good Jew" is a common trope in Jewish history. A statement attributed to a variety of Nazi officials was that every German "knows one good Jew" -- the exceptions that belie the general rule of Jewish mendacity, parochialism, ruthlessness, avarice, and evil. We should not be distracted. Meanwhile, within the Jewish community, there are those who assume they can escape anti-Semitism by becoming "the good Jew" -- by assimilating into the gentile majority, by adopting the political and ideological convictions of the surrounding society, and often by publicly and viciously repudiating those signals and signs which represent the Jewish community in the public eye. Some anti-Semites offer the same deal: you can escape the wrath coming down on the Jews, if only you turn on your fellows. It's hardly a situation unique to the Jews -- Malcolm X's "house negro" is the obvious analogue -- it's just our particular iteration of a common problem facing oppressed groups in societies shot through with racism.

The American poet Alice Walker had quote attributed to her, one that I've always found meaningful: "No one is your friend who demands your silence."

Alice Walker also recently took a trip to Gaza along with Code Pink, and had some interesting things to say about Israel:
There are differing opinions about this, of course, but my belief is that when a country primarily instills fear in the minds and hearts of the people of the world, it is no longer useful in joining the dialogue we need for saving the planet.

Ms. Walker's post is about many things (many not relating to Israel at all), but the discussion about Israel and Jews is intriguing to me. Not, primarily, because of the tension between the quote I knew from Ms. Walker, and her demand that Israeli Jews be silenced in the debate over the future of their country (and those who, it must be said, would comprise roughly 50% of the combined population of Israel and Palestine). It is the sad truth that commitment to the liberation of some people is often paired with belief in the suppression of others; it no longer surprises me to find that people with unimpeachable anti-racism credentials in one field succumb to horrific bigotry in another.

Rather, it is her discourse on Jews that interested me. Ms. Walker's ex-husband was Jewish, and she relates how, "like so many Jews in America, my former husband could not tolerate criticism of Israel's behavior toward the Palestinians."
I gave her [an old Palestinian woman] a gift I had brought, and she thanked me. Looking into my eyes she said: May God protect you from the Jews. When the young Palestinian interpreter told me what she’d said, I responded: It’s too late, I already married one. I said this partly because, like so many Jews in America, my former husband could not tolerate criticism of Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians. Our very different positions on what is happening now in Palestine/Israel and what has been happening for over fifty years, has been perhaps our most severe disagreement. It is a subject we have never been able to rationally discuss. He does not see the racist treatment of Palestinians as the same racist treatment of blacks and some Jews that he fought against so nobly in Mississippi.
[...]
This is one reason I understand the courage it takes for some Jews to speak out against Israeli brutality and against what they know are crimes against humanity. Most Jews who know their own history see how relentlessly the Israeli government is attempting to turn Palestinians into the “new Jews,” patterned on Jews of the holocaust era, as if someone must hold that place, in order for Jews to avoid it.

I hardly contest that many Jews have a blind-spot towards the sufferings of the Palestinian people -- it is a subject I have wrestled with deeply myself. But what strikes me here is the extraordinarily pronounced erasure of Jewish perspective and experience that Ms. Walker engages in. First, that she cannot even conceptualize the possibility that ingrained prejudice that Jews face worldwide, on a daily basis, is a relevant prism for viewing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Rebecca Lesses did a good job parsing all of this; I'd merely add that a woman who puts quotation marks around "holocaust" (lower-case as well) is unfortunately not an unlikely candidate for displaying this lack of empathy.

This, of course, goes back to her conviction that Israeli Jews (and, it seems, most Jews period) are not viable candidates to be discussants in questions of justice. It is a sentiment that makes sense only when one believes they have nothing to contribute. And that sentiment, in turn, relies on the larger claim that Jewish history and experience is effectively a null entity. Ultimately, that Jews themselves are unworthy of political equality. Perhaps this explains the "unholy glee", to quote Professor Lessee, Ms. Walker evinces "in the thought that Jews will once again be a minority in Palestine, as if this is really the correct state of affairs. Jews should know their place, which is not to be able to wield power by controlling their own independent state." The goal is the reinscription of domination over Jews. Equality is for equals. Jews are not equal. Jews must always exist, if they must at all, at the sufferance of others.

Second, one gets the clear feeling that Ms. Walker views the Jewish community in the same way that, well, Jews have most often been viewed throughout history: as diseased, as needing salvation by enlightened outsiders who come only to save us from ourselves. Ms. Walker laments that she was never able to "rationally discuss" the Israel/Palestine issue with her husband (who here is representative of the Jewish community). And why would she be expected to? In the context of Jewish rights, Jews are always taken to be irrational sociopaths, incapable of political communication, and worthy of social expulsion while our betters discuss our fate. Perhaps there is no tension after all between the views expressed here and her aforementioned quote -- one could hardly expect to be friends with such a creature. "Most Jews" don't take Ms. Walker's views on the conflict, but, she asserts, "Most Jews who know their own history" do. The beleaguered Jewish minority, those rare, special few who can transcend their provincial nature and see themselves for who they really are -- those are the saved, and the rest of us are the fallen. Ms. Walker wants to choose Jewish leaders for the Jews, because -- I can't stress this enough -- ultimately, Ms. Walker rejects the notion that Jews are deserving of autonomy and independent development. Jews don't have rights, Jews acceptable to Alice Walker have rights.

But let's talk about this claim about who knows what about Jewish history. I would have presumed I, being Jewish, would know my history quite well. I had forgotten the key clause -- being Jewish. Jews never have possessed the right to define the contours of what Judaism means. That right has always been appropriated by non-Jews like Ms. Walker. It goes without saying that her account of the history here is nearly unspeakably shallow. Jewish migration to what is now Israel predates the Holocaust, most Israeli Jews aren't of European descent (let alone resettled refugees from WWII -- the flatly racist erasure of the existence and history of Arab Jews continues apace here), the British opposed the partition plan, there are, in fact, quite few catastrophes post-dating WWII which would bear much resemblance to the Holocaust (although given the weak grasp Ms. Walker has on what the Holocaust -- excuse me, "holocaust" -- actually entailed, perhaps this is symptomatic of the greater flaw). None of this matters, though, because Ms. Walker possesses the trump card: She's not Jewish. You want to know the story of our "own history"? That's it in a nutshell.

"No one is your friend who demands your silence." The great thing about quotes such as this is that they transcend the author -- they become clarion calls for justice even when their progenitors stray from the path. I do not believe that mutual communication -- open ears and open hearts -- is a luxury in the quest for justice; I believe it is indispensable. As Iris Marion Young wrote, "Normative judgment is best understood as the product of dialogue under conditions of equality and mutual respect. Ideally, the outcome of such dialogue and judgment is just and legitimate only if all the affected perspectives have a voice." It is incumbent upon Jews and Israelis to listen and hear the claims and assertions of Arabs and Palestinians, and Christians and atheists and Europeans and non-Jewish people of color, because that is what political equality and mutual co-existence demand. But it is likewise incumbent upon non-Jews and non-Israelis to hear the narratives and stories of the Jewish people -- to accept that our narratives and stories and experiences and history have meaning and value and worth, and cannot be dismissed as they so often have simply because you're not Jewish and so you can. That way lies the route to oppression. That way is, indeed, the embodiment of the oppression that I as a Jew must struggle against on a daily basis. Ms. Walker, intentionally or not, is part of that oppressive structure which chokes off my life and contributes to the (frankly not unreasonable, given our history) belief amongst Jews that we will never be safe unless we are in a situation where outsiders aren't in a position to dominate us. By her own standards she is not my friend; she is not an ally I can rely upon in times of trouble, or injustice, or hate or violence or need. I don't think it is an expression of shrill Jewish craziness to believe that a discussion between Alice Walker and Ismail Haniyeh (but from which Jews (excepting, of course, the permissible "good Jews") are proactively excluded) is one unlikely to result in a just outcome vis-a-vis the Jews. And I do not see it as being either in my personal interests, or the interests of international justice, to buy into a framework in which I am pre-emptively labeled the enemy.

I noted once before my affinity for Christine Littleton's claim that the feminist method starts "with the very radical act of taking women seriously, believing that what we say about ourselves and our experience is important and valid, even when (or perhaps especially when) it has little or no relationship to what has been or is being said about us." I firmly believe that the route to all egalitarian treatment lies in the same prescription. I refuse to be a "good Jew", because I refuse to accept, as Ms. Walker would have me do, the notion that my experience as a Jew is worthless, that I must defer to the non-Jewish world in determining what it means to be Jewish and what constitutes Jewish authenticity, that it is the natural order of things that I be subject to the will and dominance of others, or that I be, in short, a second class citizen of the world. Such a refusal bears little relation to what is said about Jews -- by Ms. Walker or others. But that makes it even more important that we be the ones to start saying them. And that means we can't be "good Jews".

Malawi Gay Marriage Trial Set for January

Two Malawian men are scheduled to face trial on charges of gay sex (a holdover law from British colonial eras) after they attempted to marry each other in a traditional African ceremony. Police have also arrested prominent human rights defenders of the couple, on trumped up charges of distributing "pornography" (here, safer sex guides).

In somewhat related news, the American fundamentalists who traveled to Uganda preaching messages of hatred towards homosexuals are now embarrassed that their efforts bore fruit with the now-inamous "kill the gays" bill. I'd be more impressed with their contrition, of course, if they returned to the country and began preaching that the moral evil they've unleashed is far, far in excess of whatever beef they have with homosexuality. But that won't happen, so color me unimpressed.

Who are the Settlers?

The Israel Policy Forum has an excellent interview with Dr. Shlomo Fischer, the founding director of Yesodot-The Center for Torah and Democracy and a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the topic. It makes for great background reading on one of Israel's most entrenched social problems.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Siege Mentalities

Jeffrey Goldberg signs on to Bradley Burston's declaration that the siege of Gaza is Israel's worst mistake of the past decade. Goldberg clarifies that the bigger problem was that the disengagement was unilateral, as opposed to negotiated:
For my money, the worst mistake Israel made was the mistake that led, ultimately, to the siege of Gaza: The 2005 unilateral withdrawal. Leaving Gaza wasn't the problem, of course -- you'd think the Jews would have learned sooner (see: Samson) that Gaza is no good for Jews, and Ariel Sharon was right to get out. But the method he used was tragic. By refusing to negotiate his exit from Gaza, he strengthened the hand of Hamas. If he had negotiated the withdrawal with the Palestinian Authority, he would have a) extracted concessions from the Palestinians, and b) strengthened the moderates. The moderates would have been credited by their people for coaxing Israel out of Gaza. Instead, Hamas won the round, and then won the election, and then won the coup, and then, in a way, won the most recent war against Israel, and certainly the public relations war, which is the sort of war that really matters in the Middle East, and which Israel almost never fails to lose.

Matt Yglesias thinks that analysis is descriptively spot on, but says it wasn't a "mistake", because many of the architects of the pull-out were trying to slow down the peace process and delay pressure for further change.

There's obviously truth to this, but I think this is overstated in the same way that general efforts to discern the "intent" behind legislative goals supported by a broad coalition of political actors are usually misguided. The hope that disengagement would delay the peace process may have motivated the more conservative members of Sharon's coalition, but it seems weird to say that the more liberal MKs had the same instinct. And most of the opposition in Israel to withdrawal came from the right, not the left. Meanwhile, while the chain of events identified by Goldberg certainly are not positive developments, I doubt that Sharon, were he to awake from his coma, would dispute that -- he wouldn't be proclaiming that his plan went according to playbook.

On the broader indictment of Israel's current policy on Gaza, one thing I've been meaning to say is that I'm not sure if there is anyway to get the supporters of the status quo to admit defeat. The stated goals of the current blockade are, of course, to break Hamas and end terrorism against Israelis. Of course, it is pretty clear that the policy is a failure in these respects -- Hamas remains firmly in control, and its capacity and desire for terrorist violence has waxed, not waned. And that very fact -- that Gaza still remains radicalized -- is then used to justify continuing the blockade. The fact of failure is the warrant for not amending the failed policy.

I don't want to push this too far -- I think this is part of the broader what do you do when nothing works problem -- but it is worth noting.

More to the Blogosphere

I'm pleased to add the comebacking Judeosphere to my blogroll, which returns to the 'tubes after a two year absence. He's already highlighted reasons to avoid alarmism about the "growing" BDS movement against Israel. Yes, the country is export-dependent -- but most of those exports are technology related that it is essentially impracticable to boycott (unless the boycotters want to dump their cellphones). I'd also note that the pro-peace community has begun to effectively mobilize against the BDS forces, which is above all the most important thing we can do to stop them from further sabotaging the prospects of a peaceful, just end to the conflict.

ALI Abandons the Death Penalty

The American Law Institute -- perhaps the most influential organization in shaping the contours of American criminal law -- has officially decided to cease giving guidance on the death penalty, "in light of the current intractable institutional and structural obstacles to ensuring a minimally adequate system for administering capital punishment."

This is roughly in line with my position on the topic, which is that I don't have a problem with capital punishment in the abstract, but in its day-to-day application (outside truly exceptional circumstances) I have no confidence in how it is carried out. I think it is pretty clear that the constitution contemplates capital punishment, and there isn't any particularly strong grounds to label it "cruel and unusual" as an abstract matter -- but as applied in this country it simply is not working in a way consistent with our ethical and constitutional commitments.
A study commissioned by the institute said that decades of experience have proved that the system cannot reconcile the twin goals of individualized decisions about who should be executed and systemic fairness. It added that capital punishment is plagued by racial disparities; is enormously expensive even as many defense lawyers are underpaid and some are incompetent; risks executing innocent people; and is undermined by the politics that come with judicial elections.

So yeah, that.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

There is No Innocence in this Place

These words were actually spoken by an American governmental official to a detainee:
“There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

This is how moral credibility dies. This is how morality itself dies.

New Year's Resolutions, 2010 Edition

As is custom, we first reflect on how I did last year:

Met: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15

Failed: 4 (but that was the right call), 8, 9

Pick 'em: 7, 11

Not bad, I say!

Now, to this year's list:

1) Make law review board;

2) Publish my comment;

3) Continue to progress with "Sticky Slopes";

4) Land a clerkship;

5) Work harder at treating Jill like the beautiful, delightful, love of my life that she is;

6) Get Gaston and Emily in a room together;

7) Don't blow my gainful summer employment;

8) See a big chunk of my old high school and/or college friends (another wedding would help this);

9) Take whatever steps possible this summer to see if I like and/or will be good at appellate litigation;

10) Make sure the blog doesn't sputter out this summer (hopefully this doesn't conflict with #9);

11) Keep in touch with my Carleton professor-mentors;

12) Solidify the Law & Society panel and, following that, rock it;

13) Don't lose my green jacket;

14) Find some new albums to listen to;

15) Beat Final Fantasy XIII (assuming it ever comes out).

For Me, Not You

This is one of those times when the quote of the day is entirely for my benefit (a way of preserving a quotation I'd otherwise lose):
"[I]n achieving equality for women . . . what matters (to a very large extent) is numbers--results--not abstract principles".

Mary E. Becker, Obscuring the Struggle: Sex Discrimination, Social Security, and Stone, Seidman, Sunstein and Tushnet's Constitutional Law, 89 Colum. L. Rev. 264, 274 (1989)