Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Perspective on North Korea

It has been over a week since the last post because I've been caught up studying for the bar exam, and it pretty much consumes all of my energy and doesn't leave a lot of free time. So apologies to anyone who previously relied on Legally Irreverent for daily amusement.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been in the news a lot. On May 25, they conducted their second nuclear test. The DPRK also conducted a surface to air missile test.

The international community, including United Nations Security Council, the EU, the United States, and even the People's Republic of China have issued varying levels of opposition/condemnation/rebuke.

I honestly do not understand why the international community bothers with these sorts of condemnations.

The DPRK has a history of defying UN Security Council Resolutions, and responding to public pressure with the North Korean equivalent of the middle finger (missile test, skirmishes, etc).

The North Korean public displays of capability, abbreviated as PDC, usually serve two purposes. Domestically, the North Korean leadership is constantly in a state of flux. Apart from the leadership at the very top (Kim Jong-Il), the members of the military and the ruling elite are constantly struggling for control. Successful PDCs often correspond to a member of the ruling elite/military asserting their position and relative strength, and the PDCs are used as "merit" to indicate the successful management/development of a particular capability by the leadership.

The international community's public rebuke essentially serves to strengthen the position of the hardliners in the military and the party, and also position of the individuals responsible for the PDC.

So maybe it is the international community's intention to strengthen the DPRK ruling elites?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Studying for the Bar examination.

A person wishing to enter the legal profession as a lawyer must be admitted to the bar. There are several ways to gain admission to the bar, the most common being passing the bar exam.

Where did the term of art "bar" originate? Apparently the term originated from the fact that many courts in England used to have an actual physical barrier dividing the public (observing the court) and the litigants in a case. So quite naturally... a lawyer would have to "pass" or be admitted to the bar in order to represent a client.

Anyway - so I have formally started studying for the bar examination. The learning never ends! Woo hoo!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It is done.

Graduation has passed. I am no longer a law student - although I shall remain a student of the law. I have accordingly updated the site banner.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Google Analytics Data!

Legally Irreverent is a happy user of Google Analytics, which allows webmasters to gain insights into their website traffic, readership following, etc...

One of the more interesting tools is the Map Overlay feature, which diagrams the number of visits from each region, country, state, city and paints the map green.

Here is another Map Overlay, this time at the international level.

It is sort of a personal goal to get every state in the United States green. Time will tell if that will happen!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Recipe on Demand: Pork Katsu.

I wish I had a great pork katsu recipe, but all I essentially do is... mix some panko breadcrumbs with sea salt, fresh-ground pepper... hammer the piece of pork until it is nice and thin, toss it with some flour, dip it in the eggwash, and then toss it with the breadcrumb mixture.

Spray it with some cooking spray and bake at 450°F.

I've been reminded by DPLK that a dressing that goes well with this? Yay for fancy sauce.

But I'm eliminating anything that is really unnecessary.

        • onion
        • cup of chicken broth
        • julienne carrot
        • 2 tbsp of white sugar
        • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
        • 1/2 tsp salt
        • beaten eggs (3-5)

So saute the onions until they're golden brown, toss in the carrots and saute that until it is soft. Pour in the broth, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. After that has come up to a boil, you can toss in the beaten eggs and watch it cook. After that, throw the cooked pork into the sauce for minute to soak up some of the sauce and eggs and serve.

H1N1 flu virus Redux.

I'm sure everyone is probably already annoyed at the overwhelming coverage mainstream media has been giving the recent swine flu outbreak. What hasn't received as much press coverage is the senseless slaughter of pigs and import bans issued by some countries.

In case we are unclear, there is no evidence that humans can acquire swine flu from the consumption of pork.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian government began slaughtering some 300,000 pigs, as a "precautionary" measure against swine flu. One might then naturally wonder... isn't Egypt a predominately Muslim country? Isn't pork haraam? Why are there even pigs being farmed in Egypt? Well there are about 10% Coptic Christians in Egypt. Because most Christians, by tradition, do not observe dietary restrictions, pork is naturally one of the most economical source of animal protein.

Basically, in the name of "public health," a disparate minority group is going to bear the blunt of the economic impact. The Egyptian government is doing this because of idiotic and stupid leaders and bureaucrats, and/or out of malicious intent. Which is it? Too early to tell.

Other countries, including China and Russia, have began banning pork products from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I suspect whether this is an instance of where some states are using the health scare as a pretext to impose some anti-competitive barriers. Particularly in the case of Russia, which hasn't yet been admitted into the WTO (largely due to the Bush administration), and may be using this as an opportunity to increase multinational incentives for Russia's admission to the WTO.

But even if we took these countries' supposed "health concerns" at face value, who are the health experts making these policies up? If anything, we should be increasing pork consumption and reduce the number of live animals.

The plummeting pork prices is tempting me to make pork katsu and eat it everyday from now until the bar exam in July.

Disclaimer - this is tongue in cheek, it appears at the most current medical updates say that the virus has been spreading between living human beings, and not from live pigs to humans; I am not seriously suggesting that live pigs are constantly transmitting the disease to humans.