Friday, May 21, 2010

Horror News Open Thread

Another day, another sign that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Let's start with the news that 300k teachers could be laid off this summer. Unlike overpaid law professors who fuck (literally) their students and contribute little to the well being of our society, teachers who work in primary, middle, and high schools are underpaid, overworked, yet are essential to an educated safe, and productive community. Schools in my area have already proposed 4-day school weeks and extended vacation. I expect the crime rate to skyrocket. When teenagers have nowhere to go because all of the schools and recreational facilities have been shut down, the only thing left to do is alcohol, drugs, sex, and loitering.

I've been putting off the BP Oil gusher spill because it's just too depressing beyond what we've all read and seen on the news and in photos. I recommend Naked Capitalism and Corrente for updated news and analysis of the cover-up story. Not only have wildlife and jobs been destroyed, but now there are reports that fishermen have become ill from BP's toxic chemicals while trying to clean up the spill.
More and more stories about sick fishermen are beginning to surface after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The fishermen are working out in the Gulf -- many of them all day, every day -- to clean up the spill. They said they blame their ailments on the chemicals that BP is using.

One fisherman said he felt like he was going to die over the weekend.

"I've been coughing up stuff," Gary Burris said. "Your lungs fill up."Burris, a longtime fisherman who has worked across the Gulf Coast, said he woke up Sunday night feeling drugged and disoriented."

It was like sniffing gasoline or something, and my ears are still popping," Burris said. "I'm coughing up stuff. I feel real weak, tingling feelings.

"Marine toxicologist Riki Ott said the chemicals used by BP can wreak havoc on a person's body and even lead to death."

The volatile, organic carbons, they act like a narcotic on the brain," Ott said. "At high concentrations, what we learned in Exxon Valdez from carcasses of harbor seals and sea otters, it actually fried the brain, (and there were) brain lesions."
Despite the environmental disaster in the Gulf, Shell continues to go forth with plans to drill on the Alaskan coast as early as July 1st.

Do you have additional doomsday news to report? This is an open thread. Legal and non-legal news welcomed.


  1. The loss of 300,000 teaching jobs should wipe out any alleged job gains in a future monthly job report.

    I'm sad to say this, but as lawyers our financial well-being depends on the misery of others, and the Gulf oil spill is no different. The spill will probably prove to be a large boon for the legal profession. This seems like a disaster that could keep hundreds of additional lawyers employed for some time.


  3. Okay, two quick things:

    1. The teacher downsizing can be seen a mile away. While they are important, there's just no money to prop up their salaries. It's just a miracle that these cuts didn't already happen last year. (well, some did. and some others occurred and then were reversed by influx of stimulus money.) The fact is, the states and local governments have no money.

    2. Maybe this might make you feel better: the crime rate will not rise because of any possible resulting "free time" added to their school week to mess around. There have been multiple studies already conducted because economists were "shocked" that the higher unemployment rate hasn't led to higher crime rates. One reason is that society seems to be more cohesive nowadays. But another reason (which I found interesting) is that there are so many new outlets of entertainment that keep kids (and adults) occupied and docile. We're talking internet and also new generation video game systems like the PS3 and XBOX. Why go do actual dangerous things when you can pretend to do them and not risk life/limb?

  4. As the mainstream media slowly picks up on the story of law school being financial suicide for the vast majority of graduates, I noticed NPR did a story on Friday about underemployed law students. It was a strange format, a five-member panel of Georgetown law students. While the lead-in made it sound like NPR would tell everyone how much of a scam law school is, the piece turned out to be fluff, with all of the students saying something like "oh well, I won't make 160k right out of school, but I will have a decent life in government work." EVEN the 3Ls whose plan was to "move to California and shack up with my solo practitioner pal."

    These 3Ls were a bunch of ninnies who were obviously hedging and not placing a toe out of line. They probably were lined up for the panel by GULC's career services office. Despite two or three of the panel members really having NOTHING solid and lined up, they made it sound like they were just happy to "settle" for a job that paid under 160k. No one came flat out and said "we are unemployed and grasping at straws, fuck you GULC for charging us 150k," even though that was clearly the situation for two, and maybe three, of them. Only two of them had real jobs, one with the federal mine safety agency, and one with some legal aid org on the West coast...sounded like volunteer work actually.

    Anyway, I had high hopes for this story, but NPR dropped the ball and basically turned it into a fluff piece about how law school can still give you a great job in government or public interest, just not in biglaw anymore. LOL. I'm sure any 0L or their parents listening naively breathed a big sigh of relief and cut a check for their seat deposit in the class of 2013. "Well, I won't be making 160k at biglaw, but at least I will have a decent federal job and it's probably less stressful than biglaw anyway. Law school is a great choice."

  5. Minnesota 3L: Thanks for stopping by. I believe Fluster Cucked and Attorney to Temp wrote posts on the NPR Georgetown Law story. They are under our blog roll so stop by and see what they have to say.

    I haven't listened to the story yet. I will have to do that in the next several days. I think the media needs to find unemployed graduates a year or two later to get the true story. Those people will be angrier and wiser than 3Ls at T14 schools who think their school cred will eventually lead to a good job. That is why they are unwilling to bitch about their school because they are scared that it will ruin their chances of ever getting a Biglaw job. What they don't know is that they have little to no chance of ever finding a Biglaw job. The Georgetown 3Ls haven't begun paying their loans or lived unemployed with their parents long enough to really feel the frustration or understand how screwed they'll be for a very long time.

    I'm not holding my breath for the mainstream media to report the scam. And I agree with you that a lot of parents and 0Ls in denial will listen to the report and believe everything will turn out okay and the job market will improve by the time they graduate.



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