Hogwarts Violates Equal Protection?

I’ve been reading Harry Potter lately. I’m not going to bother explaining it because if you haven’t heard of it you clearly don’t care. Harry attends a school called Hogwarts, which is exclusively for wizards.

To jump subjects for a bit, we are studying the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment in Constitutional Law. Today, we got to Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that held the “separate-but-equal doctrine” established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) to be unconstitutional.

When the Court approaches laws challenged with regard to race, they look first to see if there is a sufficient state interest, and if it is closely related to the purpose of the law. Very rarely to laws using race as a classification survive this strict scrutiny.

Jumping back now, I posit that Hogwarts may be violating the Equal Protection clause. This is a bit of a stretch considering that Hogwarts is in England and out of the jurisdiction of a U.S. court and the school is fictional. But… but… but…

The book sets up wizards to be a separate race from muggles, the later of which are non-wizards. And the school is exclusively for wizards. Muggles aren’t even supposed to know about wizards.

There are a myriad of issues here… just kinda interesting to think about.

Untitled Poem

I have lost a lot of love.
I have let it slip away. I have thrown it down.
In anger;
In fear;
In disgust.
I have spilled love like a kicked-over soft drink on a linoleum floor.
In that case,
I watched it spread
Until all that was left
Was a thin brown sticky film that made a nasty noise when passers-by stepped on it.

I have lost a lot of love.
I have written it down in blue ink on yellow paper.
I tore that up.
I have typed it out in the dark.
I deleted that.
I have scratched it in the sand.
That is gone, too.

I have lost a lot of love,
But I am not lost Because . . .
No matter.
Love is always.

Morning Walk

I walk the street each morning to get coffee. Rush hour. People look busy – frantic and frozen. Most travel efficiently, cutting corners and jumping signals when they can. Heads down. Hands tucked. Earphones firmly sunk.They are shutoff to the world around them as if today was nothing more than the indistinguishable middle of an infinite staccato experience. The probability of something extra-ordinary happening is no greater than their chance of winning the lottery, which is clearly stated in the window of the deli down the street as 1 in 172 million.

Bad odds to bet your smile on.

A bell tolls from the horizon. It’s a sound you would pay to hear played in a grand hall by famous musicians. Deep and pure, it resonates as if it were coming from within – but feels more like I am along the inside edge of its hallow drum. The vibrations grab me. Touch the small of my back and run their fingers along my spine until I shudder.

I look around, wondering if anyone else hears it. Nothing. Not a soul so much as flinches.

The hammer strikes the wall again – rings a deep smooth percussion. I shake more. Still, heads down. Eyes glazed. The passing time so meaningless it might as well stop ticking. The bell shakes again.

I’m still this time. I step back a moment. Cautious. Wanting to locate the drum. Others walk through it. No notice. No care. It’s more efficient that way.

San Diego

Weather. Air. Warmth.
LaJolla. Walking around. Coffee. Fondue. The Cottage. The seals. The funky grass.
Taking pictures.
Walking on the beach. Searching for Rainbow sandals.
The flights. The fatigue.
Apartment. Golden Spoon. Honda.
…Happy and Relaxed.

A View from Starbucks: Consistency in and Inconsistent World

It seems too pristine of a moment to forget about completely. Most of my college weekends have been spent on the road, driving one place or another. I don’t go places that are exceptionally notable, though I have had fun. I go home a few weekends a semester and usually visit friends a couple weekends. It usually accounts to about seven weekends on the road driving and two weekends flying somewhere.

Sitting in Starbucks on State Street in Ann Arbor, I look up from my laptop and through my reflection in the window I see a moving truck park at the curb. When I am not driving, I am usually sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop by the window hunched over my laptop computer. I am undoubtedly wearing my yellow headphones with the right ear speaker taped on.

The mist feels fresh on my face and creates a refreshing distortion through which I can view the dire night lights of Ann Arbor. I stroll by the fountain outside of the League and sip a medium house coffee with a half second of sugar mixed in with a knife. I like the feeling of loneliness that comes with being alone. I would rather manifest grand expectations by myself as the darkness leads me. Go to law school and graduate. Get a job. Settle in somewhere and make friends with the neighbors. Take trips to law conferences in Lake Tahoe with my wife before we have two children three years apart so that they can go to the same high school. The older one can drive the younger one to school and hate it, but that way I will only have to buy one car for the both of them. I do plan on buying them a car. I had one in high school, and it seems to make sense to me. It doesn’t have to be a nice car. The main thing that matters is that it is safe – especially if one of my children is a girl. If I have two boys, I am not really worried if their car breaks down. In fact, I would prefer it. My car has never broken down and I think dealing with a broken car would help my son(s) build character. It could be a convenient break, such as running out of gas, blowing a tire or whatever else can simply go wrong with a car. It has never happened to me so I don’t know.

Rockefeller Center is insane below me. I am sitting on the second floor of a Starbucks across from the famed tree and ice rink, warming up with a cup of mild yet nutty Holiday blend coffee. I can’t believe the chaos outside. I love it. Nothing I have experienced before has been similar. I have been to busier places, but nothing as fervent and well dressed as this.

I am sitting in a Starbucks at the south east corner of Washington Square in the heart of the NYU campus. It is a blizzard outside and my feet are soaking wet because the only shoes I brought with me are worn out deck shoes. That was a slight oversight on my part.

Wall Street is eerily quiet on this snowy Saturday evening. I am sitting in a Starbucks just south of the New York Stock Exchange, warming up with a cup of mellow yet bold Yukon blend coffee. It was only by accident that I found the coffee shop in which I am seated. As always, I am facing the window looking through my reflection in the window to a darkening night setting between the formidable buildings. I not only feel lonely, but also look it as I slump in my chair writing this. The whole scene deservedly fits with my mood. I am tired, cold, and I just saw the WTC site for the first time in person. It looks like any other hole except for the rusty iron I-beam cross that peaks through the falling snow reminding you that two thousand people were crucified in a matter of hours.