Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two things I re-learned today

First is how much clients like it when their attorney will sit and listen to what they have to say.

Second, I'm not a hugger. I'm just not.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now why didn't I think of that?

This would have been an interesting case to be a part. Apparently someone finally brought suit to get the federal government to change the money so that those with vision impairments can tell the denominations apart.

When I lived overseas, I got used to just feeling into my pocket or wallet and not having to look down to make sure that I had the right bill when I was paying for something. Now I have to look.

However, I wonder if this might slow a push to making all transaction based on some sort of electronic cards like we have now.

Is This Worth 50 Million a Year?

Apparently our government pays around $50 million dollars a year to try and teach abstinence to the nation's youth. These programs have been so effective that the Bush Administration has decided to expand them.

That's right. Instead of just trying to keep teens from having sex, the government is trying to get the word out that people should abstain from sex until they are married, or at least 30.

I wonder when the Republicans are going to try and prevent drinking... again.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Do we really need this sequel?

As I was being an uber geek tonight, I ran across an interview with Katee Sackhoff (that would be Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica), mentioned that she was auditioning for parts during her hiatus. Among the parts was a bit in Rambo IV.

Did we really need a Rambo IV?

Intellectual Property Run Amok

Apparently, it was announced today that McDonald's is seeking to patent sandwich making. And its not a machine they are trying to patent, it is the method of making deli sandwiches.

Is this taking things too far? I can just see it being approved and then out go the cease and desist letters to people for making toasted sandwiches.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I need my fix!

I need it! Its been too long.

And yes, I am a frakking geek.

Ron Moore, get your frakking podcast up!

And to the rest of you... take a look at Battlestar Galactica. Who knows, you might like it.

After reflection

So I noted that today that the Supreme Court refused to uphold the the punitive damages awarded against Altria f/k/a Phillip Morris (who makes, markets, and sells cigarettes). In light of the State Farm verdict a few years ago, as well as the subsequent refinements which have been made to the holding in that case, this should have come as nothing as a suprise.

Which to my mind seems to show that the Supreme Court, as composed in this court and in the Rehnquist one which preceded it, seems to want to gut punitive damages. There are those on both sides of the litigation debate who will tell you that punitives are too high and onerous or too low and easy for the wrongdoers, but it seems that right now the jurisprudence is taking the side of businesses who seek to escape from punitives.

Punitives are there to ensure that a person, or corporation, which does a bad act that rises to a certain level should be punished for that act. By limiting the amount, the court is seeming to encourage the kind of risk calculation which gave us the Ford Pinto. It seems to me what the court should have done was up the standard by which defendant is judged when it comes to determining whether punitives are available. That way the true malfeasors are still held accountable in a way that does hurt them and avoids assigning punitive damages to simple negligence situtations.

Those are my half-formed thoughts on the subject.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I paid attention during high school.

You paid attention during 100% of high school!
85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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and I am also ...
Which God or Goddess are you?
Your Result: Ares Greek God of War
You laugh in the face of War. You revell in conflict and power. You are manipulative, seductive, and a strategist. Your carnal heart enjoys a good battle.
Zeus Greek King of the Gods
Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love
Artemis Greek Goddess of the Hunt
Dionsyus Greek God of Wine
Hades Greek God of the Underworld
Which God or Goddess are you?
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Back From Maui

So as you might have noticed, I got married on November 11.

First off, I want to say, if you want an incredible band to play at your wedding (or any event for that matter), Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers should be at the top of the list. They were great, flexible, and very professional (both musically and business-wise).

Maui was great. If you want to go snorkling or scuba diving, I highly recommend the folks over at Trilogy Excursions. One, unnamed reviewer, unfairly panned this outfit. They offer a good outing, complete with meal, and gear at a fair price. And to boot, they're nice and fun on the boat.

On another thought, I think my Maui experience (since it was my first) my have ruined me for good. How? We stayed at the Four Seasons on Maui. Cost alot, but wow, did it include some great service.

Alright, back now to clearing through a week away.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Programming Note

Just in case any have been wondering, there is a reason why I have not been posting as regularly as I usually do.

The reasons is actually pretty good.

I'm getting married this weekend (Saturday to be precise... and no I am not going to say where) and then heading off on my honeymoon for week.

See you all when I get back.


I have not seen Borat yet, however I have heard its pretty funny.

However, there are some people who do not think its funny. Including some of the people who were in the movie. They have filed a lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox, though oddly enough not against Sacha Cohen.

The plaintiffs, who filed as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 to protect their identity, claim that they were the frat boys featured in one of the film's segments. They claim that they were duped into making racist remarks by getting them drunk and then having them sign their releases while they were intoxicated.

Now in my experience, inebriation does not bring out new things, it just removes that filter which prevents it from coming out in polite society. But hey, that's just my thinking.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Free At Last, Free At Last

This nightmare of a client finally came in today to sign the papers that removed me as the attorney of record from his case. Its only taken a motion, more than a dozen phone calls, and begging with him to do it.

And the frakker acts like it is my loss that I am no longer representing him and how he can not possibly understand how I would want to done with him. And then he said "I sense some hostility in your voice."

I said "Yes," in response to that. However, if he knew what the alternative was, he would have stayed quiet and just shut the f*#% up until he was out of the building.

And in related news, I just did a CLE on red flag clients. Want to know how many he flew under the teacher's recknoning?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Whatever Happened to Disagreeing Without Slander?

Perhaps slander is too harsh a word. However, I think that in this case, it might be the right word.

I should put in here that I am not a big fan of Seymour Hersh, or at least not a fan of his post-9/11 work. Mainly this is because I feel that his reporting and writing is influenced by a personal desire to find another My Lai.

In any event, at McGill university the other day, Mr. Hersh was giving a talk. It started out fine, with Mr. Hersh reminding everyone that the bad news is that there is 800+ days left in the president's term of office, but that tomorrow morning means that there will be one less day.

Then he went on to say that,

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”
Not only is this probably not true (if you want to see an American force that was violent and murderous try taking a look at Philippines Insurrection during the Samar campaign), but its not helpful to the situation. Does Mr. Hersh believe that reverting back to the Vietnam-era form of protest by belitting, disparaging and insulting service personnel is the right way to go?

Mr. Hersh needs to apologize for that comment. Disagree with the policy. Disagree with the president. Protest, complain, vote. But how about not reverting to something that caused such deep psychic scars for many people who ultimately had little say about how, when, and where American policy was and is carried out. They and their families do not need someone doing this to them.

Made to Hang

It was announced today that Saddam Hussein has been found guilty and will be sentenced to hang. Fortunately, the court and participants were able to get this case to verdict despite the fact that tye were all, defense, prosecution, and judges, targets of one faction or another.

The appeal will be filed in the next ten days and briefing will be done in 20 days. I do not envy the junior attorneys on this case that have to do the grunt work on this case.

It will be interesting to see the reaction when the sentence is carried out.

Friday, November 03, 2006

All Hail Vizquel

He doesn't just field his position flawlessly. He doesn't just hit for average. On a team that was going nowhere fast for most of the season, he was the one that hung in there and kept trying to provide that spark that a team needs in order to win games.

At least he got some recognition this year. Congrats Mr. Vizquel on your 11th Gold Glove award.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Too Little Too Late I suppose

So yes, my odd obsession with Dancing with The Stars continues. I did not really warm to Monique throughout the series, but her cha-cha-cha was great. Unfortunately for her and her partner, it just wan't enough to save her.

So who do you think will win? Can Joey upset the favorites? Will Edyta be upset that it was the guys who kicked their legs past their ears during the Fame number?

What Should My Response Be?

Before we start, I think something needs to be explained about me. Since highschool, some earlier, I have been accused of having a problem with authority. I spent an entire semester in detention (which was called J.U.G. where I went to school) rather than agree that a teacher was right and I was wrong. (It was later demonstrated that I was completely and totally in the right in the situation and the teacher was completely and totally wrong).

I suppose you could say that my instinctual reaction to stupidity and being pushed is to push back. Hence why I no longer work for others.

As you might have noticed, I do a fair amount of work on behalf of tenants in San Francisco. I also belong, if you could call it that, to what is, in my opinion, a dysfunctional group of tenants right's activists. My opinion as to their dysfunction goes to their organization, not what they provide in service to tenants in the community. But that is not the issue.

Recently, this group started a listserv. I joined it. I participated in it. And I have now been kicked off of it. Why? Because apparently they don't like the name which I chose for my account. Now this is not the email address that appears in the message, but rather the login to gain access to the litserv. The name used is not offensive. When I signed up, I was not informed that I could not use it. I was also not informed that there was a special format that I had to conform to for my name.

So today I received not one, but two (that's right two) emails telling me that my privileges were revoked until I 1) gave them my contact information 2) provided bona fides as to my commitment to tenant's rights and 3) changed my screen name.

Now, they have my contact information. They also have my bona fides. As for the third thing... I know this will sound silly but I just cannot change it. Not because I am attached to it, but because the request is STUPID.

Anyways, click here if you want to see my response to this inane idiocy. Yeah, I know, not classy but I'm not in the mood to conform with their arbitrariness.

Good Result

So yesterday a Georgia court sentenced a man to ten years for genital mutiliation. An emigrant from Ethiopia, he will now spend the better part of the next ten years in prison.

Now, this is a good thing. Genital mutiliation of females is a bad thing. Usually because it is done in secret, with crude implements and without the supervision of someone who has been trained.

I suppose the quesiton I have, is why weren't these cases prosecuted under the other laws, such as battery, child endangerment, or any of the child abuse statutes that are out there?