Monday, December 31, 2007

Jeni's Twelve Months of 2007

Jeni at Downriver Drivel posted Looking Back At 2007 today and passed its assignment on to me. The task is to post links to either the first post I’ve done each month in 2007, or to the post I like the best in each month.

I’m going to do both, and cheat while I’m at it.

Move your eyes to the right of the screen. There you will see… I had to check to make sure it is there… a sidebar titled Blog Archive. Feel free to check out the first post of each month or peruse to find the one you like the best. Or you may move on to more interesting tasks.

No tagging. Now is that no muss, no fuss posting or what? Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Life's Irritations

Being a lawyer, I am my family’s lawyer. Not very lucrative; but, that’s family.

My brother called yesterday because he was mad at Ford Motor Company. He’d bought a 1999 Explorer for his daughter. In August they’d gotten a recall notice about a switch for the cruise control. His daughter took it in, they told her it was fixed and she left. Shortly after she tried to engage the cruise control and no luck. She called and they told her they had only disconnected it and were waiting for the part. Months passed. No part. No word of when the part might arrive.

Brother being pissed, called me. I gave him a website that Ford maintains for “customer service.” He called. It turns out there are over 3 million of these switches that need to be replaced on Ford vehicles made between 1992 and 2003. They are just now gearing up to make them. They will start going to dealers early in 2008. “You’ll get a call from the dealer when ….”

Brother being pissed, calls me and wants me to file a class action suit. I told him I’d stick to construction law.

On a broader note, if you have a ’92 to’03 Ford, you might want to see if it is subject to the recall. The switches catch fire, even while the car is turned off; it might be worth disconnecting, even if yours hasn’t been recalled.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I took a shot yesterday at Mike Huckabee, running for the Republican nomination for President, who is touting the FairTax. He’s taking some Media heat for the position. Should he?

I won’t tell you that I’ve fully investigated the plan, and can assure you that it will be an improvement over our current federal income tax system. But then, I haven’t fully investigated our current income tax system, and I can assure you that it has a lot of flaws. Here’s a link to a summary and the text of the proposed statute at; and, here’s the summary from the link:

"The Act is called the “Fair Tax Act of 2007.” As of Dec. 31, 2008, it repeals all income taxes and payroll taxes, specifically:

• The individual income tax (including capital gains taxes and the alternative minimum tax)

• All individual and employer payroll taxes including Social Security, Medicare, and federal unemployment taxes

• The corporate income tax

• The self-employment tax (a self-employed person pays both the individual and the employer portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes)

• The estate and gift tax

Effective January 1, 2009 it replaces the above taxes with a national retail sales tax on all goods and services sold at retail. The tax rate is set to be revenue neutral – at the level necessary to replace the revenues generated by the repealed taxes.

A 23-percent (of the tax-inclusive sales price) sales tax is imposed on all retail sales for personal consumption of new goods and services. Exports and the purchase of inputs by businesses (i.e., intermediate sales) are not taxed, nor are used goods or any savings, investment, or education tuition expenses. The sales tax must be separately stated and charged on the sales receipt. This makes it clear to the consumer exactly how much they are paying in federal taxes.

There are no exemptions under the FairTax, meaning that no lobbyist, corporation, or individual can obtain tax advantages that are not available to the general public. Also, everyone pays the same rate, but those who spend more pay more total taxes than those who spend less.

The FairTax provides every American family with a rebate of the sales tax on spending up to the federal poverty level (plus an extra amount to prevent any marriage penalty). The rebate is paid monthly in advance. It allows a family of four to spend $27,380 tax free each year. The rebate for a married couple with two children is $525 per month ($6,297 annually). Therefore, no family pays federal sales tax on essential goods and services and middle-class families are effectively exempted on a large part of their annual spending.

Funding for Social Security and Medicare benefits remains the same. The Social Security and Medicare trust funds receive the same amount of money as they do under current law. The source of the trust fund revenue is a dedicated portion of sales tax revenue instead of payroll tax revenue.

States can elect to collect the federal sales tax on behalf of the federal government in exchange for a fee of one-quarter of one percent of gross collections. Retail businesses collecting the tax also get the same administrative fee.

Strong taxpayer rights provisions are incorporated into the Act. The burden of persuasion in disputes is on the government. A strong, independent problem resolution office is created. Taxpayers are entitled to professional fees in disputes unless the government establishes that its position was substantially justified."

One of the big promo points for the FairTax is that it would do away with the need for the IRS. Get rid of the IRS and its bureaucracy and you do away with a lot of anguish. More importantly, you do away with thousands of pages of tax code that are the bane of individual and corporate taxpayers (the summary and statute linked above total only 36 pages). The need for an entire industry of tax planners and return preparers is gone.

And what does that do? The Tax Foundation says that the cost of compliance with the tax code in 2008 will be about $325 billion which is about 23% of the revenue projected to be collected by the IRS.

For me the most attractive aspect of the FairTax is that it is transparent. Right now I don’t know how much of my $1.00 Double Cheeseburger from McDonalds is a pass on of embedded taxes. But let’s add up the taxpayers involved:

- Me of course. I’ve had to earn more than a dollar to spend that dollar for the burger.

- McDonalds pays federal income taxes and includes them in the cost of the burger.

- Its suppliers pay and add what they pay onto the prices they charge, and their suppliers and their suppliers.

- What all of the above pay into FICA for their employees.

(The only figure I could find for the average percent of tax paid on income by corporations was an article in The New York Times that pegged it at 20% in 1997. I couldn’t find a total embedded tax percentage.) The FairTax also does away with the fiction that corporations "pay" taxes. They merely remit taxes that you and I pay.

One final point, related to that 20%: the U.S. trade deficit. For a U.S. company, whether it sells its goods or services here or abroad, U.S. taxes must be paid. Not so for most companies in other countries. Their tax structures do not apply to exports. A 2004 article in Tax Notes estimated that this disparate treatment gave foreign companies an 18% price advantage. A 2006 article by an MIT economics professor estimated that this costs the U.S. $100 billion a year in exports. Take it a step further. Many of our major trading partners impose value added taxes on their corporations. Like here now, each level of production pays a tax on the "added value" (here on the income derived) at each level. If we didn't tax income, at any level of production, might that not lead to less out sourcing by our companies and some "in sourcing" by companies now subject to VAT, with increased capital investment and jobs here? Link to Source.

So, should I be more approving of Huckabee?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Year (Almost) Without A Santa Claus

"Some gifts from Kris Kringle are better kept wrapped.

A man in a Santa hat was arrested Sunday night for investigation of drunken driving after he was spotted outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood wearing a wig, a red lace camisole and a purple G-string, police said.

'We are pretty sure this is not the Santa Claus,' Deputy Chief Ken Garner said.

The suspect was booked into jail after his blood-alcohol level measured just above the state's legal limit of .08, police said. He was later released on $5,000 bail.

The man, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds, also wore black leg warmers and black shoes. His car was towed to an impound yard, police said."

From the Associated Press. Update from RTW News Service:

Mrs. Claus is not responding to persistent calls and Emails from this reporter. An unnamed elf, not authorized to speak for North Pole authorities, said "he usually waits till the day after to pull something like this; we know that and plan for the fallout. That's why it never makes the news. This year, I don't know. Stress I guess. Replacing all those Chinese toys. How were we supposed to know, Mattel didn't. We had some high level talks with the LA police and they agreed to put out the story that it wasn't 'THE' Santa Claus. He's OK. We've checked, the sleigh is empty. Rudolf says it was a push, but he guided the way and the other reindeer were a big help. I just got back from the gingerbread house. Mrs. C is beside herself. She keeps muttering about never going to Key West again. This is all on background right? Hey, where you going?"

Christ in Christmas and Politics

The Pope, in his Christmas day homily, said,

“On this day of peace, my thoughts turn especially to those places where the grim sound of arms continues to reverberate; to the tortured regions of Darfur, Somalia, the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia; to the whole of the Middle East – especially Iraq, Lebanon and the Holy Land; to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to the Balkans and to many other crisis situations that unfortunately are frequently forgotten. May the Child Jesus bring relief to those who are suffering and may he bestow upon political leaders the wisdom and courage to seek and find humane, just and lasting solutions. To the thirst for meaning and value so characteristic of today’s world, to the search for prosperity and peace that marks the lives of all mankind, to the hopes of the poor: Christ – true God and true Man – responds with his Nativity. Neither individuals nor nations should be afraid to recognize and welcome him: with Him ‘a shining light’ brightens the horizon of humanity; in him ‘a holy day’ dawns that knows no sunset. May this Christmas truly be for all people a day of joy, hope and peace!”

Mike Huckabee, earlier in the week ran a “Christmas ad” in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, saying,

"Are you about worn out by all the television commercials you've been seeing, mostly about politics? Well, I don't blame you. At this time of year sometimes it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and friends."

"And I hope that you and your friends will have a magnificent Christmas season. And on behalf of all of us, God Bless and Merry Christmas. I'm Mike Huckabee and I approved this message,"

In a letter to the editor in today’s Washington Post, Tracy Leverton said,

“I've had it with the fuss over whether to say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Christmas.’ For 30 years, my mother phoned me every Dec. 25 at 7 a.m. to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ I'd reply, ‘Mom, we're Jewish,’ to which she would say, ‘I know, but I love the holidays. And what's wrong with peace on Earth and goodwill toward men?’ Mom is gone, but her words seem more meaningful than ever.”

So, the Pope injects religion into world crises, Huckabee blesses us and invites us to reflect on the original focus of the holiday, and we learn that a nice Jewish lady used to tell her daughter that there’s more to the Christian holiday than its genesis.

The Pope won’t get any flak for his comments. Huckabee has gotten a lot of flak. The letter to the editor is sweet. Of the three, the Pope’s remarks are the most strident for Christian involvement in public events. “ He is venerated and Huckabee is castigated.

Why? Maybe because we think such comments are a part of the Pope’s “job;” and, many of us don’t think a “Christ-centric” approach to public policy is a good idea, me among them. I’m very distrustful of “Christ on their sleeve” Christians injecting their religion into what I think are secular matters. Or, maybe we think that the Pope’s attempted involvement is ineffectual (though were he to be effective, would world peace be a bad result?), and worry that Huckabee has an agenda that would run counter to how we see American political life.

With or without the help of the God of your or my choice, I hope our world slows down its hell-bent rush towards more and more conflict and resultant death and degradation in 2008. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Eight by Eight

This American Life,, is a show on National Public Radio, heard here in Atlanta on Sunday at 6:00 p..m.

I just listened to a piece about people that die alone. The main piece was about a woman in Los Angeles that died. Some, not too close, relatives were found.

But at the end there was a small story about the thousand or so people who die each year in Los Angeles County with no assets and no family. They are cremated. Their remains are kept for four years. On December 6 of this year, those that died in 2003 were taken from their boxes and put into an eight by eight foot grave next door to those that had died in 2002, next to those that died in 2001,….

In a way, maybe it’s good that their remains are commingled; but, couldn’t Los Angeles County spring for enough room a year to give each of them the space for their own small urn?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Supervision Is Over Worked

"State auditors found that [Georgia] Tech employees responsible for reviewing card use were overseeing too many cardholders, In one case, a p-card coordinator oversaw purchases for 116 cards.

"Tech has overhauled its policy, including reducing the number of cards any one supervisor must monitor. And, instead of assuming charges are legitimate until there's reason to suspect otherwise, cardholders may now be required to demonstrate their purchases are work-related."

From an article on

We have a scandal here in Georgia, with a capital S. It seems pretty much everyone that works for the state has a "p-card," a debit card that they are to use to buy things that are job related.

The Atlanta Journal=Constitution has run a few exposes over the second half of this year indicating that payment of an employee's debt to a debt collecter, massages, vacation travel and so on have been charged to the cards. A few have resigned, some have been fired, more maybe in the firing line.

But the quote above, from the current article, floors me. Who among you couldn't look at charges on a hundred credit cards once a month in say, what two hours? What kind of business or government assumes a payment is OK without support? "Maybe" Tech employeees will be required to prove they aren't stealing?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Are Porches and Front Doors the Equivalent of the Appendix?

I was stuck in traffic coming back from lunch today on a main road that has houses along it. All of them were of an era, Seventies Ranch, with a “built-in” carport without a garage door and a long but narrow inset front porch. Say twenty feet by three.

The genesis for this post came when I saw one of them that had a planter squarely in front of the front door.

All of them had some type of porch furniture on them, ranging from the ubiquitous white pvc chairs and side table to a swing to a wrought iron bench. I got a dollar that says no one has ever sat on any of the furniture I saw.

Doing a definitions search on Google gave me variations on the meaning of porch that can be summarized as a covered entry to a building that can be within the boundary of the main wall or extending beyond it.

A show of hands – who of you sits on your front porch? Who enters or leaves your abode by the front door, if there’s an attached garage or carport or side door next to the driveway?

I think for most of us the front door and its porch have gone the way of the appendix some of us have had removed, with no adverse result.

If you had a twenty by three or foor foot concrete covered porch, would you trade it right now for the same space in your living room? I would.

There’s something of a movement in city design to return us to the sidewalk and the street. All apartments and condos just have to have a three by six foot protuberance from their wall, or taking away from living space, that’s bounded by wrought iron or wood and holds dead plants, a satellite dish and the aforesaid pvc furniture. I’d trade it for space that would be used.

Now don’t get me wrong. If I lived on a nice piece of land with a house set back from the road, I’d have a wrap around porch, say ten or twelve feet deep with columns and ceiling fans and real live furniture on it and a front door right in the middle facing the road. Maybe some screens, maybe not. The driveway would lead to that door. Or even better, the porch shown above. That set up would be used as opposed to what most of us have and don’t use. Come sit awhile, care for some tea?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not Even A Penny For Your Thoughts

I’ve done a few posts about copying CD’s, DVD’s and software. For the most part, I’ve opposed its morality and legality on the premise that the creator is due his, her or its profit. I’ve concluded that the current controversy will be solved when law (predicated on not easily copied media like books) catches up with new technology. I may be wrong.

The Generational Divide In Copyright Morality is a post by David Pogue at Take a minute to read it.

Now, given his experience, how do creators get paid for what they create?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Best and Worst Christmas Present, Depending on Your Perspective

More years ago than I’m willing to count, my youngest niece was a month and a half short of a year old at Christmas. My brother lived in Metro Atlanta at the time and we had a protocol of me going to his place on Christmas Eve, staying the night for the great unveiling the next morning and then me fleeing the family life the next afternoon.

You may recall the little stuffed toys that were popular then. The first of them was a Santa with a battery and whatever device made a sound buried in Santa’s innards. If you tapped him on the head the device said “Ho, ho, ho.”

I walked into the kitchen from the garage and she was toddling around, just kind of walking, not able to pass a sobriety field test. She smiled. I smiled. I sat down on the floor. She flopped down on the floor. I put the Santa in front of her and tapped its head.

She looked at it with suspicion. I did it again. Same look. but with her face indicating that she was thinking about it. I mimed that she should tap it on the head. She was having nothing of it.

I tapped and she became comfortable with the alien, smaller than her. that faced her on the floor. She got the idea that tapping resulted in ho hoing. A bit of miming more and she tapped. Nothing happened, as her tap was a bit too tentative. A bit more instruction and her tap induced a ho, ho, ho. She started with a smile which progressed to a giggle which ended in as much of a belly laugh as a yet to be one year old child can produce, midway through which she fell over backwards, still laughing.

We continued with this while my brother, my sister-in-law and my, even then sophisticated, other niece, all of seven or eight. looked on with growing annoyance.

Then the batteries wore out. Smiles, chuckles and laughs ended, tears began. Batteries bought for some of the next morning’s wonders were put into service.

She took her afternoon nap. “Don’t ever do that again,” I was told. Over the next couple of days, I’m told they went through a few more batteries. Cheap to my mind for such pleasure; but, then I wasn’t there for all of the fun.

Christmas Trinkets

I mentioned in a post on Sunday that I’d come across some baby MagLite flashlights that fit in your pocket. The whole thing is about .4” in circumference and maybe 3.5” long. It runs on one AAA battery. I bought a few to give to friends and one for myself.

Last night, I stopped at the neighborhood bar. The bartender each year gives some of us customers scratch off lottery tickets as a present. She handed me mine with a quarter with which to scratch. I couldn’t see the results so I pulled out my new little toy. She oohed and ahhed about how cute it is.

So, this morning on the way to work, I made my way towards Radio Shack with the intent to buy a few more for gifts, including her’s. Wal-Mart is right across the parking lot from Radio Shack, so I thought I’d see if I could find the thing there.

Yes I could, to the tune of $2.00 less each; and, instead of having to buy a AAA battery for each, Wal-Mart’s version came with one as part of the package. So, Wal-Mart saved me a total of 38% on my new purchases.

Wal-Mart may subsidize its operations by using public money for its employees’ health care, but it’s hard to resist its pricing.

As usual, I didn’t winning anything on my scratch off ticket.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Organized Juice Threatens To Boycott Georgia

"Almost every state knows, and has known for years, that wrestling is entertainment and not a sport. It's like Ice Capades." That's by the lawyer for the WWE (the big guys that roll around the ring and hit each other with chairs) in reaction to Georgia's consideration of subjecting its "entertainers" to drug tests if they want to entertain in this state. If Georgia does, the WWE won't come here anymore he threatened.

From a March 2004 USA TODAY article:

"Since 1997, about 1,000 wrestlers 45 and younger have worked on pro wrestling circuits worldwide, wrestling officials estimate.

"USA TODAY's examination of medical documents, autopsies and police reports, along with interviews with family members and news accounts, shows that at least 65 wrestlers died in that time, 25 from heart attacks or other coronary problems — an extraordinarily high rate for people that young, medical officials say. Many had enlarged hearts.


"In five of the 25 deaths, medical examiners concluded that steroids might have played a role. Excessive steroid use can lead to an enlarged heart. In 12 others, examiners in medical reports cited evidence of use of painkillers, cocaine and other drugs."

Then there was local WWE wrestler Chris Benoit who killed his wife and child and then himself earlier this year.

Yep just like the Ice Capades. Barry Bonds is looking better everyday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Totally Wasted Day, Part Two

The second part of the day was more active.

1. Go to Radio Shack to get an audio out extension cable for the laptop so I can get better speaker separation. It works just fine, at a dollar a foot!

2. While there find a deal on little baby MagLite flashlights. I'm happy and couple of friends (not you Rick, I already have yours) will be come Christmas, they fit in your pocket and throw a good light.

3. Stop at the office, check mail from yesterday. Pick up the latest movie from Netflix.

4. Einstein Bros. Bagels. Onion, cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers and Nova.

5. Meet friends, have a couple of beers and watch about half of the Falcons being decimated by Tampa Bay.

6. Install extension cable.

7. Watch Syriana, George Clooney's oil conspiracy movie from a couple of years ago. Not recommended.

8. Type this.

As to Pos's question in a comment to the earlier post, 91.9 is owned and operated by Clark Atlanta University, one of Atlanta's several black universities. It plays about every kind of jazz there is. Though this morning it was mostly gospel, it being Sunday and this being the South. The only kind of jazz I don't like is when it gets too atonal. I want some melody. All the players you mention are great; but, I'm not enough of an aficionado to know who I'm listening to unless I'm told. I'm more of a blues fan; but, there too, I just listen, for the most part not knowing who's doing what.

Rather than a third post today, here's the plan for the evening:

1. Dinner: sauteed tilapia, rice with some green beans, butter and soy mixed in. If I'm adventurous when I get off the couch, cherry pie - but I'll have to pull it out of the freezer, pre-heat the oven and all that.

2. Washer/dryer operation.

3. Probably some streaming movie from Netflix.

Oh, and it's finally cold here as cold here goes. The furnace has already come on and it may hit the high twenties over night. I hope your evening is at least as productive as I plan mine to be.

A Totally Wasted Day

So far anyway. And, so far, quite enjoyable.

I've accomplished:

1. Ablutions.

2. Tuning to 91.9 (jazz).

3. Making and drinking coffee.

4. Reading the Atlanta Journal Constitution, without the benefit of the last three sections which were missing, though I don't usually read them anyway (Travel, Style and something else I don't remember.

5. Enjoying an article in the AJC about Arthur Blank, owner of the Falcons and victim of Michael Vick, that was really well written.

6. Reading The New York Times. Check out an opinion piece on the controversy over the Second Amendment. An interesting take on it. Oh, and an article on the Administration's push to give phone companies immunity from suits for participating in the NSA's various wiretapping programs.

7. Reading Living Next Door to Alice (see sidebar) among other blogs. Stolen from Thomas: "Bush: We don't torture. Pelosi: Then let's make it a law! Bush:"

8. Casting about for something to write a post about, failing and writing this instead.

It's 11:30 a.m. Eight accomplished action items for a wasted day that's only a third gone. A great start.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Honor Is In Decline

I’ve heard that sports are a metaphor for life, or something like that.

I’m going to assume it’s true. Given its truth, we are in a world of hurt.

I’m not going to recall all of the “non-sports” sports news of the past few years. You’ve got your Sosas, McGwires and Bonds’s. Your Pacmans and Vicks. Former Senator Mitchell is supposed to name fifty players who used steroids in his report on the issued to be announced tomorrow. There’s an element of dishonor in all of their stories.

The latest media storm in sports is the wholesale rash of dishonoring of contracts by sports coaches. The villain of our story today is one Bobby Petrino, until yesterday the coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He came aboard the first of this year and didn’t get what he expected. First there was the Michael Vick debacle. Then he found out that millionaire NFL players are not as tractable as college kids. Then he had a rash of injuries.

To back track, he signed a five year, 24.5 million dollar contract with the team. Note the word “year.” He lasted 13 games out of the 16 game season. I can handle quitting, even without finishing the initial year. What I have difficulty with is lying.

As the story is unfolding, the team had heard rumors that he was considering going back to the ranks of college coaches. Arthur Blank, the owner, of Home Depot fame, talked to him several times over the weekend; and, he also fielded calls from Jerry Jones (a multi-millionaire football team owner and University of Arkansas alumni) asking if he minded Arkansas talking to Petrino about its head coach opening. Blank and the Atlanta GM said no they didn't want Arkansas talking to Petrino, several times.

Petrino and Blank met on Monday afternoon, and Blank asked Petrino, point blank what he should tell the media about whether he was staying or leaving (the Falcons were about to be trounced on Monday Night Football). Petrino held out his hand to Blank and said “tell them I’m your head coach.” Blank did so when interviewed that night.

Last night at about 5:30 p.m., Petrino resigned in Flowery Branch, Georgia, north of Atlanta where the Falcons practice. At 10:30 p.m., he was in Fayetteville, Arkansas at a press conference where he was announced as the new Arkansas football coach.

The Athletic Director of Arkansas in a news article today, said he first heard that Petrino might resign on Tuesday morning and “jumped on it.” He got on a plane to Atlanta and did the deal that day, he said.

There’s a bunch of other unsavory details. But the moral of the story is a lot of people have no sense of honor these days. Two of them are hanging out at the University of Arkansas, molding its “student athletes” as fine young people.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Virginia, Post 9-11 Version

Virginia is the famous little girl that wrote to an editor of The New York Sun in 1897 asking if there was a Santa Claus. You can find the letter and his published response here.

There’s also a tradition of the USPS in New York, Operation Santa Claus, copied in other cities, that gives letters that kids write to the jolly man to people that want to fulfill the kids’ wishes.

All things must pass, I guess. You can’t send a holiday wish to an unidentified soldier, sailor or marine. The envelope may contain anthrax or another toxin. It might have an anti-military message. There aren’t enough people to screen the mail so they are returned to sender or destroyed. Here’s the story on

I guess I understand; but, if the USPS can figure out a way to run it’s operation, can’t the Pentagon figure out a way to send well wishes to the people that could use the morale boost?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bye Bye WiFI?

The House of Representatives, in its rush to get home for the holidays, passed a bill that requires any provider of wireless service, i.e., a coffee shop, book store, airport, you (if you have a wireless router), upon learning “about the transmission or storage of information about an illegal image must (a) register their name, mailing address, phone number, and fax number with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "CyberTipline" and (b) "make a report" to the CyberTipline that (c) must include any information about the person or Internet address behind the suspect activity and (d) the illegal images themselves. (Note that some reporting requirements already apply to Internet access providers under current law.)

“The definition of which images qualify as illegal is expansive. It includes obvious child pornography, meaning photographs and videos of children being molested. It also includes photographs of fully clothed minors in unlawfully ‘lascivious’ poses, and certain obscene visual depictions including a ‘drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting.’”

They penalty for non-compliance is a $300,000.00 fine.

Not to get all legal on you; but, there’s a concept in legal review of laws suspected of infringing on constitutional rights, like those found in the First Amendment, called “over breadth” where the law is more expansive than it needs to be to protect a legitimate government interest such as suppression of child porn. Since ISP’s already have to make such reports is it necessary to create another cyber nanny in the form of Starbucks employees? Then too, there’s the practical matter of who in hell would download porn in a coffee shop?

The $300K fine brings up the concept of chilling effect. When under review for constitutionality, a law restricting speech is in trouble if it “chills” speech or creates a prior restraint. Starbucks writing a few big checks might create a chill on its WiFi service. The hell with figuring out what lasciviousness is and then putting the definition and what to do about it into the barista training program.

Who’s bill was this? Nick Lampson (D. Texas). Who are the only representatives to vote against it? Ron Paul (R. and part-time L. of Texas and Paul Broun (R. Georgia). The vote was 409 to 2.

So, next time you see some porn on the laptop near you, make sure you let the barista, book clerk or skycap know. It’s your civic duty according to an aide to Rep. Lampson, “all of us, have a civic and moral obligation to report these criminal acts that exploit and traumatize children.” Yep, and now we will have a legal duty if the Senate and the President sign on to this.

It’s funny, I just did a post about my conflict about de-criminalizing drugs and prostitution; now, I’m opposed to a law that could maybe cut down on child porn. Just no consistancy in me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

An Attempt At a Positive Gun Post

The New York Times had an article today about the accuracy, or its lack, of police shooting. The New York City police when shooting at people that are within six feet of them hit the person with a bullet 43% of the time. That isn't killing them. It's getting a bullet into their body. If they are more than seventy-five feet away, they hit them 7% of the time. Overall? 2006, just over 28%. 2005, just over 17%.

Damn. I thought I was going to write a positive piece about guns.

If people trained to shoot in stressful situations can't hit their target with any degree of accuracy, what does that say about the need for firearms for defense by the rest of us?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

For Your Political Thought

John Stossel interviews Ron Paul on drugs and prostitution:

I've always been conflicted about these issues. It's the collateral damage, so to speak, that gives me pause on legalizing either.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Gun Screed

“Robert Hawkins, the 19-year-old shooter who killed eight people at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska – and then (thankfully) killed himself – is being described this morning as mentally unstable. His landlord says he was recently fired from his job at McDonalds. He left a suicide note saying that he was going to be famous.

“The anti-gun people are almost certainly going to jump on this as an example of why we need more gun control. What these anti-Second Amendment types will never be able to explain to you is how they propose to get the guns out of the hands of criminals and people like Robert Hawkins.

“The truth is that there was really no way to keep a gun out of the hands of this nut job. The only real hope those people had when Hawkins walked into the mall was that there would be someone else there with a gun capable of stopping him. That would have been a security guard or a private citizen with a concealed weapons permit and his gun.”

That’s a quote from today’s Nealz Nuze found at

I’m not “anti-Second Amendment“ but, I can tell you how to keep guns out of the hands of nut jobs. Don’t sell them. Buy them back. Make gun manufacturers absolutely liable for injury and death caused by their products, in other words, make them charge for the true economic costs of their products, or quit making them. Won’t stop the next nut job or criminal or their successors for a while, but over time, it will be harder and harder to get a gun to whack people in a mall, on a college campus, in a liquor store, or merely store in a closet for your son or daughter to find and play with. Fewer to be available in a moment of anger directed at your spouse, loved one or neighbor. Going Postal will then mean you pulled out a steak knife.

Second Amendment aside, there is no reason we have to as a society allow a lethal modality to exist when it is not needed. Treat guns like gas is about to be treated. Up the price to pay for all the costs. If you factor the true costs in, most people won’t buy them. As the supply dries up, fewer nut jobs have access to them.

OK, I’m repeating myself. Sorry. Deep breathes.

Expertise Needed

Some of you regular readers are internet savvy. Pos.

I have two computers and two Email addresses/domains both serviced by the same company. I've set up the service to send Email sent to either of my addresses, business and personal to both addresses. But, they go to whichever computer is turned on. I know there is a way to have an Email sent to either address delivered to both computers; but, damned if I know what it is. How do I get the server to send the two copies of the Emails I get at the work domain to both the home computer and the work computer? Put differently, hold one of the copies until I turn on the work computer.

I fear that made not enough sense; but, humor me, please.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hot Dogs: New York

My post on Detroit Coneys drew a few comments. As I said in a comment about ketchup, those of you that indulge in such heresy have other qualities. I know, I’ve read you.

On to New York.

On the very night that I wrote of the wonders of Coneys, I was concocting ersatz Sabrett’s onion sauce: but, I get ahead of myself.

If you’ve been to the City (NYC) or Miami (and I assume a few other places) you haven’t lived unless you’ve had a dirty water street cart dog. Sounds appetizing doesn’t it? “Dirty water” refers to the hot water bath the cart vendor keeps the dogs in. Sabrett brand for the most part. Almost always with skins, or natural casings, rather than skinless.

(Did you know that skinless hot dogs start out with skins? They do. “’Skinless’ hot dogs also must use a casing in the cooking process when the product is manufactured, but here the casing is usually a long tube of thin cooking plastic that is completely removed after cooking and before packaging. Skinless hot dogs vary in the texture of the product surface but have a softer ‘bite’ than natural casing hot dogs. Skinless hot dogs are more uniform in shape and size than natural casing hot dogs and less expensive to produce.” Wikipedia, of course)

Other acceptable NYC dogs are kosher (Hebrew National and Empire National both made with beef and no natural casing) and kosher-style, beef but with a casing.

Back to dirty water dogs. Almost all, according to the link to the authoritive NYT are made by Marathon Enterprises (parent of Sabrett) in East Rutherford, NJ. Here Hakim makes the classic, the aforesaid onion sauce and a bit of mustard. Other acceptable condiments include saurkraut, chili sauce and chopped onion.

Oh, the onion sauce. You are now priviledged to read the very first Rather Than Working recipe, stolen from online of course. This is not fully realized Sabrett’s onion sauce; but, it’s pretty damn close:

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin and chopped
Water to cover
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vinegar

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Sauté the onion in the oil for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, but not brown.

Add the water, tomato paste, corn syrup, cornstarch, salt, and red pepper flakes, and stir together.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the vinegar and continue simmering until most of the liquid is reduced and the sauce is thickened.

Makes about 1 cup.

Watch the Hakim video for serving style and enjoy. NO KETCHUP!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Try These Blogs

I haven't done a newly recommended post in a long time. So, here it is.

There's Never A Line For The Men's Room

It usually has short and pithy posts. Sometimes just a picture with a point. Wry humor.

The Exception

Washington, D.C. area woman with a rising career and a daughter. Some nice writing.

In It But Not Of It

Written by a non-practicing lawyer. He and a friend wrote a blog when they were in law school. He's been on his own for the past year. Not someone you'd want working for you; but, his posts about his exploits working for his now past-employer are cynical, but funny.

If I Had A Million Dollars

Written by Molly Gras. Her husband, Pos writes a blog too, Niagaran Pebbles, see sidebar. Her downfall, she has a life, job and family and doesn't post as often as she should.

So, what are you waiting for? Go.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Due Process, Guantanimo Style

The New York Times reports that Witness names are to be withheld from detainees. The military judge for the next scheduled trial has ruled that the lawyers for the detainee may not tell the detainee, or anyone else, who the witnesses are.

Thus the lawyer can’t ask his client while getting ready for the trial, “so what do you know about 'A,' he’s on the government’s witness list.” When I’ve asked that question of clients in civil litigation, I’ve learned things like “A” wasn’t even there. “Check out the list of employees at the time, A was working on another project.”

The rationale is that hiding the identity protects the witness from intimidation and retaliation. It probably does do that; but, it also prevents the defendant from effectively defending himself.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Say Tomato, I Say TomAHto

Burger King says let’s do something utterly stupid. The latest Blogger screen won't print the link so Google or something.

Florida has about 10,000 migrants that pick tomatoes. For a while they’ve gotten about 1 ½ cents for each pound they pick. A while back Taco Bell, under pressure agreed to pay an extra penny a pound for the tomatoes it buys. McDonalds recently joined the parade.

Burger King? “Florida growers have a right to run their businesses how they see fit.” BK’s concern for the sanctity of the plantation/serf relationship will save it a whole $250k a year.

This idiocy was apparently an attempt to one-up the stupidity of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, representing 90 percent of the state’s growers, which recently announced that it will not allow any of its members to collect the extra penny for farm workers. Indeed, it will fine members that do $100k.

Taco Bell says it is still committed to the coalition, yet after two seasons, its suppliers opted out this year. McDonald's has yet to find any supplier that will participate, but will continue to buy Florida tomatoes either way.

The Exchange says that the agreements violate anti-trust statutes and are "un-American" because they allow a third party to set wages and that the industry will continue to develop its own programs to monitor worker treatment and food safety. My humble legal opinion? Bullshit.

What the hell does the Exchange care if fast food giants want to supplement the piecework price its members pay? Maybe I’m dumb or unsophisticated, or something; but, it seems the Exchange wants a return to the good old days of servitude. “We’ll tell them people what they’re goin’ to get for the ‘maters. No outsider is goin’ tell us how to run our serfs.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ode To The Hot Dog

I have always loved hot dogs.

First rule, no ketchup, unless you are under five years of age, and then only sparingly and you are doing your child no favor by such indulgence.

Second rule, skins, not skinless. This one isn’t hard and fast, as the preferable isn’t always available and OK is better than nothing.

Third rule, Sabretts. That’s pretty much it, other than the fact that you can’t always find it here in the South. Boar’s Head is an acceptable substitute. Nathans, in a pinch. Ballpark only at such a venue; but, it can be tasty.

Now the fun.

Other than Chicago style condiments: who’s going to put a sport pepper, whatever that is, iridescent relish AND a dill pickle on what is otherwise a thing of beauty?

I started out with the love of my life in Detroit. There we had Coney Islands. Not of the New York variety. Of the Americanized Greek variety. When I was a teenager, my father managed a grocery store. On Saturday nights after close, we mopped the floors, which took about three hours. About Midnight, we drove from Dearborn to Downtown Detroit to the corner of Lafayette and, as I recall, Woodward. On a whim, I just Googled “Lafayette hot dog.” Here’s what I got. An article about the Lafayette and American, two Coneys next door to each other, run by two brothers back when, and now by their descendants.

We always went to the Lafayette rather than the American. I'm not sure why. This was forty years ago. If it was slow, they'd be standing at the doors of both places, telling you not to go to the other. If my memory serves me, the picture of the counter in the site linked above of the counter is indeed the Lafayette, it looks like the same one my Dad and I sat at. Read the link for a description of the ambiance and food, the author does a better job than I could. I'll add that I could never decide between a six ounce Coke which I had to nurse, or a twelve ounce orange which I didn't like as much, but got me through the two dogs, as the author in the link says, with onion, mustard and chili. The “loose” was pretty good too, onions and mustard.

That’s enough for now. To come in this maybe series: Real New York hot dogs from a cart. L.A., the land of the hot dog and the donut. Maybe to upset some people, why Chicagoans have no idea what they are doing, and Cincinnati is not far behind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How Many Cellphones Do You Have In Your Closet?

I have a number. I know right where they are, with their chargers and owner manuals. Once I signed up for another year or two and got the shining new phone, I didn’t think about them again.

I know they were free, or quite cheap, given the service commitment and the monthly price. Throw-a-ways, like a malfunctioning VCR, DVD player or TV.

But the wireless world, boys and girls, is a changin’. Two things are helping or hurting the current model, depending on your viewpoint. The Government which owns our air is going to auction TV “spectrum” that is now reserved for broadcast UHF. For those of you that are young, Google the term. You’ll be amazed to know that TV’s used to have two knobs that clicked as you turned them. I know, I know, don’t believe me, go, find out from the company that does no evil. Soon there will be no analog TV. The spectrum needed for digital broadcast TV will be much less than is now reserved for it. The Feds are going to sell it to the wireless companies.

Said non-evil company is lobbying to set the rules for the auction so that bidders for the spectrum have to agree to not tie equipment to access to service. Kind of like open source software, but not quite.

And now, Verizon has announced that it will voluntarily offer two ways for customers to use its air. What we have now and the new Verizon “BYOC” model (C standing for cellular device). I think, Verizon doesn’t want to be mandated to open its air and it is getting ahead of the curve, I think also, a good thing.

As an example of the difference this makes, think of the world today if Microsoft had been able not to just steal its operating system and make it the dominant system in the world, but if a law said that if you want to operate a computer or access the Internet you have to use Windows. Though not as dominant as the Evil Empire, wireless transmission today is dominated in the U.S. by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel and T-Mobile (?), the first two by far the dominant players. If you want access to their systems, you buy their devices. Period. End of discussion.

This has led to the pipeline providers dictating what the device providers offer. Think of all the ads that the wireless companies run telling you that you can get a Razr, now an I-Phone, etc. but only if you sign a two year contract with them and only them.

Actually I just thought of another major event in this shift, the I-Phone. Apple, the device provider had the upper hand in its relationship with AT&T, the pipeline provider. Think of Apple, Nokia, Samsung and Motorola competing with each other for all of the market, unfiltered by the deals they now have to make with the wireless companies. If a device maker like Apple was faced with a market of other makers that used 3G transmission for a similar product, do you think I-Phones would be limited to Edge? I don’t. (All of AT&T’s other wireless products have 3G, why limit the I-Phone to the slower Edge? I don’t know but it wouldn’t happen if there were real competition for the best device over the entire wireless market.)

No big finish here, I just think there will be some interesting changes coming as I type this post on my Dell laptop, about to send it to Blogger over my AT&T wireless broadband connection that costs too much – maybe soon I can threaten to move to Verizon, something I can’t do now without buying a different card that works on Verizon’s network and then sign up for a couple of years of servitude. There’s the word to wrap this up, servitude. Thank God Almighty, we may be free at last.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Potential, Possible Progress

I’m watching Georgia squeak by Georgia Tech in the annual battle, Tennessee having beaten Kentucky in something like the fourth overtime to gain the title game against LSU in the SEC.

I know that matters little to most of you, other than Fermi and Rick and Tennessee Tony; and, it should not, given the exciting developments happening now in the sovereign nation of Iraq. We should be very, very happy about what the Iraqis potentially, possibly, given a strong headwind, might well do. Unnamed sources from the Bush Administration in an article today in The New York Times said some important, anonymous things:

“With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

”Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote.

"The short-term American targets include passage of a $48 billion Iraqi budget….”

That’s right folks, goals, surges, and all the other nouns we’ve had for the past few years have boiled down to a couple of “targets,” one of which is to get the boys in Baghdad to pass a budget. Imagine that, years and trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives and we may be able to get the boys to pass a budget, only a target, but maybe, maybe if we wish real hard, they’ll pass a budget.

That’s it. Return to shopping and football.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What Thanksgiving Is All About

For your Thanksgiving pleasure, a small gift from the Seventies:

"It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! …. Not since the Hindenberg tragedy has there been anything like this!"

That was Les Nessman

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!"

They mounted a counter attack

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reading Over Your Shoulder

Amazon has introduced the Kindle, a one pound, book sized device that lets you read wirelessly downloaded material, books, magazines, etc.

Like all new electronic toys, it’s expensive, $400.00. It’s a bit clunky according to a couple of reviews I read. Amazon has priced downloaded books at $9.99, not at all cheap considering that it does not have the material, printing and distribution costs associated with a traditional book.

“… Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the …Digital Content and to view, use, and display such… an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device… and solely for your personal, non-commercial use.


“You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notice or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.


“The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service… and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it…. Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar marking you make in your Device are backed up through the Service.”

If you read this literally, you can’t let anyone else read from your Kindle. You can’t lend it. Amazon keeps a record of when you read, what you read and what you think about what you read (at least if you make an annotation or highlight text).

I know, most websites keep info derived from your use of the site; but, this keeping track of “your use” seems a step or two too many.

But my concerns are easily solved, I won’t be buying a Kindle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And the Word Is...

What is an eight-letter word for acoustic guitar or push lawn mower or golf partner?

Why retronym of course. I swear I hadn’t read Sunday’s New York Times when I did my recent post about the word partner; but, in the Magazine, William Safire did a piece on the addition of an adjective to a noun when the noun became ambiguous or took on another meaning. “’A word or phrase created because an existing term that was once used alone needs to be distinguished from a term referring to a new development….’” Safire quoting the definition from the Fourth American Heritage Dictionary. Though he uses the term business partner as an example he pairs it with life partner and domestic partner which the definition seems to require. He says that the single noun partner is ambiguous. Though it may be, it is increasingly being used to describe one’s significant other, another annoying term. “Tea” might be similar to partner here in the South. Tea is a drink made from tea leaves. In many places in the South if you ask for tea you get sweet tea. So you learn to ask for hot tea or unsweetened tea.

I have to go now, someone’s calling on the landline.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just As My Faith In Mankind Flagged...

If you read the previous post, you know I'm not at the top of my game. But you know, sometimes there are just times when the signs just show you there's a better way. The following Email just made it's way into my personal Email box. There are people looking out for me. This particular person, wasn't even an employee of PayPal. No, this kind soul comes from Italy. Her name, kind soul, is Donatella Vernego at She took it upon herself to tell me that I was in danger, leaving her Email address in the "Properties" section of IE in case I have any questions. I don't even have a PayPal account, but she's looking out for me. I'm thankful.
Here's her letter:

Dear PayPal Member,

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. We recently contacted you after noticing an issue on your account.We requested information from you for the following reason:

We recently received a report of unauthorized credit card use associated with this account. As a precaution, we have limited access to your PayPal account in order to protect against future unauthorized transactions.
Case ID Number: PP-392-735-806

This is a reminder to log in to PayPal as soon as possible.

Be sure to log in securely by opening a new browser window and typing the PayPal URL. Once you log in, you will be provided with steps to restore your account access. We appreciate your understanding as we work to ensure account safety.

Click here to restore your account access

In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement, your account access will remain limited until the issue has been resolved. Unfortunately, if access to your account remains limited for an extended period of time, it may result in further limitations or eventual account closure. We encourage you to log in to your PayPal account as soon as possible to help avoid this.

To review your account and some or all of the information that PayPal used to make its decision to limit your account access, please visit the Resolution Center. If, after reviewing your account information, you seek further clarification regarding your account access, please contact PayPal by visiting the Help Center and clicking "Contact Us".

We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,PayPal Account Review Department----------------------------------------------------------------
PayPal Email ID PP907------------------------------------------------------------------


This post is inspired, I suppose that’s too strong a word, by a post by Exception at The Exception, a song she referred to in her post on Friday, “Forever and Ever Amen” by Randy Travis and a post she did today about Thanksgiving as a “true,” non-commercial holiday. Family, friends, food, you know.

Well with all that and my current down mood, I guess this is my obligatory Thanksgiving post. For the uplifting version read Tryptophan and Thanksgiving from last year.

Assuming you read the link, I’m not feeling like that this year. A friend of mine lost his job a couple of weeks ago. A blogging friend died last week at a relatively early age. Political happenings, locally, nationally and globally suck the big one. To add insult to injury, it’s supposed to be cold at Thanksgiving. The high, for here, is a bit chilly as predicted, 55˚.

So, thanksgiving.

At this point, I planned to turn this around and point out all there is to be thankful for. There’s a lot of it I’m sure. Heartwarming, schmaltzy stuff. (Word doesn’t know how to spell Americanized Yiddish. There at least a small bit of humor.)

At this point, I’m taking a break in writing, something I’ve never done before in a post. I’ve always been able to start, wander and end, making a small point. The wandering and the end, much less the point, are eluding me.

To be continued…

Absolute Compromise

Those having read me for awhile know that I’m not a member of the NRA. I’m also not a “strict constructionist” when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

Over the last year of this blog, I’ve done a couple of posts about gun control and the Second Amendment. You can find them by searching the blog for “Second Amendment gun” if you want to know the details of what I think.

The Supreme Court will announce soon whether it will hear the latest Second Amendment case which found the District of Columbia’s very restrictive gun law to be in violation of the Second Amendment. (Only the D.C. Circuit and the Fifth Circuit have held that people have an expansive right to own guns, the rest of the Circuits (ten) have held that restrictions on ownership, types of guns allowed and uses are constitutional.)

Robert A. Levy, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is one of the lawyers that brought the D.C. challenge. He wrote an opinion piece that has been published in a couple of papers. Here is the link to it in The Los Angeles Times:,0,2444377.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

What I found interesting is that he does not believe the Second Amendment gives “absolute” rights when it comes to guns.

“What restrictions on gun possession and use would be permissible? Almost no one argues that 2nd Amendment rights are absolute. After all, under the 1st Amendment, the right to free speech does not protect disturbing the peace; religious freedom does not shield human sacrifice…. Similarly, gun regulations can be imposed on some weapons (e.g., missiles) some people (e.g., preteens) and some uses (e.g., murder).”

Speaking of his case he said “[s]omewhere in the middle, regulations will be deemed constitutional even if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court.”

If Mr. Levy is right, and I think he is, review by the Supreme Court is much ado about nothing. What will change if he is right is that gun law will become more of a federal matter, with less discretion left to state and local government. We'll see a long series of Supreme Court cases that flesh out the ruling, the results ebbing and flowing over the decades along the lines already seen with the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and most recently, Eighth Amendments.

It's interesting to contrast this with the apparent trend in abortion cases where the Supremes are ceding more control to state and local governments. Different amendments, different treatments, with the same result.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I played golf this morning, I know, what else is new. There were four of us. We played a "scramble" or "best ball" round. Two of us played against the other two, each team hitting the best ball hit by a member of the team on each shot.

On the, I think, sixth hole, I announced that I wanted a new "partner," not a golf partner, just a partner. It was, if you were there, humorous, he'd duffed his shot, we'd not shot well up to that point and I was open to a new alliance.

There's a word for us, ally, we need it; because, partner seems to require an adjective these days.

I used to be a partner in a law firm. For years when description was necessary, I'd say I was a lawyer, or if required by context, that I was a partner. Then, maybe ten years back, I heard people describing themselves as a "law partner" in circumstances where it was known that the person was a lawyer. Then I heard someone say that so and so was his "business partner," again when the context made it obvious that that was the relationship he was referring to.

Before I played golf this morning I read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As part of its hard hitting coverage each week it has a feature on Sunday called "Private Quarters." It tells us about a house in Metro Atlanta that someone has built or renovated, usually costing enough money to feed a rural poor county somewhere for a year.

Today's piece was about two partners. Two guys. They'd renovated a house in a very nice part of town. They weren't described as golf, business or law partners, though they may be all, some or none of those things. "Tim and his partner Tom sit in the den of ...."

If you've read this blog at all, you know I'm not anti-gay or lesbian. I guess I don't have much of a point for this post, other than to note that language evolves; and, that given current usage, that I have to start using more adjectives.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ham Sandwich With A Side Of Lies

As it turns out, I didn't have the whole story when I wrote yesterday's post. Barry Bonds did have immunity when he went before the second grand jury. His only problem is that even though he was immune from prosecution, if he told the truth, he didn't, four times according to the new indictment. Stupid man.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ode To A Ham Sandwich

Barry Bonds who holds two of baseball’s most cherished records, was indicted in San Francisco today on four counts of perjury in connection with his testimony about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. He was also indicted on one count of obstruction of justice. The charges stem from his testimony to a federal grand jury in December 2003 when he denied knowingly taking steroids.


When that grand jury expired without indicting Mr. Bonds, the case was sent over to a second grand jury, which focused on whether he had perjured himself before the first grand jury. Last July, with that grand jury set to expire, it was widely believed that Mr. Bonds would be indicted. But that grand jury also expired without an indictment and another grand jury was impaneled.”

From today’s New York Times online.

The third one got him.

I’m not a criminal lawyer; but, the first rule of not being indicted for perjury is to not talk with the people that might indict you.

You’ve got to know that the case against Bonds is weak when it took three grand juries, known for their willingness to indict “a ham sandwich” on the urging of a prosecutor, to finally issue charges.

It always amazes me that people that are suspects of wrongdoing talk to the police, prosecutors, and give testimony, without immunity, before grand juries. Don’t get me wrong. Bad people that are proven to have broken the law should be punished. But, more and more when prosecutors can’t find the evidence to do anything with those they suspect of breaking the law, they fall back on the suspects’ failure to get everything straight the fifty-third time they are asked about it. Hah! You lied to me. Do not pass Go.

Barry Bonds is not among my favorite people. That said, he was given bad legal advise; and, he is the victim of a prosecutor that had too much invested in multi-year investigation to let it go without taking a shot at him. And a prosecutor that took three tries to get the ham.

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Airbus 380, A Learjet or a Flatscreen TV

Airbus announced that a Saudi prince with a net worth of about $20 billion has ordered an Airbus VIP 380. He currently is flying in a 747. Airbus will only say that it will cost more than the plane’s $320 million list price. The AP article in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution online said the plane when outfitted may run $50 to $150 million more.

The article went on to say "’[t]he amount of billionaires has sky rocketed in recent years, and the really rich ones are looking to buy a commercial airline[r] rather than a Learjet….’”

"’It's like buying a new car or a new TV,…[o]ne wants something bigger and better.’"

I want a flat screen TV. I’m not sure whether it should be an LCD or plasma. I know I want it to be a 42 incher. The neighborhood bar has those and 50’s. A 42 is good enough for my “needs.” Ah, there’s the rub.

I don’t need a TV. I have two. A 36” fat TV in the living room and an ancient 20” TV in the bedroom. I was fine until a couple of years back when I got the 36 for the living room and then looked at the “baby” TV in the bedroom.

My plan is to put the fat TV in the bedroom, dump the baby TV and go with the the new monster in the living room.

I’ve said that I’d do it when they went to $800. Sears ran an ad for an LCD at that price this weekend. I’m not going to give up on this, but I’m going to delay till after Christmas. The New York Times says the price will drop further.

But, I’m having trouble with my Depression Era parents’ influence. I don’t NEED a TV, I only WANT a TV. Saudi princes don't seem to have this problem.

I Missed It

"It" being the 10,000th visitor to the site. It happened last month sometime. I'm over 17,000 page hits. Missed that too.

Though I've neglected the blog lately, I'm still clicking along at an average of 35 visits a day. I've only done five posts this month, six with this one. If I keep up this lack of production, it will be my lowest output since March. And still people visit.

I guess I understand, as I surf the people I read even when they haven't put something out in awhile.

So, I promise to think about posting more often, and maybe even doing it. This post is the second in two days. I'm on my way.

"We thank you for your support." (Bonus points if you can tell me where the quote comes from.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The "W's"

Who, what, when, where. Those are the main ones, you can add why, but it can verge in to subjectivity. At least that’s how I remember it from grade school.

I read the opinion pieces in The New York Times on Sunday. The thing is, I know they are opinion and that they have a bias. I can deal with that. Fox, the fair and balanced news source has a bias in its non-news programming. I can deal with that.

I’ve long defended the paper when it came to its reporting. It has broken big stories and consistently published accurate and literate articles about what is happening in the country and the world. The New York Times, for better or worse, is still close to the gold standard when it comes to reporting; but, it has suffered, by its own disclosures, some lapses in judgment, shall we call them. There was Jason Blair who concocted his stories. Kurt Eichenwald got overly involved in a story he wrote about a teenager ensnared in online porn. Judith Miller has played close to the line in her career.

A few weeks back, the Public Editor of the Times, Clark Hoyt, did a piece (you have to register to read it) talking about complaints by people who had been “interviewed” by Deborah Solomon for a regular feature called “Questions For.” As it turns out, Ms. Solomon did not accurately record either her questions or her subjects’ answers. Sometimes, she would make up a question to provide a basis for reporting an answer that had been given in response to another question. Other times she wrote an accurate answer, but prefaced it by a question that hadn’t been asked Then she would mix it up by writing the “answer” to two “questions.”

Well The Times has “addressed” the problem after having been outed. Mr. Hoyt wrote about it in this morning's paper. The Time’s solution? The feature now has a new caveat below the title: It says “'Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Deborah Solomon.’ That’s a signal, said Craig Whitney, the assistant managing editor in charge of maintaining Times standards, that ‘Questions For’ is ‘a little different from a straight news transcript.’”

Here’s the real kicker: “Q. and A. interviews can be ‘drastically condensed,’ without indicating where words were left out. But every word in an answer has to be what was actually said, and, in condensing, the speaker’s intent has to be preserved.”

So let’s get this straight. I ask a question. It’s good that I can’t make up the question anymore. You give an answer. It isn’t good that I don’t have to use that answer. I’m allowed to drastically reduce it. My only constraint is that in my eyes and that of my editors, we have to decide that what I make up preserves your “intent.” Oh, and I have to “digitally record” the interview so that I can’t “lose” it, so as to not be caught doing what I’m not supposed to do.

Is there such a huge problem with asking good questions that elicit interesting answers and writing them all down? Those “W’s” at the top of the post really aren’t such a bad thing. After all, I’m not at the level of The New York Times; but, I managed to convey what I think about what the NYT is doing wrong and at the same time accurately quote what the NYT said. Sixth grade stuff, it seems to me.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do the striking writers have words on their picket signs?

(Stolen from

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So as to put to rest rumors of...

my tragic, much too early demise:

Yes, I’ve, to my shame, been working rather than posting. I have got to win Mega Millions, even though it is down to a measly $16 mil.

The following is a quick recap of the work week so far, I shudder to use the adjective:

Monday morning I had to be at the DeKalb County Courthouse at 9:00 a.m. for a hearing on a Defendant’s Traverse of a garnishment I’d filed to collect on a judgment. We won’t talk about getting to the office at 7:00 a.m., getting ready and then wandering the back roads to Decatur because there was an accident that prevented me from getting on I-85. I’d, happily, scored on the garnishment to the tune of about half of what he owed my client on the underlying Judgment. Traverse hearings are held with Dispossessory (eviction) hearings. It is a mill. There were 94 cases on the morning calendar. I was number two; but, before you think that is a good thing, since my case was “contested,” it went to the back of the line, after all of the cases where the tenant had no reason for not paying rent other than not having the money, given a litany of woes.

About 10:30 a.m., the Judge got back to us and heard a brief, incoherent tale from the Defendant about why my client wasn’t entitled to the money we’d frozen in his bank account. Judge: “Go out and talk, this will take time to try, so far you are last.” In case you didn’t know it, judges don’t like trying cases.

We talked. I talked to my client on the phone. I put my client on the phone with the Defendant. We reached an accommodation. The Defendant would pay what he owed that day. Amazing how someone with no money finds money when checks start bouncing after you freeze their accounts.

I just re-read what I’ve written. Do I sound sufficiently hard hearted to qualify as a lawyer?

Then the afternoon was mostly spent on the odyssey of getting the bank where the funds were kept to release them to my client at the same time, rather than after, I released the garnishment hold on them. Isn’t what I do fascinating?

That accomplished, I spent the morning yesterday preparing the documents to dismiss the garnishment actions (three, in three different counties), a Satisfaction of Judgment, a Release of Lis Pendens (two, in two counties) and cover letters for all of the aforementioned.

The afternoon was spent, first with trying to find a person that works for an unnamed credit reporting company, the name of which starts with "E," "E," or "T." She had called and left me a voicemail to say that she'd responded to my Request For Production of Documents To Third Party" by Fedex, but that Fedex said I wasn't at the address she sent it to. Bad me, I'd written her number down incorrectly and deleted the voicemail. Did you know that "E" does not want to talk to you? I found an 800 number on line and called it. "E" employee located in undisclosed country: "Thank you for calling "E," may I help you?" Me: "Yes [explanation of my problem], can you give me Ms. X's number or tranfer me to your internal operator?" E employee: "May I have your confirmation number?" Me: "I don't have a confirmation number [explain problem again]." E employee: "May I have your social security number?" Me, with "big boy voice" and irate tone: "No you may not, this isn't about me, I've told you what I need, can you help me or not?" E employee: "May I place you on hold for one to three minutes?" Me: "Sure."

Ten minutes later, I hung up. Nice hold music though. I hit redail and this time I got a very nice lady located in the undisclosed country who, after I explained my problem, asked me if the woman I wanted to reach worked for E. Three times. The third time, I said "this is the third time you've asked me the same question, the answer is the same as the first two times, yes, she works for E." E employee: "May I place you on hold for one to three minutes?" I then explained that the previous person had asked the same question but hadn't come back when I hung up at the ten minute mark. E employee: "Sir, I must understand the nature of your inquiry..." Me: "May I speak to your supervisor?" E employee: "May I place you on hold for one to three minutes?" Me: Sure.

As I listened to the nice music, I realized I knew someone in an undisclosed department of the unnamed credit reporting company. I called him on my cell phone. "Hey, Y, it's Dave, how you been?" "Dave, man it's been awhile." We talked for awhile and I asked if he'd do me a favor and explained my plight. He said sure, I heard clicking, "Her number is ......." "Thanks Y, do you mind if I hang up on the E employee in the undisclosed country?" "No problem man, I'm all about customer service."

I left Ms. X a voicemail with the correct address. The documents arrived this morning at about 9:30 a.m., by Fedex.

The remainder of yesterday afternoon was spent dealing with a landowner in an undisclosed state attempting to extort money so as to allow my client to do work it was under contract to do. I researched the issues of trespass, conversion and slander of title under said undisclosed state’s law and the whether Federal law pre-empted that state’s law because, hell, I don’t even want to type the why. It’s very boring.

That continued this morning until about 11:30 a.m., when I realized I had to get my butt in the car to drive forty-five minutes north of Atlanta to be at a Calendar Call in the Superior Court of Cherokee County, located in the picturesque, but remote town of Canton, Georgia.

My participation in said Call: “Your Honor, we have filed a Consent Motion to Continue with the Clerk of Court, and provided a courtesy copy to your Clerk.” Judge: “The case will be continued.” Me: “Given the continuance, may we (me and the opposing lawyer) be excused?” Judge: “You may.” Me: “Thank you your Honor.” Drive to Atlanta.

Back at the office: continue to draft a letter to the lawyer for the extorting landowner in undisclosed state. I realize that I need to do some more research and call it a day.

So let’s have a vote: No more descriptions of what I do for a living rather than posting, right?

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Short Self Promotional Post

I held a meeting with myself at lunch and voted that the firm would take a sabbatical this afternoon. It turned out to be a great success.

The activity planned and executed was a round of golf. Eight over. Four Birdies. Damn it all, two doubles. No "gimmee putts," all were legit, from a fair distance, one about forty feet, uphill over a tier with a slight break.

Yes, I'm pleased with me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's the End of the World, As We Know It

I have it on good authority that Microsoft actually has at least one person who talks to those people that buy, rather license, its products,. That same person also sends the said same people Emails.

If I remember correctly, the person is a guy and his name is B.J.

A friend just told me that he was having a conflict with IE, Bellsouth (AT&T) and Norton when reconfiguring his Email account. He couldn’t make it work and called Bellsouth. Having worked through the limit of Bellsouth’s knowledge, the rep told him that he was going to conference in a Microsoft person. The line went dead. A couple of minutes later B.J. came on. My friend asked him who he was. He replied that he was with Microsoft technical services, or something of the sort.

“Am I being charged for this?”

“No, you were sent from Bellsouth, there’s no charge.”

B.J. fixed the problem.

I trust my friend, he’s an honest person. He might embellish now and again; but, he passed my cross examination. He at least believes he talked to a person that purported to work for the Evil Empire. He said he is going to forward the two Emails he got from B.J.

He is the only person in the world that, unless he was momentarily delusional, has to my knowledge, ever talked to someone at Microsoft about a problem with one of their products; and, if that wasn't strange enough, had the problem solved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Proper Parenting

"YPSILANTI, Mich. — A married couple — first the husband, then his wife — were arrested within hours, each on suspicion of drunken driving.

Ypsilanti police told The Ann Arbor News they stopped the man and gave him a preliminary breath test after watching him allegedly run a red light Saturday night.

Police said it registered above the 0.08 percent blood-alcohol limit. He had his 12-year-old son in the car with him.

Police told the boy to call his mother to pick him up.

After she arrived, with her 9-year-old daughter in the car, the woman was tested and found to be above the legal limit, police said.

Both children were turned over to a relative until the parents were determined to be sober."

From today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Provide your own punchline or expression of ire.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Matters of Law, Morality and Religion

The Pope has counseled Catholic pharmacists to refuse to sell drugs that are used for abortion, euthanasia and other “immoral purpose[s],” using “conscientious objection,” though I’m not sure what the latter phrase means in the context of the issue.

He went on to say that pharmacists have an obligation to educate customers as to the error of their ways.

I assume the people in the corporate offices of CVS, Eckerds and the other drug chains are less than happy.

But, does the Pope have a valid point? I’m sure I’d not be happy if I went to a drug store and asked for a legal drug and instead got a lecture on its immorality and was refused service. That said, should a professional be required to do something that violates his or her view of what is moral or what is a sin as pontificated (sorry, I’m sure there was a better word available) by his or her religion.

I have declined to represent people that I thought wanted something that I thought shouldn’t be had. Did I breach my professional obligation as a lawyer? We don’t talk too much about that in my union.

The AP article I read referred to a Georgia law I wasn’t aware of that allows a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription that would offend the pharmacist’s morality or religion. The article went on to say that California has a law that requires a pharmacist to sell the drug unless his or her employer agrees not to sell it and the customer can get it in a “timely manner.”

My initial thought is that one should not enter a profession that would require the person to act against the morality or religion that is brought to the profession.

That said, if I owned a convenience store, I wouldn’t sell the magazines you see on the rack near the cash register that have the black plastic over three quarters of the cover so you can’t see the XXX picture that appears below the name of the magazine. My view on this has nothing to do with morality or religion. I just don’t want to participate in that commerce. It’s fine for those that do, it just isn’t for me. Obviously, I’m not going to come up on charges for not carrying the media. In the same store, I’d be happy to carry condoms. I have no problem with “adult entertainment” in its various forms. Back to law, I haven’t and won’t represent people accused of crimes, but I fully support lawyers who do.

I guess my point is that on all of these issues, I get to choose what I’m willing to do; but, the Pope is taking some flack for telling his followers to do the same thing. Is the flack justified?

Friday, October 26, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up, Unless You're The Government

Go to Jim Donahue’s place, The Velvet Blog, and click on the link “WTF" in the post. You will be amazed by the Washington Post story he linked to. Our Government has no shame. Ah for the days of W and Brownie.

Free At Last

The Georgia Supreme Court, in 4 - 3 decision found that Genarlow Wilson’s sentence of 10 years imprisonment for engaging in oral sex with another minor was “cruel and unusual punishment.” The Court ordered the habeas trial court to order the prison to release him. Court's Opinion

The Court did some fairly fancy maneuvering around some appellate rules about waived defenses and some precedent that would have kept him in jail. The most interesting part of the case is the Court’s determination that the Legislature’s revision of the law, after Wilson's conviction which, if applied to Wilson, would have resulted in him being convicted of a misdemeanor, rather than a felony with its ten year minimum sentence, evidenced evolving standards that required that the sentence be considered to be “grossly disproportional” and thus cruel and unusual. The Court though didn’t mention that the Legislature had specifically refused to make the revision retroactive so as to apply to Wilson, though it was aware of the Wilson case, pretty much negating any inference available that it considered Wilson's sentence to be an injustice. So much for legislative intent. (The Dissent, which I didn't read till just now, makes the same point in a different way.)

I think the right thing happened the wrong way. Our Legislature had the chance to right the wrong and declined to do so. Our Governor, Sonny "Go Fish" Perdue could have properly pardoned Wilson, but he took the politically expedient course and kept quiet. The two branches of Government charged with righting the wrong ducked their responsibility, leaving it to the Courts. Then as often happens, a Court faced with an injustice, casts about for a way to fix it, in the process creating bad precedent. Good for Genarlow Wilson and bad for our system of government.

For readers who are not lawyers or politicians, regular programming will resume shortly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An Open Letter to the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives

First, this post is of little or no interest to anyone outside of the State of Georgia, surf on.

Those of you left, politicians are an odd lot. They make their living talking. Pontificating some would say. Our Georgia pols are talkers and pontificators with the best of ‘em and it doesn't matter much to them that what they are talking about is something they brought upon themselves and that they have no authority over.

A couple of years ago a man named Brian Nichols allegedly shot three people in the Fulton County Court House. He still hasn’t been tried. All of the Fulton County Judges recused themselves, as one of the people he is said to have killed was a Fulton County Judge, another was a court reporter, the third was a Sheriff’s Deputy. He is also accused, after escaping the Court House, to have killed a DEA agent he happened upon. A retired “Senior” Judge, from next door DeKalb County, agreed to serve as the trial judge.

Nichols almost assuredly did the crimes he is accused of. But we have that pesky death penalty here in Georgia.

The point of the judicial exercise in which we are engaged, from the viewpoint of the defense is to avoid him being strapped down and injected with a drug cocktail (to be named later as the result of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case); and from the point of the State, to make sure that the trial he gets is bullet-proof, so to speak, so it doesn’t have to be held a second time after the mandatory appeals. The Fulton County District Attorney has sole discretion on what charges are brought; and, he wants him to suffer the death penalty. So that kicks in laws on the proper defense to be afforded a person facing the death penalty, laws passed by the State of Georgia. Without too much detail, that defense has cost something towards $1.5 million so far. The trial judge stopped jury selection a week or so ago, because the State said it hasn’t got any more money; and, it isn’t going to appropriate any more money to defend Nichols. The Judge ordered the state to “show cause” why someone should not be held in contempt for not paying for the defense.

There’s lots more details; but, today The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Georgia Speaker of the House “Glenn Richardson is setting up a special committee to look into whether the judge in the Brian Nichols murder case has abused his office and can be impeached.”

That out of the way:

Dear Mr. Speaker,

I read with interest the AJC article about your intent to investigate Judge Fuller to determine whether he has abused his office and thus may be impeached.

As a first matter, I assume you have at least passing familiarity with the Georgia Constitution. If that is the case, you should be aware that judges in this state are not subject to impeachment. Further, you might be aware that the Legislature has no involvement in the process of the removal of a Judge. In the event that you’ve not familiarized yourself with the relevant passages of our Constitution, I offer the following for your edification:




Paragraph VI. Judicial Qualifications Commission; power; composition.

The power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of judges shall be vested in the Judicial Qualifications Commission. It shall consist of seven members, as follows: (1) Two judges of any court of record, selected by the Supreme Court; (2) Three members of the State Bar of Georgia who shall have been active status members of the state bar for at least ten years and who shall be elected by the board of governors of the state bar; and (3) Two citizens, neither of whom shall be a member of the state bar, who shall be appointed by the Governor."

To my knowledge, neither you nor any of the members of the Legislature that you have appointed to your investigatory committee are members of the aforementioned Judicial Qualifications Committee. That being the case, it seems to me that you are engaging in political grandstanding with no purpose than to draw attention to yourself. I’d also note that your branch of Georgia’s government brought this mess upon itself when, first, it decided that it wanted the death penalty; and, second, it passed the statute that required a person facing the death penalty to have two lawyers paid for by the state. The statute doesn’t say that those lawyers have to work for below market rates. It says they have to be paid for. The Judge gets to determine their pay. If he makes a wrong decision, the Appellate courts kick in, not the Legislature.

And as to that pay, Nichols has four lawyers. One is working for free. One is being paid by Fulton County. That leaves two that the State is paying for. One is paid either $95 or $125 an hour, the other, the lead attorney, is getting the princely sum of $175 an hour. I’m a schlub, run of the mill, civil lawyer, in no way capable of defending a person’s life, and I make more than that. He and I don’t really make that hourly rate. I assume you’ve heard of overhead.

So, you don’t like the fact that the Judge is bending over backwards, at what even I think is a very high cost, to give the guy a fair trial? You have several choices, none of which include investigating him. You can introduce a bill to abolish the death penalty. As you know, the Nichols defense has been angling since the beginning to plead to life without parole sentence. With no death penalty, Nichols would now be sitting in one of Georgia’s several maximum security prisons for the rest of his uncomfortable life, at considerably less cost than that which you are bitching about. You can also introduce a bill that further limits the defense to be afforded a person facing the death penalty. With the current make up of the U.S. Supreme Court, you have a fair shot at it holding that a minimal defense, one less costly than the one mandated by the Georgia State Government that you are part of, is good enough under the U.S. Constitution.

What you shouldn’t be doing is grandstanding. You planning to run for Governor?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Windy Knob and other Technical Terms

Pos at Niagaran Pebbles has a new car that tells him how much mileage he is getting on a constant, if not real-time, basis. He also has a digital/analog watch that is schizophrenic. The digital readout is accurate; but, the analog mechanism stops counting if the windy knob is pulled out. Don’t complain to me, that’s his technical description.

For anyone with time on their hands, here’s a site that will tell you about each and every part of a mechanical watch: And it shows you drawings of the parts. For those of you more time pressed, the windy knob is composed of two parts, the crown and the stem.

As it turns out, until now I didn’t know what analog meant. You’ll note above that Pos described his watch as a combination of digital and analog. I referred to the traditional watch part as mechanical. It is but it’s also analog as it measures time continuously, rather than in “snapshots” as does a digital watch. So, if when Pos pulls out the windy knob, the analog mechanism becomes non-continuous and quits counting time, is it then digital? (Digital: adj. Describes any system based on discontinuous data or events.) If you want more and more serious, go here. Isn’t learning fun?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Post Potpourri

I just skimmed and for the second time today; and, some and for the first time. I watched some Fox News on TV, all California wildfires all the time.

Despite the subtitle for the Blog, nothing “on [this] given day interests, amuses, annoys or outrages me" sufficiently to inspire a post.

So, I’ve seen it on other blogs, I’ve seen it in newspapers by columnists that need a call-in column, though it’s never been done here: a bunch of stuff that is of minor interest to me and probably of no interest to you:

It has rained somewhere in metro Atlanta every day since last Thursday I think. The little pictures on my home page say that there will be rain tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. It hasn’t been, and won’t be, enough to make even a small dent in the drought; but, it’s nice to know that, one, I remember how to turn on the windshield wipers, and two, they still work.

Kid Rock was arrested here Sunday at about 6:00 a.m. I’m not a fan; but, I have a connection to the incident. I left home about quarter after eight on Sunday morning to play golf. As I traveled south on Buford Highway, at the intersection of Cheshire Bridge Road/Lenox Road (we have an interesting phenomenon here, roads that cross other roads often change names: Cheshire Bridge which runs nominally east from Piedmont Road, when it hits Buford, becomes Lenox which dead ends at the same Piedmont Road about eight or nine miles north of where Cheshire starts at Piedmont, having looped back west. OK, look at a map, I swear it’s true) there was a really nice looking silver gray tour bus in the right of three lanes with a lot of DeKalb County Police cars behind and beside of it. I thought it odd.

WEATHER UPDATE: Direct TV just went out which only happens when there is really bad weather and IT IS STARTING TO RAIN. Not the quick front coming through with not much water deposited kind of rain. Rather the sustained soaking rain. Damn, the signal just came back.

Back to the reportage. Yesterday morning, the AJC had a story on Kid’s arrest for involvement in a fight at the Waffle House on Buford Highway, just north of where I saw the tour bus. The details are pedestrian. The interesting part about the story is what wasn’t in it. Kid had a concert at a downtown venue which causes the question, what was he doing ten miles north of downtown about five or six hours after the concert ended? My supposition? Bars in the City of Atlanta close at 2:30 a.m. Bars in DeKalb County close at 4:00 a.m. There are five within a mile of the Waffle House where the incident happened. My guess is that Kid and the entourage were enjoying some of DeKalb’s famous night life.

This has turned into a full post. I guess what they say about just start writing is true. And, it's still raining.