Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Times a Year

In my serial posts about Big Tony, I forgot to tell you that he played Augusta National. His Uncle was Seve Ballesteros’ translator back when; and, as a result, he got to play the course, with Seve, on the Monday after the Masters ended. As I recall, he shot in the high eighties or low nineties with Seve helping him line up puts on the still lightning fast greens.

So why do I tell you this today? Two things.

Today is Tony’s birthday; and, the Masters starts next week.

The genesis for the post came about noon today when I got a voicemail from Big Rick telling me that he was having lunch with Tony because it was Tony’s birthday. He was at the cemetery. He’d bought and brought with him, a Whopper with cheese and was chilling on the bench next to the grave. As usual, he said what he said much better than I’ve just written it and he made me smile.

So, I sent a text to the guys and girls telling them that it was T’s birthday and when they got a chance, they should hoist a glass. My unnamed Atlanta cop friend immediately texted back that he had not planned to go to the club today; but, it seemed he would have to be there.

We had a couple of beers and talked of other things until I announced it was time for me to have a shot and go home. We now have a new tradition – I do two shots a year – January 4 and March 31. My Crown Royal and his Trace. In our words: Happy Birthday Tony, We Miss You, Bastard.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Newly Recommended

The link is to a post by Eric, which I found by way of Thomas (Living Next Door to Alice), see the Recommended sidebar.

I haven’t read more than the post, I don’t know if it is an aberration. If it is, it’s just a pretty piece of writing. If it isn’t, and I’m going back to find out, you should put Eric in your Favorites or Bookmarks.

Without further ado:

I wonder if anyone over the age of five are this caught up in what happens around them.

How I Spent the Weekend

I know it isn't a very good picture; but, the oysters were much, much better. I spent a long weekend in New Orleans with my friends the Atlanta cop and Bill the engineer (his first mention on the blog). Our shucker at Casemento's is the reigning three time shucker champ in Louisiana. This year he retired and will be a judge of the contest. Casemento's oysters are simply the best I've ever had.
Other food highlights: Mother's in the Central Business District and Muriel's in the French Quarter.
Too much food and not enough sleep; but, a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three Fingers Slip From the Ledge

I recently did a post about the news business. Today The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced that 30% of its news staff would accept buy-outs or be laid off.

In 2006, the AJC had about 500 news people. It currently has 323. The cuts will leave it with about 230 people. Keep in mind that news staff doesn’t equate with reporters and editors. The article said there will be further “restructuring” of the news staff.

No one wrote the article, it was a "Staff Report.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You just know it's going to come to no good

"Fulton County police spokeswoman Melissa Parker said the 12:45 a.m. brawl on Westford Circle off Old National Highway began as an argument between Reba Talton, 28, and Pamela Thompson, 20, over a cell phone and an ongoing dispute involving Michael Caine, the father of both of their children."

From an article at AJC.com.

Read it and supply your own social commentary.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trendy Words I Don't Like: II


Saving the News Gatherers

Newspapers are going down the tubes left, right, North, South, East and West.

You can read about the closures and cutbacks here.

The Internet does a good job of disseminating news; but people are needed to gather it so that it exists in the first place. Other than some interns, those people need to get paid.

Is print dead? Not yet, though it’s grasping the ledge so as to not plummet to its death.

Whose fault is it? I think most of the blame goes to the news business itself as it forgot that word business. Media businesses made what may be a fatal mistake early on on-line – they gave us what we used to pay for free, thinking that between print and on-line advertising they could turn a profit. That is turning out not to be true.

I used to subscribe to the local paper, several magazines, and watch network (free) TV news. Now I pay my ISPs (home, office and phone) and cable company. I spend more but I get more.

It may be time to pay for news, not by subscribing again to print sources. Rather, maybe it’s time for the cable/satellite model to be applied to the news business.. Comcast, AT&T and the other cable/satellite companies and ISP’s are aggregators. Why shouldn’t someone aggregate what are now print news sources and charge for it? Some advertising and some subscription revenue.

Would I pay a couple of bucks a week for the News tab in my Bookmarks? Not with joy, but I’d pay it if it meant getting the news versus not getting it.

The linked article predicts that the national news organizations, NYT, USAToday, AP, etc. will survive. For local and regional news sources to survive, it may be a good idea for them to force us to go cold turkey. Keep the reporters but shut down the expensive print operations. Businesses that need to advertise will follow them on-line. As their subscribers increase, other businesses will follow. But they have to wean us of our free mentality. They need to charge for their news on-line as part of a local, regional, national and international menu of offerings. “News Basic, News Gold, News Platinum, etc.” If I’m a sports fan, there’s a package for me. Political junkie? Ditto.

One drawback to this idea is that we are not a universally wired nation. My plan shuts out those that can’t afford an Internet connection and don’t have access to one at work or at a library. But I suspect that those people are among those that didn’t subscribe to papers and magazines twenty years ago either.

I’m not in love with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; but, I read it for its local reporting For its reporters to be around to report what I want to know it needs to find a modern means of disseminating what it gathers. Internet aggregation may be that means.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Good to Have Friends

If the government wants to put people to work, I’ve discovered a stimulus project. Buy everyone in America a couple of ceiling fans and hire people to install them.

I have two new ceiling fans today, thanks to Lowe’s and Mac.

Lowe’s supplied the ridiculously low cost hardware. Mac, my electrical contractor friend, supplied about five minutes of actual electrical work and an hour and a half of unscrewing and screwing screws. He actually knows what he’s doing and it took that long.

I have a new stimulus career as an apprentice electrician. By the second fan installation, I had the handing of blades, screws and tools down to a minor science.

Since Mac reads this (though he never comments), thanks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blog Fodder

I’ve noticed that people that read me, read the blogs that I read. Were I to be really bored, have mathematical skills and a bit of artistic flair, it might be fun to create some sort of Venn diagram of the intersections among us.

As that isn’t going to happen, here’s the fall back idea. Leave a link to your favorite blog. If you can’t (or won’t) narrow it to one, give me a couple. Here’s the question to ask yourself – what blog(s) do I look forward to reading? Put differently, what blog(s) that I visit disappoint me when I see there isn’t a new post? If you like, explain your choice(s).

And if you don’t want to publicly choose, I’m not going to, let me know in an Email.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Latest Dinosaur

Do you need to get mail on Saturday? Or for that matter on most any day?

The only business mail I get, other than junk mail, is from courts or other lawyers sending a letter because we send letters (but at the same time send the same letter by Email, or if the lawyer has been around too long, by telecopy).

The USPC is offering early retirement to a quarter of it’s employees.

I got my first computer in 1983. When I started practicing law in 1987, we had IBM Selectrics and few “Quix” machines. (Word doesn’t know how to spell either.) The latter had 2K of memory and would print out what you had typed when the memory got almost full. Until then, you could “scroll back” and change what you’d typed if you peered at the tiny little “screen.”

By that time sending what you'd typed/printed started to be done by UPS or FedEx, as the recent telecopier became big in the late eighties and into the nineties. Email, in my business, got going in the mid-nineties.

Through this evolution, mail became a step-child. The only personal mail I now get is Christmas and birthday cards, the occasional graduation or wedding announcement and, sadly, a thank you note for having attended a funeral.

I suppose we need a postal service; but, for how long will we need it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Left my Briefs at Home

The first year in law school, back when I went to a traditional school, it was a lock step system.

First, think about the old movie Paper Chase. For the most part, that’s how I learned to “think like a lawyer.” I had very little instruction in school about how to be a lawyer. That was left to the firms that employed me during the summers and part-time during the school years.

But, I got a world-class education in legal theory.

Back to that first year. Two semesters, mostly two doses of the same classes. Contracts I and II. Torts I and II. Property I and II. Elements of Law (thinking like a lawyer, my favorite class of all my years in school). Constitutional Law I and II (Con I was the Constitution itself, Con II was really Constitutional Criminal Procedure, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments). Legal Writing. Civil Procedure.

Law back then and maybe now was/is learned by the Socratic Method. Every day for every class you read opinions written by appellate courts. Some from Great Britain (especially early on in the year in Contracts, Torts and Property) and some from state and federal courts in the U.S.

Usually, you read a group of three related opinions for each class. When you read them you were expected to “brief” them. You wrote on legal pad the opinions’ facts, issues and holdings. Facts give rise to issues. Issues are resolved by applying settled law to the facts, giving rise to a holding – the law of the case presented.

As you learned how to do this odd method of learning, the professor would ask you open ended questions that would either trap you in a dead end of logic or allow you to triumph by moving the class to the point that the professor want to reach. But first, when you are a baby law student you might be called on to “present the case.”

Presenting the case meant reading your brief, facts, issue and holding. Doing so without follow on questions from the professor was a kick ass event – you had actually understood what the case was about.

As the year progressed, and you’d figured out this case reading thing, you didn’t write it all out on a piece of legal paper, you “book briefed.” People had different methods. I followed the traditional wax pencil method of highlighting the words in the casebook. Yellow wax highlighting for facts, green for the issue and blue for the holding.

But not in Contracts. Never in Contracts. For two semesters of my first year of law school, I each day wrote a paper brief for the three cases we were going to discuss in class.

My professor was, how to put it? Richard Hausler was an enigmatic performer. He died a year or so ago and up until that point had been a professor since the Fifties. When I took his instruction in the mid-Eighties he’d had thirty or so years of performing the same play of Contracts, Act I and II.

He always entered the lecture hall exactly at the stroke of the hour. He ended the class within the last minute of the hour, never before and never after. He timed our time together to reach where he wanted us to go within that minute – he always did it.

When he entered, he carried the casebook (it contained all of the opinions) under his left arm. He strode to the podium, looked at us and then down onto the surface of the podium. It is at this last point that I finally reach the heart of the post.

On my first day of law school, in my first class, Professor Hausler strode to the podium. He did his shtick. Part of it was to tell us that if there was something we wanted to say privately, a question, a concern, a complaint, just leave a note on the podium. After he explained, quite briefly, the briefing process, he said that there would come a time that we’d forgotten to do our briefs. He said that he understood and that he would not call on us that day to present a case.

Through the year people left notes. It was a tradition that no one ever said what they wrote and he never read a note to us. But each class there were several notes. He read them and smiled and started to question us. I assume they were mostly jokes or witticism; but, I don’t know, again, no one ever told anyone what they wrote, tradition.

There came a day in the spring that I left home, drove to school and realized that I’d left my briefs at home. As God is my witness, I’d paper briefed the cases the night before and left them sitting on the desk. By this point, Contracts was the only class that I wrote them out. The other classes I book briefed (except Property II – that one I hated, I read and memorized the commercial outlines, another story).

To this day, I’m not sure why I did it. I’m not a ballsy kind of guy; but, by the middle of your second semester of law school, if you are doing well, you develop a swagger.

I wrote a note.

“Dear Professor Hausler,

On the first day of class last Fall you told us that there would come a day that we had not prepared our briefs. You went on to say that you understood, we only needed to tell you and you would not ask us to present a case that day. While my particular situation today does not fit squarely within your dispensation, I write anyway. I wrote out my briefs last night. Unfortunately this morning in my haste, I left home with them still sitting on my desk. I wrote my briefs, I just neglected to bring them to class. This seems to be a fact situation on the margin of the rule. I ask that you not ask me to present a case today.



No one had been asked to present a case for months. He entered the room, strode to the podium and read several notes, mine among them. He looked over the room and at a point looked at me with his typical smile. The class started.

Another bit of background, early in the year he would walk around the lecture hall asking a question of a student he happened upon. Some got the vapors as he approached. On this particular Spring day, he returned to his roaming. He srtode and stalked, carrying on a normal back and forth on the particular contract issues of the day.

As he wandered, he would continually quickly turn and look in my direction. Two, three and four times. Those around me started looking at me.

The hour wound to an end. With two minutes left and him having picked up his casebook and strode halfway to the door, he turned suddenly and looked at me across the room and near the back. “Mr. Dave, please present the case of X v. Y.”

Here’s the problem, the brief was really at home. Remember, I book briefed other classes, but I had an un-highlighted page before me.

I started to speak from my memory of my reading the night before (stupid me in my hubris, I’d not thought to actually read the case again that morning).

“Mr. Dave, please stand when you are presenting the case.” Even in the Fall, no one stood to recite – this was strictly Paper Chase stuff.

Every eye in the room was bouncing between him and me as I stood and presented the case, getting my first taste of legal talking without a safety net.

“Thank you Mr. Dave” he said as he, on the stroke of the hour, walked out of the room. My classmates looked at me. I smiled and walked out.

If anyone in the class is reading this, this is the first public confession of what happened that day. I suppose I’m breaking a tradition; but, enough time has passed that we are beyond any applicable statute of limitations.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwaway Post

I just finished watching With Honors for the third or fourth time.

Well written. Well acted. Well worth a rental.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Something I've Never Understood - Rent Control

I’ve not read much of the story or the debate on a recent New York legal decision that owners of a couple of NYC apartment buildings have to repay a couple of hundred million in rent because they got some tax credits.

The legal issue is uninteresting.

But, I’ve never understood that government can tell half of a contract that it has to “sell” to the other half at less than it would otherwise be able to get in an arm's length negotiation.

To you my more liberal readers, how about laws that limit what you can make as a union member (that entity that gives you even bargaining power), even though you work in a field that would pay more without the law?

Rent and house prices in my experience always follow the market, until government steps in (or corrupt banks and investment companies, etc. in the case of the mortgage mess and even then, once the bubble is burst, the prices return to the then current market). Otherwise, when the price is too high in an area, the price goes down because people don’t rent or buy. The converse is true. Government skews the result by imposing controls.

I’d never live in New York City, Los Angeles or Boston. Not because they aren’t wonderful places in many of their aspects. It’s because I’d never pay the cost of their great amenities. If other people will, more power to them and those they are paying. But, should their decision be subsidized by the landlords? Should their decision be inhibited because a law says they can’t earn what they should and thus can’t afford to live where they want to live?

If the answer to either question is yes, someone other than the person is paying – the landlord or the employer – they are subsidizing the artificial economy. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Can You Prove Who You Are?

Georgia’s Legislature has passed a bill that, if signed by the Governor, will require anyone registering to vote to present a passport or a birth certificate to prove that they are a U.S. citizen.

It makes me think about two different subjects.

First, if you don’t have a passport, and I don’t, do you have your birth certificate? Again, I don’t. I’m sure I can figure out how to get it; but, it would be a pain in the butt. It probably isn’t enough of a pain that I wouldn’t do it: but, I have a feeling that is enough of a pain that a lot of people wouldn’t do it and thus wouldn’t vote. Sound like a Republican plan? It is.

Second, just what would it prove? It would prove that I’d paid a fee to Washtenaw County, Michigan to get a piece of paper that attested to the birth of Dave at St. Joseph’s Hospital some years back. Getting a passport is apparently just as easy according to the CNN article I just read. A GAO investigator got four of them with counterfeit documents.

So, I go and get a birth certificate that isn’t mine and use it to get a passport. Doing so would prove that I’m industrious, not that I'm a citizen. Maybe I and anyone willing to make the effort should be able to vote and those that don't shouldn't. What is that? A modern day poll tax, which is exactly what the bill is meant to be.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Google Grows, Privacy Shrinks

Google got into the phone business this week and decided to start using your web habits to target ads to you.

Here's a USA Today article on Google Voice and here's New York Times article on the "interest based" advertising plan by Google.

Google will now give you a local phone number that will receive calls to your office, home and cell phones and ring all of them. If you don't answer any of them, it will record a voicemail from your caller, transcribe it into print and send it to you via Gmail. Making a call is a bit more clunky. You have to go to the service's website, type in the number you want to call and choose which of your phones you want to make the call from. Google then calls that phone and places the call for you. It's free for domestic calls and a couple of cents a minute for international calls. Google already searches your Gmail. I suppose it will search your transcribed voicemail too.

Google also really cares about your online shopping experience. It has started tracking where you surf and keeping records of the categories of surfing you do. It then uses that information to place ads it thinks you want to see on sites you then visit. Interestingly, Microsoft and Yahoo already do this, which I didn't know. You get the new "service" unless you opt out. There's a link in the NYT article that takes you to Google's Ad Preference Manager to do it.

While I'm on the subject of privacy or its lack, did you know there are sites that track you and either give or sell information about you? Pipl.com, CVGadget.com and Spokeo.com are a few. Pipl lets you block your info. Here's the link to a CNet.com article about them.

I did a post about trading convenience for privacy a week or so ago. I was right about the need for constant vigilance.


Not a great picture, it's taken with a camera phone and the light isn't very good mid-afternoon. Our flowering trees started budding Monday and with temperatures in the seventies all week, we are getting into full spring swing. Cold March showers are predicted for the weekend with a re-warmup next week, just in time to get all the flowers going for the Masters in three weeks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bankruptcy *^%_#s

I’m not a bankruptcy lawyer. My brushes with the subject are all representing unsecured creditors owed money by a debtor. Almost always, my advice is “you will, if you are lucky, get pennies on the dollar.”

Today I read that Michael Vick, formerly an employee of the Atlanta Falcons, currently a resident of Leavenworth Prison, has been ordered by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to attend a hearing. The article is about the Feds arguing against his having to appear, given the costs.

I don’t care one way or the other about that. Part of his bankruptcy filing is based on his being allowed to play in the NFL. Here’s the money quote:

“Vick's bankruptcy plan would allow him to keep the first $750,000 of his annual pay. After that, a percentage would go to his creditors based on a sliding scale.” AP, via AJC.com.

Vick can live on a whole lot less than that. I’ve heard that players get per diem and there’s food on the planes and in the locker rooms. Hell, I’ll take the money he gets and put him up in a mansion, feeding him really good stuff. I’ll net a bit more than I currently make (humor).

How does a lawyer file something like this? If I didn’t have to make a living, I’d resign from my profession. And the bad thing, without researching the law? He'll probably get the money.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday in Atlanta

It’s about 75 degrees and partly cloudy. Last night I left the windows open and it wasn’t really chilly when I woke up.

Golf today, the first time in awhile, had mixed results. A beautiful day, an OK front nine and a somewhat worse back. Bogey golf. Some good sore working as I type while reclined on the couch.

There are several choices for dinner and a Netflix movie for later. I really should use the vacuum; but, somehow, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Rest of the Story?

This post is in honor of the recently late Paul Harvey.

I was going North on LaVista this morning and saw this sign out of the corner of my eye.

I went on to my destination, and on the way back home, pulled over and took this picture.

There's so much here to ponder. We have all of these stores. Which is the author of the reader board at the bottom of the sign on the right side of the picture? Double click the picture if you can't read it.

My best bet? A kid who is about to be fired.

Then there are DeKalb County's finest in the lower left, sitting in the classic cooping position. Or are they monitoring the sign with hope of mounting an investigation?

Just what is the rest of the story? Good day.

Trendy Words I Don't Like: A Series



Tweet (and I’m not thrilled with Twitter).


Friday, March 06, 2009

I'm the Cause of Our Economic Problems

I have monthly bills, including credit cards that I pay each month. That’s it. I quit borrowing back in the mid-nineties. This cash thing isn’t a religion; but, it would have to be something really important to make me take out a loan. If I can’t pay for it, I don’t buy it.

I realize not everyone can take the cash pledge, those of you with families being the prime example. I know a lot of people like me. They tend to be of an age with me. They are middle to upper-middle class, in the middle of the baby boomer generation. We pay as we go; and, as the economy has gotten worse, we don’t even buy what we can afford – there’s that uncertain future out there.

I suspect that people that are older than me are even more borrowing averse these days than I am, and that our counterparts a few years younger are adopting our non-spending ways.

I keep hearing that our behavior is what is stalling the recovery. I’m told I have a patriotic duty to encumber my future by spending savings and borrowing money to buy stuff so that people get paid to make the stuff, who will then borrow money to buy more stuff. (Having written that sentence, I think of George Carlin.) Somewhere in the process of the World’s governments’ Ponzi scheme of pump priming, I suppose people and companies will start spending again and banks will lend again to encourage more spending and borrowing, putting off repayment to the next generation or two or three.

But, I’m not going to participate; I’m not going to fulfill my patriotic duty. I apologize to all of you.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Once Again Into the Breach

California is a volatile place, physically, socially and politically. They have wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes. They put fruit on their pizzas. Then there are those props.

The latest prop is back in court. I won’t repeat the history of gay rights in California. I’ll just leave it at there are times my profession gets in the way of simple decency and common sense.

Arguments were heard before California’s Supreme Court on the proposition that made gay marriage illegal again. I’m tired of the arguments.

I like pretty women. Were I to find one that was also smart, funny and tolerant, who would have me, I can marry her, here in the political and social backwater of Georgia and in every state all the way west to progressive California.

Were I to like handsome guys and found one that was smart, funny and tolerant…. the story is different.

We have enough problems in the country and the world that matter. It is beyond my ability to understand that people spend their time trying to prevent some people who love each from being treated the same as other people that love each other. To me it’s as simple as that. When you start applying law, religion and philosophy you make a big mistake.

I’ll listen to hip hop and show tunes, I’ll not look askance at pierced people, I’ll not hate the Yankees, the Gators and Steve Spurrier (and that’s a tough one), I’ll never say another negative thing about my state’s officials and swear to never support Sunday alcohol sales here in Georgia, if we could just agree on this loving business.

Tolerance, what a concept. We don’t have to talk to them, we can shun them like the people down the block that have a messy yard or the Catholics/Baptists/Devil worshippers in the neighborhood. We don’t have to like them; hell, hate them. Just let them be. How hard could it be?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Swift and Sure Justice

I got a judgment for a client last summer. I found out where the Defendant worked and filed a Garnishment action (the employer has to pay 25% of the Defendant’s after tax income into court each month to pay my client).

In Georgia when you garnish an employer it is “continuing” for six months. If the judgment isn’t paid off by that point, you have to re-file for an other six months, etc.

The Garnishee (employer) never served an Answer to the garnishment summons; but, I got a check from the Clerk of Court twice during the last six months. At a point, I filed a motion for default against the employer, which has languished. I found out today why.

Though I have a pending motion in the original case, I had to file a new case to keep the sporadic payments coming. So I looked at the statute. I only had to file a new Summons, the original “Affidavit of Garnishment” was good for two years from the date of the original action. But, I had to go in person because from past experience, though the statute says that the Summons has to be signed by me in the presence of a notary, clerks in Metro Atlanta won’t file it unless you are standing in front of them, swear what you wrote is true and they notarize your signature.

So I prepared a new Summons and went down to the Clerk’s office. The assistant clerk looked at my paperwork and said “you don’t have an affidavit.” Me: “the statute says the original affidavit is good for two years.” Her: “you don’t have an affidavit.” Me: “I think you’re wrong, but I’m going to do what you tell me to do. Give me one, I’ll fill it out.” She was then happy.

When I file something with a court, I always get a “file stamped” copy to prove that it was filed. The first clerk was busy when I finished filling out the Affidavit. Another clerk had me raise my hand and swear and then stamped everything but put the original Summons in my pile of copies. Me: “don’t you need the Summons?” Her: “it’s part of that” pointing to the original Affidavit (that the Statute said I didn’t have to execute).

Don’t argue with clerks, it doesn’t get you anywhere. But, I still needed to find out why my Motion for Default was languishing, so I asked to see the file for the original filing. She got a stricken look on her face. “We don’t have a file.” Me: “Huh? You have a file, I’ve gotten two checks, I just want to look for the Answers the employer may have filed but didn’t serve on me and see what’s happening with my motion.” Her: “Oh, there’s paper, but it isn’t in a “file” yet, we aren’t up to that month yet.” Me: “you’re telling me you haven’t processed filings from last August?” Her: “yes, we’re up to somewhere in mid-summer; but, we’re only about two months behind in processing checks.” Me: “so you’re telling me that the payments I haven’t gotten are sitting somewhere in the office, you just haven’t deposited them and then cut a check to me?” She smiled because I now understood, “that’s right!” The mystery of my languishing motion was solved. The Answers had been filed, they with the accompanying checks, were somewhere behind the glass between me and the clerk. I thanked her.

I took both stacks of paper over to the cashier on the other side of the building and gave her the check. Here I ran into an endearing characteristic of this particular county’s bureaucracy. I had my choice of “filing” or “RUSH filing.” The difference? Filing doesn’t take place until three to four days later. RUSH filing is done that day. An extra fifteen bucks to actually file on the day you file.

I asked her “the clerk over in Garnishments said you don’t need the Summons, but you do, don’t you?” Her: “of course we do.” Me: “well here it is,” pulling it from my stack of copies.

She RUSH filed it in about fifteen minutes and gave it to another lady behind the glass. She wrote a case number on the papers and gave me my copies.

I walked to the parking lot and paid the machine seven bucks. I ate lunch with my cop friend and we traded stories about this particular county’s clerks office.

It’s good to be a lawyer, doing justice, slowly but surely, every day.

Fermi! Fermi! They Did It Again!

Just thought I’d let Fermi know the Georgia Senator who sponsored the Sunday alcohol sales bill withdrew it because he realized he couldn’t get it passed out of the Georgia Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, whatever that is.

There's a certain charm involved in living in a backwater state. I'm going to get me a Sunday still and put it next to the herb garden I'm going to put on the patio. Rosemary infused hooch!

Can you make Crown Royal in a home still?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Yoo Knows What?

The Obama Administration released nine Bush Administration Office of Legal Counsel legal memos by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty related to the war on terrorism today. NyTimes.com.

Did you know that the Constitution allows our military services raid or seize private property and wiretap in the United States?

“[One of the] memorand[a] discussed the use of military forces to carry out ‘raids on terrorist cells’ and even seize property.

‘The law has recognized that force (including deadly force) may be legitimately used in self-defense,’ Mr. Yoo and Mr. Delahunty wrote to Mr. Gonzales. Therefore any objections based on the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches are swept away, they said, since any possible privacy offense resulting from such a search is a lesser matter than any injury from deadly force.”

From the NYTimes.com. Here’s the memo itself.

If you can seize property and conduct a raid on private property in the U.S. without a warrant based on a war halfway across the world, what’s a domestic wiretap or two?

And if someone exercises their First Amendment rights to castigate such conduct?

“’First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.’ [The memo] added that ‘the current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.’”

I wonder what else the Bush Administration was doing that hasn’t come to light yet.

Monday, March 02, 2009


I just realized the last post was the 750th here.

In just under two and a half years.

I'm going to have to look at the blog owner's manual and see what maintenance needs to be done in the 750 post check up. A new template? One of those RSS, Technorati or Digg icons? Ads? Nah, hopefully more good content.

Thanks for stopping by all this time, I'll do my best (given my, on a given day, current mood, inspiration and ability) to make it worth your while.

And, I need to get a life.

And Some of You Were Worried that Obama Would be Different

From an AP article on AJC.com:

“President Barack Obama will break a campaign pledge against congressional earmarks and sign a budget bill laden with millions in lawmakers' pet projects, administration officials said.

Administration budget chief Peter Orszag and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel both downplayed the $410 billion spending bill and signaled Obama would hold his nose and sign it.

Orszag said: ‘We want to just move on. Let's get this bill done, get it into law and move forward.’

Said Emanuel: ‘That's last year's business.’”

After all, the over 9,000 earmarks are only somewhere between $3.8 and 7.7 billion depending on the source you choose, that’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to the six figure billions the budget bill will spend (I thought we did budgets in October?).

I really like the “last year’s business” line. The campaign promise? “Hey, we lied, get over it.”

And the Bottom Is?

At 10:21 AM ET

Markets »
S.&P. 500



Courtesy of NTTimes.com

Sunday, March 01, 2009