Thursday, March 31, 2011

Aaahhhh...

Windy and cold outside.  It's also raining and dreary.  The phones are going nuts, and my desk looks like it's growing paper.

And yet, I have caffeine.

All is well.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Virginia Tech Window Dressing

Virginia Tech was just fined $55k for failing to timely warn students during the 2007 tragedy.  There's a lot of argument on the radio and web about whether this is an appropriate fine. 

I don't care.  It's all worthless.  You see, all they want is a way to make us all feel better.  Virginia Tech paying this fine will not make the campus any safer than it was yesterday, or any safer than it was on April 16, 2007.  Perhaps, as a result of this fine, Virginia Tech will notify everyone sooner.  Of course, in order to notify everyone, there must have been an incident.  This means that this fine, the noticing system, and all the feel-good nonsense, will do nothing to prevent the incident.  It just means that others will know about it sooner.

You know what would have been better?

On January 30, 2006. a year before the shooting, a subcommittee in the Virginia General Assembly stopped a bill that would have allowed students to carry weapons in the university.  Since that bill was killed in committee, many students were killed in Norris Hall.  Even if they would have had the means to protect themselves, the Virginia General Assembly said they could not do so.

When the bill was stopped in committee, there was this great quote:

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

How'd that work out for you?

You see, it's all about feeling safe.  It's all about the warm fuzzies.  It's all about sticking our heads in the sand, and believing that if we pretend it won't happen, it won't.  Since the General Assembly said no guns on campus, that should take care of it, right?  After all, the killer (who ignored laws against killing) would of course obey laws against guns on campus, no?

I guess not.

This fine changes nothing.  We can all argue about it, agree, disagree, whatever.  It's a waste of time. 

It's all window dressing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Case of Emergency

I've posted before on the average response time for police in this city.   7 minutes.  Count them out and imagine you are depending on them for your protection...

Of course, that's seven minutes after the call taker takes your call, sends it to dispatch, and they radio it out.

Then again, they have to answer the phone first.

Woman put on hold after calling 911.

True, this was just a vehicle on fire, but ...

Just hang in there, baby, someone will be by soon to rescue you.  In the meantime, please enjoy the music while your party is reached.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pink

Armed Beauty Queen Fatally Shoots Intruder in Florida Home Invasion

Questions for Robert:
  • You slept through a 3am door knock?
  • Why do you feel the need to advertise your wealth?  Especially if you believe that your wealth was the reason you were targeted!
  • You pay with pizza with $100 bills?  Are you trying to draw attention?  Do you have money or are you wealthy?  There’s a difference.
Questions for the Beauty Queen
  • Ummm… none.  Have a great day!
  • Oh, maybe one small suggestion:  Bring the gun with you if you have to answer the door at 3am.
As for the attacker, here’s his resume:


Clearly, this was someone used to demanding his way.  No law on this earth was going to stop him.  Only a force stronger than him was going to get his attention.

Mr. Hill, meet Ms. .38 Sp.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mad Skillz

Apparently, running is a highly developed skill that should be left to the professionals.

This past weekend, I found it necessary to engage in such an activity, without proper training or permission. I got the mechanics a bit backwards, and found myself slowing my run with my hands and face.

On concrete.

My face looks like it lost a fight with an industrial sander (black eye included!), and my hands look like I grabbed the wrong end of a meat tenderizer.  Some time during the adventure, my ear folded over and joined the fun, so there are some impressions back there too.

I can't really say that a good time was had by all, but worse things have happened to me.  And, the holster held!

I'm just glad I don't have court for a day or so.  So, rather than getting the attention of the court's victim services office, I'll just be scaring the clients at my office.  Although I'm going to have to come up with a better story,  I can't really be the "tough" lawyer if I can't put one foot in front of the other without hurting myself.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quote for the Week

Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power.


Yoshimi Ishikawa

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slavery, Entitlement Style

Last night, my wife and I went to a fundraiser for a group that builds orphanages in South America.  This group's mission is to rescue unwanted and abandoned children from a life of gangs and sexual slavery.  One of the children featured was pregnant, at age 11.

The son of a friend (along with his wife) spent this past summer in east Asia working with a group that rescues young girls from sexual slavery in a country known for it.

That's slavery.

The church that my wife and I attend has an inordinate amount of people that are out of work.  Some receive no assistance whatsoever, and are existing on favors and odd jobs.  There are people who come to my office to file for bankruptcy with a lot of debt.  It's sad because although the bankruptcy will clear off their debt and stop existing collection activity, I know they will leave my office still trying to make $200 feed a family of five for a month.  These people are tirelessly looking for work, willing to do whatever comes their way.  There is no bitterness, no despair, only hope for the future and an appreciation for the present.

And Adrian Peterson believes that making $10 million dollars base per year is akin to modern day slavery.

That's entitlement.

I know, I know.  He misspoke, was taken out of context, was misquoted, whatever happens to be the excuse du jour.  However, I can't really think of a way to interpret that comment that wouldn't leave him sounding like an petulant brat.*

The bottom line for me is that he is way out of touch.  The lowest paid NFL player gets paid more in month than the vast majority of Americans get paid in a year.  Adrian Peterson makes more in a week of base salary than I make in three years.  I don't criticize him for making money playing a game.  I don't necessarily criticize him for wanting more of it.  Moreover, I don't criticize the owners for wanting to hoard their money.  For both the players and the owners, it's their life and money.  I'm staying out of the details of what they do with it.

I love football.  I look forward to the start of the season, and, for at least the first quarter of the first game, I have hopes every year that the Dolphins will make the playoffs.

However, I do not HAVE to watch football.  Football does not pay my bills.  I have no problem turning off a good game if my wife or daughters need my attention.  My life does not depend on the game.  So, if owners and players can't sit down and get a collective clue as to priorities, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.  I'll do something else.

I'm not really sure that Major League Baseball ("America's Game") ever really recovered from the strike almost 17 years ago.  Perhaps the NFL should take note.

Slavery!?!  Sure!  Slavery to your own ego and entitlement.  But I will do what I can to set you free.

If you can't get it straight, I'm changing the channel--even if you do come back.

*Don't get me wrong.  He has a right to say what he says.  If he wants to make it more offensive, he can certainly do that as well.  However, he does not have the right to my attention, my money, or my loyalty.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quote for the Week

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

Henry Louis Mencken

Friday, March 11, 2011

Reality

Some of my posts are completed first and scheduled to post sometime in the future.  My reaction to the Stylish Blogger award just posted.  In it, I mention that the seven things I list are of no importance.  That's so true in light of the news this morning.

Please pray for the nation of Japan, and all of those caught up in the physical and emotional aftermath, wherever they may be.  The videos are horrifying and surreal.

Stylish?

As I mentioned yesterday, Shepherd K tagged me with the Stylish Blogger Award.  So, as a result of my award, you get seven things you may not know about me.  In no particular order, and with absolutely no significance at all, here you go.  Enjoy!

1. I’m an introvert. It really wasn’t until about halfway into the tenth grade that I figured out that if I wanted friends, I needed to be a friend. Even so, I’m still slow to open up.  I have a lot of friends, but only a few very close friends.  Those, I can count on one hand, and still have fingers to spare.  Those friends have the right to challenge who I am and what I do.  They are close friends because they have been there when I have walked in the darkness, and I have tried to do the same for them  They have been better friends to me than I have been to them, but they still hang around.  I consider them close friends, because when they say something, I have to listen, even if I don't want to. They have that effect, and do not ask for permission before correcting me if necessary.  For reasons of accountability, they are all guys, and they know who they are.  The very best friend I have is my wife.  I have no other female friends that are any closer than just good friends.  And my wife knows about them all.

2. My first name is the same as the main character in a 800+ page book. As far back as I remembered, all the adults I ran into told me that.  So, out of curiousity, I read that entire, unabridged, book before I was 10.  I've pretty much been a reader since then.  Even now, I still get people who ask me if I've read the book.  Maybe it's time for a refresher.

3. My parents were pretty much anti-gun when I was growing up. I have no reasonable explanation as to why I turned into a gun nut.  As far as I know, I wasn't dropped on my head as a kid (although, if true, that would explain A LOT!!)  I started with BB-guns when I was old enough to buy them, but did not purchase my first gun until I was out of law school.  It's all been down(up?)hill since then.

4. I’m a nerd, and proud of it.  At one point, in junior high school, I had the set (taped-up glasses, pocket protector, and braces). Not proud of that so much.  Now, I try not to look nerdish, with mixed results.

5.  For those of you who took driver's ed in high school, remember that one kid who was making all the mistakes?  Forgetting to put the car in park before opening the door to get out?  Getting nicknames such as Cone Killer?  Yeah, that was me.  I was probably the worst driver's ed student in the class, if not the whole school.  Thankfully, I never cause any permanent damage.  I guess I turned out alright, though.  Over the past almost 23 years of driving, I've had four tickets--two speeding tickets, one for a dead headlight, and one for a dead license plate light.  My last ticket was almost 15 years ago.

6.  Because I am bilingual (Spanish and English), I get clients who do not speak English.  Although I encourage them to learn the language, I have to take them as they come.  Twice now, during court hearings involving Spanish language translators, I have mixed up my languages and tried to conduct my portion of the hearing in Spanish.  Interestingly, judges do not see any humor in that.

7.  I like to plan my practical jokes.  Once, when I was a meat cutter, one of the fellow cutters had a sore throat and was walking around with a bottle of red chloraseptic.  Apparently not sure how to use it, he kept spraying the rest of us (in our white meat coats).  After this had gone on for some time, and we all had red spots on our coats, he put down the chloraseptic and headed out to the sales floor to get some real work done.

While he was outside, I walked back to the inventory manager, who was processing damaged goods, and I asked her if she had two particular items that were damaged.  God was smiling on me because she handed me the very two items I needed.  Both were unopened.  One had a damaged label, the other was a multipack of four that was missing two but had the one I needed.  I grabbed the chloraseptic and my two items, slinked over to an empty workroom, and got to work.  I poured out the chloraseptic into a cup, and set it aside (no need to waste good medicine).  I got another cup and poured some vinegar (item 1) into it.  Then, I got a vial of red food coloring (item 2) and began to add it drop by drop until it matched the color of the medicine.  I then poured the vinegar into the chloraseptic bottle, primed the pump, and set it back where it had been.

Our intrepid meat cutter came in with another employee, singing the praises of chloraseptic.  To demonstrate, he grabbed the medicine, opened wide, and quickly squirted a couple of times.  The spasms, gagging, coughing, stumbling, cursing, etc... was well worth the minimal effort.

Well, that's all I got.  If you were hoping for something a bit more intellectual today, please try the blogs listed on the left.  Actually, I almost decided to give up my identity as number seven on the list, but I don't think I'm ready just yet.  My law partner wants me to announce his candidacy on my blog, so that may still happen.  We'll see.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes

(sorry if that song now sticks in your head for the rest of the day).

I have some stuff percolating, but nothing posted yet.

Shepherd K, of Preachers and Horse Thieves, has awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award.



That's just proof positive that he has never seen me.  I'm working up a response post, but trying to come up with seven things is a bit harder than I thought.

Brigid, world's best blogger, has an excellent post on her what she believes.  It's definitely worth a read (but then again, her posts are always worth the read).  Seriously, go take a minute and read it.  She tracks pretty close to what I believe.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quote for the Week

If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying, that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, and the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 - establishes the repeated, complete, and inevitable failure of gun laws to control crime.

Senator Orrin Hatch, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Report of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still Here

Effective yesterday, I officially became part owner of the firm.  The firm is now a partnership, and I finally have my name on the door and on the company name.  My law partner has announced a run for the US Senate, and is now preoccupied with all that entails.  That means that, not only do I have a full slate of cases, but I also now have to run a business.

I'm not complaining, I'm just saying I'm a bit busy, you know.

So, in the meantime, take a look at the blogs on my blogroll.  I've added a bunch of new ones, all people who write much better than I do.  And, once I dig out of these files I'm under, I'll have another story to post.