Monday, September 26, 2011

Exposing Tea Party Racism

Recent results in Florida show that the Tea Party is one of the most racist and racially divisive organizations ever to exist.  Think about it:  they endorsed Alan West for US Congress.  Even more shocking they just voted for Herman Cain in a straw poll.  Can you believe that?!  That's just more proof that the Tea Party is all about older Caucasians.

Wait, aren't Mr. West and Mr. Cain both African Americans?! Hmmm... A simple Google search will find other instances of minority candidates endorsed or selected by the Tea Party.  Really...

Given my ethnicity (Hispanic), many people just assume that I am a Democrat.  Then again, I'm not a die-hard Republican either.  Believe it or not, I am capable of independent thought.  I do not choose a candidate based on their political affiliation, nor do I choose one based on color or ethnicity.  If a candidate wants my vote, they have to earn it.  Likewise, once elected, no candidate gets a pass from me simply because of their party or their ethnicity.

I often find myself agreeing with basic Tea Party principles of limited government, limited taxation, and personal freedoms.  But, based on comments I hear/read from friends, the simple fact that I agree with some Tea Party princples means I'm racist.  The fact that I disagree with our President 99.99% of the time (margin of error ± 0.01%) means that I have a problem with his ethnicity .  Really??!!  Do you not know me?  Or better yet, do you know every Tea Party member to be able to say that with certainty?

If you don't know me, yet judge me anyways, shame on you.  I believe judging before you know me is called pre-judging -(also known as prejudice).  If you do know me, I challenge you to point out one verifiable* instance of racism.  Just one.

Don't you get upset when people lump all African Americans together?  When they do that with Hispanics?  When they do that with Caucasians?  Oh wait, never mind, calling all Caucasians racists is acceptable.

Listen, next time someone claims that a party or candidate is racist.  Ask for proof.  And, if there's no proof, and yet, you still repeat the drivel, you're no better than the worst thing you claim they are.

*And yes, I did qualify by asking for a verifiable incident.  The word "racist" has been cheapened so much that a simple disagreement can be labeled racist.  Look at my life.  Look at who surrounds me.  Let my actions decide.  I agree with a lot of the Tea Party?  Am I racist?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quote for the Week

All the mistakes I ever made were when I wanted to say ‘No’ and said ‘Yes.’

~ Moss Hart

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Words That Don't Usually Go Together

I'm really not used to seeing the words "car bomb" and some US city in the same sentence.  So, I had to do a double take when I read recent headlines claiming a car bomb in Monroe, MI injured a father and his two sons.

Based on what I have read, it appears that the victims were a lawyer, Erik Chappell, and his 11 and 13 year old sons.  The device appears to have been placed in the front center of the car, for maximum effect.  While it appears that Mr. Chappell has been released from the hospital, I don't believe his sons have.  From the reports I have read, the sons are in stable condition and in good spirits.

Truth be told, I don't see my job as being a dangerous job.  There are other jobs that are a lot more dangerous than mine.  Of course, having a "safe" job also depends on assuming everyone around me will behave.  That's something that cannot be guaranteed.

The lesson I take from this incident is that, whether I have a dangerous job or not, it always pays to be alert, aware, and prepared.  I don't know if this attorney could have done anything different to avoid/prepare for this.  Based only on the information I have, I doubt it.  I do know that his habits will be different going forward.  Something like this is profoundly life changing.  My prayers go out for swift physical and emotional healing, for wisdom for investigators, and for justice.

And while I also continue to pray for safety for my family and me, I'll also do my part and work to be prepared.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I'm sitting in a bankruptcy hearing room waiting for my case to be called. The trustee's monotone voice is rattling off question after question, while the debtors on the hot seat answer nervously. The rest of the room is silent.

A cell phone rings. I look around the room to make sure it's not my clients. In the far back of the room, a lady is fumbling with her purse. Unfortunately, it's one of those ringtones that gets louder the more it rings. As the melody of the ringtone gets everyone's attention, we all expect her to turn it off so we can keep going.

She finally finds the phone, hits a button, and the phone stops ringing. Then, she puts it up to her ear and says, "Hello? Hey! How are you?"


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quote for the Week

Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury.

Francis Quarles

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shopping Miranda Rights

Shopping rights for my daughters:

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you grab can and will be put back for you.

Even if you choose not to remain silent, you should still choose to stop asking for stuff at any time.

You have the right to use your own money during any purchasing.

If you cannot afford it, it will be returned to the shelf for you at no additional cost.

Do you understand these rights?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

15 Years

Today, at approximately 6:40 am, to the delight of my wife, our 15-year old Sharp Carousel microwave gave up the ghost with a sickening groan.

A moment of silence please.

Honey, stop laughing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Wife!

I love you and I'm so grateful you have allowed me to be part of your life!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Still in Need of a Vacation

Thought process:

1. Wash out coffee mug so that it is ready for tomorrow.
2. I want to drink some orange juice.
3. I’ll need to get a disposable cup for the orange juice. That way I don’t have to clean the mug again.

What I do:
1. Head to employee break room and wash out coffee mug.
2. Grab disposable cup from break room supply closet.
3. Head back to my office with clean mug and cup.
4. Reach into my small refrigerator and take out bottle of orange juice.
5. Pour orange juice into clean coffee mug and place both bottle and mug on desk.
6. Place clean, empty disposable cup into refrigerator.
7. Work for several minutes.
8. Stare at orange juice bottle, confused. I thought I put that thing away?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I posted this last year, but I thought I would repost my thoughts 10 years ago.


I'm not even sure I'm awake. I'm trying to shake the fog out of my head, it's not even 9am yet. The owner of the firm, Dave, walks into my office and quietly says, “I'm sorry to bother you so early, but you may want to say a short prayer. There's been some kind of major accident in New York.” I grunt a response and look back down at my file.

Something is nagging at me, though.

I turn to my computer and pull up some news websites. Well, I try. I'm not sure what's going on, but it must be big. All the news sites are down. Dave comes back in, “It's a plane. They say some kind of plane has crashed into a building.” The hairs on my arm stand on end.

I turn on my radio and try to find a news station. Another employee walks in. Her face is pale. “Another plane has crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.”

My throat is suddenly dry. “I know. Dave told me.”

“No, its another plane. Into the other building.” She's fighting her emotions. And losing.

I try to swallow. Stupid websites! Why can't I pull anything up? I find a radio station and my life changes.

Dave and I look at each other. I don't remember who, but one of us decides to cancel all appointments for the day. The receptionists are sent to the task. There is a dark silence in the air.

I have to get home.

It's only a few minutes away, but no matter how hard I push the accelerator, the car does not want to move. There are three stop lights, and today, they stay red forever.

I finally make it to the apartment, taking up two spaces as I park. There's no one outside. I run up the stairs, two and three at a time. I pound on the door while trying to fit the key in the lock. The key is three sizes too big. Did someone change the lock?

My wife, holding my 5 month old daughter, comes running to the door. My two year old is playing on the floor.

No greeting, no fanfare. “Have you talked to your sisters?” I can barely get the question out.

“No, why?”

“Call them. There's been some kind of accident in New York.”

“What is it?” She's impatient, and my mouth can't speak as fast as my mind is moving.

“Baby, you have to turn on the television. I think it's bad. I've got to get back to the office.”

I grab the small TV from the spare room, yank the cord from the wall, and rummage through a drawer to find the old rabbit ear antenna. I jump down the stairs. I barely make the last step, almost falling. I throw the TV in the car and race back to work.

I get to the office and bring the TV into the conference room. Everyone follows me in. I plug it in and try to adjust the rabbit ears. Stupid TV. Why won't it work? Do we have cable in here?

Finally, I bring up a snowy, grainy news broadcast. I move the antenna around, trying to get a better picture. All of us are gathered around that small television, with different degrees of disbelief registered in our faces.

Then, we see the buildings begin to collapse. Behind me, someone screams out in horror and begins sobbing loudly. It's contagious. As the buildings collapse, most of us have tears in our eyes. All I can think about is the thousands of people who are in those buildings. I can't see them, yet the knot in my stomach is paralyzing. I am watching people die.

After an eternity, I walk back to my office. My feet weigh a hundred pounds each and I feel like I'm walking through mud. I sit in my chair and stare. I don't know what I'm looking at, but it doesn't matter. My eyes can't focus anyway. I keep replaying the sight of those buildings collapsing.

So much changed that day. So much will never be the same.

I was not there. I lost no relatives or friends that day. But, I lost something just the same.

We have grieved. There was time for that. We have nursed our anger. There was time for that as well. But, eventually, it's time to put the tissues down, take the bandages off, and take our post, ever vigilant, at the guard tower. Freedom worth having is freedom worth protecting. At all costs.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

Never forget.

Quote for the Week

Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.

George W. Bush

Friday, September 9, 2011

Glad I'm Not These People

Morris, Et Al v. Coker, Et Al

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Light Blogging this Week

Hafta bring home the bacon, you know.  Here is the file for a case I have tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, it will be a simple hearing.  You never know, though.  I still have to make sure I know everything that is in there.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quote for the Week

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

- Ronald Reagan

Friday, September 2, 2011

Greatest Hits, Part III

So, it seems that Officer Harless continues delivering the hits.