Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Defrosting the fridge
So the fan will work again
biweekly, curses!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More on Roger Clemens

I drive by the high school Roger Clemens attended fairly regularly. It also happens to be the same high school that Tron guy attended (random trivia).

That's pretty much the closest connection I have with Roger Clemens. Other people, reportedly, have (much) closer relationships.

Clemens denied the inappropriate relationship, which is expected. McCready did not. This becomes another version of the steroid situation. I don't have a problem with that. I have a problem with people believing either party based solely on what people said in the paper.

Even worse than that, though, is Calvin Murphy. I'm not a fan of Calvin Murphy's show. I rarely listen to him, though he's on ESPN radio on my drive home from work. Yesterday, though, I heard him for about 3 minutes. Someone was explaining why he believed Clemens was guilty, I think he was referring to the steroid issue (where I suspect he's guilty as well). The guy was discussing the evidence that's come up and how he thinks that shows Roger did do it. Calvin Murphy, though, instead of listening to the guy's points, interrupted constantly to inject his own personal experience in the matter (for those who don't know, Calvin Murphy was charged with and exonerated of indecent conduct with his children). He essentially said "they had testimony of 5 people against me and I didn't do it, so Clemens is innocent."

This is ludicrous. I'm just going to touch on the simplest part of this argument: Clemens' situation is not Murphy's situation. You cannot compare them simply because there are two separate groups of facts to consider. But that doesn't matter when your primary concern is more about being loud and heard than being right, or at least reasoned.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A post about random stuff

We went to Brazos Bend state park today. It was pretty cool; the kids got to see several alligators, including one that was basking right on the path (we turned around and went back the other way). It's amazing how still they can float in the water. They really do look a lot like logs.

I keep hearing stuff about the polygamists from El Dorado. Since it's a Texas event, the whole state covers it constantly. Now, I don't know much about Mormons. Most of the Mormons I've known have been quite pleasant, family oriented people. I've not met any of the FLDS members (the polygamists), so I can't speak as to how they are as a people. But what interests me is the recent PR campaign that has come up recently. The sect was so secretive for so long (because marrying 13 year olds as your 3rd or 4th wife is kind of illegal), that apparently they felt they needed to personalize themselves. It's sort of a "We're not bad, our beliefs are just criminal" thing. As for me - I've been to El Dorado (it's pronounce Door-A-Doe, with a long A) a few times in my day, as have my wife, two of my kids (the Apple wasn't born yet when we were in West Texas), the sister, and the Gramma, who got to stop at a convenience store in the town. I've seen the sight. I've drunk the water. I even stopped at the city's stop light. It's at the top of a ridge with NOTHING for 35 miles in any direction, and makes San Angelo look like an oasis by comparison (San Angelo is the closest thing to civilization out there. It has everything a real city has, including the internets and indoor plumbing). Any religion that chooses this location as its Mecca is not one for me.

In five weeks we're going to Sea World with Photog and Mrs. Photog, and Red Hot Mamma, inter alia. This is exciting for us, as we get to see the animals and the kids get to play around. I think it might be more exciting for Photog, though, as I understand he's never been, and being with our kids always brings out the kid in him. Mrs. Photog might need to bring a pillow for him to nap with on the drive back to the hotel.

I miss Washington sometimes. Not the state so much, though there was good fishing, but the people. I miss being able to see my family whenever we wanted; Gramma, Antsy, Papa, etc. I miss my friends - my best friend is up there, and I haven't seen him in 6 years. The other horsemen are up there, too. One of the problems with moving away, as nice as it is to see other places and do things with more abandon, is that the roots never grow as deep. It's tough to decide who is worth your time and effort. I've been fortunate, in that we've been able to find some good friends here, people who I otherwise would never have had the good fortune to have known, and it's nice that we get regular visits from Gramma and from the inlaws because it keeps the family tied together, but sometimes, I wonder how different it would be to not have to schedule and budget visiting the family.

Enough waxing philosophic. I'm tired. If I was a bicycle, I'd be two-tired.

It's not surprising

In fact, it's probably a little expected. Hillary wants Obama to debate her again. This even though the last debate was supposed to be the last debate.

Why isn't this surprising? Because Hillary is losing, and she knows that this is her strength. She knows she can score points by dueling Obama in a debate. She also knows that she can point to any refusal on his part as "evidence" that he is unready to assume leadership or face difficult situations. It's sort of a no-lose situation for her, except for that pesky final debate thing.

I don't want another debate. I don't want to see more criticism between the two. I don't want to see Hillary try to beat up Obama. Mostly, though, I'm tired of watching them rehash the same issues.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random Trivia

Iran has more kidney donors than any other nation. The United States is second.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Truth in Advertising

At least this Government Entity tells you what how it's spending tax dollars...

Why History Needs to Not Be Left Behind

The most recent argument is on display here.

Freaking Activist Judges

They just have no respect for the fact that the Alabama House declared America a Christian Nation! This Louisiana Judge just blatantly ignored this non-precedent setting posturing from the state of Alabama and strikes another blow to the heart of the true believers. And how did he come to this heinous decision? Because he, and he alone (who made him judge? oh, right.) determined that the distribution of bibles in public schools is religious activity with no legitimate secular purpose. The issue stemmed from the coercive nature of the school putting pressure on a student to take religious materials even if they don't believe in that religion's teachings.

Actually, this case was decided on summary judgment based on the written briefs, so it's likely that the school district intended to lose this case and just go for the appeal. In fact, the defense attorney stated that he thinks they have a good chance of winning on appeal. Fun.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earthships 101 part I

Something to think about on Earth Day

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Hate CSI Miami

Ahh, CSI Miami. Where would we be without you?

Probably a few brain cells better for the wear.

I tried to watch the episode tonight. I really did. Because I wanted to pan the whole thing. But I can't. It's just too stupid.

Let's start with the introduction. A lawyer gets out of his car; he's talking on his cell phone. As he's working on crossing the street, a Dodge Charger hits the gas, speeds down the road around a roundabout, turning to hit the lawyer square, knocking him down with enough force to kill him, and then the car immediately stops on top of him. I'm no physicist, but let's consider a couple things. First off, the car is speeding around a turn. I know tires handle well, but to turn without having to brake around even a slight turn is a bit incredulous. Second, the car hits the guy and immediately stops (i.e. within 10 feet). The car hit him hard enough to kill him and leave him bloody all over, yet it was able to stop in less space than it takes to stop a bicycle. Sure. And then, to top it off, this all happens fast enough to hit the guy square in the middle of the car's bumper even though he's walking across the street (so we're talking a matter of seconds for acceleration, maneuvering, contact, and braking).

Fortunately, the brave crew of CSI Miami shows up. They determine that the car being driven uses 100% biodiesel fuel. How fortunate. Even better - the car that hit the guy, hit him square on the briefcase he was carrying, and the license plate left a mark on the wood underneath the leather. Wow. Talk about your lucky breaks! David Caruso (el poseur) dons his lab coat in order to mix some mold to retrieve the numbers, which were too light to see with the naked eye, but which somehow come out much larger than they would on an actual license plate when imprinted and lifted on the mold. With this, el Poseur is able to give Jonathan Togo (who I'm not sure is even a human, I think he might be animatronic) a partial plate. Togo then pulls out his laptop which fortunately has not only wireless connection in the lab, but also has a database of all license plates in Florida AND is able to give them a list of 6 partial licenses that match the car that was driven AND use 100% bio-diesel. And all this happens in 45 seconds! I need a computer like that. The first car, fortunately, is a rental car from a company that lists all its cars' renters on an easy to access database for the police to recover without a warrant, and fortunately, without the company even knowing. Let's hear it for the USA PATRIOT Act!

They then interview the guy's wife (who just happens to be the person in whose name the car is rented); and she assures them that she was not the driver, as the car has been stolen. Time to find it. Fortunately, this is Miami, and the police department doesn't have to worry about any crime in the entire city other than this hit and run, so they're able to mobilize the police helicopters to go out and search Miami for a black car with the vehicle's license plate. I'm not entirely sure how they're going to check the license plates from the air, but I don't need to worry, because they very quickly find the stolen car among the hundreds of thousands of cars in Miami. Too bad they didn't kill the guy with a Chevy instead of a Dodge - Chevies have OnStar - they could have tracked it down that way and saved the taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars.

They call Emily Procter's smug self over to inspect the car to find out who caused the accident. She looks in the open door and finds a piece of nail jewelry on the display behind the steering wheel. Just like that - looks in and takes it out. You need 4 years of college to do that.

The jewelry, Miami's finest decides, must belong to a teenager - and fortunately, the dead lawyer has a 16 year old daughter who just happens to be missing a piece of nail jewelry from her finger - talk about coincidences! Unfortunately, this turns out to be a red herring, as Togo rules her out immediately because she didn't want her parents to get divorced and she doesn't have a license, so there's no way she could have driven at all.

In the meantime, there's another murder. This time, it's a guy who's shot, but they don't know from which direction - cue the slow-motion re-enactment of him getting shot from above. El Poseur looks at him, says "see that green glass? It's not from this restaurant." He knows this because... we don't know how he knows this. He never asked anyone from the restaurant, it's not apparent that he frequents the restaurant, and I doubt he's ever written a treatise on glass shades of bottles at Miami eateries.

That was as far as I could get. This show is too ridiculous for words. Anyone who saw the last 40 minutes of the episode - let me know what happened, ok?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Not a busy weekend

We didn't do much this weekend. The kids stayed up late last night watching Harry Potter; I stayed up with the wife watching the Blue and the Gray (Talk about a riveting dramatic performance by all!), and today we went out for breakfast.

We get in the car, the Princess asks where we're going, and we answer Cliff's. She cheers very exuberant, "Yay! We're going to Cliff's! What's Cliff's?" We explain it's a restaurant, and she says OK, and resumes cheering.

The Boy didn't want to go. He's at that age where he doesn't want to be around his family. I think he'll break out of it sometime before he dies. Maybe. Of course, once he got there and realized he could order Huevos Mexicanos and get salsa with his eggs, he was fine. It just took a little coaxing to get him there.

It wasn't lunch with the Photogs, but it was fun all around.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Job Searches

I have my resume on a couple job search websites. I do this because I look for jobs occasionally.

I had a hit the other day. Keith Grivaldi e-mailed me about a job opening for a paralegal position with Nouri Law. Apparently my previous experience with legal is outstanding, outstanding enough to take a job that technically is a step down from attorney, and a job that pays less than I make now.

I was invited to apply, or get more information by clicking on the link. Instead, I looked up Keith Grivaldi's name. Apparently he's the HR director for a couple different companies, none of which exist. Sometimes I get nervous when people ask for my information. This one was pretty latent, and I might not have caught it (or just completely ignored it altogether) but for the ridiculously phrased sentence "Your previous experience with legal is outstanding." Even if this were a legit offer, it's not one I would take simply because I can't see myself working for a firm that writes so poorly.

Anyway, avoid e-mails from Keith Grivaldi.

In other news, I gave blood today, and my BP was down to 124/80. Lowest it's been in years - those Julios chips really are paying dividends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Such Eloquence is Necessary in a Leader

The Democrats were stinging from the lack of support the democrats received from the working class white families of the South. How to deal with the loss of their support? Should we reach out to them? Let's ask Hillary Clinton.

"Screw 'em. You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you. You don't have to do anything for them."

That's not quite as couched as Barack Obama's answer. It's brutal honesty like this that makes me proud to be an American. Hillary Clinton is right up there with Tom Delay in terms of respect for those who disagree with their position (Delay once in an interview said that non-republicans would not get an appointment to speak with him because they are "not on our side").

But, it's ok for her to attack Obama for saying something ineloquently, even something that her husband said in 1992. Even something that could be accurate (I'm not saying it is or is not, I'm saying it could be).

Capital Punishment

The Supreme Court issued a 7-2 plurality ruling yesterday in favor of lethal injection. I'm not surprised by the outcome; I can't decide yet if I agree or disagree with the outcome.

The Court also heard oral arguments on whether or not it would be cruel and unusual to apply capital punishment to a person who raped a child. While I think I know what the decision will be, I also think I disagree with the decision I think the Court will reach.

Monday, April 14, 2008

But, they're there to decrease accidents!

At least, that's what the idea was. Now, I still think there's some cause for a 4th amendment argument against illegal searches, but, in actuality, since the city announced their existence, I'm nto sure that such an argument would work.

However, showing that the city is lowering the yellow light time in an attempt to raise revenue... that's the kind of bad press that can kill a municipal program.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It Must Be a Centipede

I remember reading about how the insurgency was in its last throes some 3 years ago. I remember hearing about how there was progress in training and how the Iraqi military and police forces were taking an increasing role in defending the country, preparing to stand up so we could stand down. I remember Mission Accomplished (I know what he said, but what the message he intended to be seen was quite clear and avoidable). I remember there being more room for political reconciliation. I remember "We're kicking ass."

Apparently, dismissing 1300 Iraqis who didn't stand up is the next phase of our standing down. Perhaps they just needed an extra year or two of training. Maybe that's why the drawdown (which only removes the forces back to the pre-surge level, so it's really not a drawdown, is it?) is going on temporary, indeterminate sabbatical.

Any more progress like this and we're going to need a draft.

Sunday Morning Rant

All right. Here's what the problem is. At least 2 times a day, my fellow baby lawyers and I get calls from clients who are involved in various settlements who are trying to get settlement advances or loans. We tell them no, and then they go to the loan company anyway and ask them to send us some application paperwork.

This pisses me off.

First - We tell them no. There are good reasons why we tell clients we don't work with settlement advance companies. First and foremost, most of our settlements are written with non-disclosure clauses - in other words, the client can't discuss the settlement with third parties, lest they lose their settlement altogether, which renders the attempt to get a settlement advance rather moot. Second, these loan companies are skirting the usury line. They get these clients loans on their settlement, then charge them up to 25% interest on the maturity. That in itself isn't great, but then there are penalties for not paying the loan back on time. Clients are trying to get these loans because they don't have money - they're certainly not going to have MORE money later.

But that doesn't matter to the loan shark - I mean, agent. They refer clients to other clients who got loans, and they argue with us and them, and they try to play it off that we're the bad guys in this situation. Now, as an attorney, I owe several responsibilities to my client. One of those is fiduciary in nature - I'm supposed to help the client get the best possible settlement AND protect that settlement. I can't do that if I'm helping that client enter into a loan that could cost him up to or even more than twice the settlement he's entitled to.

Settlement advances are like payday advances - they're things that should never be used. And those who take advantage of these people are despicable in my mind. They are taking advantage of people in a period when these people need to be looked out for.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

So You Want To Be a Lawyer

Just remember, being a lawyer means holding your client's skeletons in their closets. Even murder.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

As I Have Said Before, There Will Always Be Prayer in Schools

Most people understand that. Some, even if they understand it, seem nevertheless to feel obliged to use it as a weapon for political gain. Few things in the world are more terrifying to a member of the Religious Right than an atheist, which is what makes attacks on the "attack on Christianity" a viable weapon.

Take Missouri, for example. Missouri has proposed an amendment explaining that children have the right to pray and read their Bibles. This despite the fact that there is already an amendment that does this - the First one.

I actually like the take on this that Brian Kaylor gives:
Those who self-righteously proclaim they are standing up for prayer seem to have forgotten the teachings of Jesus. As Jesus explained in his "Sermon on the Mount," we should pray in secret in our closet and not publicly like hypocrites so that all can see us.
What I like about this is that he not only understands that there is a Separation, but he actually can use the teachings of his belief to support his position and to show that Church and State can co-exist independent of each other.

The Dangerous Ones

It's not often that I read or hear about someone who has stated something that just completely befuddles me. But, I think that happened this morning as I was reading a post on Americans United For Separation of Church and State. The post links to a Chicago Tribune Article written by Eric Zorn, who was writing about some of the comments made by State Representative Monique Davis (D - Chicago) to a person on the witness stand.

The statements Monique made:
I don't know what you have against God, but some of us don't have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it's really a tragedy -- it's tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school. I don't see you fighting guns in school. You know?

I'm trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.... What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it's dangerous... It's dangerous to the progression of this state. And it's dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you'll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!

You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
Wow. He has no right to be here. In America? Where the People have the right under the First Amendment to petition their government for redress of their grievances.

What was Rob Sherman on the stand for? It wasn't to take prayers out of school. It wasn't to try to outlaw religion. No, it was to testify against a $1 million dollar grant intended to rebuild a Baptist Church that somehow ended up going to a private school. Obviously, he must be stopped!

This subject is covered on the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos, as well. Both the Daily Kos and Americans United has audio of her attack on Sherman.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

But what she said was true!

What Hillary Said:
I'll tell you a quick story that I heard in Ohio when I was campaigning there. A deputy sheriff told me about a young woman who worked at the pizza parlor there and she worked for minimum wage, she didn't have any insurance. She got pregnant, went to the hospital - and i don't blame the hospital. The hospital said, 'We can't take any more charity care. You have to give us $100 before we can examine you.' she didn't have $100. Went back another time, they told her the same thing. [The woman returned a third time] in an ambulance. And they worked hard to stabilize her, and she lost her baby. Then they airlifted her to Columbus to the medical center, and for 15 days they tried to save her life, and she died.
And it's completely true. She was told a story about a girl who died. Of course, the facts of the story are not true; but the fact that she was TOLD a story is. So you see, it depends on what the definition of "true" is.

To their credit, the Clinton campaign has agreed to stop telling this story in their push for mandatory health care. Of course, it would have been much more credit-worthy had they taken the time to weigh the merits of the story before using it as an anecdote in support of one of her pet causes. But that would have been politically inconvenient.

Why is it wrong to invoke the Nazis if you are not a Conservative, but not vice-versa?

Ben Stein is stumping for his new documentary "No Intelligence Allowed." Because of this, he's been giving interviews; recently attempting to tie the Separation of Church and State with Nazism:
"I would say probably the Nazis would have found some rationale to kill the Jews without Darwinism, but Darwinism made it awfully convenient for them."

So, by way of extension, what Stein is saying, essentially, is if you oppose teaching "intelligent design (you know, the Christian creation story)" in public schools, then you must support darwinism, which is what the Nazis believe, so you must be a Nazi.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

What a Weekend

We stayed relatively busy this weekend. I think. Yesterday, we went and got new tires for my car. I had a slow leak in one from a nail that was too close to the sidewall and the tread was pretty close to dead on two more, though I only replaced one of them. Interesting note: these are the original tires from when the car was purchased in 2001, so we got some good years of use out of them, if only 20,000 miles. We then took the kids out to lunch, looked at houses (we're in the market, though out aspirations outreach out resources by about 20% right now), then went and got the car. Then, after getting home, we let the kids play outside (we don't do this much because we generally don't trust our neighbors, but there are a couple kids with responsible parents out here right now, so we let them get in the courtyard if we've got the window open), while I went to get a fishing license. I get home and find out my wife thought I was going to the grocery store, which we needed to do as well. She was in the middle of about 12 loads of laundry, so I hopped back in the car with the Apple and we went to the heeb and got some vittles for the week. They had fresh corn on the cob, so I picked up a few ears to go with the steak we made for dinner, and headed home with a full trunk of chow. We got back right around time to start dinner; the kids had been out about 2 1/2 hours, which is not bad. We ate dinner ("ate" being a relative term as I think there was more steak on the kids' plates after they ate than before) and got the kids all bathed. Then, we let them bring their sleeping bags downstairs where they got to camp out for the night and watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

This morning had us up nice and early, and the kids got to have cinnamon raisin English Muffins for breakfast. After that, the Princess and the Apple and I went to wash my car. My goal is to wash it more this year than I did last year, and I'm only 1 wash away from eclipsing that after today and last month. We had fun, and got back just in time to let the kids have a midmorning snack while the wife finished her makeup so we could go to the mall. I'm not a big fan of the mall, but some things needed to be bought, such as new slacks and shirts for me to replace some of the older (and ink-stained) outfits in my ensemble. After that, the Boy and I got our ears lowered. The Apple also got new shoes today, so he was giddy (Spider-man!), and the kids got to play on the toy in the Mall while I took the wife's ring to get an estimate to replace a missing baguette. After some pretzels, we went and watched a movie (Horton Hears a Who - I have some disdain for movies based on Dr. Seuss books due to my understanding that he did not want his stories made into movies and his wife sold the rights after he died so she could live off the fat the movies garnered), and let the kids ride on the carousel. We then went and looked at a few more houses, much to the chagrin of the children, who can think of few things in the world less thrilling than riding in a minivan while their parents discuss traffic, neighbors, trees, corner lots, taxes, etc. We finally ended up back at home, just in time to start dinner and listen to the children continuously try to find new and unique ways of injuring each other. After dinner, the kids ended up back outside, while the wife and the Apple went for a little walk, and forgetting to tell me, causing me a mild state of panic because the Apple wasn't where I could see him in the courtyard and the other children didn't know where he'd gone (I figured the Apple and his mom were together, but didn't know, which leads to concern). Finally, we got them back in, they decided to try to injure themselves a little more, and ultimately all ended up in bed.

OK, so perhaps the weekend wasn't quite as chock-full as I thought when I sat down, but, it kept us busy, and cost us a whole lot more than we'd intended on spending (the tires and the clothes took a lot out of the paycheck). We'll be ok, but I don't think we'll be dining out this week. At least, not until Sunday.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Either the City Has a Sense of Humor, or They Get It.

That's the only thing I can gather from reading that Crossville Tennessee has allowed a structure of The Flying Spaghetti Monster to be built outside the courthouse.

True Story

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1995. The weeks before I enlisted, I decided to give myself a little vacation and flew back to Michigan to visit my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. The trip was fun; I got to play basketball with the cousins, go to the sports bar with my aunt, chew the fat with my grandparents, and just have fun all around. Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the trip was the day I flew out. My uncle Bill works for GM in one of the parts shops - he replaces the parts of the car that are damaged and still under warranty, the hood, the doors, etc. I got to go spend the morning with him at the shop, as he was taking me to the airport to fly home. While I was there, I got to help replace a front quarter panel and a bumper for a Pontiac that had come in for repairs. This was exciting for me, because it was the first time I'd ever had an auto-body experience.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I want ice cream

But I don't get to have any. This is because my children did not eat all their dinner. I hate when my children get in the way of my plans. (Caveat: this is because I had promised the children ice cream if they finished their dinners and they didn't, at least not until I lost my patience with them about eating their dinner and took the ice cream promise out of the equation, when one of them did finish his dinner, thinking he'd be able to then get ice cream while the others didn't, even though I had already told them no ice cream because I'd run out of patience. I don't mean that I regret my children, which is a falsehood, I would never trade my children for ice cream. An A&W Root Beer Float, maybe; we'll have to talk. But just ice cream? Never.)

Lying for Legislation

At least, that's what I gathered from reading this post on the Liberal Journal about Michael Mukasey's conference.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Go Pho Yourself

We forgot to get anything out for dinner tonight. This meant that we went out for dinner. We get sort of tired of the traditional fare (and fast food is tiresome and unhealthy), so we decided to try something new to us. We decided on Pho (pronounced "fuh"), Vietnamese Noodles in broth. I've had it once before, but the rest of the family were first time pho-ers. The kids were remarkably well-behaved, at least until the very end, and the restaurant staff was very friendly (I think they were enamored with the little blond children who came in with big grins on their face).

Pho is pretty good. You order your meal, for example I got Pho Tai Nam, rice noodles with flank steak and round steak. They cook the broth all day long, so the flavors really mix well. They bring out a plate with parsley, basil, bean sprouts, jalapeƱos, and limes. As the bowl is brought out, you place the side items you want in your pho for flavoring, as well as hoisin and/or hot sauce (I can't remember the name of the hot sauce, but it's bright red and rather hot). Then you use chopsticks and a spoon to eat the pho and drink the broth.

My wife enjoyed it quite a bit, and my daughter, the Princess, actually surprised herself at liking it (she was the one who threw the temper tantrum about eating there). The Boy loved everything except the soy milk, which was a little too sweet for him. All in all, it was a pretty good meal with really good company. I think we'll be going back.

Random Trivia

The song Midnight Train to Georgia was originally titled Midnight Plane to Houston.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Scalia the Hypocrite?

I have suspected, and said, and perhaps even posted, this idea before - that Justice Scalia is no less a judicial activist than those "liberal" judges who maneuver through legalese to reach the conclusion they want, regardless of the plain language of the law, except that Justice Scalia does so for the Right.

One example of this is Justice Scalia's take on the First Amendment. Justice Scalia wrote in dissent on two First Amendment cases - the first, Lee v. Weisman, centered around a prayer before graduation. The majority saw the association with, or the appearance of endorsement of that religion, or at least the coercive nature of forcing a student to participate in a prayer at a public school for a religion to which he or she does not subscribe. Justice Scalia saw differently.

The second case, the just-released Washington Grange v. Republican Party, has the majority failing to see the association with, or appearance of endorsement of the platform of a candidate who chooses to associate himself with a political party when that party is unable to disassociate themselves from that individual (in essence, voters vote for the "R" before the candidate's name, thinking they're getting a Republican when they could be getting a [for example] Communist who chose to run as a Republican because the party cannot keep him from running under their name). Justice Scalia saw differently.

My own take on this matter and the parsing out of these two cases would pale in comparison with what Professor Kathleen Bergin wrote at the First Amendment Law Professors Blog. I would point my readers here for a very good read.

The Cure for Information Overload

I'm not big on theory, at least unless it's legal theory, but this is a pretty good one to consider: The Cure For Information Overload.