Friday, January 30, 2009
The ACLU is filing suit on 1st Amendment Separation grounds, and if the allegations are correct, then this is exactly what the ACLU should be doing - and demonstrating several things public schools should NOT be doing. I will be interested to see how this turns out.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The purpose of education is to teach students, but the purpose of religious education is to teach students according to the principles of that religion. Homosexual orientation, whether it be natural or a choice, is viewed as a wrong in the Lutheran religion, and as such, I think it's perfectly acceptable (and in keeping with the Separation of Church and State) for them to determine whether to accept students who violate this principle, just as one who might steal, or cheat, or blaspheme.
Perhaps there might be a different question if this school was receiving vouchers, or being compensated by the State for their teachings - a "bitter with the sweet" situation, but there's been no evidence (in the article I listed above, and time restraints preclude me from following up at this time) to suggest that this is, indeed the case.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
That justice prevailed brought the situation to the current crisis, however, had the previous administration done right, then we wouldn't be in the position in which we find ourselves now. In other words, circumventing the law for the sake of expediency helped nothing and harmed far more than could have been expected.
More can be read on this topic at Andrew Sullivan's.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I think his statements on Larry King (which I read on this Moderate Voice post) are precisely what this country, particularly those on the right, need to hear.
Good for him. And good for America.
Key quote, as I read at the Daily Dish:
If it were really the goal of Terrorists to attack American prisons where their members are incarcerated and if they were actually capable of doing that, they already have a long list of "targets" and have had such a list for two decades. If U.S. civilian courts were inadequate forums for obtaining convictions of Terrorism suspects, then the above-listed individuals would not be imprisoned -- most of them for life -- while the Guantanamo military commission system still has nothing to show for it other than a series of humiliating setbacks for the Government. As is true for virtually every fear-mongering claim made over the last eight years to frighten Americans into believing that they must vest the Government with vast and un-American powers lest they be slaughtered by the Terrorists, none of these claims is remotely rational and all of them are empirically disproven.But then, it's not really about security, it's about posturing.
Friday, January 23, 2009
The wife is coming home late tonight due to an office function, and I ordered pizza from Donnelly's. I really like their pizza, but the hour-long wait is a bit tedious. The kids have been Wii-ing, which had kept them placated up to now. After dinner, I think they might find their way upstairs to watch a movie, quietly. While I stay downstairs and watch a grown-up movie - quietly.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The same guy who was traded to a perennial Eastern Conference favorite and brought the stats of ALL the other starters down? He's an all star?
I've not been a fan of Iverson's ever since his famous "Practice" press conference - the same year that Steve Yzerman had an osteotomy, a surgery to straighten his thighbone, and played in 16 games. One of the reasons is because I've seen him as one of the prime examples of "I've gotta get mine, so I can get paid" players in the league - the guy who will sacrifice his team's success for his own well-being. The problem is, teams don't play better with him. Denver didn't. Detroit is clearly worse with him than they were without him.
Iverson isn't a superstar. He's not an all-star. He's a talented one on one player who doesn't understand that his role needs to change, not the role of those around him. Look at the constant, and find the one variable.
While I will reserve judgment on the President's presidency until he's been in office for more than a few days, I must say that I think he hit the ground running addressing some of the most pressing concerns, and doing so in the right manner.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
When did the CSI officers start referring to themselves as "CSI Duquesne" or whoever?
The episode starts at a horse race. The guy that gets killed is a horse owner. CSI is on the scene, and El Poseur (EP) is standing over the cadaver. There's the entry wound, but El Poseur notes there's no exit wound, which requires someone to state the obvious - the bullet is still in there. Thank goodness we have such astute people working to solve crimes!
Then the Jaw and the Smirker are in the room, gathering more evidence, the Smirker unnecessarily in a 3-piece suit. A little banter, and then they discover some truffles that the Smirker knows don't come in the luxury box gifts - they aren't from Miami... They are from Chicago, and the guy who owns the company happens to have a horse, as well.
A bunch of annoying crap happens, and they tell horse guy to stick around. While at the scene (where they questioned truffle boy), some short guy gets caught pulling used tickets from the trash - apparently, this equals messing with a crime scene in Miami - who knew? They shuffle the guy off; I didn't see if they got his name or not.
In the meantime, side story with Torgo helping a friend of his beat up some Russian mob guy - this happens to be the time that EP is bringing home some boy who happened to have CSI Torgo's card in his backpack - the boy's dad didn't pick him up after school, so he went to the track. EP draws on Russian mob guy, who proceeds to cut his throat with some broken glass.
In the meantime, Smirker and Jaw are talking to Cadaver's horse trainer, and while the Smirker is flirting, the Jaw is searching around, and just happens to find a bolt gun (which is what killed Cadaver, as opposed to a gun). So they bring trainer in.
While checking the towels for trace, Jaw notices some synthetic dirt, which had some stupid name. He didn't know what it was, but fortunately, a british lab tech happened to stop by to see what what going on. In a great break of luck, british guy knew what kind of soil this was, and knew that it didn't happen to be in Miami, and on top of that, he knew all six of the tracks in the US that had this crap! Wow. One of them happens to be in Chicago, home of Truffle Boy.
I really don't care about the Russian mob side story, but it seems to segue into something later on. I still won't care about it, though.
Truffle Boy happens to own a bolt gun, but is surprised when he sees it missing. In the compartment where it's kept, though, EP picks up a ticket with a winner on it. There's no trace on it, though, as Doe-eyed cop discovers, but there is a circle, which happens to match the circle made by the grabber thing that ticket puller guy was using. Using that as the entire pretext, they pull ticket guy in, take his hands, check for gunshot residue, find it, and get a confession from him. Seriously - the guy couldn't have gotten that from anywhere else? It wouldn't have washed/worn off while he was doing so much other stuff? And he confesses? Anyway, his excuse is that Cadaver duped him into believing the horse he sold cadaver was worthless. The guy was a jockey who put his life savings into this horse, knew it had "perfect" balance, gait, etc., yet was duped?! Come on, now...
While I don't mind multitasking, it can be difficult to switch gears on a dime, so I prefer to keep things as segregated as possible. Unfortunately, that's not always feasible, particularly when you are working on multiple dockets at one time...
Hopefully, I can get through this week leaving close to on time all week. Cross your fingers.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Here's my question: If we are starting each day about 4 minutes later than the day before, wouldn't we come to a point where the sun would be rising at what we viewed as the middle of the night?
Friday, January 16, 2009
While reading the comments section on Balloon Juice's open thread of the speech last night, I found the following quote, that I thought was rather poignant: "Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere."
How long have we been in Iraq, Freedom-building? How much collateral damage has there been?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I think there's a question of interpretation here. In my mind there are two ways to interpret what he's saying. One way is the way Andrew Sullivan does, that W. asked for justification to allow him to do what he wanted to do. The other way to look at it is that W. stated he asked if he COULD do what he wanted to do. I can't say without more context, particularly with tone or investigation, which position is more correct.
KING: So there's nothing you've done in the area of treatment of prisoners that causes you any kind of pause?
G. BUSH: No. No. Everything we did was -- you know, it had legal -- legal opinions behind it. Look, you're sitting there, you've captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He's the guy that ordered the September the 11th attacks. And we want to know what he knows in order to protect the United States of America. And I got legal opinions that said whatever we're going to do is legal. And my job is to protect you, Larry. And I've given it my all. I've given it my all.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Perhaps she should have answered the questions. But that would have settled the issue, and we can't have that.
You can find the transcript of the e-mail exchange between Palin and the Alaska Daily News here.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Opening sequence - random young man walking down the middle of the street with random people yelling at him from his cars. Ultimately, a cop pulls him over, stops him, while he's trying to get the kid's attention, a white SUV almost hits him. The cop, of course, calls for backup - 3 cars and the SUV Hummer carrying El Poseur pulls up. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Instead of bringing the guy with the bloody shirt into the station, bring the station to him - and wait for El Poseur to ask the stupidly obvious questions like "Who are you?"
Torgo: "So what kind of victim are we looking for? A man or a woman?"
Random blonde lab tech: "Try a man and two women?"
Torgo: "So, three people?"
Glad to see No Child Left Behind is working well in Miami.
They have the suspect - send out 4 cop cars, a helicopter, and of course, CSI mobile - everyone running out with their guns drawn. No warrant mentioned. Random delivery guy there, as they look like they're going on vacation.
I love how lab work in Miami can all be completed while the doe-eyed cop girl waits. Fortunately, she remembers a land scene where the land was tainted with TNT - which they found on the guy's boots.
Ooh, bloody footprints - at least they have more than one. Still no warrant, no hot pursuit that a crime is currently being committed, but they go in - guns drawn again, El Poseur and The Jaw.
Fortunately, the FBI has some fancy brain machine that measures his brain activity, and Callie Duquesne, the smirker, calls in a favor. Even more fortunately, they already have pictures of the crime scene available to show the guy. The kid remembers when he sees the dead guy, but states he didn't kill him.
Apparently, the kid witnessed his father's murder years before. The first time he had amnesia. The question then becomes... which murder is he remembering? Classic Poseur.
They analyzed the personal effects - fortunately, there was a fiber or hair in the ring - talk about luck! To whom does it belong, though? Some random club owner - need to have more than one suspect, right?
The smirk walks in when amnesia guy says he killed his family. So, did he do it? I guess that's the real question. Well, the dad's son skipped school, talk about lucky breaks! and left a footprint in the dirt. He ID's amnesia kid - so he MUST be the guilty guy.
They even found his hat - and it's Amnesia Kid's hat - but wait! There's black particles falling from the hat that fell in the sewer - they must point to the real killer. It's GSR! Thankfully El Poseur is a lab technician, too - can't trust this to those amateur professional lab techs. Clearly amnesia kid was forced to kill his family.
They bring in military school kid again - they interrogate him, no rights, no attorney, fortunatel, just random questions.
Now they're searching for the money - they look in the grill and find the fingerprint of the guy who stole the money. One fingerprint. Back to nightclub owner. Now he's got no attorney, and he's confessing, basically. Comparing GSR while he's saying the guy had it coming. Where in the world is his attorney? He is confessing now, since a fiber from amnesia guy's hat ended up on nightclub owner's shotgun. Of course. Makes perfect sense.
The episode is over. El Poseur thinks there's hope for Amnesia Kid, who's going to be put on trial for 2nd degree murder. End scene with EP looking out the window, his back to us and his hand on Amnesia Kid's shoulder. I missed the dramatic sunglasses scene on this one.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It is a step back. Coach Marinelli went from being a head coach to a line coach. But, I think it makes perfect sense. Marinelli is a defensive line specialist - he knows how to motivate, how to teach, how to coach and how to manage this position. I believe he is a very intelligent person who was in over his head as head coach. He was hamstrung by a GM who didn't know anything about football and a VP who didn't know anything about measuring talent to put together a winning team. While it is impossible to coach a team to the only 0-16 season in NFL history and not take some of the blame, he is hardly the only culprit, and likely not the major one.
Coach Marinelli is moving forward. He has changed to a position that he knows as well as anyone in the league and is inheriting talent that is massive, though the players' heart and guidance are in question. This is where Marinelli should thrive.
As a Lions fan, I see it as a given that there be a change in the coaching position - the entire team needs an overhaul. But while I see that, I know that it makes little sense to harbor much ill will for Rod Marinelli, who was a victim of one of the most incompetent Matt Millens in NFL history. Because of that, I wish him very well in his new position, except for the two times each year the Bears play the Lions, of course.
James Madison, Last Annual Message, December 3, 1816:
And I may not be allowed to add to this gratifying spectacle, that I shall read in the character of the American people, in their devotion to true liberty, and to the constitution which is its palladium, sure presages that the destined career of my country will exhibit a Government, pursuing the public good as it's (sic) object, and regulating its means by the great principles, to which they are so well allied; a Government, which watches over the purity of elections, the freedom of speech and of the press, the trial by Jury, and the equal interdict against encroachments and compacts,, between religion and the State; which maintains inviolably the maxims of public faith, (emphasis mine) the security of persons and property, and encourages, in every authorized mode, that general diffusion of knowledge which guarantees to public liberty its permanency, and to those who possess the blessing, the true enjoyment of it.
These contemplations, sweetening the remnant of my days, will animate my prayers for the happiness of my beloved Coutnry, and a perpetuity of the Institutions under which it is enjoyed.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I am a contract attorney at a mass tort law firm. Practically, this means that my days are numbered, as litigation can dry up anytime, and settlement can come at any time. So it's not a bad idea to keep your ear to the ground anyway. But having fewer associations with the firm will make it easier to break away.
Wish me luck in my search. Maybe I can find the mythological $100k job with a 30 hour workweek and no stress.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The Buckeyes lost that game because the referees made at least 4 bad calls (and one questionable one) on the first drive by UT after halftime - a 7 minute drive that wore out the Buckeye defense and allowed the Longhorns to get the advantage.
That said, if you have the lead with 2 minutes to go, you need to stop the other team - Ohio State could have won nonetheless.
I don't think I can root for the Longhorns. If one of my kids ends up at UT, that might change, but until then...
Saturday, January 03, 2009
We went out for dinner with Mr. and Mrs. the Photog New Year's Day. We ate at Cafe Adobe. While the service was all right (we got our refills without needing to be asked), the greeters/sitters left something to be desired.
We got there shortly before the Photogs did, and I mentioned that we would need a table for 7. The blonde greeter stated there was no table available yet, but that they had a booth in the smoking section, "but nobody is smoking in there now." I mentioned that we would prefer a non-smoking table, and she said that would be no problem, and it would take them about 2 minutes to put a couple tables together. I said that would be fine and sat down to wait. While waiting, the Photogs arrived while the Brunette greeter was sitting a table of 25. The Blonde greeter was sitting a table of 5 and another group of 8 or so was also seated. I went back up (after mentioning to the Photogs about the offer for the booth that I declined as it was in the smoking section), and asked about our table as they had seated 3 groups before us. Brunette Seater said they didn't have a table ready, but that there was a booth available. I asked if this was the same booth in the smoking section that I had already declined, and she said "yes, but nobody is smoking there right now." Mrs. Photog astutely noted that simply because nobody was smoking now did not preclude anybody from coming in and smoking after we'd been seated. I commented on how I was confused that they had no table for us even though they seated 3 groups each with more than 4 people and two of which were larger than ours even though they said it would only be 2 minutes for us to be seated. Blonde Seater grabbed some place settings while I was asking the manager what was going on, and she went and started setting two tables together for us. The manager commented that it would be no problem for us to get two tables together (the place was fairly empty; it was New Year's after all), and the Brunette seater went to get some place settings and started to lead us to where Blonde Seater had already set the menus down, so she put hers back.
Long story short (too late), we finally got seated. As I said the service itself wasn't bad, though the food took a little longer to get out than I would have normally liked. The company was terrific, as the Photogs are always fun to be with. They even got the Binjo kids a terrific gift - season passes to the Zoo. This is good news, indeed! Thank you, again, Photogs - the kids will have a great time.
Right now, the Boy is ill with whatever the Apple had a couple weeks ago - high fever, some congestion. It's a good little flu or something. Hopefully he'll be okay in the next day or two - I don't like seeing the young'uns sick.
Friday, January 02, 2009
New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver reportedly has stated he would support Caroline Kennedy's appointment to the Senate. The reason I think there is some hypocrisy here is due to his request that Tina Fey do her mock-up of Sarah Palin (you betcha!) at a fundraiser just last month. You see, in my opinion it's wrong to make light of one candidate so completely unqualified for the position she's seeking and then state the very next month that you would support the appointment of one candidate even less qualified to a federal position.
As I said before - if Caroline Kennedy wants to be a Senator, then she needs to enter her name as a candidate, run for office, and be elected. The State owes its citizens a qualified Senator to replace Senator Clinton.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he thought Governor Palin was eminently qualified, and he just enjoyed Tina Fey's portrayal. But I am skeptical of this possibility.
I am much indebted; fellow citizens, for your friendly address of November 20th, and gratified by ts expressions of personal regard to myself. Having ever been an advocate for the freedom of religious opinion and exercise, from no person, certainly, was an abridgment of these sacred rights to be apprehended less than from myself.
In justice, too, our excellent Constitution, it ought to be observed, that is has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. The power, therefore, was wanting, not less than the will, to injure these rights...
For that portion of your approbation which you are pleased to bestow on my conduct, I am truly thankful and I offer my sincere prayers for your welfare, and a happy issue of our country from the difficulties impending over it.
From Jefferson and Madison on Separation of Church and State, by Lenni Brenner.
People who claim Jefferson was only pandering to the Baptists of Danbury have not studied Jefferson nearly enough.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
My plan is to start looking for a new job this year, something a little more permanent than contract/staff attorney. I don't mind pharmaceutical litigation, but the process is so long. I guess I like to see returns a little more quickly.
At any rate, the kids had fun last night, though only the Apple made it to midnight. Kir made it to bed about 12:04, and is still asnooze.