Sunday, June 04, 2006

Change: It's a good thing

For a number of reasons that I may or may not outline later (all of them positive, I assure you), I'm starting anew.  I've been away for a while (mostly due to work).  The fact that I have been feeling limited by Blogger for the last few months contributed as well.  So, we're going to give something new a try:


New template.


New blog server.


New focus.


New partner.


New blog.


I give you Great White Snark.


Over the next month, we'll be trying things out over there.  The next thirty days are on Typepad's dime, so we'll see if we can't get back in the swing of things.


And, the lovely Lady E has agreed to join me over there.


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Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Stage 1

The Lady Exile and I are going home to Detroit in a couple of weeks for some wedding planning obligations over Memorial Day weekend. It's another one of those life-changing points that have been filling my life of late. Thankfully, all of these changes have been much for the better.


As chance would have it, I am starting to get addicted to YouTube, especially since I started noticing the incredible amount of content on there that takes me back to my childhood.


So, over the next couple of weeks, I will have some links up to videos that make me think of life before Boston.



This was a commercial for the Detroit Zoo that aired during the early- and mid-1980s. When I rediscovered it the other night, neither of us had seen this ad in the better part of twenty years.

And yet!

We still knew the commercial almost by heart.

Funny how that works....

Friday, May 12, 2006

Clinton vs. Bush

If the Middle America Progressive says word one about this poll, he cedes any moral authority he might ever have had calling out conservative who still note the shortcomings of the Clinton presidency.


I wonder if he's willing to abdicate a frequent bargaining chip.


Also, the poll respondents think Bush Clinton is more honest by a five point margin.  Apparently, authentic corroboration on tape is only slightly more damning than no authenticated corroboration at all.*  Who knew that Americans would trust a confirmed liar over, at worst, an unconfirmed one?


(And just to foreclose the inevitable attempts to distinguish the two: the poll only asked which man the respondent trusted more.  It made no attempt to draw out the sources of these decisions or any distance between them on individual trust spectrums.)


I do wonder about the usefulness of this poll.  Year five of the Clinton presidency was 1998.  The independent counsel investigation was only at its midpoint and he had not yet been impeached.  While Clinton's approval rating never dipped below the mid-fifties in the second term, two points are overlooked: he was a peacetime president (or at the least he was not running an unpopular war -- the occasional airstrike doesn't count) and his approval ratings had also previously been in the mid-thirties.  Also, Clinton peaked in the mid-seventies.  I'm not suggesting that I think it is likely that Bush, too, will enjoy a 20-point bump before the end of his presidency, but I'm also not placing it entirely outside of the realm of possibility.


In other words, the poll is interesting, I suppose, as far as it goes.  But call me again in another 8 years.  At least then we'll know how the Bush presidency ended and we'll have a little perspective.


*Thanks to Kathy for noting my typo, though it only serves to underscore my conclusion, not undermine it.


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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dispatch from the Battlefield

This is one of those rare occasions where I will blog about work.  For obvious reasons (as well as not-so-obvious ones), the details will be scarce.  However, it is not the content of what I encountered today that matters as much as how that information struck me.


In the course of starting an incredibly daunting document review today, I pulled up a copy of the complaint we filed in this products liability case.


(For those who are curious, a complaint is the document that essentially starts a lawsuit and is the first one you file in court.  All it really does is name the plaintiff and defendant(s) and put everyone on notice about what kind of suit you are filing.  That's it.  No evidence.  No offer of proof.  All you have to do is tell who you are suing that you are suing them and what the claim is.  If you want to wait until a little later to tell them "why" you are suing them (and flesh out the facts of your case more), go for it.  At least that's how it works in most states and in the federal system.)


Usually, the second paragraph of your complaint describes your defendant.  Today, I encountered the following (ID information removed for privacy purposes):



[X Corporation] is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business at [Address], Detroit, Michigan.



I stopped short because, well, let's just say I had heard of this company.  And that I had seen their headquarters, what with growing up near there.


Wouldn't it be nice if I could combine business with a trip home to see the folks?



Saturday, May 06, 2006

Busy

Holy Mother of God.  Week one of work.


Suddenly, I'm the proud owner of about a dozen casefiles.  Thankfully, only half of them have court dates scheduled for the next month.  This means I will actually have some days in the office to get some real work done.


Amazingly, in the span of a week, going to court has gone from a novel and flawless experience to a significant chunk out of an otherwise busy day.


But then, I can see how having half of a day out of the office every now and then can be good, too.


Now, it's the weekend and, really, the last thing I want to do at home in my free time is to look at a computer screen.  Off to read this.  And, if I get tired of that, perhaps this new arrival instead.


Back when I can come up for air.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Grits and Greens at the Holidays


No, I'm not kidding.





Dixie Royal
You are 81% true Southern!
You are pure belle or gentleman! You know your Jones Soda, Nehi and RC colas, your Moon Pies and sweet potato pie; you'd absolutely die without air conditioners in the summer, and you've seen Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes (or read the book!). Your grandmother lives in an antebellum home and has a cook who makes the best fried chicken and asparagus casserole and summer squash and everything else in the world. And you know the taste of honeysuckle and the feel of grass between your toes. You are blessed.







My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:









free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 55% on Southerliness
Link: The Southern-ness Test written by gwennykate on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
[via Cardinal Martini]

Rules for Blogging

Don Surber suggests some rules for blogging:



The first rule is The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Malkin learned this in an unhappy way.

The second rule is from my sisters: Don’t dish it out what you cannot take. Call someone a moonbat, expect to be called a wingnut. Bloggers set the tone for their blogs. Opinions are discounted greatly by the author’s use of foul language, personal attacks and general meanness.

Third rule: Thou shall not steal. That means link those whose material you are citing. Take no more than one third without permission.

Fourth rule is from Jim Snyder, an old sportswriter and city editor, who said never write about a person what you would not say to his face. He once challenged the mayor of Parkersburg to a duel of cream pies. Mayor Alvin K. Smith declined. Both are dead. Both were characters. Both hated one another but never wrote anything about the other that they would not say to their faces.

Fifth rule: Have fun. Enjoy what you are doing. Blogging is a hobby first, last and always. A few people are millionaires off this. Good for them. But if they are not enjoying their posting, why are they doing this?

Other than that, follow the rules of journalism, realizing that the only difference is blogs are opinions, not news stories. The ABCs of journalism are accuracy, brevity and clarity. Cite sources. Disclose conflicts of interest. Don't blog to appease advertisers.



There is more, so read the whole thing.  He thinks he may be making a fool of himself in suggesting these rules; if he wants to recruit "An Army of Fools," I'll take my place on the front line.


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Kerry Lied, Jefferson Cried

So says Cardinal Martini of my junior senator.  You know, the one of the two I actually like better.


Then again, it's not hard to beat Ted Kennedy in that race.


God help the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


On "Net Neutrality": Slow Down

It seems that the blogs are abuzz over the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006" decrying it as "downright frightening," among other things.  The Middle America Progressive calls it "yet another reason for real conservative to stand up and be counted as opposed to George Bush and the budding American Theocracy that the GOP is trying to create."  As you know, I respond positively to having both my ideology and my patriotism called out. 


It's almost as well as I respond to doomsday claims made by those who I would be willing to bet have not even seen a link to the proposed legislation, let alone skimmed the document itself.


Don't bother looking at Thomas.  It's not there: the bill has not been reported out of committee and is apparently not yet linked to any bill previously referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.  But, it is scheduled for markup tomorrow (Wednesday).


I contacted a college buddy who works on Capitol Hill to see if I could get a copy, but he said that is would be available once it was reported out.  Of course, he doesn't work on telecom issues, so he might not have had the most complete information on this bill; he was aware of the bill, but did not have ready access to it.


After a rather involved search, I did find what may be committee print for tomorrow's hearing, but I can't be certain that it is the most recent document.  However, what I also found was that a lot of this furor was derived from the statements (without much variation) of a single consumer advocate who does work on such matters.  I won't be so crass as to call him a special interest lobbyist, except for how that's what he is, isn't he, even if he may be wearing a hat some presumptively deem white?


No, I'd rather just challenge you, dear reader, to find the bill, and put it together for yourself if you are so upset about this.  Find the thoughts of someone who opposes the bill that do not (intentionally or otherwise) state verbatim the statement linked above.  Find the thoughts of someone (pro or con) who actually notes the FCC adjudication mechanism and the $500,000 penalties for each instance of violating Commission's policies protecting consumer choice in broadband service.


Think about it.  If Verizon were to block even 1,000 people from accessing Instapundit or DailyKos, it could face half a billion dollars in penalties.


Am I saying I'm for this bill?  No.  I'm too tired (and still focused on student speech law) to form an opinion on it. 


I'm not about to make a decision on the merits of the bill (with due respect to my friend) based upon the say-so of a Hill staffer who works in other areas and an opposition whose forward guard redlined my B.S. detector within about 30 seconds of reaching their web site.


In short: if you want to call your member of Congress, fine.  But if you are going to tell him or her that the sky Net is falling, you might want to make sure that you haven't been duped by a lobbying group that, based on its niche, has its best fundraising opportunity in months.


And if you are convinced that it all fits: explain it to me.  I'm clearly missing something here if that's the case.


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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Post on "Horrifying" Decision to Follow

I did not quite finish my post on the Ninth Circuit's Harper decision yesterday, since the opinions total nearly ninety pages.  Also, my new motherboard arrived yesterday, so I spent much of the evening bringing my primary computer back to life.  Look for that post later today Monday. 


In the meantime, I will take this rare occasion to say that I think Libby's comment is spot-on: this is a horrifying decision, indeed.  It becomes more so when you see how Judge Reinhardt gets from point A to point B.


UPDATE:  Busier weekend than I expected.  Look for it Monday.


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