Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Meanwhile, four other people, including a 28-year-old woman reported as pregnant, were treated for minor injuries following the assault.
While charges could be filed, according to police, using surveillance video and eyewitness accounts would be difficult in establishing direct involvement and culpability in this criminal act. If other stories of trampling deaths during impassioned rushes at religious pilgrimage are any indication of consequences, expect none, except for the collateral damage experienced by many who found themselves empty-handed of flat-screen TVs and other idols of worship for which they had arisen early and come out to fight.
(if for some odd reason you haven't seen this already)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Nov 10, 2008 Parker Waichman Alonso LLP
A California appeals court ruling that took place this past Friday is likely to generate lawsuits against many in the pharmaceutical industry. The recent ruling put brand name drug makers on notice that they can be held liable not only for injury caused by their own brand name medications, but also for injuries caused by generic drug makers that are selling generic versions of their brand name products.
(Name-Brand Drug Makers Ruled Liable for Injuries From Other Manufacturers' Generics) http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425895939
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So, yesterday was an exercise in patience for me. It was less that I had a splitting headache yet still interacted with people, and more that I interacted with people who have excuses for lame behavior at the corporate and academic level. I did some screaming, frankly. Here are the results I have compiled, of events:
1- If you are a can-do person who likes results, efficiency, simple functioning of technology for which you shell out your hard-earned money, DO NOT PURCHASE ACER COMPUTER PRODUCTS. If you want the entire 5+-month lowdown on this situation, please ask me and I will be happy to share when I have cooled off a little. For now, just knowing that hearing "we can't" repeatedly from people who work for the business, when you have purchased a machine in good faith that your money is paying for function, not dysfunction, is not acceptable, especially if you personally and professionally are someone who "can."
2- People who work daily with computers and are paid to do so, in clerical tasks, do not necessarily do their jobs correctly. I know; hard to believe, especially if you tend to be someone who does your job, for the most part, correctly, and at least apologizes and remedies a situation when you screw up. Something like 2 years ago, I spilled a glass of water, and it ran into two books about Albania that I had taken out of the University of Wyoming Library. One was a $9.95 picture book. The other, I don't know the retail cost, but it doesn't matter so much. I was charged some crazy amount of money for rebinding one and replacing the other, as well as $15 EACH for a "billing charge." Grudgingly, I paid the rebinding and replacement fees, but I held off on the $30 billing charges, on principle. (And despite my repeated attempts to communicate with Library and Billing administrators, I received no reply so that I could discuss the matter.) Aren't the people who bill me paid a salary to bill me? Isn't that part of the Job Description? The Duties associated with that position? Why is an extra charge attached to a normal job function, when there is already a budget for the work? Eventually, I was banned from taking books and videos from the libraries, getting official transcripts of my academic career at the University if I needed them, and so on, so I sucked up and let The Man have his way.
Yesterday, however, when I went to check out a couple books, I was told I had overdue charges on two books. "And those books would be titled..?" I asked. "I don't know," the young man at the Circulation Desk told me. "It doesn't tell me that on the computer." "Well, I'm not interested in paying fees for some books that presumably are overdue when I don't even know what they are." (I could not recall, wracking my pain-filled head, any time recently that I had even borrowed books, much less returned them late.) Of course the boy was puzzled; he did not know what to do. I imagine people normally just pay the fee and get the hell out with their books. Smooth ploy, Cashier's Office! So, he looked a little deeper (give this kid a bonus!) and discovered the fee was $30 for damages. "I know what that is!" I said. "Something like 2 years ago, I spilled water on a couple books about Albania, and I paid the fee." So, a girl behind the desk got on the computer to the Cashier's Office (ostensibly) and returned a verdict a couple minutes later that I was free to take the Tolstoy and the bar tour book and go. Before I went, though, I asked the guy who checked out the books if this would continue to happen to me: that I would be arrested at the Circulation Desk for an unrepented crime which I have already rectified. He assured me that the situation was now taken care of. We shall see.
3- (No, I didn't forget I was in the middle of a list here.)
REALLY, people who work daily with computers and are paid to do so, in clerical tasks, do not necessarily do their jobs correctly. Something like what I described with the library situation occurred later in the day when I sat down to look over a credit card statement and found I had been billed late in October for a service I had canceled early in October. Guess what? When I called the company, lo and behold, the representative on the line discovered that despite my relaying to him a cancellation number I had received at the time, I was still on the rolls as a member! I await next month's credit card statement, in which a refund should have been applied, with great relish.
OK, so I know I've done some bitching here this morning, but hey, think about it. What sorts of encounters have you had lately, without even a puke-inducing headache to spur you to a frenzy, that are similar? The FFM called last night, and in an hour-long conversation, we spent probably half the time not only with me regurgitating what I have yiped about above, but with him doing the same about his own computer and printer situation. Peeps, you see what's going on here, right?
Monday, November 17, 2008
"As you know the 11th Circuit Court let me out of prison pending the outcome of my appeal, saying that there were 'substantial questions of law and fact likely to result in a reversal.'
"While we are hopeful, please say a special prayer that the 11th Circuit will rule favorably and that this horrible legal ordeal will finally come to an end.
"Thank you so much for helping to get us this far down the road to freedom: freedom from the Bush administration, freedom from war and racial prejudice and freedom from injustice.
"I am especially grateful for all you have done for my family and me over these past several months and grateful for your help in keeping Congress focused on digging for the truth."
It's not too late to go to http://www.contemptforrove.com/ to encourage your Congresspeople to hold Karl Rove accountable.
That said, we all know that over the last 8 years, the President and the Executive Office of our government have assumed extraordinary powers that place our system of checks and balances in danger. I won't go into detail here. On Saturday night the FFM and I were up late watching Book TV on C-Span 2 (Haha! Yes! I was not the lone geek in this!) Two authors spoke from the Miami Book Show, Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," and Jeremy Scahill, who wrote “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." These two talked, among other subjects, of the need to hold current political leaders accountable for the crimes they have committed, before they are able to sneak out of paying for their actions (if they haven't already set forces in motion to make sure they are able to get away scot-free.)
Then, yesterday on a hike, a new friend questioned whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue these people, or whether we the American people should simply look ahead. I am not one to seek revenge, but the idea of allowing people in such power positions to set such dangerous precedents for some reason just really doesn't appeal much to me. Besides, crap, if we can bail out a bunch of richy-rich money guys who screwed up and made bad choices (which they knew they were making) with hundreds of billions of tax dollars, surely the next administration can forego a couple quail-and-lamb suckups, I mean suppers, for the leaders of 20 powerful and up-and-coming nations, to take care of the matter of putting the right people behind bars.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This guy was soooooo cool! The woman who worked with him before he died, Irene Pepperberg, just wrote a memoir titled "Alex and Me." Another book I'd like to add to my collection.
All that aside, here is the Question of the Day: Who raises a kid to go away to college and while on assignment for a General Bio class, walk to the top floor of a museum and spit down over the balcony rail to the floor below?
This is NOT a rhetorical question; really, it begs an answer. And if that is your kid, I'd like to warm your arse, too.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
by Mark Strand
I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.
What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.
My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"There's a website which is asking everyone to make suggestions for the new government:http://www.change.gov/yourvisionI don't know if they will actually pay attention, but they might, and I haven't seen a lot said about this; I happened on it in a blog, and I think it's worth telling people about. "
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Democrat Obama defeated Republican John McCain by a count of 15 to 6 in Dixville Notch, where a loud whoop accompanied the announcement in Tuesday's first minutes. The town of Hart's Location reported 17 votes for Obama, 10 for McCain and two for write-in Ron Paul. Independent Ralph Nader was on both towns' ballots but got no votes.
"I'm not going to say I wasn't surprised," said Obama supporter Tanner Nelson Tillotson, whose name was drawn from a bowl to make him Dixville Notch's first voter.
With 115 residents between them, Dixville Notch and Hart's Location get every eligible voter to the polls beginning at midnight on Election Day. Between them, the towns have been enjoying their first-vote status since 1948.
Being first means something to residents of the Granite State, home of the nation's earliest presidential primary and the central focus _ however briefly _ of the vote-watching nation's attention every four years.
Town Clerk Rick Erwin said Dixville Notch is proud of its tradition, but added, "The most important thing is that we exemplify a 100 percent vote."
Dixville Notch resident Peter Johnson said the early bird electoral exercise "is fun." A former naval aviator, Johnson said he was voting for McCain, but added, "I think both candidates are excellent people."
Voting was carried out in a room in a local hotel festooned with political memorabilia from campaigns long past. Each voter gets an individual booth so there are no lines at the magic hour. The votes were quickly counted, announced and recorded on a posterboard that proclaims, "First in the Nation, Dixville Notch."
Ed Butler, a Democratic state representative who runs the Notchland Inn in Hart's Location, said, "Being this small and being able to be first just makes it that much more special."
Although scores of states have voted early, the two villages are the first to officially announce the results on Election Day.
New Hampshire law requires polls to open at 11 a.m., but that doesn't stop towns from opening earlier. It also allows towns to close their polls once all registered and eligible voters have cast ballots.
Hart's Location started opening its polls early in 1948, the year Harry S. Truman beat Thomas Dewey, to accommodate railroad workers who had to get to work early. Hart's Location got out of the early voting business in 1964 after some residents grew weary of all the publicity, but brought it back in 1996.
Dixville Notch, nestled in a mountain pass 1,800 feet up and about halfway between the White Mountain National Forest and the Canadian border, followed suit in 1960, when John F. Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon. Nixon, the Republican, swept all nine votes cast in Dixville that year, and before Tuesday, the town had gone for a Democrat only once since then. That was in 1968, when the tally was Democrat Hubert Humphrey eight, Nixon four.
Why do we vote on a Tuesday... in November?The short answer: We used to be a nation of farmers. The long answer: Congress chose November because the harvest was over and the weather wouldn't be bad enough to prevent people from traveling. As for Tuesday, people used to have to travel overnight to their polling location. (In 1845, horse was the preferred method of transport.) In an effort to avoid religious days of rest, Congress chose Tuesday, leaving Monday and Wednesday as travel days. Tuesday was voting (and horse-resting) day.
The Center for Responsive Politics calculates that, by Election Day, $2.4 billion will have been spent on presidential campaigns in the two-year election cycle that began in January 2007, and an additional $2.9 billion will have been spent on 435 House and 35 Senate contests. This $5.3 billion is a billion less than Americans will spend this year on potato chips.
This will be the first time in 40 years that Yale will not have one of its former students on the ballot as president or vice president. Not since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew battled Hubert H. Humphrey and Edmund Muskie in 1968 has Yale been shut out.