Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Undeniably, there are a lot of interesting aspects to the Madoff caper. I just want to focus on one.

You think there is any part of him that feels guilt, shame or remorse for the fundmental filthiness of his acts. I'm not talking about grappling with the consequences but, rather, true remorse for hurting other people in a way that cannot be fixed.

My guess is "no". He is a classic narcissist, full of entitlement and the only thing he's sorry about is that gravy train has left the station without him.

Be interested in your thoughts on that. Let's leave the SEC thing of to one side for awhile.

Monday, June 29, 2009


......But BILLY MAYS? He was just getting into the good part of his life. He did a by God ESPN ad!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As one who paid for much of law school caddying for professionals, I can tell you one considers the following things in roughly the order listed in selecting a club for any given shot.

The lie of the ball

The distance to the target

Other course conditions, wind, temperature, moisture

How your player is striking the ball that particular day

Knowing all this, what is the correct club when the distance is under a yard, the course is Riverview Park (Not a golf course) and the lie is a 15-year-old's melon?

Points will be given for reasoning and originality.

BTW, I had to use a golf club in self-defense once and I must have selected the right one. My attacker left bleeding and running directly away from me and all I had was a hand bruise. After some time for comment, I will disclose the "right" club for self-defense.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"The deepest learning is the learning that conceals learning"

--Stephen Gillers

Rule Two is: When in doubt refer to Rule One

Monday, June 22, 2009


The Basin has a couple of friends with SAO, so it is not minimized here.

Still, have you ever noticed that athletes don't go on the disabled list for Social Anxiety Disorder while they are hitting .350 or averaging five yards a carry?

Guys who go on the DL for SAO are hitting .187 or averaging 2.2 yards per carry or 1.5 catches per game.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


My Dad was an interesting combination of dangerous (professional boxer) and volatile. It really wasn't a good idea to annoy him. Of course, I had a gift for doing that. Thus, my memories can be a bit mixed.

My favorite times, and the ones I think of on Father's Day, are the long November days walking miles through wet reeds hunting that noble bird, the Ringneck Pheasant. Man, that guy could walk all day and watch gun safety like a hawk! At the end of the day, we would go back and bore the whole family with our war stories. They'd roll their eyes, but they'd eat pheasant without complaint.

Hunting, Marksmanship and gun safety are probably the best gifts from my Dad.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I love lawyers, as a whole, but we certainly have unattractive correspondence habits.

First of all, like one out of ten lawyers knows the difference in usage between "advise" and "inform".

If I'm a baseball manager, for example, I "inform" a player that he's the third batter in this inning, but I "advise" him he'd hit better if he took a shorter stride. Pretty easy, right? Not for lawyers.

You see it in scheduling correspondence all the time. Say you're trying to schedule a deposition (first you should probably be IM'ing anyhow, but that's for another day). Letter comes back "This is to ADVISE you that I will be on vacation from July 14 through July 24." First, that's not advice, it's information. Second, you could just cut out the first six words and have an efficient sentence.

Then there is the collection letter "The purpose of this letter is ADVISE you that the balance of your note, with interest, totalling $XXX, due John Doe has not been paid.." First, on this one, ya think the guy who hasn't paid it doesn't already know that? Second, again, this is information not advice. Third, you can't give an opposing party advice because he's not your client. If you could, you say "My advice to you is to pay this off before I sue your ass off..." which would be an effective, if tasteless and possibly unlawful collection practice.

Finally, we get to my special favorite: The "Please be advised" letter. This is from an actual letter from an actual lawyer to a regulatory body made up of mostly lawyers (Not written by an 8th or 9th Circuit Lawyer--in other words, not from around here).

"Please be advised that we are sorry this letter is late. Be advised that we are representing Joe Client in the Matter of excessive belly button lint investigation. Further be advised that he has not advised us whether or not he advised you of his change of counsel and we are not advised of whether his previous counsel has advised you of their withdrawal"

The letter is three pages long and I'm already over-advised by the first paragraph.

You "inform" somebody when you give them information which may be helpful or upon which they may act. You advise somebody when you suggest behavior or at least an election from a menu of choices. Unless a statute required it, why would you ever begin a sentence with "Please be advised"?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Use the term "poppycock" tend prove out, sooner or later, to be assholes?

It's like a cosmic rule of eternal time and space. No matter how harmless the remark may seem at the time, true buttness will ultimately be revealed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Click Here

This is the link the commenter below provided. Very nice and leads to some other resources.

There is no real guideline, though, for how to assure people you are not a stalker. It's harder than an advertising industry cocktail party.


This whole facebook "friend request" thing is interesting.

It's kind of invaded the culture. I was talking to a young woman friend in another county. We were walking from an office and talking at the same time. Young men in the building would come by and say "Hi, Amy" and she would answer back. As we walked a little further, she'd mutter under her breath "Ignore Request". It seemed she was almost doing it out of habit.

I asked her, "You're doing Facebook in the RW, is that it?" Surprised that the old fart would understand, she said, "Everybody does it all the time, it's just a little easier on Facebook."

All of which raises the issue of drawing the creepiness line for "Friend Requests" but that's an issue for another post. Hopelessly optimistic, I think friendship is almost always a good thing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"Anybody who thinks golf is relaxing, isn't playing it right."

Monday, June 15, 2009


Read Here first

John Yoo is quite famous in legal circles. One of those "smartest kids in the room" who gravitate to neocolonialists like Cheney, Perle Wolfy. Really, really smart. So smart, he decided he could write a legal brief definitively provingto 43 (not a real tough audience) it was OK to torture guys, as long as we suspected they were bad enough.

Yoo is the kind of guy who gives lawyers a bad name but that is kind of not the point.

Somebody sued him for his memo on the theory that it made torture more likely. This is a very big step. It is like the guy whose pension is cut off through bankruptcy suing the lawyer who told the corporation/pension sponsor to file bankruptcy. Lawyers advise clients, we don't compel them.

So, as much as dislike everything Yoo stands for, I think the Judge got this one wrong. I think there's an advisor barrier and there's a Tort Immunity issue when he's serving the Government.

I hope this one is dumped later.

On the other hand, I did hear the Khalid Sheik Mohamed was singing "Yoo Send Me" during his waterboarding.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


The Cubs are having a great deal of trouble scoring runs. Their automatic RBI guy will be out another month. The Overpriced Japanese guy is Striking out at Kingman/Nicholson/Reynolds rate. Milton Bradley gets in the grove and goes out with his weekly injury. Soto's fitness program seems to have involved Carb-loading over the off season. In short this is a team with OFFENSE problems.

So what did they do about it? They sent a hitter (position player) to the minor leagues and decided to go with an extra pitcher. And that's going to help the offense exactly how? At the same time, they continue to leave their best offensive force in Iowa to hit Homers, drive in runs and bat over .400. Of course, he wasn't very successful in the big leagues: HE WAS ONLY FIVE FOR FREAKING SIX AS A PINCH HITTER!

I'm sure some of this is brought about by having no owner and a prospective owner who has made the troublesome discovery he doesn't have enough money to complete the deal.

My goodness. Who's in charge here?

Friday, June 12, 2009


........Black Market Books? Reggie gets a House at USC....Alabama athletes get to sell cut rate after-market schoolbooks. The recession arrived early in Tuscaloosa. No cars? No straight cash? Schoolbooks, huh?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


If there is any topic with which I have both learning and practical experience it is substance abuse, the "family disease".

I say this in sympathy and having been the stupid one myself a time or two: the stupidest substance abuse- related tricks are often done by the sober people around the abuser. Just a small pot pouri: hide the bottles, banish his friends, have him talk to his favorite uncle, pay his damage to make the claim go away, kick him out of the house and then let him come back because he's sick, broke or injured (almost always relating back to the abuse).

This is not a plea for uniform "tough love". It's a plea for all of us enablers to THINK before we do stuff and agree to stuff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Eleven thousand of them came cleverly disguised as empty chairs.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Offense seems to be down in the Bigs, except for anyone playing at the New Yankee Stadium and except for the Dodgers.

We hear endless theorizing that this is due to the steroid era being over. That argument makes no sense to me.

Built into that theory is the notion that PED's only helped hitters, or that the pitchers are still using PED's but the hitters have stopped. The first three big leaguers suspended for 'roids were pitchers.

So the 'roid explanation makes no sense to me. If the the Pitchers and the hitters were using the same supplements then and their using the same (legal) supplements now, the batting average and OBP should be about the same. Perhaps somewhat fewer round-trippers but general offense should be unaffected. There's gotta be another reason.

Could it be that the reason is as simple as baseball hasn't expanded in a while and the starting pitcher talent pool has finally met the market size MLB created? That makes more sense to me than the one-sided 'roid argument.

What say you?

Monday, June 08, 2009


Here I'm talking about little ones, not drug abuse or morbid obesity or even not bathing.

Michelle Obama says the President is bad about picking up his socks. That's kind of what I'm talking about today.

I'll give you two of mine. When I use a tool or implement, as soon as the task is completed, I put the tool down without putting it away. I know better but I am just so anxious to get on to the next thing that I don't place a priority on orderliness. This, of course, slows down the next job requiring that tool because I have to find the tool first. So I am undisciplined in the name of efficiency and my lack of discipline in putting away the tool, actually causes delay. Terrible habit and making no progress on it.

The other one is a little more esoteric. I have this wonderful tub system where the winter clothes go into the tubs during the summer and the summer clothes go into the tubs during the winter. Great Space Saver. Very efficient except when there's operator error. The error starts during the transition seasons (October, April) where you need stuff from both seasons available. During this season, I keep some useful stuff out of the bins and on a surface in a spare room. That's OK but, once there is a clear change of seasons, the "put-away" should happen automatically and seamlessly to make the spare room available. Often it takes numerous reminders and the put-away doesn't happen until July 4 and Christmas respectively. Fortunately for both of us, my wife is not opposed to repeating herself, sometimes pointedly.

Most of us have these. For most of us, it's not really laziness. We're really working hard at other stuff. Certain things either don't catch our attention or they are deferred, just because they can be.

Care to share your modest "personal discipline issues...." Please, not the $500/day coke habit. This is just supposed to an amusing analysis of human foibles.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Which raises the question: why do we need a reproductive option for Buffalo? It's not like there's a shortage of 'em.

Friday, June 05, 2009


If we can be done blaming bill Clinton for the NoKo nuclear problem, maybe we can finally do something about it.

Everytime they launch for test, they have to lose something. It doesn't have to be trade. It could be a niece or a nephew, a pet, a car but it must happen EVERY TIME.

No free Lunches. This bleeds into Siberia, Japan and China. We have to stand tall.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I just have three questons about autism and they're real simple:

1. What causes autism?

2. If it's childhood vaccines, which ones?

3. What's the proper course of treatment for autism, if it should be treated at all?

I said they were simple questions, not easy ones.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

THE $24,000.00 YAWN

Rupert and his pals are ripping on the Obama's date to NYC and the cost thereof.

A pimpy, low blow.

Now for those of you who haven't picked up on yet. This is one democrat blog which doesn't particularly fancy Obama as a Kool Aid flavor. There is a lot to criticize in this whirlwind first hundred plus days. Have at it!

But not a night out with his wife in one our nation's great Cities. For 8 years, I never saw even the MoveOns criticize the trips to Tallahassee, Houston, Arlington, Kennebunkport, Denver or Midland and they shouldn't have. Do we want our president more in the bubble than he already is? We take somebody into that office knowing that the cost of getting him out and about is hugely magnified. The date cost 24K. So what? Is it NetFlix or Nuthin'?

Silly argument.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I am against murder; abortion is murder; in order to stop murder, I commit, uh, murder.

Is that like "to save the village, we had to destroy it" .....?

These headaches, start in the back of my eyes and work their way up to...oh, well. Never Mind.

Guy's hero was probably Eric Robert Rudolph, famed dumpster diver.

Monday, June 01, 2009


.....The West Central Illinois Tollway Authority!:

A buck I-72 From Barry to Jacksonville and a buck from Jacksonville to Loami. We take IPass, EZPass, cash, all major credit cards, chickens, produce, and barter credits.

Pros and Cons, People and Nominations for the Tollway Board of Directors.