Tuesday, March 30, 2010


for the story, click here

To buy the book or learn more click here

Everyone who buys the book in advance will still have a chance to have his or her book signed by the author who will be here in the Basin for book tour events later this baseball season.  If you want to make sure to get on the list for notice of those events click here

Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm having a difficult time locating the biblical command to kill a cop to prove I'm on "The side of Jesus."

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Volvo being a Chinese Company somehow just doesn't work for me.

Does anybody else think it's ironic that CBS completely wets itself over the success of the University that tobacco built?

I would really appreciate it if the big NCAA tourney games were actually called by somebody who even mildly liked basketball.  I'm sure Jim Nantz is very competent and brushes and flosses regularly but, if it's not golf, he's doing it just to make his child support payments.

When the Cubs got rid of Milton Bradley, Seattle said, "We'll take your sociopath if you'll take your sociopath's salary and our fat, inert, underachieving pitcher."  Cubbies said "OK".  Now they've announced the FIUP will be there fifth starter.  It's like only half the tumor was removed.

Fantastic Kick Off Party for the Ultra Large Fishman last night.  We had food for 33,000 but had to go out for more in hour three.  We knew the parking lots wouldn't be big enough.  The shuttle drivers did a great job handling the overflow.  

Wonderful visits there with so many people I hadn't seen in a while from so many different spheres.  While I'm on the topic of the Kick Off Party, our understated young sheriff of the late 90's has become a skilled public speakerWe are fortunate to have him.

Not so many  years ago, there was a guy in Bloomington building laptops right here in the US of A on a custom basis.  His products were good and his prices reasonable.  If he were in the business now, I think he'd be finding some new customers.  There are some stinky things (the odor of price-fixing is in the air) in the laptop market these days.  I don't know if the thing is all Chinese all the time or if the BBR's are in it too.  Gosh, it seems like just yesterday technology was the last vestige of real competition.

There are some blurts for you to chew on.

Friday, March 26, 2010


President Obama had his Central District choices down to two, both outstanding civil servants and neither anything of a political heavy hitter.  He couldn't go wrong with either guy but he has nominated a lifetime civil servant, click here

The remarkable thing about both of these guys is that neither is prone to self-promotion.  They just do their work, treat their colleagues with dignity and appear on behalf of the United States of America in the most professional possible manner.  This is not business as usual.  Business as Usual would have been picking some political heavy hitter out of a private law office or State's Attorney's office and inserting that person into the U.S. Attorney's office.  That's not what happened.  

Senator Durbin and President Obama are to be congratulated for breaking the old mold.  Nobody has a better idea how a Government service law office is supposed to be run than Jim Lewis.

Oh, and Jim...if you're looking in here....That doesn't mean you can't be a pain in the ass once in a while, even to those of us who enjoy you.  You'd be disappointed if I went completely gooey over this, right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Closing a State Police Post just as the beginnings of the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway are taking root in its front yard and when the Post is located about a mile from a major University.  Why don't we just send out engraved invitations to terror types that one of our major physical plants and seedbeds for capitalism is about to become less protected.

Thank you for visiting Macomb.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Being able to keep the kiddies on the family plan to age 26 fits right in with reality.  More and more of our young people, skilled and unskilled, are living in Mom's basement.

This is probably just funny in my quirky brain but the first black president will sign a bill that contains a first-ever federal "tanning tax."

Monday, March 15, 2010


"Body of Work"

"Peel the Onion"


"Eye Test"

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Go to this site and buy the first book listed here

This is important.  Don't make me do the pistol and puppy thing.

Sometime this Spring, I will get your copy messaged and autographed by the author.  This is his first book. 

I've already told him that, if he starts putting his sunglasses up on the top of his head, smoking a pipe, wearing tweed or crossing his legs all artsy-funny, I'll put the big brother pimp-slap on him. 

Buy his book, make him successful.  I'll keep him humble.

Did I mention the book is available here?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Look, I just don't have much today.  First Corey Haim practically dies in my arms and then Milton Bradley explains what an evil place Chicago is.  I'm having trouble coping but we'll get through it somehow.

First, I think the far left and the far right may agree on something--that the current health care volume that's being pushed in Congress is a crock.  The left says it's no good because it doesn't have a public option to nudge prices down.  The right says the government has no business regulating insurance...or something like that.  The odd thing is they may both be right.  I'm just ticking off a list of hard-working, diligent people that I know, young and old and I can't find anybody who will be helped by the current buffet of requirements.  The folks who don't get health care insurance access at work have other accesses.  Going from plan to plan is no big deal and the preexisting conditions were taken out with HIPAA.  It's difficult for me to find a real problem that is being fixed by this pile.

I'm a big fan of Scott Van Pelt but somebody should tell him that SVP is not a very good email address in Illinois.

I like to play his "banished sayings in Sports" game.  Most of the time my Number One would be "Depends on where they mark it."

Big Ben has moved past "just unlucky".  It shouldn't take a shrewd play-caller to figure out that, when you show up with your "boys" and take out a VIP Room (with no vid) you create a target-rich environment for accusers.  I think it's interesting that Tom Brady Hung with supermodels and was never accused of any sexually violent or assaultive behavior (of course he never hurt himself riding a motorcycle with no helmet, either) but somehow Ben can't avoid an annual accusation.  I don't know if he did anything naughty but he certainly has failed the CYA test.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


First, Bumpy Nixon will never really die...not in Quincy and not in Galesburg.

Second, Hell of a letter to the editor by Charlotte Tournear (Full Disclosure: Dear friend most of our respective lives.).  Why should we send money to a dead-beat who owes us money?  Because it's the State?  What's the State gonna do, chase the County Treaurer's bond?  The way I understand the Calhoun proposal, they are not going to willy-nilly take the money to the gambling boat in Alton.  They're going to hold it as security against the just debt owed Calhoun County by the State.  If a bank did that with a depositor it would simply be good banking practice.

Of course, some people would call it anarchy.  Charlotte did a good job of drawing those lines.  I hope her views were read carefully and seriously.  This is not an easy issue. 

Monday, March 08, 2010


Fix the problem and show neutral scientist/engineers you have fixed it.  Everything else will take care of itself.  People don't care to see the faces in your plants if they think your American employees are building Kevorkian-ware.  American consumers are not as stupid as you think (not all the time, anyway).

Sunday, March 07, 2010


June 26, 2001, Decided June 27, 2001, Entered 
DISPOSITION: Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment GRANTED. 
COUNSEL: For JOHN W BRADSHAW, plaintiff: Harold Joseph Eisenman, Attorney at Law, Houston, TX. 
For CORONADO, UNITY MARINE CORPORATION, INC., defendants: Ronald L White, White Mackillop et al, Houston, TX. 
For PHILLIPS PETROLEUM COMPANY, defendant: Charles Wayne Lyman, Giessel Barker & Lyman, Houston, TX. 
For UNITY MARINE CORPORATION, INC., cross-claimant: Ronald L White, White Mackillop et al, Houston, TX. 
For PHILLIPS PETROLEUM COMPANY, cross-defendant: Charles Wayne Lyman, Giessel Barker & Lyman, Houston, TX. 
Plaintiff brings this action for personal injuries sustained while working aboard the M/V CORONADO. Now before the Court is Defendant Phillips Petroleum Company's ("Phillips") Motion for Summary Judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED. 
Plaintiff John W. Bradshaw claims that he was working as a Jones Act seaman aboard the M/V CORONADO on January 4, 1999. The CORONADO was not at sea on January 4, 1999, but instead sat [*2] docked at a Phillips' facility in Freeport, Texas. Plaintiff alleges that he "sustained injuries to his body in the course and scope of his employment." The injuries are said to have "occurred as a proximate result of the unsafe and unseaworthy condition of the tugboat CORONADO and its appurtenances while docked at the Phillips/Freeport Dock." 
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, which added Phillips as a Defendant, provides no further information about the manner in which he suffered injury. However, by way of his Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff now avers that "he was forced to climb on a piling or dolphin to leave the vessel at the time he was injured." This, in combination with Plaintiff's Complaint, represents the totality of the information available to the Court respecting the potential liability of Defendant Phillips. 
Six days after filing his one-page Response, Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Opposition to Phillips Petroleum Company's Motion for Summary Judgment. Although considerably lengthier, the Supplement provides no further illumination of the factual basis for Plaintiff's claims versus Phillips. Defendant now contends, in its Motion for Summary Judgment, that the Texas two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims bars this action. 
Plaintiff suffered injury on January 4, 1999 and filed suit in this Court on September 15, 2000. However, Plaintiff did not amend his Complaint to add Defendant Phillips until March 28, 2001, indisputably more than two-years after the date of his alleged injury. Plaintiff now responds that he timely sued Phillips, contending that the three-year federal statute for maritime personal injuries applies to his action. 
Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact -- complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words -- to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. 
With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins. 
Summary judgment is appropriate if no genuine issue of material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. When a motion for summary judgment is made, the nonmoving party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Therefore, when a defendant moves for summary judgment based upon an affirmative defense to the plaintiff's claim, the plaintiff must bear the burden of producing some evidence to create a fact issue some element of defendant's asserted affirmative defense. 
Defendant begins the descent into Alice's Wonderland by submitting a Motion that relies upon only one legal authority. The Motion cites a Fifth Circuit case which stands for the whopping proposition that a federal court sitting in Texas applies the Texas statutes of limitations to certain state and federal law claims. That is all well and good -- the Court is quite fond of the Erie doctrine; indeed there is talk of little else around both the Canal and this Court's water cooler. Defendant, however, does not even cite to Erie, but to a mere successor case, and further fails to even begin to analyze why the Court should approach the shores of Erie. 
Finally, Defendant does not even provide a cite to its desired Texas limitation statute. A more bumbling approach is difficult to conceive -- but wait folks. There's More! 
Defendant submitted a Reply brief, on June 11, 2001, after the Court had already drafted, but not finalized, this Order. In a regretful effort to be thorough, the Court reviewed this submission. It too fails to cite to either the Texas statute of limitations or any Fifth Circuit cases discussing maritime law liability for Plaintiff's claims versus Phillips. 
Plaintiff responds to this deft, yet minimalist analytical wizardry with an equally gossamer wisp of an argument, although Plaintiff does at least cite the federal limitations provision applicable to maritime tort claims. Naturally, Plaintiff also neglects to provide any analysis whatsoever of why his claim versus Defendant Phillips is a maritime action. Instead, Plaintiff "cites" to a single case from the Fourth Circuit. 
Plaintiff's citation, however, points to a nonexistent Volume "1886" of the Federal Reporter Third Edition and neglects to provide a pinpoint citation for what, after being located, turned out to be a forty-page decision. Ultimately, to the Court's dismay after reviewing the opinion, it stands simply for the bombshell proposition that torts committed on navigable waters (in this case an alleged defamation committed by the controversial G. Gordon Liddy aboard a cruise ship at sea) require the application of general maritime rather than state tort law. See Wells v. Liddy, 186 F.3d 505, 524 (4th Cir. 1999) (What the ..)?! 
The Court cannot even begin to comprehend why this case was selected for reference. It is almost as if Plaintiff's counsel chose the opinion by trowing long range darts at the Federal Reporter (remarkably enough hitting a nonexistent volume!). And though the Court often gives great heed to dicta from courts as far flung as those of Manitoba, it finds this case unpersuasive. There is nothing in Plaintiff's cited case about ingress or egress between a vessel and a dock, although counsel must have been thinking that Mr. Liddy must have had both ingress and egress from the cruise ship at some docking facility, before uttering his fateful words. 
Further, as noted above, Plaintiff has submitted a Supplemental Opposition to Defendant's Motion. This Supplement is longer than Plaintiff's purported Response, cites more cases, several constituting binding authority from either the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court, and actually includes attachments which purport to be evidence. However, this is all that can be said positively for Plaintiff's Supplement, which does nothing to explain why, on the facts of this case, Plaintiff has an admiralty claim against Phillips (which probably makes some sense because Plaintiff doesn't). 
Plaintiff seems to rely on the fact that he has pled Rule 9(h) and stated an admiralty claim versus the vessel and his employer to demonstrate that maritime law applies to Phillips. This bootstrapping argument does not work; Plaintiff must properly invoke admiralty law versus each Defendant discretely. Despite the continued shortcomings of Plaintiff's supplemental submission, the Court commends Plaintiff for his vastly improved choice of crayon -- Brick Red is much easier on the eyes than Goldenrod, and stands out much better amidst the mustard splotched about Plaintiff's briefing. But at the end of the day, even if you put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, a pig is still a pig. 
Now, alas, the Court must return to grownup land. As vaguely alluded to by the parties, the issue in this case turns upon which law -- state or maritime -- applies to each of Plaintiff's potential claims versus Defendant Phillips. And despite Plaintiff's and Defendant's joint, heroic efforts to obscure it, the answer to this question is readily ascertained. 
The Fifth Circuit has held that "absent a maritime status between the parties, a dock owner's duty to crew members of a vessel using the dock is defined by the application of state law, not maritime law. Specifically, maritime law does not impose a duty on the dock owner to provide a means of safe ingress or egress. Therefore, because maritime law does not create a duty on the part of Defendant Phillips vis-a-vis Plaintiff, any claim Plaintiff does have versus Phillips must necessarily arise under state law. Take heed and be suitably awed, oh boys and girls -- the Court was able to state the issue and its resolution in one paragraph ... despite dozens of pages of gibberish from the parties to the contrary! 
The Court, therefore ... applies the Texas statute of limitations. Texas has adopted a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Plaintiff failed to file his action versus Defendant Phillips within that two-year time frame. Plaintiff has offered no justification, such as the discovery rule or other similar tolling doctrines, for this failure. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims versus Defendant Phillips were not timely filed and are barred. Defendant Phillips' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED and Plaintiff's state law claims against Defendant Phillips are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. A Final Judgment reflecting such will be entered in due course. 
After this remarkably long walk on a short legal pier, having received no useful guidance whatever from either party, the Court has endeavored, primarily based upon its affection for both counsel, but also out of its own sense of morbid curiosity, to resolve what it perceived to be the legal issue presented. Despite the waste of perfectly good crayon seen in both parties' briefing (and the inexplicable odor of wet dog emanating from such) the Court believes it has satisfactorily resolved this matter. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. 
At this juncture, Plaintiff retains, albeit seemingly to his befuddlement and/or consternation, a maritime law cause of action versus his alleged Jones Act employer, Defendant Unity Marine Corporation, Inc. However, it is well known around these parts that Unity Marine's lawyer is equally likable and has been writing crisply in ink since the second grade. Some old-timers even spin yarns of an ability to type. The Court cannot speak to the veracity of such loose talk, but out of caution, the Court suggests that Plaintiff's lovable counsel had best upgrade to a nice shiny No. 2 pencil or at least sharpen what's left of the stubs of his crayons for what remains of this heart-stopping, spine-tingling action. 
In either case, the Court cautions Plaintiff's counsel not to run with a sharpened writing utensil in hand -- he could put his eye out. 
DONE this 26th day of June, 2001, at Galveston, Texas. 

Thursday, March 04, 2010


One of the smartest men I know is a fellow named Jay Foonberg.  Jay's a Chicago guy but he hides out in Beverly Hills now.  He has a number of "Foonberg's Rules".  

Not so long ago he came up with "Foonberg's First Rule of Technology"  as follows: "If it works...it's obsolete."

The same thing can be said for fans' perceptions of NFL defensive players.  By the time we know who they are, they're in their downward spiral.  It might be a slow downward spiral like Ray Lewis' or it might be rapid, like Ed Reid but, once we know who they are, they're overvalued.

All of which gets me to Julius Peppers.  Loved him as a two sport athlete in college.  Loved him as an NFL one dimensional pass-rusher.  Do not want to see him overpriced in Orange and Black. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Inevitably, Chuck Mahon's play-by-play career will soon come to an end.

Our area has seen some awfully good play-by-play guys but Chuck is floating in the deep end of that talent pool.  When I listen to him do a game, I can visualize the action.  I get the idea it goes right from his eyes to his mouth.  Of all the folks who have had that job, he does the very best job of balancing the pressure to be a "homer" with the duty to relate the story.

You'll be missed, Buddy.  Just once, for old times's sake would you try to tell the story about Joey Range and the motel?  Only time I've ever heard you that you just couldn't get the words out with a straight face.

Monday, March 01, 2010


....."From the Global Resources of ABC News...."

not so much now 

Now I kinda get the internet versus dead tree thing but it's a little unclear to me why the demand for electronic news reporting, on television both on the tube and "on demand" is off.  I'm sure Tookie will explain it to me.