Wow. So much has happened ...
since we last talked. The most important was the death of my father on January 28, 2011. I also shut down the solo practice (mostly), and am working with a great small firm in Nirth Dallas.
On the home front, Amy is no longer teaching- she is working on her Nursing degree through online courses with the University of Texas at Arlington. Liz is about To graduate from college with a degree in computer software engineering. Joseph is playing the tuba in middle school band, and seems to really enjoy it. He's also playing basketball again this year. Katie has hearing aids and her speech is slowly improving. Finally Phillip, our oldest, is a sophomore (!); he just made the JV basketball team yesterday!
In other words, life has gone on. I have slowly adapted to new technology -- I'm on Facebook, and even have an iPhone-- I'm using it to make this entry.
Anyway, I hope to keep this blog up better than I have previously. I'll be updating the woefully out of date sidebar links, and figuring out just where this blog is going. Stay tuned!
Ever have a relative that continually embarassed you . . .
if not, you now have a President who can do the same thing.
First, he showers Gordon Brown, the partially blind Prime Minister of Great Britain, a set of DVDs that will not even work on European DVD players (setting aside the fact that, given his vision impairment, Mr. Brown does not watch movies).
Now, apparently, he has decided to really, really try to make a good impression. So, what gift did Obama present to Queen Elizabeth II? A book signed by one of the founders? A side table created from the wood of an early American whaling ship? Perhaps a uniquely styled paperweight crafted from metal salvaged from the U.S.S. Tuscaloosa, a heavy cruiser that participated in many of the key engagements in the Atlantic Ocean, was an escort for the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and escorted Prime Minister Winston Churchill's ship on its way to North Africa for the Casablanca conference. You know, a gift that anyone with some sense of history, proportion, respect, and three minutes spare time could have thought up.
Instead, Obama gave Her Majesty a gift one can purchase at any Wal-Mart for a couple of hundred dollars an iPod.
Most American children received a more thoughtful and valuable gift from their aunts or uncles last Christmas.
Special relationship? Not for the Obamatron.
What a putz.
But I thought the Anointed One was a gifted speaker . . .
Barack Obama Prescreens Reporters at Press-Conference - WSJ.com: "About half-way through President Obama's press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. 'All, Chuck Todd,' the President said, referring to NBC's White House correspondent. 'Where's Chuck?' He had the same strange question about Fox News's Major Garrett: 'Where's Major?'
The problem wasn't the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions. The White House had decided in advance who would be allowed to question the President and who was left out."
Funnily enough, my wife and I discussed this Monday night during his speech. This was after, of course, my lovely, patient wife, for the first time in her life, yelled at the television during a political speech.
This President is an empty suit. It is terrifying to think of the damage he can do to this country, either through volitional actions or through ignorance of any need to undertake particular actions.
In his first three weeks of office, he has (a) indicated a willingness to close down the Guatanamo Bay Detention Facility, forcing us to either try the detainees in criminal courts (which is unprecedented in our history and would require the detainees receive all the constitutional protections of any criminal defendant) or let them go to attack us again; (b) signed off on the largest transfer of wealth in world history; and (c) signed off on legislation that socializes a portion of the healthcare industry.
God help us all.
And his party represents environmentalists?
Not much to say here. This is a picture of the Capital Mall last week after the conclusion of the Obama coronation.
And this is the party that tells us we are trashing the planet.
Well, this is a bleak take on things . . .
Dick Morris has a new column, The Obama presidency: Here comes socialism. In it, he predicts a wide variety of sweeping, negative changes that Obama will quickly enact in order to permanently change America and build a long term Democratic electoral majority.
Sigh. Any more good news out there?
Mathilda’s Anthropology Blog.
Mathilda is a quiet housewife, mother of two intelligent children, and wife of a British museum employee.
Oh, and she operates a fantastic blog dedicated to the scientific discussion of human anthropology. I stumbled across this blog today through a link at Jihad Watch, and was so impressed, I felt taken back twenty years to my heady college days. For a brief moment, a nearly regretted my choice to pursue law rather than graduate studies in history and archeology.
But only for a brief moment.
In any event, Mathilde's blog is a great example of how the internet can foster international research and sharing of knowledge on even the most obscure subject. I highly recommend her work.
It's about time . . .
I'm a lawyer. I see situations in which litigation could be filed nearly every day.
But, as I counsel clients, just because litigation could be filed doesn't mean it should be filed. This guy is a prime example of someone who should not have filed litigation.
This plaintiff, Jarek Molski, and his attorney engaged in a campaign of legalized extortion. His premise is similar to that used by asbestos plaintiffs: sue everyone and see if they would rather settle than pay attorney's fees to defend themselves in court. Instead of threatening defendants with broken kneecaps or arson, he threatened to drain their pocketbooks and savings. Few restaurants fought back, as it was easier and cheaper to pay Mr. Molski $4,000.00 or so than to spend tens of thousands of dollars defending the specious litigation. One restaurant that did fight back spent over $60,000.00 before being vindicated.
Mr. Molski has been at this for over two years, and apparently netted over $1 million dollars in income from his litigious activities.
How bad is it? Well, in a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the Court of Appeals found that:
Molski and his lawyer Thomas Frankovich (”Frankovich”) were purportedly in the business of tracking down public accommodations with ADA violations and extorting settlements out of them. On cross examination, Molski acknowledged that: he did not complain to any of Cable’s employees about his access problems; he had filed 374 similar ADA lawsuits as of October 8, 2004; Frankovich had filed 232 of the 374 lawsuits; even more lawsuits had been filed since that date; Molski and Frankovich averaged $4,000 for each case that settled; Molski did not pay any fees to Frankovich; Molski maintained no employment besides prosecuting ADA cases, despite his possession of a law degree; Molski’s projected annual income from settlements was $800,000; Molski executed blank verification forms for Frankovich to submit with responses to interrogatories; they had also filed lawsuits against two other restaurants owned by Cable’s; they had filed a lawsuit against a nearby restaurant; and [Molski's private investigator] Sarantchin obtained up to 95% of his income from Frankovich’s firm for performing investigations for ADA lawsuits.Molski v. M.J. Cable, Inc. (cite unknown).
Unfortunately for him, a federal judge saw through his claims and barred him from filing any more ADA litigation in the Central District of California without permission from the Court. Ever. The decision was upheld on appeal by the Ninth Circuit. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, ending the litigation.
Molski's claims bordered on ludicrous. "Molski had claimed he injured himself at multiple businesses on the same day." A judge described Molski's alleged injuries as being "contrived":
Molski v. Mandarin Touch Rest., 347 F. Supp. 2d 860.
For example, in Molski v. El 7 Mares Restaurant, Case No. C04-1882 (N.D. Cal. 2004), Molski claims that, on May 20, 2003, he and significant other, Brygida Molski, attended the El 7 Mares Restaurant for the purposes of dining out. Molski alleges that the restaurant lacked adequate handicapped parking, and that the food counter was too high. After the meal, Molski attempted to use the restroom, but because the toilet’s grab bars were improperly installed, he injured his shoulders in the process of transferring himself from his wheelchair to the toilet. Thereafter, he was unable to wash his hands because of the lavatory’s design.
Although this complaint appears credible standing alone, its validity is undermined when viewed alongside Molski’s other complaints. In Molski v. Casa De Fruta, L.P., Case No. C04-1981 (N.D. Cal. 2004), Molski alleges that he sustained nearly identical injuries on the exact same day, May 20, 2003. In Casa de Fruta, Molski alleges that he and significant other, Brygida Molski, patronized Casa de Fruta for the purpose of wine tasting. On arrival, Molski was again unable to locate van accessible parking. Once inside, Molski again found the counter to be too high. After wine tasting, Molski again decided to use the restroom, and again, injured his upper extremities while in the process of transferring himself to the toilet. Thereafter, he was once again unable to wash his hands due to the design of the lavatory.
This was, apparently, not the end of Molski’s day. In Molski v. Rapazzini Winery, Case No. C04-1881 (N.D. Cal. 2004), Molski once again alleges that he sustained nearly identical injuries on the exact same day, May 20, 2003. Molski, again accompanied by Brygida Molski, claims he visited the Rapazzini Winery for the purpose of wine tasting. Again, Molski complains that the parking lot lacked adequate handicapped van accessible parking. Upon entering the establishment, he discovered that the counter was too high. After tasting wine, he again needed to use the restroom. In the course of transferring himself from his wheelchair to the toilet, he injured himself yet again. Thereafter, he was again unable to wash his hands due to the lavatory’s design.
The Court is tempted to exclaim: “what a lousy day!” It would be highly unusual — to say the least — for anyone to sustain two injuries, let alone three, in a single day, each of which necessitated a separate federal lawsuit. But in Molski’s case, May 20, 2003, was simply business as usual. Molski filed 13 separate complaints for essentially identical injuries sustained between May 19, 2003 and May 23, 2003. The Court simply does not believe that Molski suffered 13 nearly identical injuries, generally to the same part of his body, in the course of performing the same activity, over a five-day period. This is to say nothing of the hundreds of other lawsuits Molski has filed over the last four years, many of which make nearly identical allegations. The record before this Court leads it to conclude that these suits were filed maliciously, in order to extort a cash settlement.
The California Bar is also hearing an ethics complaint filed against Molski's lawyer, Thomas Frankovich. The complaint alleges that Frankovich filed claims against businesses, then tried to intimidate them into settling quickly (and without benefit of legal advice).
I'm glad this is happening. The ADA is an abysmal piece of legislation, with gaps big enough to drive a truck through it, doors open and horns-a-blaring. The fact that this idiot took the legislation this far shouldn't surprise us as much as the fact that our supposedly wise legislators enacted it to begin with.
I'm just surprised to hear of a California judge with the common sense to put a stop to this nonsense.
H/t Patterico's Pontifications for background information.
It's not a bug, it's a feature . . . .
Apparently, Bette Midler has bought into the global warming hype. That's not particularly unusual for the entertainment elite. What is unusual is that Ms. Midler appears to have abandoned the hypocrisy that plagues her peers: she is willing to curtail her activities in order to do something she perceives as beneficial.
She's announced she will no longer be touring because she believes that the 14 trucks and other vehicle necessary for her tour are harmful to the environment.
This, of course, sets aside the obvious question: Why in the heck does Bette Midler need 14 trucks while on tour?
What a crappy year
A few minutes ago, my father called to tell me that my Grandma died last night around midnight. She was 82.
Grandma had been pretty miserable since Grandpa died last January. She was frail; but had seemed to improve somewhat.
I can't really say anything more right now. The grief is too much.
Requiescat in pace, Willa Jo. Rest in peace.
My hands HURT . . .
from clapping so loudly at the Sarah Palin speech. . . .
"Parents of children with disabilities . . . if this ticket is elected, I promise you that you will have a friend and an advocate in the White House."
Very nice. And about time.
Those with disabilities don't want special privileges, but whey don't want unnecessary obstacles, either.
I also love her unapologetic embrace of smalltown America. It's about damned time someone said that you don't have to be in a big city to know how to lead.
. . .
They just showed Piper holding her younger brother, Trig, and stroking his hair . . .
No, wait -- she just licked her hand and rubbed his hair. She's trying to straighten his hair. I love it!
. . .
Nice job using the Obamessiah's words against him. Love the different messages in Scranton and San Francisco part.
Got to get back to work right now (have to file a new case tomorrow), but I love what I am hearing.
Okay, he's got my support now . . .
It's no secret to those around me that I dislike John McCain's politics. I've often viewed his "maverick" streak as disruptive, and, quite frankly, something that ill-served conservatives. My distaste has been such that I have publicly indicated that I would not consider voting for him should he win the nomination for the presidency.
All that changed this morning as Senator McCain selected a true rising star and young conservative as his running mate. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a mother of five, a reformer, and, most importantly, is conservative.
How conservative? She just had her fifth child -- a boy named Trig. Trig is special -- he has Down's syndrome. Governor Palin decided to keep her child despite the results of prenatal testing that indicated Trig might indeed have the genetic abnormality.
I respect that decision. As many readers know, my youngest daughter, Katie, also has Down's syndrome. Amy and I did not know she suffered from this genetic abnormality until after her birth. We had decided to forgo prenatal testing because we knew we would keep our child under all circumstances.
I simply can't imagine the emotional turmoil Governor Palin must have endured during the time from she learned of the test results and her son's birth. It must have been incredibly stressful.
She stuck with her guns. I respect that.
In addition, she is a true energy advocate, calling for increased drilling at home, opening of ANWAR, and is a goodpublic speaker (from the clips I have heard online).
Finally, she has the potential of fulfilling something I have long (20+ years) predicted: the first woman president will be a Republican. Considering that McCain has said he will only serve one term, and that the economy should rebound in the next two years, she will stand as the heir apparent to the McCain presidency.
Heady thoughts, indeed.
Reason # 43,743 that I am glad I don't even work (let alone LIVE) in Dallas County . . .
Dallas County meeting turns racial
A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and
bizarre this afternoon.
. . .
Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central
collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become
lost in the office.
Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud
"Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a
That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from
Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.
Sigh. The fact John Wiley Price is a county commissioner for one of the largest metropolitan counties in the country is, at the very least, disturbing.
And Judge Jones is a posterboard for why one should be required to be admitted to the bar as a condition of eligibility to be a justice of the peace.
Mayfield responded to Price's bizarre rant this afternoon:
So, what's your take on what happened on Monday?
We were discussing the central collections unit, which wasn't doing a very good job. Some justices of the peace have worked for years to get things back to them, but things keep getting lost. And after I heard that, I said that the central collections agency is a black hole where things are being sent and not returned. Not a black hole, but a black hole. And then Price, as Price is wont to do, got upset. My take was that it was tongue-in-cheek. But if he's serious, then he has some problems. Not that he doesn't already have problems, but more than I thought.
He said, "Why don't we call it a white hole?" And then I said, "Or a pink hole." And Judge Jones, I know he's serious. He said, "I think the commissioner owes us an apology for making a racial insensitive remark." And I said, "Are you nuts? Don't you know what a black hole is?" Anyone who had a problem with what I said needs to go see a psychiatrist. They have some mental problems"
Yesterday, he told us you're a racist, even if you don't know it.
[Laughs] He's the biggest racist there is. And obviously he doesn't know it.
"Moses" Dead at 84
When I was a kid, part of my annual Easter ritual involved watching two movies: The Wizard of Oz and The Ten Commandments. In the latter, Charlton Heston played the role of Moses, the stubborn, yet faithful leader of the Hebrew tribes who gave up his position of comfort and influence as a prince of Egypt in order to lead his people, Egyptian slaves, out of bondage and to the land God promised them. Charlton Heston played the role very well, and for many years was referred to by his fans as "Moses".
Other notable roles included that of Andrew Jackson in both The President's Lady and The Buccaneer, John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Colonel George Taylor in the various Planet of the Apes movies, and, of course, the title role in the epic Ben Hur.
The Associated Press obituary starts off well, lauding Heston for his film achievements:
The obit even lauds Heston's earlyt political activism, notably, his participation in the civil rights movement of the 1950's (at a time when civil rights was a highly controversial issue which could have irreparably harmed his career):
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Charlton Heston, the Oscar winner who portrayed Moses and other heroic figures on film in the '50s and '60s and later championed conservative values as head of the National Rifle Association, has died. He was 84.
The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said. He declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details.
"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played," Heston's family said in a statement.
Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.
With his large, muscular build, well-boned face and sonorous voice, Heston proved the ideal star during the period when Hollywood was filling movie screens with panoramas depicting the religious and historical past.
"I have a face that belongs in another century," he often remarked.
All is well and good thus far. The next sentence, however, reveals much of the inherent political bias found in the mainstream media today:
The actor assumed the role of leader offscreen as well. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute and marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950s.
Since when have conservativism and civil rights been incongruous? Keep in mind, a large majority of the Democrats who passed LBJ's enormously expensive Great Society proograms in the mid-1960s voted against Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the companion Voting Rights Act. This is in keeping with liberal political ideology: all people are equal, but some are more equal than others.
With age, he grew more conservative and campaigned for conservative candidates.
This ideology continues to haunt America today as indicated by the ongoing cries of racism when equal opportunity fails to result in equal outcome.
The article continues:
And, of course, he was castigated by liberals in Hollywood and the media for these "outrageous" positions. Imagine, a Hollywood actor deigning to support police officers or denouncing media attacks on our military?
He resigned from Actors Equity, claiming the union's refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in "Miss Saigon" was "obscenely racist." He attacked CNN's telecasts from Baghdad as "sowing doubts" about the allied effort in the 1990-91 Gulf War.
At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing.
Heston, of course, took it all in stride:
Heston wrote in "In the Arena" that he was proud of what he did "though now I'll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I'll get a traffic ticket very soon."
Obviously, Mr. Heston was a man with his priorities in line. Would that we had more men of such standards and values in Hollywood today.
Rest in peace, Mr. Heston.
Goodness -- I would hope so!
Dallas police, officials discourage random gunfire
Remember, kids, gun control is all about the ability to hit your target.
Labels: Funny headlines
Another true american icon passes on . . .
Slowly but surely, the icons of my youth fade away. John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Stewart and now Evel Knievel.
Man, I can remember watching you on ABC's Wide World of Sports on sunny Saturday afternoons, then racing outside to see how far I could make my Schwinn jump after a running start down the sidewalk.
I never jumped quite as far as Evel, but for that split second I was in the air, I felt invincible. I wouldn't have done it had I not seen Evel do it first.
Here's a pretty good tribute video set to George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone":
RIP, Evel. Thanks for the warm memories.