f/k/a . . . the archives

February 28, 2005

schmittle italy

Filed under: Schenectady Synecdoche,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 11:27 pm

If you name it (and spruce up a little), they will come.”

…………………………. metroplexicus

LittleItalyLN Little Italy, Schenectady, NY [original image here]

I‘m sure there are some Schenectadians who think my musings about the local Metroplex Development Authority (as in the post local schmocal) manifest a certain lack of civic trust and hope. So, I thought I’d show my ethnic pride and tell you a little bit about our Little Italy — “La Piccola Italia” — which is one long block called North Jay Street, about half a mile from my home. (Click for Metroplex’s Little Italy General Project Plan.)

 

  • North Jay Street was once the home of a thriving Italian immigrant population. The children of those immigrants long ago joined the Brain Drain out of Schenectady County, or have moved to the City’s suburbs. A handful of the original immigrants may, along with their devoted offspring, survive on the block. However, I have never seen any signs of life at the remaining half dozen residences.
  • Two years ago, the first prong in the Metroplex plan to “support an Italian heritage neighborhood” came to fruition, when Cornell’s Restaurant moved its venerable and successful operation from another section of Schenectady to North Jay Street, thanks to almost $500,000 in Metroplex aid.
  • One beloved Jay Street bakery went out of business a few years ago. wine
  • The image shown above is the newly completed Little Italy streetscape, crowned by imposing entryway columns, and financed with a $750,000 Metroplex grant.
  • You can find a number of articles about our Little Italy here.

There are no other projects planned yet for Little Italy. Having told you about all there is to know about Metroplex’s Little Italy Project to date, I have two True or False questions for you:

  1. After moving one restaurant to North Jay Street, Little Italy now boasts the following “Italian heritage” enterprises: One restaurant; one bakery; one spumoni shop.
  2. The other business addresses on North Jay Street include: two auto body shops, one boarded-up former strip club (previously a boarded-up Fire Station); one funeral home; one empty, former gay bar; and, at the far corner, a biker bar (called the Saw Mill; no Vespas in sight).

Bonus question: True or False: The owners of the spumoni shop are trying to sell their business and building but may be asking too much money (hey, this is Little Italy!).

p.s. You, too, should feel proud, as your federal tax dollars are also helping to develop our Italian-heritage neighborhood. (Which reminds me of that great “walk-a proud!” joke about Joe DiMaggio.) Think hard and find the answers below.

LittleItalyL

Answers (you peeked!!). 1) True; 2) True; Bonus: True

Inspired yet? Our local newspaper had some suggestions for Metroplex in a recent editorial (Daily Gazette, “City needs to be aggressive in creating Little Italy,” Feb. 12, 2005, reprinted here at #4)

  • If you happen to be in the region — checking out, for instance, the lovely Little Italy 20 miles away in Troy, NY, come on over to Schenectady’s La Piccola Italia.
  • update (May 29, 2005): scroll down the page to read about Chutzpah in Little Italy.

by dagosan:

mom serves
grandma’s recipes –
Christmas Eve calamari

……………………………. [Dec. 24, 2004]

under nana’s afghan -
dreaming homemade
bread and meatballs

…………………………………. [Nov 30, 2004]

from an overheated room

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:48 pm

 











it’s over–

slicing his shirt

for the ragbag

 

 

 






overheated room

a scent of mothballs

from the open drawer

 

 

 

 

family vacation

in the museum corner

uncle’s hard kisses

 

 

Roberta Beary from frogpond  XXVII

 

 

 










a three-engine freight train

delays lunch –

two stomachs rumble

 

 





in the check-out

express lane

 . . . . . . . . in the check-out express lane

                           [Feb. 28, 2005]

potluck



topHatAbe  Frankly, my friend Carolyn Elefant sets the bar too low when it comes to

 attorney dishonesty toward non-clients.  Model Rule 8.4 deems lawyer fraud, dishonesty

and deceit to be “misconduct.”  Carolyn thinks persuading two colleagues to quit

their jobs to join a non-existent law firm shouldn’t even be a disciplinary matter.  

I wonder why Cynthia Sutherin is only getting two-years of probation.  Apparently,

so is her lawyer, who said:


“She’s grateful the hearing board has given her a chance to continue

to practice law.  It’s tragic in terms of its impact on the other people,

but (she) has tried to address the problem.”

Telling big lies to your colleagues and causing them much career disruption is

a very good indication of overall character.  Carolyn is right about one thing,

though: the two duped lawyers seem too credulous (non-diligent?) to be practicing 

law. 


 

tiny check  Has anyone heard whether court-appointed attorneys in Alabama have voted

on their threats to “strike” (to engage in unlawful joint boycotts) in their dispute over

overhead?  (via MyShingle)

 

“tinyredcheck”  At Legal Ethics Forum, Prof. Brad Wendel wonders about lawyers who recommend

tax loopholes to clients that they would not take for their own firms.   Could be analogous

to doctors who prescribe medications to patients (1) in order to appear to be worth the fee 

or (2) because the patient wants them – - in both cases, fear of losing the customer’s

business underlies the less-than-optimal advice.

 

tiny check   Happy First Anniversary to RiskProf weblogger Martin Grace.   We predict  “prof grace”

many more good years for one of our favorite weblogs — informative & (often) fun. 

 
tiny check Marc Chandler has infomed me that the Florida Supreme Court denied the   

request of the Florida Bar for oral argument in their 1-800-PIT-BULL case.   My guess:

dial 1- 800- 2AFFIRM.

 

 

February 27, 2005

the bag of marbles

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:47 pm


 

tourists talking

in several languages–

the glassblower exhales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

moving day–

the coolness on my cheek

after the kiss

 

 

 

 








morning chill . . .

the bag of marbles

shifts on the shelf

 

 


credits: “tourists talking” — HPNC Contest 2003; “moving day”

Frogpond XXVII:1; “morning chill” – Presence 23

 
 











she offers a kiss –

sharing 

calories



 

[Feb. 27, 2005]

potluck


oil can  Practicing what I preach (and preaching instead of practicing), I started a

discussion with John Steele of Legal Ethics Forum today, on whether legal ethics

complaints are too often meritless or too often ignored. 


“tinyredcheck” As I stated in an op/ed piece in 2003, and often since, I believe

the lawyer discipline system is woefully inadequate.  In the op/ed article, and at

LEF, I give some details of my failed attempts to get Andrew Capoccia disciplined

by the NYS bar ethics committees for practices and fees related to his so-called

“debt-reduction services.”  More details are here.  One reason Capoccia is on my

mind again is the fact that a federal criminal trial began recently in Vermont, in which

Capoccia is charged with massive fraud — for (big surprise) alledgedly cheating his

debt-reduction clients of $23 million.  If you like gory details – about sleazy lawyers —

see  Fraud case reveals ‘deal with the devil’“  (Rutland Herald, Feb. 10, 2005).  (for



tiny check  Have you heard enough about Martha Stewart yet this week?

 

 

tiny check “Yesterday, more than 20,000 people perished of extreme poverty.”  So says

a NYT editorial today, which focuses on Africa’s woes.  It aptly reminds us:


 But in terms of the kind of money the West thinks nothing of spending,

on such things as sports and entertainment extravaganzas, not to speak

of defense budgets, meeting many of Africa’s most urgent needs seems

shockingly affordable. What has been missing is the political will.


 

tiny check I enjoyed reading today’s New York Times article on Jonathan Safran Foer. “foerLoudN” 

Foer is author of Everything is Illuminated, and his second novel is scheduled

for release in early April.  It’s called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and

features Oskar Schell, a nine-year-old amateur inventor and Shakespearean actor,

whose father perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11.   Look for more Foer

humor, insight, fantasy, and humanity.  (yes, Jonathan’s dad is Bert, president of

the American Antitrust Institute)











 

February 26, 2005

the fly resettles

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:59 pm

lightning–

the fly resettles

in the same spot

 

 







a moment of doubt—

looking her in the eye

in the mirror

 

 

 

first warm day–

a tile reseats itself

con the patio

 



 


Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004  

(Red Moon Press, Jim Kacian, ed., 2005)

 
 










a huge yellow moon

our argument fogs

the windshield 

 

                                         



 

we all help

blow out the candles –

dad’s 86th birthday



 

[Feb. 26, 2005]

potluck

 

tiny check What does the word liberty mean?  Is it as simple as Tim Sandefur suggests  noYabutsSN


 

tiny check When I saw the Overlawyered headline “Demand for shaker abstinence,” I thought some

zealots had taken over Sabbathday Lake or Hancock Shaker Village and were calling for

stricter enforcement of the Shaker celibacy rules.   No matter what ATLA says, Mr. Olson has

a sense of humor — Warning: Take With A Grain of Salt, While You Still Can.

finally, another legal ethics weblog

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:26 pm

On Feb. 12, 2005, twenty months after ethicalEsq first stuck his nose into the blogisphere,

we finally have another weblog devoted to legal ethics — this time, with professors.  So, the

f/k/a “gang” give their heartiest welcome to Legal Ethics Forum, and its editor/contributors —

University of Texas law prof John S. Dzienkowski, Cornell law prof W. Bradley Wendel (cv),

and Berkeley (Boalt Hall) law lecturer, John J. Steele, who is also a practicing lawyer (and


 

                                                                                                                    Sgt. Steele, original here  sgtSteele 


 

With ethicalEsq and Prof. Yabut back on emeritus/retired status, we’re pleased at the

thought of three active, healthy ethics professionals sharing information and ideas

regularly on the Web.  Here’s my unsolicited advice for the LEFers:


“tinyredcheck”  Please don’t forget the ethical issues that are important to the “average”

consumer of legal services (e.g., affordable fees; full information on rights

and options; access to justice, Self-Help and pro se advances; adequate

disciplinary systems). You can always click on our ethics resources page

for ideas (joining our “value billing” debate would be nice), or check our

daily potluck blurbs.

 

tiny check Don’t merely call for a discussion of legal ethics and the legal profession —

take positions, show some attitude.  Come on, you’re professors, at least

play devil’s advocate or issue-spotter!  [update: see Steele on Stewart for

some attitude.]

 

sgtSteeleF  Interact with the rest of the weblawg world.  If nothing else, regularly

check out Lisa’s roundup at Legal Blog Watch, and pick out a few other weblogs.

 

tiny check Join the discussion — by responding at LEF and/or leaving Comments at other

weblogs.   For example, in the past few weeks, we all would have appreciated

your input on: 



- the definition of the “practice of law” and ULP, as raised recently by HALT 

in Georgia and Virginia, and by MyShingle concerning Illinois, and The

Common Scold regarding California.  (see our post this week)

 

- the appropriateness of Pape & Chandler’s PIT BULL logo.

 


fiduciaries and their duty to disclose options.

 

- the broader definition of pro bono services proposed by an NYSBA

committee;

 

- the reasonableness of contingency fees in light of the lawyer’s fiduciary

obligations to the client — at MyShingle and, always, at f/k/a.

 

- the adequacy of indigent defense systems [Gideon report]– and the

comparison of public defender and assigned counsel systems (see C&F). 

 

- how (much) to pay assigned counsel and whether they should engage in

“strikes” that are really unlawful joint boycotts.

Welcome again to Legal Ethics Forum.  I hope you’ll help make the concept of “ethical

lawyering” much more than a question of following least-common-denominator rules — and

help define what it truly means to always put the client’s interests first.

 









in the harvest moonlight
unruffled, unaffected
scarecrow

 

 


hazy night–
sake is flowing
waterfall and moon

 


 







if only she were here
for me to nag…
tonight’s moon!

 


 

Kobayashi Issa - translated by David G. Lanoue 

February 25, 2005

teasers

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:49 pm

first, another teaser from tug of the current – this time,


 

 









talk of divorce–

she leaves the map

open on her desk

 

 

autumn equinox

walking the loop trail

the other way


 







birthday morning

he tells me that 53

is a prime number

 

 


Pamela Miller Ness  tug of the current.  Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004   RMAtug

(Red Moon Press, Jim Kacian, ed., 2005)

 

 

and, a Ness bonus from The Heron’s Nest:














winter doldrums
up to her elbows
in potting soil


 

 









a dear aunt’s cluttered desk –

checking email

from her guest room

 

                                          [Feb. 25, 2005]


 

 

potluck



teaser  My mentioning the FTC’s teaser website yesterday, made me

wonder what has happened to Yusuf Islam, f/k/a Cat Stevens, since he was

removed from an airplane and deported for supposed terrorist connections last

September.(prior posts here, there).  Imagine my surprise that I had missed the news

ten days ago, as reported at Mr. Islam’s website:


The UK’s Sunday Times and Sun newspapers have agreed to pay

Yusuf Islam substantial damages in respect of articles published on

17th and 19th October 2004.  Both reports falsely alleged that Yusuf

Islam was or had been involved in supporting terrorism and suggested

that, as a result, the US authorities had been right to refuse Mr Islam

entry into the United States in September 2004.

“Six months after the fiasco of my deportation from the USA, my formal requests for 

clarification from the authorities there are seemingly being ignored,” he said.  (see the

Reuters report, and bbc.’s coverage, both Feb. 15, 2005)

 

tiny check  Remember the cute baby’s first word in Meet the Fockers?  That’s the one that comes to 

mind for the sponsors of a CLE seminar on Capital Trial Advocacy in Hunt County Texas, who

thought they should be able to keep a prosecutor out.  Get over yourselves and your “proprietary”

tactics! (law.com article, via  LegalReader)  And, yes, issue-spotters, money came from the courts

to help pay for the seminar.

 

tiny check  Irascibly teasing my e-friends: 



Nothing personal, George, but snarky is waaaay over-used and  erasing

clearly going on my “please banish this word” list for the 2005 awards at

 Lake Superior State University.  A Google search today dug up 289,000

results for American Heritage Dictionary tells us that snarky

comes from a Dutch word for snoring.   It sure puts me to sleep.

 

And, Evan, LSSU put “bling” and “bling-bling” on the Banished List

for some very good reasons — two years ago.  [825,000 Google results.]

‘Nuff said.

wolf dude neg  If you haven’t left Comments here, here or here yet on UPL,

why not?   Of course anonymity is frowned upon (not teasing).  There was

a big surprise for me today Googling guild mentality“> — 3 of the top four

results refer to ethicalEsq‘s post in Sept. 2003, on lawyer websites and guild

mentality.  #1 was an elawyer post on the topic.   I found a nice quote from

Milton Friedman on the ABA and AMA in a Mises article:


“The justification offered is always the same: to protect the

consumer. However, the reason is demonstrated by observing

who lobbies at the state legislature for the imposition or

strengthening of licensure. The lobbyists are invariably representatives

of the occupation in question rather than of the customers. True enough,

plumbers presumably know better than anyone else what their customers

need to be protected against. However, it is hard to regard altruistic

concern for their customers as the primary motive behind their determined

efforts to get legal power to decide who may be a plumber.”

ekg  Before it slips my mind, I must say that I agree with RiskProf Martin Grace:

Walter Olson has done an admirable job of explaining med-mal insurance research

in his two responses to Tuesday’s New York Times article.  RiskProf also points

a finger at the press: “the level of reporting about this particular issue seems

to be at the level of an uninformed undergraduate. . . . Most of the analysis seems

to be a rehash of ATLA or Chamber of Commerce arguments.  Why don’t we see

original analysis? ” 

 

teasers

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:49 pm

first, another teaser from tug of the current – this time,


 

 









talk of divorce–

she leaves the map

open on her desk

 

 

autumn equinox

walking the loop trail

the other way


 







birthday morning

he tells me that 53

is a prime number

 

 


Pamela Miller Ness  tug of the current.  Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004   RMAtug

(Red Moon Press, Jim Kacian, ed., 2005)

 

 

and, a Ness bonus from The Heron’s Nest:














winter doldrums
up to her elbows
in potting soil


 

 









a dear aunt’s cluttered desk –

checking email

from her guest room

 

                                          [Feb. 25, 2005]


 

 

potluck



teaser  My mentioning the FTC’s teaser website yesterday, made me

wonder what has happened to Yusuf Islam, f/k/a Cat Stevens, since he was

removed from an airplane and deported for supposed terrorist connections last

September.(prior posts here, there).  Imagine my surprise that I had missed the news

ten days ago, as reported at Mr. Islam’s website:


The UK’s Sunday Times and Sun newspapers have agreed to pay

Yusuf Islam substantial damages in respect of articles published on

17th and 19th October 2004.  Both reports falsely alleged that Yusuf

Islam was or had been involved in supporting terrorism and suggested

that, as a result, the US authorities had been right to refuse Mr Islam

entry into the United States in September 2004.

“Six months after the fiasco of my deportation from the USA, my formal requests for 

clarification from the authorities there are seemingly being ignored,” he said.  (see the

Reuters report, and bbc.’s coverage, both Feb. 15, 2005)

 

tiny check  Remember the cute baby’s first word in Meet the Fockers?  That’s the one that comes to 

mind for the sponsors of a CLE seminar on Capital Trial Advocacy in Hunt County Texas, who

thought they should be able to keep a prosecutor out.  Get over yourselves and your “proprietary”

tactics! (law.com article, via  LegalReader)  And, yes, issue-spotters, money came from the courts

to help pay for the seminar.

 

tiny check  Irascibly teasing my e-friends: 



Nothing personal, George, but snarky is waaaay over-used and  erasing

clearly going on my “please banish this word” list for the 2005 awards at

 Lake Superior State University.  A Google search today dug up 289,000

results for American Heritage Dictionary tells us that snarky

comes from a Dutch word for snoring.   It sure puts me to sleep.

 

And, Evan, LSSU put “bling” and “bling-bling” on the Banished List

for some very good reasons — two years ago.  [825,000 Google results.]

‘Nuff said.

wolf dude neg  If you haven’t left Comments here, here or here yet on UPL,

why not?   Of course anonymity is frowned upon (not teasing).  There was

a big surprise for me today Googling guild mentality“> — 3 of the top four

results refer to ethicalEsq‘s post in Sept. 2003, on lawyer websites and guild

mentality.  #1 was an elawyer post on the topic.   I found a nice quote from

Milton Friedman on the ABA and AMA in a Mises article:


“The justification offered is always the same: to protect the

consumer. However, the reason is demonstrated by observing

who lobbies at the state legislature for the imposition or

strengthening of licensure. The lobbyists are invariably representatives

of the occupation in question rather than of the customers. True enough,

plumbers presumably know better than anyone else what their customers

need to be protected against. However, it is hard to regard altruistic

concern for their customers as the primary motive behind their determined

efforts to get legal power to decide who may be a plumber.”

ekg  Before it slips my mind, I must say that I agree with RiskProf Martin Grace:

Walter Olson has done an admirable job of explaining med-mal insurance research

in his two responses to Tuesday’s New York Times article.  RiskProf also points

a finger at the press: “the level of reporting about this particular issue seems

to be at the level of an uninformed undergraduate. . . . Most of the analysis seems

to be a rehash of ATLA or Chamber of Commerce arguments.  Why don’t we see

original analysis? ” 

 

February 24, 2005

carolyn and monica join the UPL posse

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:35 pm

After almost two years with no one to cover my weblogging backside on the issue of

the Unauthorized Practice of Law, it is thrilling to see Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle (in

If We Can’t Beat Them, Let’s Compete With Them,” Feb. 22, 2005) and Monica Bay

at The Common Scold (in “Three Cheers,” Feb. 24, 2005) take on the legal profession’s

guild mentality.  In addition, Lisa Stone of Legal Blog Watch has put the spotlight on her

Law.com colleagues’ efforts (here and here).

 

Carolyn shames Illinois; Monica takes on California; earlier this month, HALT tried to set the

Georgia Bar straight; and we pointed to their efforts in Virginia just last week.  The problem exists

everywhere, across our dear old federalist nation. 

 

noYabutsS   In addition to HALT, the most active advocates for limiting the definition of the “practice of law”

and thus the scope of UPL — have been the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

[click here for the rest of this story, with lots of links, and the following concluding remarks:]


Perhaps, bar association websites should conspicuously post this disclaimer: 


Warning:  We are a guild, here to serve the economic interests of our members. 

We’ll fight (’til your last dollar) to protect you from any legal adversary and to

secure your legal rights.  However, when it comes to your financial interests

versus our own, we will put ours first whenever possible.  

 

p.s. (10 AM Feb. 25): from the very-busy Typo Editor:  My apologies to folks who came

here thinking that this is a Labor Law weblog discussing Unfair Labor Practices.  I’ve

attempted to remove all references to ULP from this posting and its headline, but I bet

those darn search-engine spiders beat me to them.


 

calling a big gang
down to join them…
rice field geese







yellow gang, white gang
the butterflies stake
their claims


 

 

Kobayashi Issa - translated by David G. Lanoue 

tug of the current: RMA 2004

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:24 pm

 


tug2


tug of the current: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004 (Red Moon Press, 2005), contains 151 poems (haiku & senryu), plus 19 linked forms (haibun, renku, rengay and septenga), and 6 essays on the reading, writing and study of the genre.  [ISBN: 1-893959-48-1]  Like the eight prior volumes in this annual series, it contains “the finest haiku and related forms published from around the world in English” over the last year.


You can order a copy of tug of the current directly from Red Moon Press by writing to:


The Red Moon Press


P.O. Box 2461


Winchester, VA 22604-1661


Include a check for $16.95 per copy, plus $4.00 for shipping.  As shipping is $4, regardless of the number of volumes purchased, you might want to check out the additional haiku publications from Red Moon Press described on this page, and the pages linked to it.  If you have further questions, send an email to Jim Kacian: redmoon-AT-shentel.net .


 


RMAtug


slave cemetery
the tug of the current
on willow fronds



     Carolyn Hall  

 

- neither f/k/a nor its editor benefits financially from the sale of this book

tug of the current

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:12 pm

 

The stream of commerce deposited a joyful bundle on my river bank yesterday –  RMAtug

the ninth and newest volume in the annual haiku series, The Red Moon Anthology

of English-Language Haiku, which (successfully) attempts to assemble each year

“the finest haiku and related forms published around the world in English. “  RMA 2004

is entitled tug of the current.   The title comes from a line in this poem by “our”


 







slave cemetery
the tug of the current
on willow fronds

 

        credit: The Heron’s Nest (June 2003)

 

In a very entertaining piece, Josh Levin pointed out at Slate yesterday, the similarities

between rappers and bloggers (via the Mad One).  I can’t vouch for rappers.  However,

since starting f/k/a, and asking haijin to be Guest Poets, I’ve felt a camaraderie similiar to

my entry into the world of weblogs — the enthusiasm of people with a passion for a

subject and desire to spread its joys.

 

RMAtugN   This shared hobby/advocation, and the contacts made creating the f/k/a “family”

means that receiving a new haiku anthology is like a reunion — I want to seek out

“my” folks, see how they’re doing, and tell all my friends about it.  I was very pleased

yesterday to find that so many of f/k/a’s Honored Guests have been honored with

inclusion in RMA 2004.    So, you’ll get to see some of the best published haiku of

2004 right here, as I spotlight tug of the current over the next week.

 

Here are three from the hyper-talented paul m:  

 

 



rain today

a foot tapping

of its own accord

 

 

 








dusk . . .

the awkwardness

of the first guest

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

a bit of shell

in the chowder

 

 









pleasantly surprised

again –

full moon at the window

 

                                    [Feb. 24, 2005]


 

 

potluck


 Speaking of friends and poets, George M. Wallace has neglected his lawyer weblog

long enough to pen his first double dactyl of the year, plus a haiku celebrating the end

of the deluge in southern California.   He’s bending the rules of course, as a good lawyer

should.

 

“tinyredcheck”  As part of the federal crackdown on business opportunity and work-at-home scams,

the FTC has created a teaser website, to lure internet users seeking such “opportunities.”  If you

click any link to learn more about “Sundae Station” you’ll get tips on how to avoid being scammed. 


trashman small  Consumers can visit the FTC?s Web site at www.ftc.gov/bizopps or www.ftc.gov/workathome for information in both English and Spanish to help spot and avoid business opportunity scams. The biggest tip should be obvious:  “Steer clear of promotions that promise big money for little effort. Fraudulent ads use similar bait: Fast cash. Minimal work.  No risk. And the advantage of being your own boss or working from home.”  



tiny check  Although “consumers” seeking to get rich quick are not at the top of my list

of victims needing regulatory protection (a position I held 25 years ago as an

FTC lawyer), I am pleased that there has been a significant crackdown on scammers.



 

February 23, 2005

dull pencil

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:33 pm

the longest night –
the waterfall’s sound
smothered by ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

haiku notebook
this spring’s seed order
on the last page

 

 

 









  

 


dull pencil

    the staff meeting

    goes on and on

 

 


the longest night“ & “haiku notebook”  WHC Double Kukai Contest (20 Shortlist) 2002/2003

“dull pencil” from New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices



 

 

 









middle finger

papercut

middle finger

 

 






afraid to look

under the bed –

dust dinosaurs sleep

[Feb. 23, 2005]

 

 


potluck



 There’s an interesting conversation at My Shingle — Carolyn is “never more mortified”

than when she sees “lawyers trying to shut down legal document preparation services.”  

(see Chicago Sun Times article) Lawyers need to understand that clients deserve low-cost options.

Some consumers must choose the lowest price, others will knowingly take the risk of lesser services,

while others choose full-service or discount lawyers.  If the client really comes first we, can’t deny them

options — indeed, we should help create the options and inform clients about them. 


tiny check  Bravo to Steve Gottleib and Andrea Moran for their ongoing pro bono work helping hat tip small flip 

the homeless to access the justice system.  (Poughkeepsie Journal article, “Law firm steers

needy through legal system, for free,” Feb. 22, 2005)  Bob Ambrogi is absolutely correct: “ it

reflects poorly on the legal profession as a whole that their efforts are seen as extraordinary.

It would be great if ‘lawyers help needy’ were as commonplace as ‘dog bites man.’”




  • Real lawyers do real pro bono and work to directly help clients expand self-help options

    and access to courts.  None of those promotional-trickle-down rationalizations for me.


bulldozerSN  I’ve been pleased to see how much coverage the Kelo eminent domain case has been getting

this week in every media.  I’ve read, seen, and heard (but not podded) accounts that did a good job

presenting the issues in a way easily understood by nonlawyers — and in a way likely to have average

Americans talking constitutional law over coffee.  Publicly useful.

 

tiny check   If you’re following the Florida Bar’s bullheaded crusade against 800 PIT BULL (see

pit-bully pulpit), you can find Pape & Chandler’s Answer Brief here.

February 22, 2005

breaking through the ice

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:16 pm

  

 

 

Heaven’s River

     of stars

   in my soup

 

 

 






the old woman’s mouth

        painted on

          crooked

 

 

 

 

breaking though ice
          crack!

     in the outhouse

 

 


    David G. Lanoue from his novel Haiku Guy

 








madly flipping

pages – 

today’s haiku!

 

 

 

potluck



“tinyredcheck”  In an editorial today that summarizes the proposal, the NYT has it right: “The

Democratic Senate bill, introduced last week by Senators Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer,

John Kerry and Frank Lautenberg, is now the gold standard for election reform.”  Rick Hasen

covers the Democratic proposal here, and a Republican alternative here.

 

 

penny over  A lot of people are getting worried about the dangers of too-much personal information

available on the web. Steve Minor points to the somewhat obnoxious — but telling –tactics

of one woman in Virginia, Betty “BJ” Ostergren), who is trying to prevent the publication

online of all circuit court records. It’s a thought-provoking tale.

 

tiny check  Many Baby Boomers seem to consider audiobooks to be tacky, or a less significant way to enjoy

fiction or non-fiction.  So, I was happy to see Prof. Althouse admitting that she listens to books (even

though it’s in the context of helping her fall to sleep).  Humans sure do get into ruts.  When my friends

are reluctant to try an audiobook, I’ve been known to say something like:  You know, when the first story

was written down, and later when the printing press came along, some old-fogey surely complained, “Phooey,

stories were meant to be spoken and heard!”  




  • I discovered audiobooks at a time when eye problems and overall fatigue made it almost

    impossible for me to read more than a few pages a day.  Books on tape are now a very

    important part of my daily life, and I certainly “read” [consume, enjoy, become acquainted

    with] at least fives times more books by listening than I ever could by eyeballing them.  




  • A tip: Get the unabridged version, whenever possible.  The abridged versions are often less

    than 20% of the original text.












naughty child–
instead of his chores
a snow Buddha

 

                 Kobayashi Issa - translated by David G. Lanoue 

 

 

 


just enough snow

for a Buddha –

too much snow

      

                                [dagosan, Dec. 31, 2004] 

 

 

tiny check  Speaking of audiobooks, I am greatly enjoying Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True

I heard a few years ago that the two main characters were identical twin brothers, but I picked up

the cassette case at the Library and I discovered that the fictional brothers were born three weeks

after my twin brother and I (in the week we were expected to arrive), and that their mother’s name is

Concettina — ours was christened “Concetta”).  One of the novel’s brothers is paranoid schizophrenic. 

When my brother Arthur visited me for a day this weekend, we were wondering which of the twins

was our own counterpart.  Neither of the novel twins is a lawyer.  Guess they lucked out.


medbag  Did you say Visiting Twin?:  My mid-50ish friends find it somewhat amusing

 that we sound like old-timers comparing maladies whenever we run into eachother.  Well,

it’s ten times worse when your former wombmate shows up and you discover that you’re each experiencing the same bodily breakdowns and annoyances a few hundred

miles apart. (I shall spare you the details)  Proof of our aging is here.

 

update:  Old guys breaking down, is a good lead into today’s NYT article “Companies

Fight to Ensure Coverage of Erectile Drugs” (Feb. 22, 2005).”  As we suggested a week

ago, deciding whether (or when) to cover “lifestyle” drugs is sure to cause big headaches. 

 E.g., One challenge: trying to decide when a reduction in the ability to perform a bodily

function well is merely a sign of old-age, that we should just learn to live with, and when

it is a medical problem worthy of insurance coverage.    Both the Grabbiest Generation and

their Boomer children seem to want every malady covered.  Who shall pay?   This would be

a wonderful challenge for a mediator.  Too bad my health has left me retired.




  • Which Member of Congress will be deciding how many ED pills a

    month is reasonable?  DeLay?  Kennedy?  Clinton?  Hatch?




  • Isn’t sexual intimacy often very important to the Family Value of

    keeping a couple together?

 











comparing aches 

before the show –

senior organ recital

                                    dagosan   

 

 

dinosSG  If the study cited by south(west)paw is correct about household dust leading to 

learning disabilities, those dust dinosaurs that have been under my beds, ever since

leaving Mama G.’s place four decades ago, may explain a whole lot about my foggy brain.

February 21, 2005

in shades of gray

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:10 am

graveside
my father and I
find common ground

 







storm warning
the watercolorist works
in shades of grey

 

 

a skim of ice

above the spillway

quaking aspen

 

 

 

“snowflakesN”  Tom Painting


“a skim of ice” from frogpond XXVIII:1


 

 

by dagosan:  



bookstore
history section –

two honest presidents

                                                 [Feb. 21, 2005]

 

 

 


the visiting twin

driving alone

into a snow storm

                              [Feb. 21, 2005]

 

 

“tinyredcheck”  potluck


tiny check The pbs/NOW segment last Friday on the rights of corporations and “corporate

personhood” raises some important issues.  The background story on the Pennsylvania

townsfolk wanting to stop the opening of a stone quarry is compelling.  There are a set of

interesting materials available at the NOW website, including a chart with voices from the the debate

As usual, I thought that Freespace’s Tim Sandefur came off as far too absolutist.  I do like his

honesty at Freespace that night, relating his grandmother’s reaction: “But I thought Tim

was for the little guy!”

 

tiny check  I visited the Menas at haikupoet.com this morning and was very glad I did. 

Gray can be beautiful.

 

tiny check  Who would’ve thought?  The very same day that I learned what “pot au feu

means, and used it in a post called “potluck light“, Waddling Thunder had a

post at Crescat Sententia called Pot au Feu, photographically documenting

his pot au feu with beef tongue.  Lot’s of potluck beef and tongue around here, too.

 

GWg

February 20, 2005

learning from Abe’s thick skin

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:07 pm

topHatAbe Lately, I’ve spent too much time responding to negative comments and misconstrued positions –  and, I’ve spent far too much energy trying to communicate with minds that seem closed (usually, by financial self-interest or ideology).  

 

If only I had the wisdom of Abe Lincoln, whose better approach is set forth in “Lincoln takes the heat,” (The History Net.com, by Harold Holzer, orig. in Civil War Times, Feb. 2001).   Holzer tells us that, although “Lincoln never escaped the bombardment of topical humor,”  the President was wise enough to know not to respond — even to lies.  When actor James Hackett apologized to Lincoln in 1863, for making public a private letter that “provoked howls of laughter from the press”at the President’s expense:
pennyS  Lincoln replied to reassure Hackett that the affair had not upset him. “Give yourself no uneasiness,” he counseled the actor, adding that he was not “much shocked by the newspaper comments.” His skin had long ago grown thick enough to withstand the satirical abuse fired at him during his 30 years in the political trenches.   As Lincoln touchingly expressed it, the endless taunts were but “a fair specimen of what has occurred to me through life…. I have endured a great deal of ridicule without much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it.“  (emphasis added)

The same ridicule/kindness quotation appears in an Associated Press article in many newspapers today, which is captioned “Lincoln is used to sell fries, bobblehead dolls,” in my hometown Schenectady Gazette, and “No rest for the man who saved the union,” in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article, and “Act 2: Lincoln’s image lives on” in the Washington Times (Feb. 20, 2005).  The A/P story quotes Lincoln impersonator Jim Getty:
“Today, Lincoln is an empty vessel for dreamers and schemers, for humorists and educators, trinket salesmen and appliance dealers looking to add a bit of cachet to Presidents Day sales.”

I wonder if even Honest Abe would accept being made the Patron Saint of ATLA this year, as the trial lawyers have done in their fight against the President’s slurs and tort reform.  (see our ATLA, Lincoln and Tort Reform.)

      The Holzer article wraps up with some important insights:

topHatAbeN America’s first humorist-president became one of its most often parodied presidents as well. But Lincoln apparently had less trouble accepting such taunts than do modern Americans scandalized by the likes of Desmond Pfeiffer; just as he could tell a joke, he could also take one. . .

Perhaps Lincoln’s optimism stemmed in part from a realization that humorists make a difference. That was true then as well as now. Purveyors of wit can provide a troubled people an occasional laugh in the midst of great tragedy.  Besides, Americans who laughed at Lincoln could always be comforted by the fact that the president laughed at himself.

  • A.J. Jacobs has apparently been listening to Lincoln — deciding not to sue Joe Queenan over his bad book review.  As Lincoln advised: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.   Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time.”   If only James McNeill Whistler had been so restrained back in 1878. (Via Ted at Overlawyered)

I plan to try a lot harder to stifle the need to respond to antagonistic reviews and comments.  The nature of the weblog universe is that our ideas are out there and are magnets for those who disagree.  I respect the right for others to disagree — although I hope they do so in good faith and with an open mind (and I will try to listen to those folks in the same spirit) — but I am also going to start respecting my own right to let what I say stand on its own.  (related post:The Hardest Part of the Watchdog Role)

a great lord
drenching wet, passes
my cozy brazier

 

enjoying the great lord’s  topHatAbe 
good graces…
sumo wrestler

the great lord   GWg
forced off his horse…
cherry blossoms 

. . . by Kobyashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

from dagosan:   

 

business lunch
starts with a compliment –
he raises his knife        

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