Wednesday, October 26, 2005

News you can rely on. . . .

Ah, the press. We know that you can't believe what they say all the time. But pictures don't lie, do they?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fat Flush and the Last Gasp . . . .

This is about the fat flush diet. If I can save just one person . . . .

Okay, so I am a pound or twenty or more overweight. It's okay. I am an American and I can afford too much food.

Nevertheless, I am now about to start week four of the "Fat Flush" diet -- the one that has been selected by my bride . She has, in response to my questions, pointed out to me that this diet will not only take extra pounds off rapidly, but more important it will cleanse me internally which is important for my continued good health. When I timidly suggested that I am naturally very healthy and maybe I wasn't all that dirty inside and it didn't show, anyway, she made that sad little smile that tells me I am a hopelessly uninformed husband as usual.

Anyhow, I've been cleansing and losing weight. At least I was losing weight at first. Now I'm just losing.

The key to this diet is not eating anything that makes life worthwhile. Then, cut out anything else that you can still put up with. What remains is a handful of worthless vegetation plus several glasses of concentrated evil called a "long life cocktail." You know how when the baby won't eat the nastiness on the spoon, you say "ummmmm" and pretend to eat it? It's in that sense that this stuff is a long life cocktail. Ummmmm. Long life.

After some days of this, I found that I had no energy, not even enough energy to whine about the lack of humanity in this diet. And my organs of elimination have been doing uncomfortable and inconvenient things for the past weeks. Of course, that's just the cleansing going on. So I'm told.

It get's worse. Last weekend, I cheated. I snuck out and had the cheeseburger of my constant dreams. Hell, I approached Burger King with the same reverence some offer up to the Vatican. But, it just wasn't good and I finished the burger only out of sense of obligation to the starving childen of India I heard about in my youth. So, it's official.

I've lost my taste for food.

And now I notice that when I get really hungry, I can't think of anything I want to eat. I don't want to eat anything.

I've lost the will to eat.

In fact, I've lost the will to live.

It's probably only a matter of days before I'm pronounced dead from acute disinterest. But I'm pretty sure the coroner will be impressed by my internal cleanliness.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Trial by Discovery Gotcha . . .

Here's the report. Famous, politically-connected attorney David Boies (remember Clinton and Gore?) is a member of a firm which uses a document management company to deal with providing responses to discovery requests to produce documents. In an odd twist of fate, the document company happens to be owned by several of Boies' children.

His firm is defending a client obliged to respond to a discovery request to produce documents, and in a sad coincidence, his children's document production company was retained to send the response.

The response to the request to produce documents consisted of seventy-seven million pages of documents produced, with a bill in the millions of dollars.

Now the plaintiff is highly perturbed-off, complaining that the bill is too high and that in that many documents nobody could tell what is important or not. (There's a needle in that haystack somewhere.)

Betcha I know what happened. Plaintiff's counsel was probably responding to an excessive document request by the defense - a usual defense tactic - and sent a grand and all-encompassing retaliatory document request of his own.

The defense now smugly points out that they merely produced a complete response to what was requested and one could of course locate pertinent documents with a data base search. (Put a magnet into that haystack.) But that presupposes that plaintiff can formulate the appropriate search words and phrases. And if plaintiff could do that, don't you think they could have formulated a more pointed discovery request in the first place?

As one who has responded to discovery requests, it's kinda fun to laugh at attorneys who now are punished by having to choke down what they asked for in an their over-broad discovery request. The use of excessive and overbroad discovery requests, is, in my mind, an all too frequent violation of the spirit of discovery, encouraged by judges who are consistently reluctant to rein in some attorneys. I still remember the time (insert a little George Bush type cackle here) when an attorney called me to complain loudly that my document requests were excessive and out of line. It got real quiet on the other end of the telephone when I told him that my request to produce was a copy, with only a few changes, of the request for production he himself had sent me the week before. He said his paralegal did it.

But attorneys of this caliber certainly know when a request to produce is excessive and when you have to produce 77 million pages, that's a real good hint. What you do in a case like that, is go file a motion. You don't provide 77 million pages and a $4 million dollar bill, which, when paid, will go to the named partner's children. You don't do that, that is, if you have any interest in resolving the case on the basis of the facts and the law.

On the other hand, one of the widely practiced trial strategies has become, "Starve the bastards out." That means you keep the other attorney, and your own, real busy cranking out billable hours. The client least able to afford this game frequently caves in. And it comes as no surprise that modern litigation overwhelmingly favors the wealthy party who can afford extensive discovery whomped up by attorneys who get paid for every whomping. A side benefit is that attorneys who are not particularly distinguished by brainpower as compared to the general run of the profession, get reputations as effective litigators mostly because their clients are wealthy and can afford to pay for excesses when the other side cannot. Of course, if questioned about the proprieties, such attorneys protest that they are merely doing their jobs as effective litigators. (A particularly nasty wrinkle in this scenario is the case of the class action plaintiff's attorney, who gets the other side to pay for both sides of the excessive discovery activity -- or enter into an agreed settlement.)

Attorneys of this ilk never appear nearly as effective, when opposed by attorneys of the self-same ilk. (Haven't used the word "ilk" in some time.) What results is that the attorneys on both sides end up revealing that they are small-minded and nasty little creatures who should have been smacked more as children.

And in some cases, such as this one, the smacking of both sides should go on into adulthood.

And when it comes to smacking small-minded, nasty little attorneys, one must confess to a slight pang that nobody ever invited me to be an Article III judge.

Ah, well. Life is still good.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lord of the Flies at N'awlins Superdome. . . .

In case you missed it, what we knew about the atrocities in the Superdome is just another instance of the press running amok with a story they hope is true because it's bad. Yeah, I went for it too. But take a look at this interview.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Terrorist rhetoric and root causes. . .

What do the Islamic terrorists want? Here's an interesting take on the rhetoric from the other side. Sounds like we found the root cause of Islamic rage.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The United Nations still wants to control the web. . .

This is the sort of nonsense you can expect if the U.N. were to be given control of the Internet. We could use the power of the internet to stifle dissent.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The U.N. wants us to give them the Internet . . .

The U.N. wants us to give them control of the Internet, on the grounds that it is a global resource, and therefore they should control it, seeing as how they are now, in their own minds, a global government. In that regard, I seem to recall being taught, back when the U.N. was thought to be nice and shiny and high minded, that the U.N. was to be a place where honorable nations could go to settle differences between them in a peaceable manner. Of course, that was what they were saying during the "police action" in Korea, too. Those weasels have always thought of themselves as a government. Mind you, when I speak of government, I am alluding to an organization that has and will not hesitate to use force to compel compliance with its decisions. And where should the U.N.'s force come from? Why it's simple. We should just give them control of our military. The U.N. will give them blue hats to wear so it will be okay putting our military citizens under Kofi's control.

It's happened before.

But back to the Internet. It was after all originally a U.S. Defense project with a strategic mission to increase U.S. security. It isn't as if it was originally intended to be a "global resource." It still isn't a just another resource. But it is definitely something the U.N. minions would like to get their sticky fingers on, so the U.N. could dole out access to its friends, as in the scandalous Oil for Food program benefitting Kofi and Jacques.

If the Internet isn't a resource, what is it? Well, among other things, it is a means of production. And there is a system of thought that says that the means of production should be "owned" by the people and administered by gummint overseers who appropriate assets as agents of the people. I refer, of course, to socialism.

Well, let me see now. There are some nations that don't want their citizens to have unlimited access to the web. And guess what. They aren't capitalist countries. And what are the chances that, if given control, after they've restricted access to the web for their own citizens, they would genially permit us to go on as we have been?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Iran takes it back . . .

Iran's head now says that he never threatened to stop selling oil if the U.N. got serious about Iran's plans to build a nuclear facility -- purely for the development of domestic power.

I guess somebody pointed out to him that if they stop selling oil, they will have to do without all that lovely money they get from selling oil. It's not as if Iran produces all than much that the world wants to buy, under the mullahcracy. And if they keep all of their oil for themselves, why they wouldn't need nuclear power in the first place, now would they?

In the words of the esteemed Emily Latilla of Saturday Night Live, "Never mind."