September 28, 2010
The Law Profession is Automanipulation
I've been fairly involved with legal issues lately - not
by my own choice. Jury duty, divorce proceedings (not mine),
bankruptcies (again, not mine), threatening and baseless letters
from corporate attorneys, and a red-light camera violation
(this one was mine). What I have found is the arrogance and
waste that is prevalent in the law profession is astounding.
I'm a manufacturing man. Efficiency is king. Law, by contrast
is the most wasteful activity I have ever experienced. It
all starts with the arrogance of the law.
I was subpoenaed the other day. Let's take the subpoena itself.
It clearly states that I am entitled to $35 per day in fees
plus mileage. Well, OK, my time is worth more than that, but
I'll consider it for the cause. However, if I do not go, I
am subject to a $500 fine plus "all damages resulting
from your failure to obey." Now, I was given five days
notice to appear. Figuring out the logistics of showing up
while keeping everything else running took about two days.
And it's a dispute between two selfish individuals. The whole
time I'm considering the alternative, but what does "all
damages resulting from your failure to obey" mean? Shouldn't
I - in quid pro quo fashion - be entitled to the same $500
plus all damages for my willingness to obey? And what am I
"obeying" anyway? It's a pointless case between
two selfish individuals!
In the end, all I wanted was for someone to pay for my parking.
"Do you validate?" I asked the judge. "No."
"Can I get my $35 to pay for parking?" I asked the
subpoenaer. "Can I write you a check?" was the response.
WTF! The parking attendant wont take that check...
Right from the start, there is this arrogance.
Let's take the friendly (not) letter from the corporate attorney.
There were threats of all kinds of legal mumbo jumbo that
can scare a person into submission. But when I read the letter
carefully - and going back through the wonderful law classes
I took in college - I realized these were empty scare tactics
that had very little to stand on. Boy did I have fun with
that one. I ran up the attorney's bills and they got nothing.
Then there're the bankruptcies. I'll save that one for the
The best one was the red light violation. It was about a
$446 fine, but I was driving someone else's car. I knew I
was caught, and just waited for the mail to arrive. Then it
came. A photo of me, but the name was that of someone else.
Hey, I'm getting close to getting off the hook, right? But
then the owner of the car was on the hook, and the language
in that was again scary, and I felt sorry for the owner. But
take a closer look.
law as written took me about three days to understand.
And the part that really mattered is just one sentence:
V C Section 40520 Notice To Appear: Affidavit of Non-Liability
40520. (c) Nothing in this section precludes an issuing
agency from establishing a procedure whereby registered
owners, other than bona fide renting and leasing companies,
may execute an affidavit of nonliability if the registered
owner identifies the person who was the driver of the vehicle
at the time of the alleged violation and whereby the issuing
agency issues a notice to appear to that person.
"Nothing in this section precludes an
issuing agency from establishing a procedure
whereby registered owners ... may execute an affidavit of
nonliability..." Translation: "You, the registered
owner of the car, do not need to rat-out your friend."
Law is not the resolution of broken peace when all peace
can be broken by the arrogance of the selfish and lazy. Billions
upon billions are spent every year on this selfish endeavor.
I can find nothing more pointless, non-constructive and self-gratifying
than the legal profession; nothing other than automanipulation.
But then again, people need something to do.
September 26, 2010
"You don't know what you're understanding."
"I forgot more about what you are not understanding,
than you will ever know that you don't understand." -
Wishing to Remain Anonymous, 1 and 2
August 25, 2010
The Man with(out) a plan
I came across this article about Representative
John A. Böhner of Ohio's condemnation of Obama's
economic advisory team. It all sound credible, until you reach
"Mr. Boehner also called for an extension of the Bush-era
tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year.
He urged the president to present Congress with a plan to
reduce federal spending to the 2008 levels in place before
the approval of last year's stimulus plan. 'That would show
Washington is ready to get serious about bringing down the
deficits that threaten our economy,' he said."
Now, most people do not follow politics closely, and that's
what many in politics count on. It doesn't matter what the
facts are, it's the *perception* that matters. As long as
people believe you, the facts be damned, you are in a position
of power and authority.
The problem is that his own party put into effect the spending
following the 2008 levels he's speaking about.
And there's nothing wrong with the spending. As we have seen,
without the spending we would be in an absolute crisis right
now, like many Americans are; but that's not the function
Take the opposite view, forget the Republican-lead spending
of 2008-2010. Yes, we would be in a different world right
now. But would we maybe be better off with a few less banks
and more money to spend on things that really helps the American
structure and put us to work?
Wouldn't we be better off with $787 billion in new roads
and bridges than $787 billion in bank subsidies? OK, so most
of that has been paid back; but I digress.
Böhner simply does not have a credible starting point,
he doesn't have a chance at a credible plan.
August 13, 2010
Words aren't bad. People make words bad.
"Damn it!" It's something many of us say without
really thinking about it. But when my young daughter said
it the other day, it gave my wife - and me - pause.
It's not clear exactly what the expression means other than
"sucks", In the past, it was probably a big deal,
but clearly the gravity of it has not kept up with the times.
It's really just an interjection. It begs the question, are
words really bad?
There's no such thing as a bad word. Just like the old expression,
"guns don't kill people, people kill people". Something
like 90% of communication is made up of things other than
words. Inflection, context, tone and the words themselves:
they all make up the intent of the comment. It's how these
words are perceived to an individual that makes the word or
words make us feel good or bad. Many people even feel camaraderie
when words denoted as "bad" are used in conversation.
However, these same words can be used in conflict, so the
intent is harm, and that may be "bad" so-to-speak.
If a word is both good and bad, it cannot be classified unequivocally
as a bad word.
So what did I tell my daughter? Go ahead and use the word,
but be careful, some people may take offense. It's better
to learn the truth.
July 26, 2010
"...when ... somebody does something honorable, in
this case, like a Glenn Beck and says, 'hold on a second',
progressives and conservatives should applaud that" -
This story struck a chord. Someone is talking about getting
at the truth:
Mr. JONES: Well, you know, I think this is a big debate
right now among Democrats. You know, should we be fighting
fire with fire or should we be fighting fire with water?
I think for me, the most important thing is to be on a quest
for the truth. For instance, you know, one of the things
that, you know, happened, that was, I think, a good thing,
that nobody talked about in this whole firestorm around
Shirley Sherrod, Glenn Beck did not jump on the bandwagon.
He actually early on said, hey, I don't think this right.
Well, I would think that progressives would then applaud
him and say, well done. But you hear silence from progressives
on that. So we're in a situation where there's a moral challenge
in this age. You know, are you about the truth, no matter
what the truth is? Or are you about this sort of, you know,
the partisan food fight?
I don't want to try to win a food fight. I want to end
the food fight and get us back to a place where being on
opposite sides politically should not mean that all bets
are off, anything I do to you is fair play. I think that
in the long term that disserves both parties 'cause it turns
off people from participating.
NORRIS: Van Jones, did I just hear you give Glenn Beck
Mr. JONES: And a well deserved one. And that's what we've
got to be able to get back to in American politics. It's
not - it shouldn't be about the personalities. It shouldn't
be about the politics of personal destruction. It should
be about a quest for truth to make sure that Americans can
have a free choice based on real information, not based
on distraction and division.
So, you know, when, you know, somebody does something honorable,
in this case, like a Glenn Beck and says, hold on a second,
progressives and conservatives should applaud that.
it on NPR
July 14, 2010
It's not about facts, or who's right. It's about making
According to Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell, the $600 billion+
government stimulus/service for a select income group does
not need to be accounted for while stimulus/service for the
other income groups do. Is it right?
It doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong; nor does it
matter who has the facts and who is misrepresenting them.
It's about what the People believe.
We were lead to believe the banks needed a bailout. That
it would be good for everybody. Well, banks are banks, not
the People. Now the banks have been bailed out and the People
struggle. The belief now is "these are hard times and
we'll get through it with better governance".
Dig deeper and you hear that banks not lending is a bad thing.
It's not even a question. It's reported as a bad thing without
a bit of contemplation about it. Is it so bad? Do we need
more debt? After all, debt is the product on which banks make
their profit. So it's really bad for the banks. Who cares
about the banks? Their benefactors running for office.
It's belief that's important, not the facts. So the task
is in making people believe. And THAT is the job of a lobbyist.
This notion gives credence to an effort to delegitimize lobbying.
After all, it should be a government for the people and by
the people, not just a select few.
response to the New York Times
July 4, 2010
As Americans, we must all respect each other's right to
freedom. We must also respect each other's right to express
The Tea Party movement seems like an odd duck to many of
us. Some of their members say some pretty strange things and
some are downright evil. But underneath a few vocal members,
you find a group of people that are as frustrated as any one
It's un-American to just write them off. We need to listen
to understand. There must be a kernel of universal truth in
there somewhere. Understanding and digging deeper to find
that universal truth is what makes us a better people.
| Q3, Q4 2010 | Q1,
Q2 2010 | 2009