Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jesus H. Christ

So losing another secretary (a word I invariably miss-spell and need to rely on spell check to get me out of,  which is kind of weird since I was, in another lifetime, a president of a union made up mostly of secretaries [but that is another story for another time Mouseketeers]).  To get back on track, losing another secretary because of the sickness or weirdness of the guy I share office space with (not partner, my malpractice carriers are happy to note).  And hey asshole, if you are reading this fuck you.

So where was I before I got sidetracked, oh yes losing another secretary.  Through once again, apparently through no fault of my own.  Well I look at it as a way to save about $500.00 a month or more.

Well, I've come to the conclusion that the semi-virtual office is now the way to go.  My ex-wife and former law partner was way ahead of her time a couple of decades ago when she started private practice (we both worked for legal aid for a couple of years just out of law school I remained with Legal Aid for a couple of more years) with only a Mac and an office she shared with another guy who was a graphics designer (for that year).  Now in real cities (not just burgs with a population of more then 10gs which is what causes a place to be called a city in Ohio, at least) dozens of people share the same office and schedule it through the landlord amongst themselves for use when the client comes in only.  There are a couple of people doing something similar to this in this podunk place and I guess I will probably join them sooner rather than later.

Man is this some year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Assange

It strikes me that we should all be writing about Julian Assange and his situation, and yet there seems to be little to nothing.  Except in some not particularly mainstream left wing blogs.   Lawyers, guns, and money, haven't written about him since they lost their shit back when the big Wikileaks dump happened and one of the posters there, who has since left, became hysterical and demanded that he be arrested, or perhaps killed I don't remember which.  I was able to point out that they were standing shoulder to shoulder with Lynn Chaney, which seemed to upset them quite a bit.  Some fun.

Greenwald has written a couple of things about him at the Guardian.  I do find the comments section to be depressing to put it mildly.  It does appear as though the people who are commenting either cannot understand English, which is disturbing since their country is the one that invented it.  Or perhaps they just read the headline, it is so much easier that way, don't you know?

The incredible hysteria about his attempt to get asylum is creepy to say the least.  The threat to storm the embassy from the government in order to drag him out is just interesting to watch from the country that gave Pinochet asylum.  There is no self awareness on the part of the government and there is no recognition on the part of most of the media of the hypocrisy.

Then the U.S. chimes in (for what reason no one can tell since we certainly do not want to extradite him to stand trial [or not] to our country or perhaps Cuba) and says that we never did believe in that asylum stuff anyway.  Although someone might tell that to the Chinese government and then someone might want to mention it to the Hungarians also since we sheltered Cardinal Mindszenty for over a decade.  But then that is really very different don't ch no.

The point is that stench of hypocrisy and mendacity as Big Daddy said is nearly overpowering.  It is clear that the only reason Sweden won't agree not to extradite Assange to the U.S. is that they are planning on doing just that.  It is also clear that the only reason we want him is to punish him for trying to practice journalism and force us to practice democracy. .  Well, who cares at this point, we've made our point and have probably stopped many others who might have tried to allow a little light into the decaying carcase of what used to be called a democracy, or a democratic republic, or even for that matter a republic.  The last best hope, etcetera etectera and so forth.    If one gives the people too damn many facts it will just in the end confuse them, after all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Odds and Ends

A couple of more or less brief things.

First, I am amazed at the number of blogs I that mentioned the death of Gore Vidal and then admitted that they hadn't read anything he'd written.  I guess I can understand not finding time to read the Novels, but to not have read any of his essays strikes me as either shocking or sad, I'm not sure which.  He has to have been one of the very greatest essayists in the English language on either side of the big water.

On the other hand, perhaps he would be pleased since this is what he argued for years:  That we are in a post literate society.

I've got mine fuck you.
Second, In reading about Paul Ryan's saving his dad's social security death benefits while he was in high school to go to college on got me thinking.  (Am I the only one who thinks that a 16/17 year old who is in control enough to save all of daddy's death benefits is a little creepy?}  So anyway, in the late 60s and early 70s my girl friend of the time (with whom I lived for a couple of years) got a little over $300.00 a months in death benefits as long as she was in an accredited four year program and progressing towards a degree.

I looked it up and that sort of thing stopped in May 1982.  Reagan was president but there was a democratic congress.  I guess my excuse for not noticing, was that I was in my second year of law school.  Although, I was aware of the way that the G.I. Bill was cut.  I got less then my father a WWII veteran got for college:  he got his tuition paid plus a stipend, I got around $330.00 a month.  A friend joined in the middle 70s and had to put money away while he was in the military in order have a "G.I.Bill" to use to go to college with.  I do remember listening to the radio one day during or just after one of the Gulf Wars while the administration was talking about cutting the benefits again.  I thought it took a lot of balls to try to cut veteran's benefits during a war, but apparently I'm wrong.

So, anyway my entire adult life has been spent watching ordinary Americans government benefits get cut, under one or the other political parties.  While the rich get richer.  We live in a country that is, apparently, full of people who see themselves as subjects rather then citizens and will willingly tug their forelock when their betters pass by.

UPDATE:  I've looked around and see that the Ryan family owns a fairly impressive construction company that's been around since the 1880's doing, it appears, mostly government work: railroads, highways, airports, etc.  I haven't been able to figure out how close the owners are to Paul baby.  That is, is he a shit tail relation or is he close enough that they would have helped him.

Merely a simulation, the hookers in this town tend, if the arrest photos are accurate,
to north of 300 pounds with one full set of teeth amongst them.
Finally, some fun.  The City Law Director got busted by a city cop for solicitation of a prostitute and criminal trespassing.  Now understand this it is the City Law Director who takes the criminal cases filed by the police department and prosecutes them.  This is not a large place, somebody was seriously pissed at this guy and I wonder who.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gore Vidal

Been busy, but I did want to post a little something about Vidal.  I had noticed that his most recent thing, which, if I remember correctly was many months ago was not up to his old stuff.  I'd seen him on TV and he wasn't looking great, so I cannot say that I was particularly surprised when I read that he'd died.

As usual I drifted around seeing what others had to say. The New York Times was kind of snotty, which I am sure that he would have expected and probably welcomed. There was also the usual right wing suspects who hated on him, but given what Vidal had said about Buckley after he died one would have expected nothing less.

Going to the “left” wing blogs was interesting, but not particularly surprising to me particularly Lawyers, Guns and Money. The second post by a member of their club was as nasty as I expected, although the fact that he linked to this Slate article was somewhat amusing. It was a particularly weak contrarian piece that claimed Vidal was anti-Semitic because of what he said about the Podhoretzes being “unassemilated Jews.” The crack was of course, about their determination to place the interests of Israel above those of the United States. I thought that point was obvious to anyone who followed their politics even a little.

 Some commentators claimed that he defended McVeigh and justified his actions and those comments caused me to go the the Vanity Fair article to see that in fact he had done no such thing. Although, his conspiracy theories were a little more then I could accept, he seemed to be trying to understand and explain what McVeigh thought and why McVeigh did what he did, not justify it.

Several people argued that Vidal had placed himself beyond they pale with his comments about the Roman Polanski rape charges. I'm not sure I don't more or less agree with him although not precisely the way he phrased it.  But I attempted to make the point that people still read Faulkner even after he talked about shooting people in the streets when asked about civil rights matters of the time. Got me banned from at least one blog to which I choose not to link, thank you very much.

Several people commented that Vidal was well you know simply not that good anyway so that we can safely ignore what he had to say, and any way people no longer read him or pay any attention to him (even though there is a revival of The Best Man currently running on Broadway, very successfully).

His statement that J. Edger Hoover and Clyde Tolson were the only two men who could live together in Washington, D.C. after a discussion of homosexuality in general was a shocker to my little middle class and mid western male mind. Do you think that people who are homosexual can act like just “normal” people? My my was I naive.

I do think that he was as pure, clear and elegant a writer of the English language as there has been this side of the Atlantic (ocean not magazine). I found his essays when I was in my late teens and early 20s and I was amazed at how well and clearly he wrote and the positions he took.  Growing up where I did I had no idea you could take those positions and get away with it in the nation with which I was familiar.   I remember watching him or TV just a month after I returned from Southeast Asia, when he called Buckley at crypto-Nazi (although he did later apologize, he meant crypto-fascist he said, but misspoke in the heat of the moment).  I thought this guy is right and those people in the streets are right and they are going to carry the day.  I want to be there and help.  Little did I realize that this was the high water mark of the left in this country.

Whenever I write anything about Vidal, my own stuff looks and reads clunky to me because I'm always comparing my writing to his, and lets face it I am just not one of the half dozen most elegant prose stylists in the English language.

Well anyway I feel like I can certainly think or curse him for a great deal of my political beliefs and my open mindedness (or at least I hope I'm open minded.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ch ch ch changes

 I have a theory, which I may have mentioned before.  That all families  or individuals have a "Year."  That is a period of time, usually a year, when bad shit happens to them or those closest on an almost continuing and overwhelming basis.  It is not that bad things don't happen at other times, but there are times when they happen continuously, regardless of what is going on in the greater world.  I think this is my year and I still have five months to go.  I suppose I should look on the bright side, I'm no longer doing illegal drugs or drinking so I stand a less likely chance of being arrested for those things, although knowing the competency of the police, perhaps I should worry even more. And the tax man is still nipping at my heals so there is that to worry about.

What has been happening is that things are happening so fast and hard that I am finding it very hard to do much more then the bare minimum at work or for that matter outside of work.  We are eating out a lot more because neither of us has the energy to cook, or the patience for that matter.  So a lot of cheap greasy Mexican food which I like, but I somehow feel is not the best thing for a gentleman of my advanced age.

Every time I turn around I'm unable to make, what I think are necessary changes or just things I want to do.  Luckily, I appear to be good at my job and I'm able to function, in court, which I find a lot of fun although stressful.   The preparation time is what is being cut and one must normally prepare after all.  Can't wing 'em all.  Luckily I'm helped by clients who will often just drift away and not participate in the preparation for their case.  I say luckily because that does take a load off my shoulders, if they do not help then I often can't do it by myself, so that does free up time.

Looking back at this it looks like I'm whining, but that really isn't it.  I figure shit as they say happens and unless you are a 1%er you've gotta ride with it, that doesn't mean you can't bitch about it.

UPDATE:  I'm told that the above kind of made a reader sad because it seemed to be well kind of depressing.  I had intended it to be more or less humorous or perhaps wry or maybe rye if I could have found the liquor.   I like to think of myself as the kind of :A little song a little dance a little seltzer down your pants kind of guy.  Damn it is hard being funny.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

She's Lost All Sense of Time

Arghh, try and try again.

We put my mother in what we thought was an assisted living facility, but it turned out to be independent living, when what it turns out she needed was Skilled Nursing care.

We found another place only three minutes from home which does provide the Skilled Nursing and moved her two weeks ago.  The relief is palpable.  Within a couple of days we realized how much we'd been doing and how much less we had to do here.  Essentially, they do the care and we do the visits.  Either Traci or I have been going every day, usually both of us, sometimes together and sometimes separately.  My Mom has certainly made major improvements in just a couple of weeks.

She has to do an irrigation on her colostomy every other day and she had simply forgotten how to do it, that combined with the fact that she seems to no longer have any sense of time, made many accidents.  Now that there are nurses coming to make sure things get done it seems like a miracle to us.  Traci was in there anywhere from two to four hours every morning at the other place.  I was there from one to two hours every night and we were both making sure that she took her meds properly (she really doesn't take that many, but they are important) and just to give her some time around other people.

Luckily, my Mom is considered "delightful" (the exact word that most of the staff uses about her) so they are more then willing to go the extra distance for her.  Our being in there daily helps because they know that we will find out if things are screwed up.

It is interesting that most of what Mom is doing is not different, just more so, if that makes sense. the only thing different is that she now eats a full breakfast which no one in the family can remember her ever doing.

I am still going on with my court cases and at last I seem to be able to provide some more then just minimum attention to them which is good since I have a rape (mandatory prison time if my guy gets convicted), procuring a juvenile (which is the same, essentially since it was a seven year old alleged victim) my guy is "mildly mentally retarded."  Which meant that my guy was sent to a lock down mental hospital for nearly six months to make him competent enough to understand what was happening to him, although he was still not Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or Mental Defect, tell me how that works?.  Also, tell me how they can make a mentally retarded guy more competent, please.

Well, now to go out and watch the American Masters on Gore Vidal which is finally available for a week for streaming.  I think I will probably post on Vidal since he is one of my favorite writers.  Although, each time I think I am going to start posting, Life intrudes. Several people apparently find him beyond the pale because of his comments on the victim in the Polanski thing, I'm not so sure that I completely disagree with him, and I'm not sure that even one comment that is beyond decent brands everything else a guy does.  If that were the case then none of us would read Faulkner.

Finally I've got to get a letter off to the other place to explain why I do not intend to pay the $4Gs they want for the month my Mom won't be there since they couldn't properly care for her when she was there.   Should be fun