Sunday, November 27, 2005

This is my life...

... repeatedly droning "Potty spot ... poop ... "at an oblivious puppy dog as I watch her chew on a rock.

We got a 3? month old Corgi-and-who-knows mutt at the shelter on Monday. We knew she was smart and/or somewhat trained -- she'd come when you clapped. (She is less likely to do so now. Guess she knew when she had to impress us....) She turns out to be paper-trained -- except she sometimes shreds and eats the paper -- and partially housetrained, and pretty good on the leash for a pup. She is not easily dissuaded from chewing on people and their clothing. She is more interested in people than toys, which is part of what attracted me to her. Downside, she wants lots of attention, and I am not a very playful person, word play aside. Word play being wasted on the pup.

We got the dog because daughter Alissa had wanted a dog for years, and she's 9-1/2, and it seemed like time to stop stalling. We did not get the dog because I wanted a dog, though I often enjoy her. She was sick for a day, and I felt maternal and protective for that day -- too bad I can't feel that way when she's healthy and chewing again.... I'm feeling some of the trapped, lost-freedom feeling I had when my older daughter was an infant, with fewer payoffs. However, there is the option, this time, of leaving the baby in a crate, or in a duffel bag in the car.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bad grammar makes cases more fun

I was just reading an opinion from the Indiana Court of Appeals, and here was this bit:

While questioning Murray on the driver’s side of his vehicle, Officer Moore noticed that Murray’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, his speech was slow and slurred, and there was a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. After failing several field sobriety tests, Officer Moore arrested Murray."

I'm having fun visualizing this scene, if read literally. "After failing several field sobriety tests, Officer Moore arrested Murray." So Officer Moore failed several field sobriety tests, eh? Who administered these tests? Was it Murray, drunk as a skunk though he was? This is a comedy routine someone MUST perform! I'll suggest it to our local kids' theater....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Circular Accomplishment

Seems to me, the increasing nervousness among Republican Congressfolk, and their willingness to undercut Bush's policy by passing legislation carping at him (while he's out of the country yet), is most likely traceable to media reports of decreasing public support of the war. Which dwindling support, even if the reports of same are not slanted in themselves, is most likely the result of slanted reporting of what's happening in Iraq -- failure to mention Iraqi attitudes and Iraqi or American accomplishments that might give U.S. readers some hope that things are working out. So by selective and sometimes misleading reporting about Iraq, the press has managed to reduce even passive home-front support for our military/political operations there, and then has milked that decrease in popular support for all it's worth (or more) so as to undercut Congressional support.

Which I find disturbing.

Which does not mean I'm always critical of critical press re Iraq. I'm somewhat conflicted about the Post's scoop re secret CIA detention centers. I wish I knew more about whether the interrogation tactics they're using there are actually at all helpful in obtaining critical information on Islam jihadist plans, locations and tactics. Then I'd at least know whether the questions -- is the existence of these places disgraceful, and was the Post justified in reporting about them -- are easy or hard.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Does Zarqawi have Jordanian underlings?

The news of the slaughter in Jordan made me wonder if Jordanian Zarqawi has any Jordanian staff/underlings. And if so, whether they are as ready to kill innocent wedding parties, etc. in Jordan as Z. is. And if not, whether we might get some good news sometime, like Z. being found in the street in various bloody pieces.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bush, Alito, and Saddam Hussein's miscalculation

I've been following the nomination of Judge Alito with great interest, and reading many articles and posts about him and opinions by him. There have been some commentators who, with some reason, have described him as less conservative than partisans on both ends of the political spectrum have painted him. Which raises the question of whether (as some liberals darkly mutter) the conservatives know something the rest of us don't, or whether they've been believing oversimplifications just as the liberals have.

Whatever the answer, the question leads me to wonder whether Bush has been playing a delicate game -- assuring conservatives that Alito is just what they've been dreaming of, while pointing out to Democrats and other non-conservatives the evidence against that view. If so, he might want to remember what turned out to be Saddam Hussein's downfall. Saddam wanted to get out from under sanctions, and apparently didn't want to count 100% on oil-money bribery -- so he apparently destroyed his WMD stockpiles or allowed their destruction, though keeping the knowledge necessary for quick rebuilding. But he wanted his neighbors to keep fearing him, so he simultaneously tried to maintain the illusion that he still had WMD's aplenty. Turned out he convinced the wrong people of the latter -- and down he went. Bush could end up undermining his conservative support, while failing to assuage liberals -- though I doubt he'll fail to the point of setting up a filibuster.

Old dog performs new trick

There's a new link at the side of this page -- the link to my new lawyer web page. I started out using a form offered by the host, but that didn't allow me to include sample briefs for folks to look at. The host's technical support was too basic to help me out. So I found some primers about html and read some instructions the host had. And I figured out what to do! And did it! And added some italics, even!

To anyone under age 25, this will look like bragging about learning to wipe one's nose. But I'm a dinosaur twice that age, and though I started working with computers before most folks my age, this is only my second attempt to do anything with even the simplest html. So I am pleased with myself!

While I'm at it, I guess I'll add the link to my wedding-photographer web page. Yes, I have many talents. Or two heads. Or something.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Words of Wisdom, apparently

If my teenage daughter thinks something I came up with is worth writing down, I guess I should offer it here...:

"There has to be a happy medium between blissful ignorance and paralyzing fear."

This could apply to many contexts, I suppose, including the one I talk about ad nauseum, our societal obsession with safety -- but it arose from a discussion of shoes. A blog entry I read about brown recluses prompted me to suggest that my kids shake their shoes out before putting them on. My daughter complained that she was now afraid to put on shoes. Hence my new-minted proverb-or-whatever.

The phrase "happy medium" always makes me think of the Happy Medium in A Wrinkle in Time -- a chronically cheerful clairvoyant.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Anywhere to go back to?

I don't have time or mental clarity, this late in the evening, to say much about the violence and destruction in France. However: it appears that a great number of people left various places in Africa and came to France, the Netherlands, and I dunno where else in Europe, presumably to escape poverty and/or find work and/or live under less oppressive governments. It doesn't seem to have worked out very well. They may be less poor than they (or their parents or grandparents) were, but they don't appear to be looking at their economic status as a glass half full. A high percentage are unemployed. And they're going to end up making their governments more oppressive, at this rate.

Fox News (online) reported that some of the rioters set fire to a middle-aged woman on crutches. If that's true, it'd sure be nice -- and quite unexpected -- if some of the rioters reacted the way Gandhi did when members of his noncooperation movement in Indiana attacked and killed (burned, if I'm remembering correctly) some Indian policemen. He called off the noncooperation tactic and went on a hunger strike until his followers went along. Of course, that'd require drawing a sharp ethical line between property destruction and torturing disabled women to death in the street.

As for solutions, oy. If I were a French policymaker, I'd be inclined to cut back drastically on immigration from Africa, if much of it is still happening, until my country had figured out how to cope with the previous immigrants and their descendants -- unless some humanitarian emergency were involved, in which case I'd be scurrying to come up with some improved intake/assimilation procedures. What about all those folks who are already in France and unhappy about their lives there? Is there any African country whose languages include French and which is welcoming new citizens with some knowledge of Western ways??? I'm not talking "send them back", a la Abraham Lincoln at some stage of his thinking, but if there were such a place, and if any of the disaffected were interested in relocating, some program could be developed to assist in that process. Those who didn't choose that option might become clearer in their minds about their own investment in France. Which still leaves what I gather are very serious French cultural obstacles to effective assimilation. Which I doubt will change soon.