Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election coverage

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan,Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty . You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines, 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out, Blue States

(anonymous email forwarded from my friend Gilly)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Absentee Voting

I like Thanks, But No Thanks to Absentee Voting from the Washington Post's Marie Coco:

"I’ve always been slow to embrace new fads. I didn’t go for brown as the “new black,” and since purple is now the “new black,” I’m certainly glad I stuck with the old. The same for following my parents’ example of never buying on credit. Boy, did that one work out.

As Election Day approaches, I revel in my fuddy-duddy habits. I live in the battleground state of Virginia, where voter registration has increased 10 percent in advance of November’s presidential election, where Democrat Barack Obama has invested huge sums in a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and where Republicans are pushing their precinct captains to hang onto a state that hasn’t gone Democratic since 1964. Election officials are so fearful of a chaotic crush at the polls that they’re urging people to vote early with absentee ballots. Though absentee voting in the commonwealth requires voters to meet one of several conditions, officials have nonetheless made it clear that -- ahem -- it’s easy to qualify. (And voters requesting presidential-race-only ballots don't even need an excuse.)


Sorry, I just can’t. I know that if I do vote early, I’ll miss out on long lines, sore feet and the possibility of confronting an over-taxed electronic machine that might malfunction.
But here’s what else I’ll miss -- and what can’t be replaced by a quick-and-convenient early vote: Being pressed to take that one last flier from a volunteer as I walk toward the elementary school; purchasing a treat from the PTA mothers who will set up a bake-sale table outside the polls; enjoying the children’s artwork in the hallway as the line to vote snakes through the school corridors; chatting with neighbors I haven’t seen in months.


There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."


This is why I want my nieces to come with me to the polls on November 4th, although of course they have gone with their parents!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rays or Phillies? do we care?

It is hard to decide who to root for in the World Series, partly because I just don't care now that my team has been eliminated. Overall, I am for the Rays because I like Carlos Pena, who played for Northeastern and briefly for the Red Sox, and Rocco Baldelli, who is from Rhode Island. And how can anyone root for the Phillies when their fans are so unpleasant (at least, the Flyers and Eagles fans seem to be nasty and surely it is primarily the same fan base). But I do like Jamie Moyer who is pitching tonight for the Phillies. His wife is still very beloved by the Boston radio announcers although it must be many years ago that he pitched for the Red Sox.

I like this endorsement by Ron Howard for Obama.

Associated Press

The Washington Post has an interesting article about the changing role of the Associated Press.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let them eat cakelets...


Now that I have volunteered to spend Election Day as a nonpartisan volunteer protecting voter rights, I should not allow myself to be amused by this blog, which is showcasing some very timely Williams-Sonoma bakeware...
Although as several have pointed out, voter registration fraud is not the same as election fraud, and it is unfair for Acorn to be tainted for the actions of just a few people. But isn't that the way it always is?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You say potato....

Here is an interesting chart of regional speech differences, and it addresses (but does not really answer) why some of my friends mispronounce the word mischievous (which they frequently apply to me). My friend Squire consistently said, "Mis-cheeve-ee-us," which I found quite odd but he is not alone...

And at my law school in NJ people called spigots "spickets," which I also found very odd. I found this out in my quest for hot tea - there was a plot to withhold caffeine from the evening students, who obviously needed it (especially when taking Property).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sign of the Times

The National Debt Clock situated near Times Square ran out of numbers as the federal government's debt soared to $10.2 trillion. The billboard style clock, which was erected in 1989 by late Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst, was only equipped to handle a debt of up to $9,999,999,999,999.

Section 337

I have bought many books in my life, some of them more expensive than others, but was stunned to learn today that this book about the International Trade Commission costs $655.00! I am lucky the librarian at my job bought it for me (she did make sure I knew how expensive it was when she presented the new edition to me today). The annoying thing is that I don't even think it is a very good book but there is so little available on the ITC that every practitioner needs to have it. But even if I knew enough about Section 337 to write a more complete guide (with a better index), I doubt it would be a bestseller. The irony of owning such an expensive book that is not a delight to read . . .

Now imagine how many books I could get from Amazon.co.uk for that much money! I keep thinking about my friend Suzanne's copy of Carney's House Party, which I seem to recall cost $700.00, and was surely the most thoughtful birthday present anyone ever received (and how was her husband to know it would be back in print ten years later?). That is the only book I can think of in the same realm as this, price-wise, in my experience. I own an advance reading copy of the first Diana Gabaldon, which I assume is valuable, but do I want to part with it?



Saturday, October 4, 2008

Say it ain't so, Sarah

Steven Pinker, writing for The New York Times tells me:

And no, “nucular” is not a sign of ignorance. This reversal of vowel-like consonants (nuk-l’-yer —> nuk-y’-ler) is common in the world’s languages, and is no more illiterate than pronouncing “iron” the way most Americans do, as “eye-yern” instead of “eye-ren.”