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January 31, 2006

I watched the State of the Union Adress. President Bush made some good points, but I have to say that I hate the phrase “government initiative.”

That stuff about us being addicted to oil was really jarring to me. He makes the country seem like me about my coffee–or like we have some kind of psychological problem about oil.

Given that oil allows us to stay warm, have lights so that we don’t go to bed at 7 pm, drive to work and even have jobs, I think that “addicted” is a really bad choice of words. Saying something as silly as that puts Bush in the same category as the be-sweatered Jimmy Carter. I bet my petroleum engineer father was guffawing at that one.

I certainly don’t agree that the government should have a role in developing “alternative fuels”. Programs that involve scientists feeding at the public trough don’t seem very effective to me.

I also kept wondering what the woman from Iraq sitting by Mrs. Bush thought about that part of the speech. If we aren’t buying oil from the Middle East, how are those countries, including Iraq, ever going to develop?

But–for some really important news, go to The Caretaker’s Diary. Owen and Mzee have been reunited…

Owen and Mzee have finally been reunited – much to Owens delight! Initially Owen did not realise that Mzee was back in the enclosure, but when he did, he was immediately following Mzee where ever he went, just as he before Mzee was taken out. They spent most of the day in the pond lying side by side.

Go buy the book and help Owen and Mzee!


By: Sue Bob @ 9:33 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

Until this season, I had never seen an episode of “24″. I kept hearing and reading about it. Everyone seems to like it. So, I broke down and started watching. I’ve seen every espisode this season.

I don’t like it.

I don’t like how the camera bounces around. It makes me seasick. I don’t even get seasick on a 20 foot catamaran sailing on fairly rough seas in the Gulf of Mexico.

But, watching “24″ makes me seasick.

Is “24″ somehow geared to the ADD generation? It’s a crazy quilt of little bits stuck together. If it’s not made for people with ADD, it’s seems like it would give people ADD.

Last night, I couldn’t wait for it to finish so that I could watch The Bachelor in Paris. At least in that show, as silly as it is, the camera stays on people long enough for you to see what they look like.

I’ll keep trying–but, when this season’s The Bachelor is over–I don’t think that I will be watching Monday night television.

Update:

WOW! A Wuzzadem-alanche. Thanks John–I think. Did I “diss” a sacred cow?


By: Sue Bob @ 5:24 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (3)

January 29, 2006

Richard Paey

Bernard Rottschaefer

I found these stories via Radley Balko who also has a good opinion piece on Richard Paey. He also posts on Dr. Rottschaefer.
The overreaching by the DEA and prosecutors in these cases should be cause for concern for those of us who oppose euthanasia or assisted suicide. Allegedly “intractable pain” is used as an excuse for codoning both. Unfortunately, government policies are making it more difficult for doctors to treat pain.

I’ve been hearing about this since I first started representing long term care providers. These stories bear out the fears I have heard expressed by physicians who want to help patients control severe pain.


By: Sue Bob @ 9:24 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

January 28, 2006

When he allows his client to go to court looking like this

What was with this? No one else in that picture seems to think it was cold enough to wear an overcoat. Look at the woman. If a man thinks he needs a coat and a hat, you can bet the woman in the group will be cold and will wearing a coat. She’s not.

What is with that hat? Google him. You will not find him wearing a fedora in any other picture. The above picture was taken when he pled out on the Indian Casino Charges.

The next was taken when he pled out on the SunCruz charges…

Any attorney acting in the interest of his client would have yanked the hats and trench coat off his client. Why didn’t hyper-combative Abbe Lowell do that? After all, presentation was still important. His client was pleading out, not being sentenced. That comes later.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Jack Abramoff’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, should suffer for allowing this. I keep wondering if Abramoff was trying to telegraph something in these photos. Or, if he was forced to wear an uneeded coat that doesn’t fit him and a gangster hat for some sinister reason.

I’m going to study the plea agreements again. I agree with Jack Wheeler and D’Anconia regarding the Abramoff case.When one is talking about white collar crimes and fraud–there is always two sides of the story. Prosecutors sometimes prosecute in that area based on their interpretation of the “spirit of the law” or what the law “intended” as opposed to the black letter law.

Why have we never heard the other side of the story from Abbe Lowell, Abramoff’s hyper-liberal Democrat lawyer?

Consider those so-called “fake” corporations that Abramoff set up when consulting and lobbying for the Indian tribes. Is it possible those were set up for tax avoidance (entirely legal) as opposed to tax evasion (illegal)? Did they satisfy election regulations?

Corporate law is very complex and arcane. I do not accept the indictment on face value–nor the plea agreement. This is not like some guy who bashes somebody to death and has the victim’s blood all over his clothes.

How do I explain the conservative and Republican abandonment of Abramoff? Pure, self-interested fear. The Democrats believed they had a cudgel to wield against Republicans–and the latter ran like hell.

I want you to remember something. Clinton fired all of the Assistant Attorney Generals in the U.S. and replaced them with his people when he came in power. (Actually, as noted below, he fired 93 U.S. Attorneys–all except Michael Chertoff in New Jersey) Bush didn’t do that. We have Clinton people populating our Federal Prosecutorial offices.

I don’t trust them. And neither should you.

Update:

Look at this article. Here is a friend of Jack Abramoff’s backpedaling like mad. Cut through the fear and look at this part…

I am terribly saddened by the tragic turn of events in Jack Abramoff’s life and by the impact his actions have had and will have on the lives of many people including his own wife and children. Could I have foreseen the calamity and its peripheral but distracting impact on Toward Tradition? I don’t really think so. Many shrewd lawyers and business professionals as well as experienced politicians in Jack Abramoff’s orbit failed to sense any peril.

Had Abramoff’s lifestyle been dissolute; replete with women, drugs, yachts, and fast cars, I along with many others would certainly have recognized the unwholesome warning signs and been uncomfortable. However, from what I observed, Jack’s life revolved around his work, his family, and his faith. He spent money on subsidizing a kosher restaurant, a religious high school, Israeli causes, and helping poor relatives. These don’t excuse illegal acts but neither were they warning signs to his friends and associates.

(my emphasis)

I remain skeptical.

Update:

Borderman, who comments on this post, is correct. (I know who you are Borderman– :) ) I wrote that the U.S. Assistant Attorney Generals were fired by Clinton. It was 93 out of 94 U.S. Attorneys that were fired by Janet Reno. I mispoke.

Upon further research, the post of U.S. Attorney in Washington has been held by two Bush appointees since 2001.

Hillman, Abramoff’s prosecutor, served in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office, during the Clinton years, serving under then U.S. Attorney Michael Chertoff. Chertoff was the only U.S. Attorney who wasn’t replaced by Clinton. Hillman is now with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington. Bush has just appointed him to the Federal Bench, an appointment that has been pending since last summer.

Even if I am incorrect, I don’t trust Federal Prosecutors–and I haven’t since the Martha Stewart case.


By: Sue Bob @ 7:55 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (6)

January 27, 2006

I’ve been writing about Abramoff from a contrarian position. Laers at Cheat Seeking Missiles discusses the issue and my views. The magnitude of the “pile up” on Abramoff bothered me from the first. Dr. Jack Wheeler has been writing about him at To The Point News. Now, Dagny D’Anconia at To The Point News publishes a very informative and important article about what is behind the Abramoff case. I have wondered why Abramoff’s attorney failed from the beginning to mount a public defense of his client. Dagny explains why in her article. I have been given permission to publish it in total here at my blog because To The Point News is a subscription only site. Any other blogger who wishes to publish the complete article on his or her blog also has Dagny’s permission.

THE ABRAMOFF MYSTERY
Contributed by Dagny D’Anconia
Thursday, 26 January 2006

In this investigative tour de force, Dagny d’Anconia reveals the astounding truth behind the Jack Abramoff scandal – and why Abramoff’s life may now be in danger. —JW

Jack Abramoff was a Republican lobbyist. In fact, he has become the media’s archetype for an evil, greedy, Republican super-lobbyist.

So I ask you this: In this politically charged environment, and caught in a scandal, who would you get for a lawyer if you were Jack Abramoff? The answer of who he got will shock you:

(more…)


By: Sue Bob @ 4:53 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (9)

Michelle Malkin continues posting the best of the entries in the China Google Protest Logo Album. Meanwhile, Dr. Jack Wheeler at To The Point News discusses the advantages of Google’s arrangement with China (paid subscription only–it is well worth it):

Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Human Rights, is so mad at Google for capitulating to the Chicoms he is going to hold hearings next month on the operating procedures of US Internet companies in China.

He can expect to be getting a call from CIA Director Porter Goss politely requesting that he shut up.

He’ll tell Smith he can vent for a little while longer, enough to make Google execs sweat and be receptive to the call they’ll be getting from Langley. But as soon as the Google boys turn cooperative, Smith had better turn quiet.

Google’s Chicom Collaboration presents a marvelous intelligence opportunity. The way to avoid unpleasantries such as Congressional subpoenas, it will be explained, is to have CIA analysts work closely with Google programmers to mine and exploit what the Chinese want kept out.

This will enable the development of IT tools to enable the Chinese people to circumvent Chicom Internet censorship.

Dr. Wheeler imagines that Porter Goss will give the okay to a few more days of verbal pounding on Google. After that:

Then pipe down, Congressman, and let the Chicom censoring commence. It will be an intel goldmine. And somehow, after a while, censoring efforts will begin to fail, then fail altogether.

That’s why bellowing conservatives might consider piping down over Google along with Chris Smith.


By: Sue Bob @ 2:47 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (3)

January 25, 2006

The Caretaker's Diary has been updated. Owen is bonding to a degree with the tortoise that is substituting for Mzee as Mzee receives medical treatmen.

I got the book, True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship : The True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship , in the mail yesterday. It’s so good that my coworkers are trying to steal it. :)

I want to just kiss Owen on his little bulgy eye. (Did I really say that?)


By: Sue Bob @ 11:51 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

January 24, 2006

Michelle Malkin covers the Pro-Life March here in the United States. Apparently, “secular” France has a healthy pro-life movement as well. They marched yesterday.

Pro-Life for Christ covers it here.

“30 ans ça suffit ! (Thirty years is enough!) is the cry of a group marching through Paris promoting life and family values against the tidal wave of abortion and secularism in France. The group has sponsored its second march for life that attracted 10,000 participants according to police estimates.

This is beautiful.

(HT Pro-Life Blogs)


By: Sue Bob @ 9:44 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

January 23, 2006

As I reported earlier, a group of lawyers and I are working on issues concerning law on advance directives in Texas. We started a blog–although the others haven’t yet appeared at the site–dedicated to these issues.

I am concerned with a number of issues concerning these laws. One of my positions is that I do not believe that hydration and nutrition administered by tube should be considered a “medical treatment”. I acknowledge that when a terminal patient reaches the point where his or her body cannot assimilate food and fluids, tube feeding should be discontinued. I do not believe that it should be withdrawn due to cognitive disability.

Today, I wrote about Gov. Romney’s decision to appoint a panel to look into the Haleigh Poutre case. Assuming that the panel is to look at the treatment decisions made by the State Guardian, I hope that he will ensure the inclusion of people, who like the Governor, believe that the individual is a child of God.

Hence, my post at Texas Advance Directives BlogA Child of God.


By: Sue Bob @ 8:22 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

January 21, 2006

By: Sue Bob @ 7:18 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

In this week’s To The Point News, Dr. Wheeler takes on Iranian expatriates and their failure to do anything about the state of Iran. In a column called THE WORLD’S STUPIDEST MILLIONAIRES, he says the following:

The world’s wealthiest exiles are the Iranians – folks who fled Iran after Jimmy Carter betrayed the Shah and let him be overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini. The Cubans who fled after Castro took over Cuba and amassed fortunes in Miami are financial pikers compared to the Iranians.

Cumulatively they are worth billions. There are thousands of millionaires among them. And they are the stupidest millionaires on the planet.

From London to Los Angeles, they’ll whine all day long about the evil mullacracy oppressing their beloved country. They’ll open their mouths but they won’t open their wallets.

I found a similar opinion expressed earlier by An American Expat in Southeast Asia…

Of the Iranians who who stop in for chili dogs, there are several who clearly do oppose the Iranian government – many of whom stop by for a taste of real “Americana” and an opportunity perhaps to speak English. That being said, there are also a number of Iranians who stop in as well, and when they do, all the heartrending chit-chat over chili dogs quickly comes to an end and the subject changes.

Ask any of these Iranians why they don’t do something and whether or not they are willing to die for their freedom back home and you are met with momentary silence. Not satisfied with the ballot box, many of these Iranians fully expect the United Nations, Europe or the United States to resolve their problems (as long as Israel is not involved). The reality is that like it or not, Iran is a democracy albeit an authoritarian one, who’s citizens that oppose the current government are not willing to accept the responsibilty for the actions of their own democratic government. Outside of the major cities, many of the citizens of Iran are in fact fully supportive of the Iranian government. And while many affluent globe-trotting Iranians might feel free outside of Iran to criticize their government back home and call for it’s overthrow, the reality is that many of their compatriots back home at the very least, suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

(more…)


By: Sue Bob @ 5:57 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

I’ve joined with some other attorneys in a group whose purpose is to influence and inform the legislature as it looks at Texas laws regarding Advance Directives. We are particularly concerned about the so-called “futile care” provisions that allow providers to withold care against the wishes of the patient or his family.

There is an ethics committee process for doing this that favors providers. Providers are supposed to help with transfer of the patient, if the patient or family disagree with an outcome of an ethics committee’s review. The family is allowed ten days for the transfer and, within that time, must go to court for any extension of time.

A lawyer who does this kind of work tells me that costs about $10,000 to do. Further, to be successful at the hearing, the family must have an expert(doctor) testify that such a transfer is possible. There is no provision in the law for appeal of that decision.

To us, this is a case of too much power concentrated in the hands of the “experts” to the detriment of people like you and me. For a look at how “all-knowing” experts are look at the story of Haleigh Poutre..

Go to our new blog, Texas Advance Directives Blog, to read more about it.


By: Sue Bob @ 9:43 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

January 19, 2006

As I wrote here, I am volunteering for a political campaign for the first time. I am supporting Terry Dill for the Texas House of Representatives. Here is his press release from today:

Contact:
Terry Dill or Kyle Kamrath – Campaign Manager
512-291-3812 512-466-6340

January 19, 2006

AUSTIN—–Republican Terry Dill leads his four opponents in campaign contributions by a wide margin in the race to replace Rep. Terry Keel in House District 47.

Dill, an Austin businessman and professional golfer on the senior tour, reported total contributions of $96,000, including $78,026 raised in the reporting period ending December 31. 2005. By contrast, three of his opponents have raised less than $25,000 and one other raised less than $55,000.

“I think my supporters appreciate my positive campaign of conservative principles combined with a drive to get traffic moving again in the District. They are opting for the candidate with the most business experience,” Dill said.

Dill said he was proud to have the support of well-known Austin leaders such as Ben Crenshaw, Bob Hughes, and John Schweitzer. “Of course, I was very pleased to have contributions from folks like Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin. They’ve known me for many years and trust my conservative values and judgment”.

Dill is an Oak Hill resident, registered financial planner and a member of Texas Right to Life, the National Rifle Association, and the Lake Travis Republican Men’s Club.

Here is the link to his website.


By: Sue Bob @ 8:33 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

January 16, 2006

Mzee needed to have some cracks on his back fixed, so his caretakers had to separate him from Owen. They provided Owen with another tortoise companion in the interim.

Go read the update at the Caretaker’s Diary.

Then go buy the book!


By: Sue Bob @ 5:15 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

January 15, 2006

Wesley J. Smith at Secondhand Smoke posts about one of the most profound articles about scientism that I have ever read. The article is by a Science Philosopher named David S. Oderberg. The name of the article is The unholy lust of scientists: It may be time to curtail public financing of scientific research

It begins:

In our secular, post-religious society, the figure of the cassock-clad priest has been replaced by that of the white-coated scientist. Dispensing wisdom from the laboratory — the secular sanctuary — his every word is awaited breathlessly by a world thirsting for knowledge.

Here’s more:

(more…)


By: Sue Bob @ 7:03 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)