Friday, June 17, 2011

AND, THEY'RE OFFFF..... Silly Season Begins!

 Kettle, Hey, kettle. Hey, kettle.... Ya, Pot?

This week Congressional Republicans, through their fearless leader, the mild mannered man from the very middle American town next door to where I sit at this very moment, accused Obama of violating the War Powers Resolution (WPR) by committing troops to Libya for over 90 days.

I guess they are hoping we are all too brain addled to remember when Bush INVADED Iraq in violation of the WPR and of what limited authority Congress had given him for military actions there. An excellent argument is here which parses the language of HJR 114, giving Bush limited authorization for military force in Iraq, and demonstrates Congress never meant this resolution to authorize the invasion. Then House Speaker John Boehner called the WPR “constitutionally suspect.” 

If Speaker Boehner (whose name originally rhymed with loner but was recently changed to rhyme with veiner, which is NOT the same as Weiner) were truly concerned with a WPR violation, he would have raised this complaint May 20th when the 60 day deadline passed for Congressional notice.  However, that would have defeated the purpose of keeping public attention on the party candidates; Boehner and buds took advantage of an exception under which the President could have sought (but didn't) a 30 day extension for Congressional notice so they could issue this complaint by letter dated Tuesday, June 14th, the day after the June 13th Republican candidates' debate in NH. Wonder of all wonders.

On June 15 President Obama submitted a 32 page explanation for his authorization of military force in Libya which is now the debate of every constitutional lawyer and scholar, including the President's advisors.  Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told President Obama they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the WPR, accepting this interpretation would have required the President to scale back "hostilities" until Congress authorized them. The President chose to reject these opinions in favor of those from White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities” and therefore required no Congressional approval.

So now House members are trying to figure out how to punish the President but his biggest problem is perhaps himself. When a senator, President Obama argued that Congress must have the "backbone" to stand up to presidents when they want to send troops to battle.

Whoops, there it is. A big old bite on the butt. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Anthony's Troubles Seem to Be Expanding

Chapter II for this Saga:

I have been asked whether it was wise to mock this man's behavior given the terrible time his wife will now have and the fact that this just gives the Republicans reason to bash Dems. I confess my mockery didn't come from a place of deep reflection but after a firm foundation of torture from Prissy, the teaching of the nuns, and my own experiences being mocked, I trust my instincts. Here's basically why I thought this public humor fair: 

1) He had the chance to tell the truth and he lied. No one caught him off guard. He did these things and knew they could surface some day and he chose, "I cannot say with certitude that the picture is not me." 2) He was tweeting young college women, not women his own age. He thought that was acceptable behavior because ???? Once those tweets went into cyberspace, he risked that they would go public. What made him think they wouldn't go public? 3) He is, by his own choice, a public figure.  Nuf said. 

Is it fair to mock his stupidity? I think it's absolutely required. And now we should acknowledge that he has done the right thing and it will hurt a lot. I feel awful for his wife. Also, I would much rather have a man who likes to Tweet pix of his body parts represent me than a woman who doesn't know seventh grade history, social studies or geography.  

Mary Kay

What was he thinking sending these off to college aged girls?
Well, I don't know about you but I was always convinced this was the Congressman and now we have his word for it. Looks like there was some serious manscaping done here. There were other pix but they just were not that interesting. See Wednesday's post for prior news. I liked his approach ("I lied to myself") and am glad he didn't resign. He is, after all, a politician and chances are good his replacement could be worse. This way the voters can decide.

Brain News

Apple's 2011 Worldwide Developer's Conference Announcement

Here's the big pic: iCloud will store all your info and push it down to each device wirelessly as you connect. Everything else Apple will be just another device, your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. This sounds like the next step in computing but it also adds layers of charges for the iCloud and the service where I don't pay the charges now. Also, it releases the data beyond my desktop.

Apple has been describing its iOS5 (available in the fall) at the 2011 WorldWide Developer's Conference and it seems like, if they can make it work without frustrating glitches, they'll have a win - win. First there will be the iCloud storage necessary to make it work (and all the charges necessary to maintain the cloud) but then...I'll be in line to buy an iPad and a new iPhone. Why? The number one reason: THEY WILL OPERATE WITHOUT COMPUTERS! Frankly, they should have done that to begin with but bygones. A reviewer commented, "They're knocking them down today. This is starting to feel like that scene in the Godfather where all old business is taken care of in a single bloodbath. All outstanding feature gripes are being whacked." Ten of the most significant changes iOS5 will offer:

1. Notifications - all on one screen and manageable
2. Newstand - like iBook for periodicals
3. Twitter - with photos integrated to contacts
4. Safari - integrated and tabbed
5. Reminders - can be geotagged so they can pop up when you come or go to a place
6. Camera - w/ digital zoom, auto focus lock and editing
7. Mail - with touch and move capability
8. PC Free - Will open and setup from each device, updates will be small files
9. Game center
10. iMessage - same for all devices, encrypted, w delivery and read receipts

for a transcript of the announcement with comments:

Secrets of the Brain

The committee in my head has been reporting gloom and doom for months now and I am sick of it. Committee, you ask? Yes. I have constantly dueling opinions in my brain regarding my behavior and I AM NOT SCHIZOPHRENIC. Before I decide to do something, my brain sends arguments from all different points of view and I usually end up doing what I wanted to do in the first place, only acting after a tortured thought process instead of on impulse. Prissy used to say, "You sure do make life hard." I thought, is there any other way?

Lately with many from generation Y embracing and openly discussing their whole selves – bless their hearts, they were listening after all - I’ve learned maybe my quirks aren’t as abnormal as I thought. But, now there’s empirical evidence. In his new book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, neuroscientist David Eagleman explains how the subconscious brain is “like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war.” Evidently it is supremely normal to have your brain send conflicting messages before you consciously decide. The fact that this is happening in my brain is just another example of business as usual and, I would be better off acting without thinking, just letting my subconscious take control.

Eagleman proffers that almost everything in our mental lives is not under our conscious control. This is demonstrated when you begin to duck from a snapping tree branch before you are aware it is coming toward you, or when you close your eyes before you consciously think something is about to hit them. Evidently, as I read this book, I will learn how much of my life is determined by behaviors that are hard-wired, unconscious, and beyond my control, how it is possible to get angry at myself, and how free will affects my view of blameworthiness and credit. That's the part that interests me the most right now.

Despite stating a scientific hypothesis, this book is very readable. I recommend it as an easy and enlightening read. This book may prove scientifically that I have fewer chinks in the armor than I thought. All I can say is this man better not be thinking he can tell me I’m totally normal and then fade into the sunset patting himself on the back. What will I do with all my complex defenses and finely crafted excuses? Would this mean I would have to learn to live without any or set about developing new ones? Maybe that’s why I’ve been depressed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gotta Air the Whine Before You Drink

It's Friday. I really miss the shore. And, of course, my Baby. But here's an intro into my everyday ongoing three year frustration with Time Warner Cable (TWC) (Is it coincidence that it rhymes with AT&T? I think Not!) and a most hilarious complaint letter. Enjoy and maybe even get inspired. Customer service sucks because we let it. Speak when you are unhappy - Loudly, Effectively and as often as possible. Am I right?

I need my TV! I can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain, Oh no no no no no....
Problem is zoning out is defeated without transmission. There's no TV in Cincy without a provider and settle-light isn't really a choice; it doesn't work in thunder and lightening. Weather in this area is downright menopausal - up, down, swirling around and all with light and sound. (still rhyming) I have to check the f'in radar before I leave for a run to make sure I have a solid 30 min window. Ah, but that's a whine for another day. BTW, what did the grape say when he got stepped on? Nothing, he just let out a little wine.

At my house, the TWC box just quits working at least once a month or more. TWC is on speed dial on all three phones. After I call a technician, get a new signal, and wait 30 min or more for the reboot, I have reception. For a while. So it didn't seem odd right away that I had to call TWC ten times in two weeks only to have them tell me to return the box for a new one - twice. Finally a young lady in India took pity (after two just hung up) and sent a technician THE VERY SAME DAY who showed me where someone had opened the locked hookup box on the OUTSIDE of the house and disconnected the cable coming in. So that's what the "Check Cable In" message on the very first box meant. Mess with the services so my technicians will have business?

Dear Ohio, this disconnect is mighty strange dealing for the land of the polite. Someone might think you were aspiring to be like one of your larger sister cities on the East Coast. Seems I'm not the only one with her panties in a bunch.

An Open Letter from Eugene Mirman to Time Warner Cable
May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011
Eugene Mirman
Brooklyn, NY 10217
Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019
Dear Time Warner Cable,
On April 23rd I moved and had an appointment with Time Warner Cable to come and install cable, Internet and phone service and no one showed up. When I called, I was told my appointment was entered wrong and moved to May 4th, without anyone calling me. No big deal, why would a company check with someone to see if they are home on a Wednesday afternoon? Of course they are. Everyone is. Name one person who isn’t home on a Wednesday afternoon? You can’t. It’s impossible, because everyone is home. It would be a waste of resources to call and talk to him. Did Stalin ever call people before he arrested them and sent them to die in Siberian work camps? No! Why should Time Warner Cable have a policy that is any different from Stalin’s?
Did you know that on Yelp, Time Warner Cable has one and a half stars? That’s less stars than Jeffrey Dahmer — who killed and ate people, maybe even had sex with their skulls (I don’t really know). Obviously what I’m saying is untrue, because Yelp does not review serial killers, but if they did, his babaganoush would be better than yours, if you both made babaganoush, even if his drugged and murdered people. Sorry that got weird. F**k you. I just made you read that confusing thing.
To give you an idea of how much I dislike your company, I have come up with plagues I hope God smites your board of directors with. I know He’ll only do this if you enslave the Jews, but considering you might have a monopoly inNYC, you sort of already have:
1. Awkward. Every board member’s cell phone ring loudly announces their weight and also the day they’ll die.
2. Bathroom. The constant feeling that you have to go number two, but completely forgetting how.
3. Improv. Your first-born will want to be a short form improviser.
4. Popcorn. Your second born will smell like hot buttered popcorn. It’s not that bad at first, but eventually I bet it will be maddening.
Eugene Mirman and probably everyone of your customers
P.S. On May 4th I called you and got an automated message saying my appointment was moved to May 10th, but spoke to two representatives who assured me it was still on May 4th. Twenty minutes later, I got a call saying the technician called and couldn’t reach me and my new appointment would be on May 12th. An hour later I got a call apologizing and saying my appointment was moved to May 6th. Why does your company act like a controlling, abusive husband on an episode of Law and Order?
P.P.S. On May 6th a very nice, professional man came, rang my doorbell and installed everything. I would feel remiss to not mention that a handful of other employees were also very helpful. However, overall your company is run like an ill managed Soviet factory. I bet if Ayn Rand was still alive, she’d write a fun to read, but poorly argued book about how appalling and inefficient your company is. Please cut it out. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Observation on the day - strange happenings everywhere.

JUNE! New day, month and intention. Hoping to keep updating with what's what. You are now forewarned or, if I were a writer, foreshadowed, but since I'm a lawyer, this is disclaimer de minimus, cause I can. :-P Be thankful. It could be disclaimer Significante, which probably isn't a word or could be a Latin language.

FML 6/1/11

Day 32 of training and maybe one or two pounds GAINED !?!?!?!? I started this to boost my metabolism because it was stuck. Now it's stuck again at a higher number. Even after a huge involuntary deposit to the porcelain goddess, I weighed more than when I began.

Weiner's Weiner

Ok, I know it's almost totally outside my universe but Could NOT Be Ignored. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D, NY) has been unable to deny that the tweeted pic of a man's engorged and clothed

groin shows his underwear. Any lawyer worth her salt would have told him not to answer that question; who has original boxers? But, wait, why was Rep. Weiner answering any questions at all? Subpeona or no spilla, I'd say, unless the whole affair was meant to garner attention, which one might call successful after grabbing 45,000 followers for Weiner. BTW, you can't find the pic on twitter or fb anymore, so here - Um, um, um. Now, I wonder if this is real because, have you seen the man?

Groupon Frustration

No, this is not a reference to a huge pile-on of frustration. Groupons? You know. You buy them at half price and let them sit unused until, Oh, I don't know, the last two days they are valid? I can take solace in the reassurance that at least 30 others at the same place I went to did also. Mei Japanese Restaurant in Montgomery tonight was a zoo and I'd hate to see the place Friday, the very last day. Three servers scurried the floor like squirrels scooping up and laying down, talking quicker than even I could fathom, and I didn't want to spend ANY time talking. I picked a bad day to save my appetite for dinner. Of course, it wasn't voluntary. I ran, I got sick and I couldn't eat but decided dinner would be safe because it was just rice and protein and hours away from the crisis. I arrived at 6:30 and saw no food until 7 and didn't get up to leave until 8. Although the food was unobjectionable, all the hubbub about how hard they were working and how patient everyone had to be ruined dinner. Message: If you can't take the heat, literally stay out of the kitchen. Don't participate in Groupons if you can't keep up with the business. They are meant to introduce folks to your place so they will want to return after you make a Good impression. Am I asking too much, folks?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yes I Know It's I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t.

I know, I should have been suspicious when the title for my blog was available, given that the whole world was already online. But, I have this amazing blind spot that follows me, my own personal practical joke, and it will. not. go. away!

I have tried everything. Yoga. Exercise. Meditation. Meds. I even tried conquering it with prayer and alcohol when I was young and dumber. New age types might say I should try celebrating it. Just how would a person do that when subterfuge is absolutely necessary to effective sabotage? So, yes, the title of my blog wasn't a word until I made it one.

If you stop by to visit, leave a note. If you have nothing to say, just let me know you were here. Then, when the shit hits the fan, I'll be, "All these people looked and didn't see a problem either!" and, "See, it wasn't so freaking obvious." Thanks.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Rainforest That Is My Backyard

Meet my little friend, the Black and Decker HT012. If it stands, we will fell it; if it lays, we will kill it. I haven't thought too much about what I'll do next because the weather here blows so bad it's nearly impossible to plan but there will be some serious yard waste - heart attack serious. Took before pix and will post with the after. I am expecting miracles! - and hoping my back holds out.

Trouble is last time I met up with poison ivy, my face ballooned up and the rash was a sight for no eyes. The ground I'm clearing is at least six inches of ivy; most of it is normal but those damn poison leaves are poking up here and there. It's not good. And, there's the rain. Seems like every day has it's dose and the trick is to figure how to work around it and work fast enough to beat the new growth. I am not comfortable operating electric power tools in rain.

Wanna bet that whatever I do plant here dies? Eh, one problem at a time. Sounds like I need to have a talk with my attitude.

I'm going back in. If I don't come out, send help.