3/6/14 2:04 AM
This blog is on a short temporary hiatus while it awaits Delphi's programmer to complete the rollout of the CKEditor and add it to blogs to replace the
ASP.NET HTML editor for IE & Mozilla that doesn't like to play well with IE11.
. Hopefully that will come soon. In the meantime visit my forums at:
Personal Law | Weight Loss/Diet Forum| Southern States|
12/25/13 12:14 AM
This is the annual Christmas message I have posted in each of my forums since 1996.
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
[Francis P. Church's editorial, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" was an immediate sensation, and became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, almost a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.]
Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O'Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus?Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!
Every year since 1996 I have shared the Christmas story online with my friends. It is a story that no matter how often we hear it, remains as wonderful as when Luke first wrote it:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed...
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
[St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-17. King James Version - public domain and not copyrighted]
12/10/13 9:24 PM
A reason NOT to shop at Wal-Mart, whose promise to match competitor's prices now appears to be less than honest:
Man says price-matching earned him a lifetime ban from all Walmarts
Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A former professional wrestler in Arizona says if he
had known Walmart would ban him for life he would not have engaged in
price-matching. Price-matching is going through other stores'
advertising to find the deepest discounts and then going to Walmart,
which promises to match other companies' lowest prices for identical
items. Joe Cantrell says his problems began last week when he tried that
at the Walmart in San Tan Valley, a Phoenix suburb...a sales associate
told him price-matching was not allowed. He asked to see a manager. The
associate also apparently called the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and
complained about Cantrell's behavior. Four days later, when he was back
in the store, he was removed in handcuffs and given a summons and a notice he was banned for life from every Walmart on the planet...
Apparently this blurb from Wal-Mart's website is not followed all the time: from http://corporate.walmart.com/policies
? : "We''re committed to providing low prices every day. If you find a lower advertised price on an identical product, tell us and we'll match it.
Wal-Mart has even been accused of firing an employee for matching prices for a customer on request: "After Black Friday protests tarnished the image of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
(NYSE:WMT) and increased pressure on the world's biggest retailer to up
its minimum wage and improve working conditions, an outraged mother has
started a petition to get her son his job back after he was sacked for
giving a price match on a turkey." Source: International Business Times: http://www.ibtimes.com/walmart-wmt-sack-single-father-two-turkey-price-match-his-outraged-mother-hits-back-online-petition
More on Wal-Mart's apparent deception:
He goes through circulars to find the biggest discounts, and then goes to Walmart. According to the company's website, they match the lowest advertised price on identical products, but when Joe tried doing that last week, the unthinkable happened (he was handcuffed and arrested)...Walmart sent ABC15 the following statement Tuesday: "We make
every effort to make sure our customers have a good experience in our
stores. As in previous situations, we attempted to work with this
customer. However, in this situation, the associate felt unsafe and so
we contacted local law enforcement. We are continuing to cooperate with
law enforcement on their investigation."
The moral: don't shop at Wal-Mart.
11/19/13 10:55 PM
ATT, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are run by morons - read on:
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, has proposed installing a built-in anti-theft measure known as a "kill switch" that would render stolen or lost phones inoperable, but the nation's biggest carriers have rejected the idea District Attorney George Gascon said Monday that AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless, United States Cellular Corp., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. rebuffed Samsung's proposal to preload its phones with Absolute LoJack anti-theft software as a standard feature...Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other law enforcement officials have been demanding that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country. Almost 1 in 3 U.S. robberies involve phone theft, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Lost and stolen mobile devices — mostly smartphones — cost consumers more than $30 billion last year, according to a study cited by Schneiderman in June. Samsung officials told the San Francisco district attorney's office in July that carriers were resisting kill switches, and prosecutors have recently reviewed emails between a senior vice president at Samsung and a software developer about the issue. One email in August said Samsung had pre-installed kill switch software in some smartphones ready for shipment, but carriers ordered their removal as a standard feature.
10/27/13 12:31 PM
Why is Facebook now allowing pedophiles to stalk children on Facebook? That's the question asked by ABC News in a provocative story about the stupidest decision in Facebook history. (After you read this, you'll make your children remove their pages). Read the details below:
Why Facebook Shouldn't Let The World See Your Teens' Pictures
10/22/13 3:20 PM
There are very few times I will label a fellow judge and his staff as "reprehensible" but that is a deserved appellation here for some inexcusable conduct by a court:
Breastfeeding mom facing charges for taking baby to jury duty
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A Missouri woman says she's facing contempt of court charges because she took her 7-month-old son, whom she breastfeeds, to jury duty. Laura Trickle, a stay-at-home mother from Lee's Summit, Mo., received a summons for jury duty but couldn't leave her son, Axel Graham, behind because she breast feeds, KCTV, Kansas City, Mo., reported.When she arrived at the Jackson County Courthouse, she was given two options. "I would be able to pump on breaks. Unfortunately Axel doesn't take a bottle, so that was not an option for us. The other option was to have someone stay with me all day and then be able to nurse on breaks. But since I'm a stay-at-home mom, we don't have childcare," Trickle said. So instead, Trickle was charged with contempt of court and is facing a $500 fine.
This was completely avoidable. People are excused all the time for young children and medical reasons, so the failure to do so here is inexcusable. And if the court wanted the person to serve eventually, you simply defer her service for a few months.
9/30/13 8:49 AM
Pretty soon, with all the extra fees, flying will be unaffordable. Airlines are charging for water, pillows, carry on bags, and probably before you know it, to smile and say thank you.
Airlines are introducing a new bevy of fees, but this time passengers might actually like them. Unlike the first generation of charges which dinged fliers for once-free services like checking a bag, these new fees promise a taste of the good life, or at least a more civil flight. Extra legroom, early boarding and access to quiet lounges were just the beginning. Airlines are now renting Apple iPads preloaded with movies, selling hot first class meals in coach and letting passengers pay to have an empty seat next to them. Once on the ground, they can skip baggage claim, having their luggage delivered directly to their home or office. In the near future, airlines plan to go one step further, using massive amounts of personal data to customize new offers for each flier...Carriers have struggled to raise airfares enough to cover costs. Fees bring in more than $15 billion a year and are the reason the airlines are profitable. But the amount of money coming in from older charges like baggage and reservation change fees has plateaued. So the airlines are selling new extras and copying marketing methods honed by retailers. Technological upgrades allow airlines to sell products directly to passengers at booking, in follow-up emails as trips approach, at check-in and on mobile phones minutes before boarding. Delta Air Lines recently gave its flight attendants wireless devices, allowing them to sell passengers last-second upgrades to seats with more legroom...
Read the rest of the ABC story for yet more marketing.
9/20/13 11:43 PM
You know you're REALLY a lawyer if...
You see a car with vanity license plates that read "1USCFAN", and you think to yourself, "Wow, the owner of that car must really love the United States Code!"
When someone is expressing their frustration or anger about something that is in any way related to the law, you can’t be sympathetic because you’re too busy figuring out in your head if they have a cause of action.
Your personal emails to family and friends have a disclaimer at the end.
You never answer a question without saying "well, that depends on the specific facts of the case..."
The shortest sentence you have ever written was more than eighty words long.
You have considered naming your future children A, B and C to simplify conveyances of property...
You’ve argued over a semicolon…
You consider filing a constitutional challenge to your $10 parking ticket.
You think about offer and acceptance when you are shopping.
You cross-examine your wife when she says "I love you."
If you come home and something is broken, you place your child under oath before you ask him about it.
You have considered changing career paths to hot dog vendor, stilt walker, or used car salesman.
Sometimes during disagreements you are tempted to 12(6)(b) the offending friend or family member. (For our non-lawyers here: Rule 12b6 refers to a motion for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted)
You object when arguing with friends that their comments are irrelevant.
You yell at the TV screen when the DA on Law and Order misses an objection.
You can recite the Constitution verbatim but can't remember your own phone number.
If you could write a comic book, the superhero would be named "Ultra Vires."
You preface the answer to every question your friends ask with "It depends..."
You actually read all the terms and conditions on websites before you click "I agree."
Being in a jobless industry doesn't scare you because you have that valuable title "Esquire."
You read a 156 page opinion with great interest, only to find out on page 157 of the article that the opinion you just read was reversed on appeal.
9/19/13 8:13 PM
Suppose you had a classic book which won the 1953 National Book Award for fiction, beating out Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and John Steinbeck's East of Eden. Suppose in 1995, writing for the New York Times, Roger Rosenblatt praised the novel as a masterpiece. Suppose that the classic book, instantly recognized as a masterpiece, a novel that captured the grim realities of racial discrimination as no book had (quoting Rosenblatt) made the list of 100 Best English Language Novels since 1923.
Suppose you get a group of obviously uneducated people elected to the school board of Randolph County in North Carolina and they get a few stray complaints from a few parents sadly unconcerned with their children receiving a well-rounded education about this book, by the renowned Ralph Ellison (it's "Invisible Man" if you haven't guessed). You'd guess that they would make the book required reading. You'd at least expect them to have it available in the school library.
So what did this group amazingly do, by a 5-2 vote? They banned the classic from all school libraries. It is no wonder American education is in so much trouble. With a school board that grossly ignorant of literature, students in that system are frankly doomed to failure.
A news story about this makes us wonder, when will the five who made such an anti-education vote, resign and apologize to the children?
'Invisible Man' ban is a failure to see
News & Observer
"The title of Ralph Ellison's masterpiece novel, “Invisible Man,” speaks to the irony of a narrator who feels he goes unseen because of what many immediately notice about him: He is black. That irony took another turn this week when the Randolph County school board voted to ban the novel from its school libraries. The novel, a classic that won the 1953 National Book Award for fiction, has drifted into the obscurity reserved for great books read mostly by assignment. But now Randolph County’s school board members, by a 5-2 vote, have made “Invisible Man” visible again, the subject of news reports that circulated around the nation. Committees at the school and district level in the central North Carolina county of 142,000 people had voted to keep the book, but the board approved its removal after the mother of a student in the town of Randleman complained that it was “too much for teenagers.” Ellison, who died in 1964, would likely be pleased by this burst of attention that adds his book to the ranks of other great works subject to school bans. Among the most commonly targeted, typically for their use of profanity, racial epithets or sexual references, are “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck..."
On this sad day for American schools, let me close with quotes from the classic novel:
- “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie extoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.”
- "I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time been ashamed. About eighty-five years ago they were told that they were free, united with others of our country in everything pertaining to the common good, and, in everything social, separate from the fingers of the hand. And they believed it. They exulted in it. They stayed in their place, worked hard, and brought up my father to do the same."
- “For, like almost everyone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism. I believed in hard work and progress and action, but now, after first being 'for' society and then 'against' it, I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude is very much against the trend of the times. But my world has become one of infinite possibilities. What a phrase - still it's a good phrase and a good view of life, and a man shouldn't accept any other; that much I've learned underground."
So much for the poor, uneducated children of North Carolina's Randolph County schools.
9/2/13 9:38 PM
Your medical records are, under federal law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
or HIPAA), required to be private. Most drug chains do fairly well honoring those privacy laws. One chain has decided to make mincemeat of privacy, and can at any time sell information about your health to the highest bidder - and that is CVS Pharamacy. NEVER fill a prescription there. It is not a bargain at any price. Would you want your employer, the government, or marketing companies to know all about your health? Of course not. Yet CVS forces you to sign away all your rights under federal law when you fill a prescription. This is unconscionable, and although they claim they won't misuse your information, they can, and money will tempt them. Other pharmacy chains, such as Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, etc do NOT require the same waiver.
Here are some scary news stories about this highly unethical chain:
CVS Caremark Corp. earned itself a legal headache recently when it rolled out a new prescription rewards program that requires participants to sign away their privacy rights for $50, a dubious idea that attorneys say was made worse by the company's failure to clearly tell consumers what it planned to do with their protected medical data.
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader-Aug 24, 2013
announced Feb. 4 that it was expanding its ExtraCare rewards
program to include prescription drug purchases. Since February, CVS Caremark has been pushing its pharmacists to enroll customers in a prescription-drug rewards program
. The benefit to customers is the opportunity to earn up to $50 a year in store credits that can be used to buy shampoo, toothpaste or other products. The benefit to CVS is persuading pharmacy customers, through questionable means, to give up federal privacy safeguards for their medical information
and permitting the company to share people’s drug purchases with others. “It’s very troubling,” said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. “Your medical information is very sensitive,” he said. “Pharmaceutical companies obviously would want to know what you’re taking and get you to buy more expensive medicines.” Walgreens and Rite-Aid have their own rewards
programs for prescription drugs. But officials at each company said they don’t require customers to relinquish federal privacy protections
International Business Times Aug 27, 2013
A new drugstore loyalty program is offering sweet rewards
for prescription holders, but some privacy advocates are calling it a bitter pill.
WFTV Orlando-Aug 30, 2013
ORLANDO,Fla. — A new rewards card program offered by a major drugstore chain may be a sneaky way to sell your health care records. CVS claims its expanded program would never do that. But many privacy groups say it could be risky to you. The program is called Extra Care Pharmacy and Health Rewards. You can sign up at CVS and for every 10 prescriptions filled, you get $5 in store credits -- up to $50 a year. But some consumer groups warn, you also signed away your health care privacy. Some might call it fine print; CVS said it's clearly spelled out in the agreement. To join the program, you must sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act authorization. HIPAA is the federal law that gives you control over your medical records, in this case the prescriptions you bought. The document means you waive HIPAA safeguards, so CVS could choose to share with or sell your records to someone else...Despite CVS stating the company will not sell or share your information, some experts warn that by signing the document, someday it could do just that... Action 9 checked with other major chains like Walgreens and could not find another reward program that requires you to waive your privacy rights.