October 31, 2002

Democrats Planned Backfired Pep Rally

Instapundit points to a Capitol Hill Blue report that the Democratic party planned the Wellstone Memorial and DFL Pep Rally as a kickoff to a week-long coronation of Walter Mondale:

"That was the plan all along and it was one of the reasons we didn't want Cheney at the event," says one Democratic political operative who spoke only under promise that his name not be used. "It was a high stakes gamble but this is a campaign that demands high risks."
The secret plan was developled at the DNC headquarters in Washington and approved by party chairman Terry McAuliffe, the source said.

Wow... sometimes I wonder if the Democrats can really be as stupid as they often seem.

Posted by wasylik at 06:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Here's an interesting Slashdot thread on how to tell when you need a lawyer. My favorite response is:

You need lawyer when you're talking to a lawyer.

Of course, that's not too far from the truth. As a lawyer, I have seen many instances where people have chosen not to hire a lawyer when they could or should have, and ended up losing many times over what that they saved in attorney's fees. There are a few instances in life where I, in my experience, think a person needs a lawyer:

  1. When one has been, or is about to be, charged with a crime. Quoting from Primal Fear, "You know that money you've been saving for a rainy day? Well, it's raining!"
  2. When one owns or runs a business, especially when there are other people involved. Without competent legal advice, you run the risk of losing your business and possibly much more.
  3. When one receives anything called "subpoena" or "summons" - either calling for witness testimony or naming you as a defendant. If someone else has their lawyer working on a something that invloves you, you need to get someone who knows the potential traps and pitfalls of what you're about to go through - with luck, one who can steer you away from those pitfalls.

There are a couple other ones that come to mind, but those are the Big Three. Also, here's a link on "How to Pick a Lawyer" - advice which I only partially agree with, but I'll comment more in depth at some later point.

Posted by wasylik at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2002

Funeral Rally in Minnesota

Headline: "Wellstone campaign chairman apologizes for service's partisan tone"

What kind of gross inappropriateness must have happened to drive the campaign chairman to apologize for the tone of the memorial service?? I didn't see it, but I'll bet it had little to do with Wellstone's memory.

Posted by wasylik at 06:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

High Praise

I got a great compliment last night. Someone who was on the other end of an agreement I drafted for a client said:

You drafted that agreement? Boy, was that one-sided.

Heh. Even better... it's all enforceable, baby.

Posted by wasylik at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2002

The Brotherhood Loses One

I just read on the news, and got a confirming e-mail, that Will McLaughlin, aide to Senator Wellstone, was one of the people killed in the plane crash.

Will was a fraternity brother from the Minnesota chapter; his position with Wellstone was celebrated in the most recent SigEp Journal [PDF file] (page 41). I knew Will just a little bit; he was a good guy and a rising star both in the fraternity and in politics. I'm saddened even more by this new turn of events and frankly, I'm just a bit tired of all the death that has rained down this month.

UPDATE: I just got the fraternity's news release:

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

Zollinger House, Richmond, Virginia October 25, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: E. Scott Thompson, II, Director of Communications

Phone: 804-353-1901 FAX: 804-359-8160 NEWS RELEASE

Sigma Phi Epsilon is deeply saddened to announce that Brother William M. McLaughlin, Minnesota '02, was aboard Senator Paul Wellstone's plane when it crashed earlier today. He was a staff member for Senator Wellstone's campaign and interned on the Senator's campaign during the Spring of 2002. Will served his Fraternity as Chapter President and as one of three Undergraduate Directors on the Sigma Phi Epsilon National Board of Directors. Last year he was honored as a Zollinger Outstanding Senior for District 15. Will was a bright, energetic fraternity brother and an inspiration to all that knew him.

Posted by wasylik at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wellstone Plane Crash

I've just heard on the radio that the charter plane carrying Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, his daughter, and other campaign staff has crashed in Minnesota, likely killing everyone aboard. The Washington Post reports that eight were killed. His campaign manager has confirmed that the Senator was aboard.

I've always disagreed with Wellstone's policies, but I'm saddened by this turn of events.

UPDATE: Dan Hartung dug up Minnesota law regarding the vacancy:

A major political party has the authority to fill a vacancy in nomination of that party's candidate by filing a nomination certificate with the same official who received the affidavits of candidacy for that office.

Section 204B.13

When a vacancy in nomination occurs through the death or catastrophic illness of a candidate after the 16th day before the general election, the officer in charge of preparing the ballots shall prepare and distribute a sufficient number of separate paper ballots which shall be headed with the words "OFFICIAL SUPPLEMENTAL BALLOT."

Section 204B.41

Subd. 11. Temporary appointment. The governor may make a temporary appointment to fill any vacancy. An appointee shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified at a special election or until a successor is elected pursuant to subdivision 12.
Subd. 12. Succession by regularly elected senator. An individual who is elected to the office of United States senator for a regular six-year term when the office is vacant or is filled by an individual appointed pursuant to subdivision 11, shall also succeed to the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

I believe Dan is correct in his interpretation; The Democratic party gets to pick a nominee to run in Wellstone's place on Nov. 5; whoever wins that election immediately takes office. Gov. Ventura will get to pick someone to hold the office until Nov. 5 only.

Posted by wasylik at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Viral Referrer Marketing

"You are seeing this page probably because your found us among your weblog's referrers or because a blogger linked to us as a result of our ongoing referrer campain."

The idea is that this company disseminates a URL by "referring" hits to weblogs. The techinal means by which they do this is unknown to me, but I can't imagine it's all that difficult to do on any server. Any techies have an idea how one might gin up a simple PHP script to do exactly this? (For much less than $1000.00 U.S.)

Posted by wasylik at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2002

Super Moose

Well, it looks like they've got the evil-doers in custody. I'm cautiously optimistic, but it looks like solid police work led to the capture of the snipers. I feel much better now than I have in the last three weeks.

On the other hand, I don't feel quite as good as this person does:

I want to have a parade for Chief Moose and I am going to get all the kids from my school and it will be super fun!!! And we will march to the TV reporters in Rockville and have lots of signs and a banned will play music and we will sing "Chief Moose my Chief Moose" to the tune of "Maryland My Maryland!!!!!!!" because that is the state song.

Chief Moose has a secret admirer.

Posted by wasylik at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2002

Debunking Low Carb Myths

A new study suggests that critics who claim Atkins-style diets are bad for the heart may be wrong, at least for the short term. The study is agnostic on long-term effects, but found that:

After 6 months... [study subjects] on the LCHP diet lost 10 more pounds of body weight and 6 more pounds of body fat than did those following the low-fat diet. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels--which can indicate increased risk for cardiovascular disease--were within normal ranges for both groups.

Both groups consumed the same number of calories.

Posted by wasylik at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

Simon to Davis: I'm Not Dead Yet!

Political Wire cites a Robert Novak story that says the Bill Simon campaign may be rising from the ashes, much to everyone's surprise after Simon's recent magnificent blunders.

The nightly tracking poll taken for the California Teachers Association, made available to Republicans last Friday morning, was startling. Thursday night's telephone interviews about the race for governor showed beleaguered Republican candidate Bill Simon leading Democratic Gov. Gray Davis 34.2 percent to 33.7 percent. The three-day tracking roll gave Davis a mere 2.7 percentage point lead.

I assume that the CTA is a left-leaning group, so that would seem to rule out the possibility that this is a partisan poll slanted in Simon's favor. In fact, I would think the opposite would be true. So the governor's mansion is still within reach for Simon, with turnout being the crucial deciding factor. (If this is true, then Davis will still have a huge advantage since Democrats almost always do better with knock-and-drag operations.)

Posted by wasylik at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

Gun Bans Prevent Nothing

In case anyone missed it in the wake of this weekend's sniper news, Melboune, Australia was the scene of a murder spree this weekend, where "A man armed with several handguns opened fire at a university in the southern city of Melbourne on Monday, killing two people and wounding eight others." [emphasis mine]

So those who have used the sniper situation to argue that strong gun control might have prevented these attacks might want to re-think their thinking.

Posted by wasylik at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2002

Telemarketing Script

A highly amusing script to use when a telemarketer calls.

Posted by wasylik at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2002

Don't Snipe at Me

Currently all safe here. This last attack was only a mile or so away from home.

Dineen and I were at that store on Sunday night, right about eight o'clock. We were there to pick up a toilet paper roll holder.

I don't know what to think anymore. I just keep looking for a Chevy Astro van with a non-working tail light and I've got my cell phone charged up.

UPDATE: Some excellent coverage and ideas over at Unqualified Offerings. And there's even a good banjo-player joke.

Posted by wasylik at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2002

So Cool

My wife is so cool.

Posted by wasylik at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

Kick Us When We're Down

Man, sometimes I don't know why I watch this stuff anymore. My Seminoles came within one point of beating the Miami Hurricanes, but came up short when Xavier Beitia's kick went wide left as time ran out. Argh.

Posted by wasylik at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2002

The Kind of Thing You'll Never See on Medley

Lyn uncovers an example of media bias, namely an attack piece against Dr. W. David Hager, a potential appointment to an FDA advisory panel on women's health. The article agrees with Lyn's own ideological bias - anti-religion and pro-abortion-rights - and just by coincidence, Lyn fails to comment on the obvious bias and factual distortions in the article.

Notice how similar the article is to this call to arms from the Feminist Majority. The first several paragraphs address Dr. Hagen's religious beliefs with the obvious insinuation that they somehow make him less qualified to hold a government post; there is only one sentence, buried in the middle of the third paragraph, that even claims to represent an actual policy position the doctor has taken.

The Time article, by contrast, doesn't even come up with an actual policy position - it describes Dr. Hagen soley by reference to his religious faith.

This is disgusting bigotry, and the liberals who embrace it need to do some serious soul-searching.

Posted by wasylik at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2002

Davis Dredges for Dollars

California Governor Gray Davis denies that he was caught on camera accepting a donation in the state capitol, which would be illegal under California law.

Since the picture is pretty clearly date-stamped, let the Governor produce his appointment book to tell us exactly where that meeting was.

Incidentally, it appears as if Simon violated the ages-old campaign rule... don't fire all your ammunition at once. Simon should have prompted Davis into denying it BEFORE the group produced the photo.

Posted by wasylik at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

It Just Looks Cool

Whether you like Bush or not, you've got to admit that this photo of the President in front of the American flag is a pretty neat composition.

Posted by wasylik at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

Eldred v. Ashcroft

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments this morning in Eldred v. Ashcroft, in which Creative Commons leader and Standford Law professor Lawrence Lessig is arguing on behalf of Plaintiff Eric Eldred that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended copyright terms for another tenty years, violates the Constitution's provision for copyrights of "limited" time.

Since I am still in New Mexico, I was not able to attend the hearing, and I have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of early news on how the arguments went. I'll update this entry later as I hear more.

Here's a post-argument article that looks like it came from the AP feed. Note how the article quotes AOL Time Warner but not anyone arguing against the extension.

Posted by wasylik at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2002

Top Ten States for Small Business

Philipp Harper has compiled a list of the top ten states to start a small business for MSN Business. While Nevada's rank as number one will likely surprise no one, some of the other top ten might not be what you expect.

Posted by wasylik at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

Santa Fe Shops

We stopped in a couple of neat shops in Santa Fe that I'd like to remember:

Lots of neat places in Santa Fe. These are just a few.

Posted by wasylik at 01:23 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2002

Flying Away

Dineen and I have left town, away from the snipers and the ballot fraud, to spend a few days with family in New Mexico exchanging happy thoughts and laughter.

We've sampled some phenominally bad chain food ("authentic New Mexican cuisine?" Not according to my large intestine!) but hope to work our way up from there. Fortunately, we've put food issues behind us and spent the day at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which I understand to be the largest gathering of hot-air balloon enthusiasts in the world. In the morning, just after dawn, hundreds of balloons unfold, inflate, and leave Earth in waves, floating down the air currents that run along the mountains. Then at night, the ballloons all return - hauled back by the chase crews that followed them all morning with pickups and trailers - for the Balloon Glow.

The Glow happens at nightfall. The hot air in the balloons comes from high-powered blasts of propane, which in the dark turns the entire balloon into a giant luminaria. As we saw for the first baloon at dawn, it can be a stunning effect for just a single balloon. But most of the morning fliers come back for the Glow and line up row by row on the fields. Then all on cue, they flame up.

The effect is astonishing.

I've got a makeshift gallery of the morning flights and the evening Glow that will be up soon.

Posted by wasylik at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2002

Sound Mind and Sound Body

The Sig Ep Journal is the quarterly magazine that goes out to every alumnus of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

So who's that handsome devil on page 18 of the Fall 2002 issue? [PDF]

Posted by wasylik at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)