Friday, October 03, 2008

[lawyers] make 'em all circuit judges

Here's the thing on lawyers which you won't remember that this blogger threatened to post.  It arose from an ongoing discussion over this way - hope you like it.

The first in the series was called "small government".  This is the second.

In a nutshell, we alter the whole paradigm in law.  All current lawyers either join the circuit of travelling magistrates [or indeed fixed ones] and all civil and criminal law is handled through them.  No need for solicitors, just clerks.  No need for juries or jury service, just magistrates.

All law works on precedent and on standard procedures developed and written up over the years, certainly in civil matters and there can easily be available blueprints on how to proceed. 

So it works this way.  

Two people are contracting to buy and sell a home.  The estate agent has the standard forms and explanatory notes on site and these are explained to the two parties and copies given.  However, there is a dispute over the exact boundary of the property and this needs resolution.

First step [gratis] is for the estate agent clerk who handles the legal side to sit down with the two parties and talk common sense.  It should resolve the majority of issues.  But let's say one party has dug his heels in and so they need to get a "travelling" arbiter in who, if almost all lawyers have joined this service, will be like well paid JPs.  His decision is final and is binding in law.  He is paid by the plaintiff, if he was the victor as the loser has lost out.  This reduces spurious dispute.

In criminal matters, the magistrate acts as just that.  There is provision for appeal to three magistrates sitting empanelled.

The thing is, the enormous sums saved by eliminating the legal gravy train go back into ordinary people's pockets but the lawyers themselves don't lose out.  They still earn a decent sum as magistrates and as it was in the case of good lawyers/bad lawyers, people can choose which ones to co-opt and which not to.

By changing the whole nature of adversarial law, all the sophistry, all the hanky-panky and all the rip-offs are swept away.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

[hidden readers] where are you, who are you

You know what I'd really like to know?

There are known knowns, such as those who blogroll me and I them and we visit each other and all is roses.  There are those who blogroll me and I them and we never visit.

Then there are the ones this post is about - the fair souls who have blogrolled me and who visit at a distance [maybe via RSS] and because I don't know who they are, I never get a chance to reciprocate.

Step forward and tell me, if you would.

[most unpopular occupations] which

Which is the most unpopular occupation in your eyes at this present time? Some have said that, until recently, lawyers led this list but now politicians have overtaken them. Care to vote on this? Only one vote per ip address per day: free polls
Which is the most unpopular occupation in your eyes?
Dentists Cold-call telemarketers Traffic wardens Little men on gates at events Politicians Lawyers Record labels Local councils Bureaucrats Other

Record labels must be right up there with the squeeze on Apple which might mean they will abandon their IStore in the near future:
"If word gets out that music publishers are trying to stick it to consumers, and Apple is fighting to keep prices down on their behalf, well, there's liable to be public backlash against the labels. If this thing follows the normal course, there would be calls for boycotts, protests and so on."

[drug of choice] what do you retreat to

When it's all too much for you, when you're thoroughly bored or overwrought, apart from praying to the Good Lord, what do you retreat to?

Up front, I admit that when it's all too much I grab a sheet of A4, a ruler, "B" grade pencil, eraser, calculator and set square and design myself another yacht. You can imagine how many I've designed over the years.

What's your retreat? Tea, coffee, beer, spirits, sex, acid, weed, what? Naturally you're not going to admit some of these.

Alternatively, let's say you were in a room alone and someone had put some XXXX in front of you and departed. You now have serious problems resisting it and if you were left to your own devices, you'd consume it all. What would that XXXX be for you?

Mine is chocolate.

How The Community Reinvestment Act Hosed Us Over

Originally posted at my blog, Buckeye Thoughts.

I write this just so people will know the truth. I could care less about who wins the election in November. You all know I'll be voting for Baldwin. So, here it is:

Watch that video, quickly! It has already been taken down once by YouTube. I don't share the views at the end that McCain will be the "candidate of change" here. Yes, it's true he did try to stop this from happening in '03 but that's a moot point. How is this relevant? Well, considering what the Senate is trying to do (after the House shot it down, wisely listening to their constituencies) and how both Presidential candidates are for this make it quite relevant. I'm just sick of hearing all my professors spouting lies about how the free market alone caused this. If we walk down this path, there will be no turning back!

Spain taught me a multitude of lessons that are, in my opinion, impossible to be learned through any other way than experience. One of them is, while we think we have it bad in this country on occasion, we don't. We are so much more blessed than any other nation in the entire world!

Don't let Congress or the President force this on us! If the Senate passes it, call your Representatives in the House and tell them NO! Feinstein supposedly was reported on Lou Dobbs Tonight as having received 85,000 calls urging her to vote against this. As they say, Let's get to work!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

[generation next] return to the old values

Britain has a history of football hooliganism and To Sir With Love type scenarios; the U.S.A. has similar. It is tempting to put it down to some national characteristic or other but this report from Australia, of the former president of the AMA bashed with a baseball bat at an ATM, puts it in perspective:

When news such as this is reported, the immediate assumption is the thugs were young. The assumption was correct. Police are looking for a gang of six or more believed to be behind these attacks, all aged from their late teens to early twenties.

The United Kingdom has this week been shuddering at X-ray images of a 16-year-old with a knife lodged in his skull. That country's psychiatrists are studying the link between low levels of the stress hormone cortisol and delinquent behaviour.

Canada has recently introduced tougher sentencing and plans to name and shame young offenders, abandoning traditional anonymity. And in New Zealand a judge has warned of a "social catastrophe" developing from youth.

Adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg sees several reasons. He believes mass media, including video games, is increasingly violent and may twist those predisposed to violence towards the extreme. "We live in a secular and disconnected society," he said yesterday. "Kids need a moral compass, but they are living in a moral vacuum where Hollywood and the alcohol industry have more influence on them than anything else."

Three point starter plan:

1. The cornerstone is a return to the Judaeo-Christian moorings, which loosely held society and its interpersonal relations in check for decades, which Anon recently described, at this blog, as "all that junk". This is a one generation affair, depending on parents' and teachers' willingness to impart the compassionate and self-disciplinary aspects of it and also depending on other factors.

2. Downsizing everything from classroom sizes to government, in which technology is the key factor in enabling it, for example a return to the one room school, wired for the 21st century. Working far more from home, with sorties to the workplace in small discreet numbers, enabling and economically encouraging at least one parent to work from there.

3. The cutting off of the oxygen supply to the whole pornographic, violent, satanist world culture which has gripped youth today, by means of substituting exciting projects which would not be exciting to today's lost children but to the next generation, brought up more naively and in a more localized environment.

Many other things need doing but these three would start the ball rolling.

[brickbats and bouquets] for fellow bloggers

This is going to alienate some of my regular readers - sorry about the strong opinions:

Bloggers who don't allow comments are virtually saying that their wisdom is enough for the reader, that they don't invite the reader in to put a point of view because many blog comments are shallow [true]. However, what about the serious commenter who really wants to interact? Surely Comment Moderation takes care of that?

Bloggers who use word verification when they are in Blogger/Google don't need the cursed thing and it only puts readers off, having to go through that unpleasant procedure over and over. Admittedly, in other hosts, it is needed.

Bloggers who put "web page" in their profile near the email link are doubly blessed, in my book.

Bloggers who don't answer their commenters in at least half their posts or who answer most of the commenters but not all every time, pointedly leaving some out, should really think of the hurt they might be causing by this omission. Most of us have been guilty of that one.

Bloggers who provide beautiful navigation from their front page and back and all around are triply blessed.

Bloggers whose comment name is a link but when you click on the link, it goes nowhere, should be taken out and shot. [For those with no sense of humour, this is meant to be light-hearted].

Bloggers who link to other bloggers are the salt of the earth - theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

[lowest common multiple] it's sort of clear

The lowest common multiple is found by multiplying all the factors which appear in either list:

So the LCM of 60 and 72 is 2 × 2 × 2 × 3 × 3 × 5 which is 360.

So far, so good. What about this?

900 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 5 x 5
270 = ___2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 5

The coloured numbers are counted once only as they appear in both columns and don't need to be counted twice. Anything left over [the bold black numbers] are also included in the count.


2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 5 x 5 = 2700 the LCM is 2700. OK?

Now try these: 63,28; 70,64; 147,45; 175, 120

Answers below

252, 2240, 4410, 4200

[luck] some just don't have it, some do

Robert Evans, a transient, was hit by a car [which didn't stop] on a Tuesday evening. He went to hospital, was released early in the morning, tried to cross a railway bridge and was hit by a train.

In 1987, Larry Reynolds was doing contracting work on a building scaffold when he was struck by lightning. In 2004, now aged 57, he was cleaning his shower when lightning struck him again.

25 children at a school in Falkirk in February this year were injured in a pile-up in a school corridor triggered when a first-year pupil stopped to pick up her shoe. Paramedics were called to the school to treat pupils for crush injuries, including ankle sprains, bruising and sore heads.

In March this year, the media called six accidents at the same time around Melbourne "freak" but they were probably referring to the concurrence more than the accidents themselves, which were ordinary.

Some people feel that freak accidents are misnamed and might not be as unexpected as first thought. For example:

According to a study entitled "Demographics of U.S. Lightning Casualties and Damages from 1959 - 1994," by Ronald L. Holle and Raúl E. López of the National Severe Storms Laboratory and E. Brian Curran of the National Weather Service, males account for 84% of lightning fatalities and 82% of injuries.

One snippet supporting this:

Major Summerford, who fought at Flanders, was knocked off his horse by a flash of lightning and paralysed from the waist down. He moved to Canada, and when he was fishing, he was struck again by lightning and his right side was paralysed. In 1930, he was again struck and this time completely paralysed. He died 2 years later.

Did the nature of his business cause this or did he induce this?

Why, for example, when I cross fields sometimes and then walk under street lamps, they go out and then come back on after I've passed by? Why, when I was in Sicily, did the boiler break? Why, back in the UK, did the boiler break two days ago and we won't have hot water until tomorrow? Why did the driving licence arrive from the DVLA and yet the documents didn't?

These things are sent to puzzle us.

[thought for the day] tuesday evening

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but never forget.

[Thomas Szasz, 1973]

You can forgive all right but be very, very wary, all the same.