I have a new blog for 2012 – Assignment 35.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of my move to Denver, I’ve adopted a random set of assignments which involve the number 35.
See you over at the new place.
Posted in Blogging, Books, City, Culture, Current Events, Denver, General Suz-ness, Good things, Life and death, Movies, Music, Travel, tagged 2012, blog, blogging, books, Denver, Movies, music on January 7, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Hollywood being what it is, plenty of ugly is being freely shared from Balloon Dad’s personal history. He did, it seems, little to endear himself to folks out there.
But Tina Griego’s column in today’s Denver Post is a gulp of clean air among this story’s many kinds of stink.
It’s about the man in the red shirt, a father himself, running hell for leather after the silver balloon in the field to get the kid out safely. It was about a child – the fast dash, the fierce grasp of the tether ropes, the total focus on getting that contraption to the ground and keeping it there. It wasn’t about him.
And he didn’t want his name in the paper.
Full column below the fold in case the link expires.
Sitting on the sofa
Puppy on my lap
Just me at home with him
watching the sleek new HDTV
with count-the-wrinkles resolution
Sun pouring onto us this morning
and the Rockies in the distance
was it dusty country Oklahoma
nearly 60 years ago
was it sultry 60′s Houston
middle school in a buckle of the Bible belt district
surely the place – as Molly Ivins said -
that I realized they were lying about race
and wondered what else they lied about too
was it my early 20′s working learning
law school at night
Or my late 20′s moving up to Colorado
standing up in court
conferring in the jails
with clients in assorted shades
it was my personal soundtrack in college: Aretha’s LPs
it was eighth grade class where we read
the United States Constitution aloud, every last word -
and discussed it
it was the place in my heart
those complicated chambers belonging to my father
whose journey ended too soon long ago
came a lump into my throat this morning
It only went away when Aretha started singing
it dissolved into tears down my face
Yes, right there on page 1 of the Denver Post:
“The black box has a bazillion different parameters on it. They will hone in on what went wrong.” Mike Boyd, aviation analyst, on the voice and data recorders, above, that have been sent to National Transportation Safety Board headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Gosh, isn’t it great when our local papers bring us the benefits of specialized expertise?
Another news story covered via twitter. See
. The saga starts with the tweet that reads “Holy f*g sh**t I wasbjust in a plane crash!”
HFS, that’s my airport. God, I am so glad everyone got out of the plane. (Continental flight 1404 from Denver (DEN) to Houston (IAH), went off runway into ravine on takeoff at 6:18 p.m. last night. Our local TV news is now giving us pictures of the plane sitting upright, covered with firefighters’ foam that looks like snow. But isn’t. DFD says the fire was intense but apparently didn’t get into cabin until everyone was out, nobody got burned.)
I was out there yesterday morning for my volunteer shift. Noticed it was windy as hell when I left, but that was six hours before the accident.
It’s bad enough that evil winter weather all over the rest of the country is messing up airline flight schedules. This accident has caused closure of half of DEN’s 6 runways for several hours, although I hear now that 1 or 2 of the 3 West airfield runways have been reopened, meaning that 4 or 5 of DEN’s 6 are again in operation.
Sorry, air-traveling people, looks like delays and cancellations all over the place this weekend.
I hate Christmas. Never was much on it and have come to dislike it more each year.
I once bought a big artificial tree (half price) because, well, if you’re a grownup with your own home you’re sort of supposed to. The happiest I have felt about Christmas in decades? Was when I dumped the tree and of all my Christmas decorations. Yesss!!
That’s one reason why I’m going to be very disappointed if my scheduled trip to Thailand doesn’t happen. I was so looking forward to escaping half of the horrible month of December, and I ain’t just talking about the weather in Denver. I wasn’t going to be gone on the day itself but happily absent during most of the pointless hoo-hah leading up to it.
Dayum, I had finally booked a December getaway, and now the Thais have hung out the “GO AWAY” sign. I am staying tuned to see if they can get the Bangkok airport opened for business next week and I can take my trip.
Maybe I can get a last-minute deal and go to Mexico instead.
Mary Winter’s column in today’s Rocky Mountain News explains it very well, although I don’t share her interest in changing a huge economic and cultural phenomenon. Or skiing. Entire column is below the fold if the link doesn’t work.
I had no idea that something like this would really happen again, with such tragic results, even as I was writing my last post about the conspicuous consumption orgy known as Black Friday.
But it did. Story below the fold if you have the stomach for it.
To hell with Walmart, Long Island thugs, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and the whole ugly thing.
All this talk about the economy is scary, but I have often thought “WTF?” when reading or listening to some of the news coverage. Especially the stories about today, aka “Black Friday,” that dubious American institution when retail stores compete for shoppers’ dollars with early opening hours and crazy loss leader specials.
For our foreign friends, that’s the day marked by news stories of innocent children being trampled by obese guys rushing the doors of Wal-Mart at 5:00 AM to be first to grab the marked-down 56-inch flat screen TVs. Yeah, that day.
The day on which I do my best to: buy. nothing.
It’s sad when our retail chains hit the skids, when stores have to lay off employees or, worse, close.
But the mainstream US media just doesn’t seem to want to close the loop and state the obvious. Which is that to the extent the economic “health” of our nation’s retailers is based on our nation’s people (consumers) spending beyond their means, it’s a castle built on sand. And that kind of foundation must inevitably shake down and settle if not totally collapse.
Our national personal savings rate is scary-low, especially when compared with what it used to be and with the personal savings rates in other countries. That is a function of how overstretched so many Americans have become – and were relentlessly encouraged to become over the past decade. The message, pounded at us by news articles, ads, TV shows and everybody with a hand in the pot, ran like this:
So what if you make $50,000 a year? You can afford two brand new cars and a boat and annual luxury vacations! Just draw on the growing equity in your house with a second mortgage or line of credit! And take out a handful of credit cards – don’t worry, just make minimum payments, be happy! Real estate prices can do nothing but go up and up, and next year you can refi and wipe out all that credit card debt! And eventually you can sell your house for a million bucks and retire!
Um, some of us weren’t buying it. Some of us, like me, have curiously old-fashioned ideas that you should not borrow money you can’t repay and ideally you don’t borrow it if repayment would stretch your resources. That your home equity is an ephemeral number that is the difference between what you owe (if anything) on the mortgage and what you could sell the house for, and there is no guarantee of what that number will actually be if/when you do sell. That the goal is not to keep borrowing money against your house, but to pay off the damn mortgage one of these days (not that I’m quite there yet but I have hope).
So, back to the moaning and groaning stories about how sales this Black Friday are going to be disappointing for retailers. Yes, I hope they will. Ugly as it is, a shakeout is in order.
People, don’t feel sorry for Walmart. Don’t go into more debt for Christmas presents. Save some money if at all possible – not as in buying stuff on sale. As in, opening a savings account with a decent interest rate – such as at ingdirect dot com – and putting money into it.
I know, it’s a concept that some people may find novel.
It’s old fashioned. It’s unfashionable.
Try it. You might like it.
Thanks to twitter I found the blog of Arun Shanbhag, who took his camera out onto the streets of Mumbai as the dawn rose, and has posted many of his photos on his blog.
Warning: some of the pictures are graphic, no mangled human bodies, but still disturbing. However, if you think you are up to it, the pictures and comments are well worth a look.
His most recent update, with the newly burning Taj Hotel photographed against the night sky, says that after keeping his composure all day, he is finally reduced to tears by the sight of the Taj in flames.
I don’t have words, really, except that I am so sorry for the awful losses of those in Mumbai, and angry at the mindless brutality that caused them.
I had always figured that we would not see this during my lifetime. No matter the quality of the candidate or the good ideas in the platform. Americans would not elect an African-American as President. Wasn’t happy about it, but I thought that was a river we were far from crossing in our journey of progress.
Bless all you people out there – especially all the millions of YOUNG Americans – who proved to me just how far we have come.
In my lifetime.
And I think my friend Helen, who died last March at age 94, is celebrating this wherever she is. Her daughter, in sorting out Helen’s financial stuff as the personal represenative of the estate, found that in the last months of her life Helen had sent several donations to the Obama campaign. A retired public school teacher. White. Lutheran. Iowa-born and bred. Ladylike to her core. Sharp as a tack until the end and gracious with it.
Maybe Helen’s support should have hinted to me how big this thing would get.
Total hours I have served to date in 2008 as a volunteer ambassador at the airport, according to the program’s scheduling/tracking system: 116:45.
My “classic reviewer rank” on amazon.com, which is the old system: 5,437.
Words I have yet to write for National Novel Writing Month 2008: 50,000.
Days left until my vacation trip to Thailand: 39.
Simple Thai phrases I can speak or understand: 0.
Edited to add: Estimated attendance at today’s downtown Denver campaign speech by Barack Obama, according to the Denver Police Department: 100,000.
Yes. 100,000 people went downtown to see and hear Sen. Obama, with only a few days notice. First photo from the Denver Post, second from the Rocky Mountain News.
Voted early, voted once. This is my ballot in its mail-in envelope on my desk last Tuesday morning.
I dropped it into a mailbox on my lunch hour.
Now, I wish all the political commercials were also done and gone. But I think there may be just a few people who haven’t voted yet and of course the commercial wars will rage until election day has come and gone.
I try to avoid them by listening to public radio and watching HGTV and DIY network.
Listening to radio isn’t as easy as it used to be since Jasper chewed up the remote control to my good old Bose wave radio (the older model which does have controls on the radio itself, unlike the current model which has all controls on the remote). I just ordered a replacement remote for ten bucks, which should get here before election day and help keep my stress levels down.
I blogged the other day about my feelings, and now for the facts. Here’s a succint online article that summarizes US government bailouts of private sector firms/industries for the past 30 years. You’ll have to visit the site to see what the bubbles mean. Hint: they read from left to right and show the relative size of our government’s cost for each bailout. And a surprising number of those bailouts have happened THIS YEAR. In size and pace, this is unprecedented.
My feelings today? Happy because I just got a call from the doggie day care place, and they said that on his first morning there, Jasper is having fun and fitting in just fine. Which makes me smile, remembering that he’s a 12.5 pound guy and almost every other dog there is big: Labs, German Shepherds, Newfies, and the like. Cool. While I’m downtown working he’s playing and not just lying around the house.
Quote of the day:
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. –H.L. Mencken
By definition a hobgoblin is a “fearsome mythical creature,” so “imaginary hobgoblin” is over the top. I still like it.
Last Monday on the 16th Street Mall, at lunchtime. A nice sunny day, not as hot as August can be here. My usual lunchtime restaurant was half-deserted at 11:40, although on a usual day it’s getting pretty full by then:
However, outside on the Mall more than the usual lunchtime crowds were out, because this was Day One of the Democratic National Convention and the joint was jumping.
I noticed that the heavy masonry trash cans along the Mall had been replaced by lightweight cardboard boxes with plastic bags.
People were cheerful, hawkers were out in force. Some with permits and I’m sure many without. Some buskers were out, including one man playing his trumpet. I’d stopped to take his picture when I heard someone say something about the Mall shuttle buses being stopped, then heard a booming noise in the background.
I looked up and saw a banner approaching from the Civic Center end of the Mall. People were marching in the traffic lane toward me.
So I took some snaps and then stepped aside to watch the protest parade pass.
It didn’t take long. There weren’t very many marchers, and several of them seemed to be multitasking anyway.
By the digital time metadata in the pictures I took, it was two minutes and thirty seconds between the first snapshot from a block away and this picture of the mounted patrol bringing up the rear at the end of the protest parade.
In the meantime, the horn player – in the turquoise and white shirt above – had stopped playing while the little protest parade passed by, and turned to a new place in his music, an interesting counterpoint to the passing parade.
It’s OK, this is America. That’s what happens here.
In broad daylight. Out in public. On a nice sunny day. The outraged protesters make their point and march on. The trumpet player lifts up his horn and plays again – “I Worship You, Almighty God” – after they pass by.
The festival continues. I go back to work.
I’m figuring out the logistics of getting to and from my downtown office this coming Monday through Wednesday. Because as I may have mentioned a time or ten here the Democratic National Convention will be in town. Along with the media and the tens and tens of thousands of demonstrators and marchers and protesters that we are constantly told are flocking here as we speak. My office is in a building located at the staging area and starting point of daily parades (as in demonstration/protest type, not the Shriners) through downtown. The City designated the route a few months ago and handed out permits to applicants. From 10 am to 3 pm Sunday through Wednesday (or maybe through Thursday), it’s gonna be crowded out there on the streets.
The media hype is growing by the minute, and it’s only Friday afternoon. The DNC opened the doors to show off the remodeled interior of the Pepsi Center, and everybody’s all ooh and aah which really brings home how much this is show biz. Some of these reporters are going to be hyperventilating by Tuesday afternoon if this pace keeps up.
In the meantime, a little sanity is to be had on the innernets. The folks at FactCheck.org have looked into Barack Obama’s birth certificate apparently in response to allegations that it’s a fake and he wasn’t really born in the USA They report here that it’s for real and yes he was born in the US. The report concludes with a copy of a birth announcement printed in the newspaper in Honolulu in 1961: a son was born on August 4 to Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, with their home address also listed.
Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.
Good lord, could common sense be breaking out?
On second thought: Nah.
I think the US Transportation Security Administration is trying to reassure us regular peeps who fly commercial with this section of its website about its National Explosives Detection Canine Team. And it’s interesting.
But I find something unsettling about their breeding program logo. Unsuspecting yellow Lab being approached from behind by aggressive commercial jetliner.
Result: airplane that can sniff its own explosives, or dog that can fly itself to work?
Thanks to Fighting Windmills for asking, I’m getting adjusted to having these braces on my teeth. I’m even able to eat again. No fear that The Pigout Queen here would ever fall victim to any condition that would keep her from eating for any serious length of time. Like three hours or more.
I’m busy – working. Really cuts into my time to sit around and goof off and write silly things on my blog.
For some reason this morning I’m thinking of recent local headlines concerning Men Behaving Badly. And in one of the two stories, a man behaving very well indeed. Knight-in-Shining-Armor well. Literally rescuing a damsel from the brink of peril.
The biggest bunch of men behaving badly were young: 9 CU frat pledges who comprehensively trashed an Estes Park motel. Assumptions are always risky, but why do I think that these guys may have felt somehow entitled to act like rock stars in a Super 8 Motel? I’d like to think that they will face no consequences as hellish for this rampage, as looking their mamas in the eye.
In the other story, an alert waiter spotted a man putting something into his date’s drink while the date was away from the table in the ladies’ room. As soon as she returned to the table, the waiter brought her a new drink, took the tainted drink away, and called the cops. The doctored drink contained Valium – not an item on the menu at Ruby Tuesday.
The date was arrested. Robert Lawrence Psaty, 56, has a history of abusive behavior toward women, but has managed to skate away from serious legal consequences, to the extent of being able to pass a background check to work at the state hospital. Scary. He met the date through a dating service. Extra scary. They were meeting in a public place – per the accepted wisdom of safe dating. Mega scary.
Bless that waiter.
I hear that the future of American newspapers is in doubt. Which makes me sad. As much as I love rooting around online, I also love hearing the slap of today’s local daily hitting the doorstep, and paging through the paper while sipping the day’s first cup of coffee. And I’m even used to having slightly ink-smudged fingers afterwards.
And if we lose the Denver Post, who will bring us stories like this? Not TV, this whole tale is a little too complicated for the average 1.9 millisecond (or whatever the time is) TV news story. We may see some very simplified blurb about this on the tube. But it won’t be the same.
So thanks to the Post. And hooray for Wray, where you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
And another reason I like the newspaper: the daily advice columns. In the Post, it’s Ask Amy. Today, Amy Dickinson included this observation when handing out some relationship advice:
Love is patient, love is kind, and sometimes love leaves you in a quivering heap by the side of the road.
The perfect Quote of The Day After.
It’s OK. I contained myself. No F-bombs in this post. Barely.
I am seriously pissed, after being at first incredulous.
The Recording Industry Association of America can kiss my grits. What a bunch of greedy power-crazed paranoid idiots they are.
They are suing a man for copying 2000 songs from CDs that he PURCHASED legally onto his own home computer. The RIAA’s going after him for copyright infringement and music stealing and maybe also for vagrancy, loitering with intent to creep, sedition, felony bad taste and illegal license plates.
I am not making this up – OK, except for the probable additional charges part. I wish I were. Story is here in the WaPo and all over the innernets by now too.
So the RIAA sez that I can buy CDs (as I did just last night, as it happens), but only listen to them in whatever inconvenient way the RIAA thinks best? Yep. I’m a criminal because I used my LEGALLY acquired iTunes software to copy my OWN LEGALLY PURCHASED CD music, for my OWN listening enjoyment (not for distribution) onto my OWN LEGALLY PURCHASED PC? According to the RIAA, I’m stealing every time I copy a song, even in those circumstances. (more…)
Stevie Wonder – Someday At Christmas, which was released in 1967. Forty years later, alas, the lyrics seem more relevant than ever.
Someday at Christmas, men won’t be boys
Playing with bombs like kids play with toys.
One warm December our hearts will see
A world where men are free.
Someday at Christmas, there’ll be no wars,
When we have learned what Christmas is for.
When we have found what life’s really worth -
There’ll be peace on earth. . . .
Yesterday I watched a documentary on MSNBC about McDonald’s. It was a repeat; the show was first aired last July. Hosted by Carl Quintanilla, the program featured some critics of McDonald’s who view it as the insidious purveyor of unhealthy food which it shamelessly markets to children.
It got me to wondering about the social history of the American hamburger. I’m old enough to remember the days when there wasn’t a McDonald’s on every corner in every town in the US. But we were all plenty familiar with hamburgers, fries and soft drinks. Also with drive-in hamburger joints. Maybe it was a regional thing, and they didn’t have such things in the Northeast until McDonald’s got there.
I’m wondering about this because some of the critics of McDonald’s food sound like they think McDonald’s invented hamburgers and fries. Like regular Americans were all happily eating whole grain bread, granola and fresh fruit for lunch until (cue the horror movie music) the crazed geniuses working for Ray Kroc invented hamburgers and fries and foisted them off on an unsuspecting innocent populace.
I’m no hard-core libertarian, and I don’t patronize Mickey D’s unless I’m on a road trip – they have clean bathrooms and good coffee – but listening to a few of those anti-Mac fanatics brought the phrase “nanny state” to mind. And “out to lunch.”
Denver Post editorial writer Bob Ewegen is my favorite Republican newspaper columnist. Who, I’m sure, the people in charge of the GOP these days wish would just die. Because he’s rational, compassionate, smart, and can think for himself. His column today is posted in whole below the fold in case the link doesn’t work.
Having bought nothing yesterday, I’m happy to read this:
For years, I’ve cringed at the pagan festival of Greedmas, which kicked into high gear yesterday as “Black Friday” lured consumers into big box temples to separate them from their cash and max out their credit cards.
A long time ago, this season was known as “Christmas.” But it no longer honors the message of Jesus.
Lest we forget, that message was reported by a far better journalist than me, by the name of Matthew:
For I was hungry and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger and ye took me in. I was naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison and ye came unto me. Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of these of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Sadly, the least of our brethren are mostly ignored during Greedmas — they don’t have credit cards
Thank you, Mr. E.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled candles wrapped in birch bark because they are, well, a fire hazard.
I am surprised that: (1) somebody decided this would be a good product line, (2) somebody else filled the orders to make the products, and (3) other people decided to sell them to the public. Okay, not so much by (2); these were manufactured in China, where apparently nobody turns a hair at making anything possible, regardless of the toxicity of the ingredients or whether the finished product is capable of wiping out hundreds of people at a go when being used as directed, even if that’s not the intended result.
Thanks to my cousin for passing along the recall news me by email in which he wrote:
Gee, what a surprise!
Birch bark, particularly paperbirch bark, has been known since man first started making fire as an excellent tinder for getting a fire going. It doesn’t make a good primary tinder (that into which one would directly strike a spark) because it doesn’t catch a spark easily. However, once a flame is available and applied to strips of birchbark, it burns hot and well.
I am constantly amazed by the ignorance of people. I guess it is just a consequence of the fact that many people have been completely removed from reality by modern conveniences and have no practical knowledge of things that used to be common knowledge. Consequently, it isn’t a great leap for someone to think how pretty a candle looks wrapped in birchbark and not realize that birchbark is wood and burns. Soak a little candle wax into it…. and it burns even better!! What a concept!!
This story cries out for the superb snarkiness skills of, say, Cranky Professor. I am not worthy.
un • ru • ly – adjective, -li·er, li·est.
not submissive or conforming to rule; ungovernable; turbulent; intractable; refractory; lawless: an unruly class; an unruly wilderness. *
It’s like the bad old days of policing in the USA: bring in a suspect, interrogate him, and if he doesn’t say what you want, beat the crap out of him. And then charge him with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Pakistan’s President/General Musharraf has just done his own macro version of that. Order judges to rule the way he wants – regardless of what the law says – and when they won’t play along, declare a state of emergency, including over the court system. And say it’s because they were “unruly.”
According to BBC News:
The president, who is also head of the army, has said he declared the state of emergency because of a crisis caused by militant violence and an unruly judiciary.
Let’s see. His strong political opponent finally returns to the country and coincidentally somebody bombs the welcoming streets full of celebrating people – somebody whom Musharraf’s troops and tame secret police just couldn’t learn about and stop beforehand. Despite that ELEVEN BILLION US DOLLARS of “antiterrorist” aid Musharraf’s received from the Bush Administration since late 2001, there was this “militant violence.” Uh-huh.
And gosh, it must also just be a coincidence that the nation’s supreme court was about to issue a decision as to whether Musharraf’s re-election as President was voided by his failure to step aside as head of the armed forces as required by law. But, well my goodness, what with all that unruliness going on, there just wasn’t a minute to lose to slap down the court system after individual justices refused to be pushed around by Musharraf’s administration.
And don’t you just KNOW some of the farthest-out-there Bushies wish they could do the same thing to the United States courts? I would like to think it could never happen here.
I would also like to think that if it did, US lawyers would show the same courage and take it to the streets like our Pakistani counterparts.
Also, for the record, courtesy of the BBC, here’s a list of the “emergency” restrictions Musharraf has put in place:
Constitutional safeguards on life and liberty curtailed
Police get wide powers of arrest
Suspects can be denied access to lawyers
Freedom of movement restricted
Private TV stations taken off air
New rules curtail media coverage of suicide bombings or militant activity
Chief justice replaced, others made to swear oath of loyalty
Supreme Court banned from rescinding emergency order
Full BBC story here if the link above doesn’t work.
*”unruly.” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1. Random House, Inc. 06 Nov. 2007.)
Many lawyers in Pakistan have mobilized to protest their President’s seizure of essentially absolute power – he suspended the constitution. Just ahead of a supreme court ruling on whether said President’ re-election was legal. Lawyers are being arrested by the hundreds. Even those who are not protesting are being grabbed off the streets and taken to jail. Just for being lawyers.
I am sure that the Bush Administration – which shows damn little respect for the rule of law and the independent authority of the courts as a branch of government in its own country which is also MY country - will do essentially nothing about this. Oh, they’ll tell Condi Rice to squawk a little about human rights. But at the end of the day, the Bushies will keep all that US money flooding into Musharraf’s pockets in the name of “antiterrorism.” I am feeling more than a little terrified right now. Oh, by the way, Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
Here’s the caption to this picture: “Policemen beat a lawyer outside provincial High Courts in Lahore November 5, 2007. Pakistani police used teargas and batons on Monday against lawyers protesting at President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule and detentions mounted, prompting Washington to postpone defence cooperation talks. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza (PAKISTAN).”
Whacked-out Fred “all hate, all the time” Phelps and his traveling band of Kansas nutcases have been slapped with a judgment against them of $11 million in a Maryland civil case filed by the father of a solider whose funeral was targeted by the Phelps traveling circus.
Couldn’t happen to a more appropriate bunch.
This whole deal will take awhile to play itself out: appeals, then attempts by plaintiffs to collect. I really hope that Mr. P. does something really illegal in the course of avoiding payment of the judgment. For which he could land in a prison somewhere. With unsympathetic roomies. Awww.
I doubt that Roy Pearson is going to board the clue train – after all, he’s already 57 years old and probably set in his stupid ways - but at least he’s no longer judging administrative cases in Washington, D.C. According to the Washington Post, this administrative law judge who sued a local dry cleaner for $54 million because they lost a pair of his pants – and lost – has now lost his job. He recently completed a two-year term as an ALJ, hearing cases involving city agencies, and was up for reappointment for a ten-year term.
A source familiar with the committee’s meetings said Pearson’s lawsuit played little role in the decision not to reappoint him.
Instead, the committee said it had reviewed Pearson’s judicial decisions and audiotapes of proceedings over which he had presided and found he did not demonstrate “appropriate judgment and judicial temperament,” according a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.
Sources said Pearson also was criticized for displaying a “combative” nature with supervisors and colleagues and for failing to comply with policies in drafting opinions.
Yep. I suspect Mr. Pearson may be dumb as a box of rocks, in addition to lacking the “appropriate judgment and judicial temperament” required for the job of judging cases. His claiming the title of “Judge” in his private life is one big clue, as is his filing a lawsuit – whatever amount he claimed as damages – over a simple consumer transaction. I was surprised to hear the news that a judge had filed such a silly lawsuit – and then did an eye-roll when I learned he was an ALJ.
For anyone not familiar with the system, administrative law judges toil in the (more…)