Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whatthefucsup? Lindsay Stays Free to Snort Another Day But T.I. Can't Get Help Even After Begging

Lindsay Lohan escaped jail again  on Friday when Rapper T.I. was sentenced to 11 months in jail for violating a very similar crime. One can't hope but wonder if this is because T.I. needs the phone number of Lohan's Beverly Hills Lawyer or if this coincidence has another reason for having varying results.
Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox ordered Lohan back to rehab for violating probation by testing positive for a random drug test. She will stay at the Betty Ford Center until January 3, 2011. Judge Fox advised Lohan that she needed to think about her future, “You will become unemployable,” he added. “Uninsurable.”

Dannette Meyers, Los Angeles District Attorney strongly recommended Lohan get 180 days (6 months) in jail for her violation. She pointed out that this will be Lohan's sixth time in jail. This is an ongoing cycle,” DA Danette Meyers told the court, adding that the only way the court would get Lohan’s attention would be by sending her to jail.

On October 15th, there was an example of the type of sentencing that Lindsay Lohan should have received happening on the other side of the Mississippi.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. revoked rapper T.I.‘s freedom and ordered him back to prison for 11 months. T.I. was arrested last month in Los Angeles on suspicion of drug possession. Unfortunately for him, he was on probation. His dumb moment was that after serving 10 months behind bars on federal weapons charges, he was caught with possession of marijuana and Ecstasy. Maybe he thought he had more in common with Lindsay than he does.

During the hearing, T.I. begged Pannell not to send him back to prison, (similar to Lindsay) saying he needed to get help for drug addiction. “I want drugs out of my life. If I can get the treatment and counseling I need … I can beat this,” T.I. told the judge, according to U.S. attorney spokesman Patrick Crosby. “I need help.
For me, my mother, my kids, I need the court to give me mercy
Mercy is exactly what T.I. needed. Unlike Lindsay, his prior charge was not drug possession. He did not violate his probation FROM drug possession WITH some more drug possession. Which would be a good cause to throw him in jail for a double violation. He has NOT ever been to rehab before. So wouldn't it make sense to give him a chance at it?

T.I’s attorneys argued that after reviewing nearly 250 cases with similar charges, none of those people were put back behind bars for violating probation. What makes him different? Violating probation by committing a crime that put no one in danger but himself, caused no harm to society. Instead of placing him in jail out of the stream of society, he should be able to have the chance to fix himself just as Lohan has 6 TIMES. She boundlessly violates her probation by committing the same crime over and over. When will she have to learn her lesson? What is really going on here?

Human Rights Activists Report on the Treatment of Moms in Jail

I think the only thing worse than being in jail, would be being pregnant in jail. Possibly equal to that detrimental position would be those that are mothers in jail. While reading online, I stumbled upon a study about this situation among women. It caught my eye because you don't hear of it much. There are more mothers in our jail system than one would think, the sad part is that they are being treated horribly.

National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights released a report today. The study looked at the jail system in several states concentrating on three areas - prenatal care, shackling of pregnant women during childbirth, (can you imagine?) and community-based alternatives to incarceration enabling mothers to be with their children.

The report noted that there are more than 115,000 mothers incarcerated as of 2009. This striking number is worse knowing that only one state, Pennsylvania passed the testing with an A. Virginia failed the test. Most of the women are nonviolent, first-time offenders, and about two-thirds have at least one child under 18.

"We know some states that are doing the right thing that don't have policies, and some states that have good policies that aren't doing the right thing," she said. "We want prisoners and their families to know what they're entitled to." Jill Morrison, a co-author of the report and senior counsel at the law center, said the use of shackles during childbirth has abated in part because of individual women who've taken a stand against the practice after enduring it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tales From The Paper-Cut Trenches: Battle Of The Copies

So, today. I sit minding my business at my desk when I hear the distant drag of cheap Sears brand flats shuffling across the office floor. You know, that "Sista Attitude" walk that every divorcee' over 50 gets. (No offense to divorcee's over 50 but some of you are really bitter about life, which I'm sure you should be, but it shows in your walk, all that baggage of anger you carry around) She stops at my desk, my heart drops in anticipation of drama.

"Little Missy... I am doing that filing of the initial documents in Central District. I know you do Federal Court all the time, How many copies do I need?" says Esther, in the sweetest voice she can muster which sounds like a cross between the Wicked Witch of the East and Wednesday Adams. Oh and yes, she does call me Little Missy. Like I am a damn dog. "You need 4. The original which needs to be filed in duplicate, the chambers copy for the Judge and a copy to be conformed and returned to you."

She looks at me confused. "Well, I already have 3 printed. One for conforming, one courtesy copy and my original. Why do I need another copy? Where did you read that?" Annoyance level has now gone up to 2. I wanted to respond. "You asked me a question. Why do I now have to stop what I am doing and be quizzed?" Instead, I stayed cool. I promptly showed her the Local Rule of the court. It states anything you file  with the court in paper format, needs to have an additional copy sent to chambers. I also showed her the General Order that states that the documents need to be filed in duplicate. In case she wasn't following, I told her when you add the three and the one you want back that makes 4. "That's not what it says, they mean for electronic copies" Annoyance level at 3. How should one respond to that comment? Words, especially court rules, say what they say very clearly. It's not the Bible, it does not warrant it self to be interpreted according to the level of work you feel like doing. Just make another copy and call it a day. Stop being lazy. So, I tell her, "I have always made 4 copies, I have never had a problem with my filings. It doesn't take that much time to make another copy. What can it hurt?" She replies, "Nothing I guess, but you just shouldn't be doing all the extra work when we have so many copies." She storms off into the sunset. I think it's over and I feel like I was just on trial.

Mid-Afternoon, I have completed maybe 15 more tasks, had lunch and a cigarette break. I hear the pitter-patter of the Annoyance Parade approaching again. "I found this rule" slam on my desk as if it is a decree dismissing a man from death-row, "It states that you only need 2 copies" So, I amuse her and read it. "Yes, Esther" I reply, trying to hide my now Annoyance level of 6. I am appalled that she spent so much time trying to fight me when the time would have been better spent just making another copy and moving on to another assignment. "It is the same Local Rule I showed you earlier, the part about the extra copy is a section from the General Rule which is a separate set of rules. Listen, I have been filing District Filings for over a year, I have always filed them this way, I have never had a problem. If you want to only send 3, send 3, it's up to you, it's your filing. I am going to keep doing it the way I have been because there is nothing wrong with it." She leaves. Quietly. If steam could come out of her ears, I could have made kettle corn for all the kids at my Halloween Party. Score!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grumpy Old Man Kills Roomate For Singing

Not William Leo McDougall but no less grumpy.
 Talk about grumpy! 81-year-old man, William Leo McDougall of Laguna Woods was charged with one felony count of murder. Allegedly, McDougall used a metal rod to kill his 94-year-old roommate at a Laguna Woods rehabilitation center, authorities said Monday.

If convicted, He faces up to 25 years to life in prison. McDougall was recovering from hip surgery at the Palm Terrace Healthcare Center. Manh Van Nguyen began singing in Vietnamese and made McDougall angry and took a metal rod from the closet and began striking Nguyen on the head. The alleged attacker then had to be restrained by the healthcare staff. Nguyen was also recovering from hip surgery when the attack occurred. McDougall pled not guilty in Orange County Superior Court at his arraignment in Santa Ana.

Link Between Autism and Vaccines Makes It To The Supreme Court

The link between vaccines and autism in children returns to the courtroom this week. The judicial discussion has become a interest of mine as I learn more about autism and it's unfortunate attack on children. In my post, "Federal Court Rules: There Is No Link Between Autism and Vaccine", I spoke about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on upholding that there is no connection between vaccines and autism in children. A ruling for Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The issue appears again now in the Supreme Court on behalf of the parents of a girl who allegedly suffered serious health problems from a childhood vaccine. The justices are hearing arguments from the couple, attempting to persuade them to allow the manufacturer of the vaccine to be sued.

This case could open drug makers to a flood of lawsuits over the side effects of vaccines, including those from families of autistic children claiming that mercury-based thimerosal is linked to autism. Numerous studies have addressed vaccines and autism and found no link as in Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. I will continue to follow this issue and keep you all up to date.

My Opinion: I think it sucks if your child all of a sudden gets autistic out of the blue and there is no one to suffer for it. It seems as mothers especially, when something happens to our children we want somebody to pay. It's just that mother bear instinct I guess.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tales from the Paper-Cut Trenches: Esther the Cranky

I think it's time to tell some tales of my days at work. There are always stories of genuine interest, exciting intrigue oh, and haterism.

There are many annoying people at work. I mean who doesn't have annoying people at their office. But I have one person in particular, Esther.

Oh boy, Esther. She is the type of person that every budding career starting guppy fears. The bitter experienced person that is assigned to show you the ropes and make you feel at home but secretly hates the shit out of you because you are a faster, younger and smarter model of what they used to be. Think how Madonna must feel standing next to Lady GaGa, sure she isn't above cutting a single with her since she knows it will make her a buck but she is not above punching her in the ovaries if she had the chance. That's Esther.
Side Note: At work, I am a machine. I get a task, I complete it. I rename the email that I recieved with the task "(Completed)" I drag it into my "Completed Tasks" folder and I move on to the next task. In my downtime, I read the rules for all the court juristictions that I have cases in. If that's done, I go through all my cases double checking my calendaring, filing and documents. I don't ever waste time wondering why an attorney wants something done, why the court wants something a certain way or any of that Jazz. I just do it. I'm a doer. Not a complainer. I HATE COMPLAINERS. Esther is a Certified Guaranteed Complainer.
She complains when she gets to work about the traffic. She complains about her lack of sleep before she left work because she had to get in the traffic. She complains about the work she gets when she gets TO work.
I will talk more of her in future posts. I just thought I should introduce her.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pissed and Pierced: 14 Year Old Girl Wins Case Allowing Her Her Nose Piercing

One Small Step for Man-kind One Giant Leap for Piercings! Let me just say, I have never been big on piercings but to each their own. I also have not taken a stand as of yet on how I feel about my daughter getting a piercing in any odd place. By odd, to be clear, I mean any place other than her ears. (which have not been pierced as yet) It seems as if our legal system has taken a stand. Word on the street is that U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard has ordered a North Carolina school to admit a 14-year-old student suspended for wearing a nose piercing she says is part of her religion.

What kind of religion would have body piercings as such an important part of it's practices?
The young girl, Ariana Iacono and her family belong to a small religious group called the Church of Body Modification. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union contending that Johnston County school officials violated the constitutional rights of Ariana Iacono.

Ariana had been suspended from Clayton High School since classes started four weeks ago.
She and her mother say the nose piercing is part of their faith, not a fashion statement.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For What? The Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Anna Nicole's Case

Does the Supreme Court have nothing else to do? The Devine Nine says that they will take on the appeal of the alleged estate of Anna Nicole Smith. This 15-year battle over the fortune of the elderly Texas billionaire, J. Howard Marshall II, whom Smith married in the mid-1990s.

The justices agreed to reconsider an appeals court ruling against Smith's estate.
The will of Smith's husband left nearly all his money to his son, E. Pierce Marshall, and nothing to Smith. The younger Marshall died in 2006 and Smith died of a drug overdose in 2008.

Where are the live people? Who is filling out all the paperwork? The Managers of Smith's estate are challenging the will. They are still claiming that her husband promised to leave her more than $300 million above the $7 million in cash and gifts showered on her during their 14-month marriage.

My Opinion: Seems like a waste of time to me. We have more important issues to decide.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Still Learning Lessons from Disneyland: 28 Years a Mouseketeer

So, on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, we braved the world of Disneyland with our daughter for the first time! I thought I would be showing Baby new things and I ended up learning a few things myself.

We were lucky enough to have tickets gifted to us because clearly we would not have been able to afford the $76.00 per person steep as hell price. We  I decided to make the most of the situation and bring the baby while we could get the whole family in for free and also get some time alone so we can ride the adult rides.

The Plan: Bring the Baby in the Morning and then bring her to Grandma's and come back for Mommy/Daddy time. Nothing but a hand stamp and a gallon of gas. Right?

Things that got fu%*'d up:

  1. We didn't get there till 10:30, two hours from Baby's nap. The original plan was to get there by 8:00 am, so she could get on all the rides, carefully calibrated on my Disney list.
  2. It rained cats and dogs that morning, causing  (1) a bicker fight between hubby and I due to countless erroneous accusations that I did not check the weather.  (2)  Mommy having a four year old's panic attack, fearing my Disney day being rained out (3) cold whiny Baby just irritated by the long car ride.
  3. What we didn't check was our local "Out" magazine to realize that it was "Gay Day" at Disneyland and the park would be double crowded (yet filled with quirky red T-shirt sayings)
  4. My carefully (and anally) planned list of Baby friendly rides and event schedule quickly went to shit due to us being 2 hours behind schedule and the park being twice as crowded.
  5. We did not get to go on the Dumbo ride or It's a Small World.
  6. We forgot our tickets when returning to the park for adult time, which allowed us no use of the Fastpasses. And almost caused us non-entry if it wasn't for the Sistagirl Attitude I copped with the Disney line worker.
  7. When we begged enough people for tickets, the Fastpass option was closed.
Things that made it all worth it:
  1. Even without a nap Baby lasted till 3p.m. without meltdowns.
  2. The rain cleared up to a beautiful sunshine, as soon as we walked into the park. *weird
  3. The red t-shirt LGBT community made for a hilarious spotting game!
How could you not love winged and haloed men with shirts so cleverly saying, "Fruit Fly", Makeup wearing, "Queens In Training" and my favorite, "I love my Gay Best Friend"(arrow to...her male buddy..) "I love My Fag Hag". By the end of the night we were wishing we had shirts just so we wouldn't feel left out.
  1. Baby did ride her first ever ride, "The Carousel" how classic is that? She also went to the top of Beauty's Castle and had a ball in Toontown.
  2. The best part of it all, she got to meet Mickey!
Even though we didn't have Fastpasses we enjoyed long talks while waiting in long lines. Kissed under the firework show, and had a lovely dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. What did I learn? To turn my over planning, over analytical mind off. To enjoy my family and just be. I had to learn that without my control, there is still possibility for things to go right. I learned to let go. One step at a time. One step.