Sorry, nothing tonight. I worked late, had to make a stop on the way home to pick up a formal shirt for the upcoming nuptials, and what little time was left before bleary eyes and brain fry set in was spent with Sgt. Steele. He sends his gott-damned regards and hopes to see you â€œfriggin’ dim lightsâ€ soon.
April 17, 2003
April 16, 2003
April 15, 2003
This is the legacy of Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985. During the course of this crime, Leon Klinghoffer, a 69 year old American passenger who was confined to a wheelchair, was shot and thrown overboard in his wheelchair. All this was done in front of his wife.
Abu Abbas was arrested in Baghdad and is now in American custody. I cannot imagine punishment that would be too severe.
While the Garden State is often associated with the Sopranos and their real-life counterparts who somehow seem to evade prosecution, New Jersey does not tolerate lawyers who steal from their clients. Robert Burrick, an attorney who worked at one of New Jerseyâ€™s more prestigious law firms, was sentenced yesterday to eighteen months in federal prison for embezzling $120,000 from his former clients and from the local soccer club, where his children played, and which had elected Mr. Burrick as treasurer.
Burrickâ€™s â€œdistorted sense of entitlement and, to a large sense, his greed,â€ according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, drove Burrickâ€™s actions. Burrick offered no explanation for his behavior other than to say that clinical depression might have played a role.
In addition to doing jail time, Mr. Burrick has lost the $400,000 per year income from his law firm, he has lost his reputation, and he will surely be disbarred, if that has not already happened. Lawyers are disbarred in New Jersey for a good deal less, and in cases of theft from clientsâ€™ trust accounts, disbarment is a virtual certainty.
I feel sorry for his children.
In New Jersey all licensed attorneys (with very few exceptions) are required to pay annually into a client security fund, the proceeds of which are used to help re-pay clients who are bilked by dishonest lawyers. I hope the fund is able to cover most, if not all, of the $30,000 that Mr. Burrick stole from the children’s soccer club…
Fortunately, Mr. Burrick is the exception. Unfortunately, that doesnâ€™t make it any less sad.
April 14, 2003
Yesterday, Dana Blake, a bouncer in a Manhattan Night Club, was fatally stabbed as he sought to enforce New York Cityâ€™s two-week old law that prohibits smoking in New York Cityâ€™s saloons. The reason for the smoking ban, we are told, is that smoking is dangerous to others. It certainly did not work out well for Mr. Blake.
Now, I know that the no-smoking law did not kill Dana Blake; two punks, probably both well oiled by 2:30 a.m. did the killing. However, the incident has caused me to think a bit about the extent to which the health of others is really what drove this sledgehammer legislation. It seems to me that between smoking and booze (both of which I am fond of), booze is far and away the bigger societal problem. Consider these make-believe headlines:
Woman Found Badly Beaten
Police reported that after a night of binge smoking, the victimâ€™s husband returned to the house in a smoking-induced rage and beat her savagely.
Bus Plunges From Bridge, Killing Dozens
The investigation into this horrible tragedy revealed that John So and So, the bus driver, had been smoking heavily before driving the bus.
Deadly Fight Breaks Out at House Party
Police responded to a loud brawl outside the home of Mr. and Mrs. So and So. The investigation revealed that several of the participants in the fight, including the victim, had been smoking heavily at the party.
Car Smashes into Pedestrians, Causing Numerous Injuries
Police reported that the driver of the car in question had been smoking just before the accident in question.
New Year Marked by Huge Vehicle Pileup Results in Multiple Fatalities
Fifteen automobiles were involved in a multiple car crash that brought traffic to a standstill for hours on Route 24. The preliminary results of the accident investigation revealed that virtually every one of the drivers involved in the accident had been smoking heavily at New Yearâ€™s Eve celebrations that were being held at various places in the state.
So, one might ask, perhaps instead of laws that ban smoking in saloons, we should have laws that ban drinking in saloons. Let me answer that intentionally silly rhetorical question for you. The only reason that booze has not been outlawed in saloons is because the beautiful people who decided that they donâ€™t like smoke, do like cocktails. Simply put, they want to be able to drink in a smoke-free tavern, and the smokers in New York City will just have to deal with it.
To get there, the beautiful people and others who make a living from telling others how to live their lives, have taken away the ability of a bar-owner to decide, based on market forces, whether he might want to permit smoking in his establishment. If the market were to dictate that non-smoking bars were the moneymakers, they would naturally proliferate, and they would do so without the force of governmental regulation.
I knowâ€¦..I knowâ€¦..I knowâ€¦.. The purpose of the law is to protect the people who have to work in a place where people are smoking. This was a stroke of genius on the part of the beautiful people. You see, the anti-smoking law is not about them â€“the limousine liberals – it’s really about the poor workers. Sorry, Buffy, but I donâ€™t buy it. I would hazard a guess that for every bartender who claims to have been bothered by smoking, one can find twenty who were not bothered â€“ many of who are smokers themselves.
I am certain that there are many jobs that are much more dangerous or potentially hazardous to oneâ€™s health than being a bartender in a saloon where patrons are permitted to smoke. I also cannot help but wonder why, if smoke truly bothers a bartender, he/she chose that career path in the first place. Further, he/she could seek employment in one of the non-smoking bars that would spring up all over the place, if we are to believe that ridding saloons of smoke is vitally important to most people and not just another bit of social engineering on the part of those with the political clout and savvy to make it happen.
Finally, I understand that there is an exception in the New York law that permits cigar bars. That just proves that the beautiful people enjoy a good cigar with their cocktails.
April 12, 2003
This is just swell. Not only could I appear in a Nyquil commercial (hacking, wheezing, aches, the whole bit), but I also have conjunctivitis. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, it is â€œpink eye,â€ which comes fully equipped with itching and swollen eyelids. The best part is the nasty discharge from your eyes that turns into a sticky booger-like substance that keeps your eyes glued shut. Itâ€™s at the beginning stages, so I will be standing at attention in the doctorâ€™s office first thing Monday morning. For now, reading the computer screen is a bit of a chore, so itâ€™s horizontal land for Jimbo tonight.
April 11, 2003
It seems that some truly twisted pieces of human refuse, identifying themselves as representatives of the Red Cross, are calling spouses of Marines and informing them that their spouses serving in Iraq have been killed. The Marine Corps has advised military spouses that it does not use the Red Cross for such notifications.
I hope there is a special place in hell for people who would do such a thing.
Link via Res Ipsa Loquitur.
April 10, 2003
Last night on one of the cable stations (Fox or CNN, I believe) I watched a segment concerning the efforts being made to take down yet another Saddam statue. This one was near the Tigris River and, like the now-famous Baghdad statue, depicted His Rottenness standing on a tall pedestal. After several unsuccessful attempts to manually take the statue down, the military people rigged C-4 explosives on the top of the pedestal, around the statueâ€™s feet. An old fashioned fuse with an estimated detonation time of five minutes was used to set the charge, thereby providing the audience with some drama as we waited for the charge to explode without warning.
Finally, the charge exploded. There was loud bang and a good deal of smoke. When the smoke cleared, one could see that the only damage done to the statue was that Saddamâ€™s naughty bits were blown away! How fitting. The reporter, who, up to that point was doing serious commentary, could not stifle his laughter at what was missing from Saddam. It reminded me a bit of the Johnny Carson tomahawk-throwing episode.
I am sure that someone will be posting a picture of the hilarious result.
April 9, 2003
Worked late. I have a savage cold. I missed the TV coverage of the tanks rolling into Baghdad. The couch looks very inviting. See ya tomorrow.
April 8, 2003
Last Friday, cousin Jack posted the most recent Sgt. Steele link to a bulletin board that is read by law professors across the United States. Thatâ€™s when it started. My hit counter went into second gear. Then Da Goddess had nice things to say about the site, which added yet more fuel to Site Meter. Venomous Kate, at Electric Venom, who describes herself as a â€œmartini-swilling, tobacco-smoking, SUV-driving, coffee-guzzling, card-carrying Republican armed with a Smith and Wesson and a great pair of breasts,â€ and who also is a lawyer, albeit one who spends her time blogging on Hawaii’s beaches (definitely my kinda gal) took Da Goddessâ€™s lead, and the hits increased yet more. Finally, The Emperor Misha from the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler had some very nice things to say about the Sgt. Steele saga, and the hit counter went into warp-drive.
I would like to publicly thank them all for their kind words and for sending LEGIONS of readers to check out â€œMaster Sergeant John â€˜Jackâ€™ Steele, Adjunct Professor of Law.â€
Most of all, I want to thank the many people who stopped by to read the ongoing adventures of Sgt. Steele as well as some of the other blather on this site.
If Sgt. Steele could thank anyone, he would have to thank the real drill sergeants and real law professors who I came to suffer and know at two special times in my crazy life.
Again, my most sincere thanks to everyone.