Yes, Math Puns Make Me Laugh

October 27, 2012 Comments Off

The fact that I find this hysterical might say something about me.

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Thanks to the University of Chicago admissions department for providing me with this never-ending amusement.

Potential Voter Profile of the Week: Donna

October 25, 2012 Comments Off

We’re close to the election, and you need to know who occupies the voting booth next to you.

This week, our favorite potential voter is Donna. Donna cares for wildlife/human interaction. She also seems to feel that deer are more intelligent and understanding than most believe.

So, get out there and vote, especially those of you who love the great outdoors, and nature, and our four-legged friends, and deer who read signs.

And remember: your vote is equal to Donna’s.

H/T to The Tannebaum

Oh, but don’t fear. She comes back and completely redeems herself when she “owns it like a modern woman.” Her explanation should halt all of your fears.

An Iconic Photo…….of Sexual Assault?

October 23, 2012 § 4 Comments

I bet you didn’t realize that this photograph depicts a horrible act of assault. Or does it?

All these years, you looked at it as an iconic symbol of the end of World War II. You might have assumed it showed jubilation, happiness, and a bit of lighthearted and n0-offense-ma’am fun. Little did you realize that it really stands for something else, maybe.

As the folks at CAAFlog show, today’s military sexual assault laws leave the door open to prosecution.

If this kiss happened today it would be chargeable as a rape under Article 120, UCMJ (10 U.S.C. § 920):

(a) Rape. Any person subject to this chapter who commits a sexual act upon another person by—

(1) using unlawful force against that other person;
. . .
is guilty of rape and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

(g) Definitions. In this section:

(1) Sexual act. The term ‘sexual act’ means—
. . .
(B) the penetration, however slight, of the . . . mouth of another by any part of the body or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Lack of consent is not an element, intoxication is not a defense, and the maximum authorized punishment for such a rape is imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.

UPDATE: I almost forgot. Conviction of this particular crime also results in mandatory offender registration in every state. That’s a feature.

And The New Tour de France Winners Are…

October 22, 2012 Comments Off

I continue to be amazed at the shock expressed by people who should not be shocked about the recent Lance Armstrong news.

The most notable quote is from the International Cycling Union president, who stated “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”

My presumption is that he intends a broader meaning that people like Lance Armstrong who regularly and deceptively used performance enhancing drugs have no place in cycling.

OK, I’m fine with that. However, consider the impact of this statement. For my entire adult life, I’ve heard regularly about rampant doping from within cycling’s highest circles. At this point, Tour de France officials don’t know how to appoint a winner for Lance’s seven years because the rest of the leader pack seems to have been implicated for their own alleged doping.

So, if you only include those who have a “place in cycling,” the vacated Tour de France championship should be awarded as follows:

1999: Pee Wee Herman. He loves his bike. He loves riding his bike, and his escapades in adult theaters do not disqualify him from competitive cycling. Pee Wee is free to cruise through Paris while rocking-out with his… Well, you know how this ends.

2000: Sister Mary Catherine, Teacher, Our Lady of Perpetual Control Elementary School, Nice, France. Riding well behind the pack onto the Champs Elysses, Sister Mary Catherine wanted to inspire her elementary schoolchildren by riding on the last leg of the course, unnoticed, on her Schwinn Roadmaster. Of course, she never completed any of the other legs, but that doesn’t matter. She clearly never doped, except for a few extra nips of communion wine. The Catholic Church is currently challenging her win based on her role in outing certain parish priests for their own, special version of the “Tour de France.”

2001: Rosie Ruiz. Shamed after the 1980 Boston Marathon, Ruiz gains respect here. While accused of riding the subway for much of the Boston Marathon win, she was never proven to have taken performance enhancing drugs. After all, subways are legal in most civilized countries, whereas most PEDs are illegal. Tour organizers stage a mock finish line with 3000 spectators to watch Rosie break the tape in Paris. Subways=good. PEDs=bad. A mantra for all of us.

2002: E.T. Sure, he’s riding in a basket on the front as they pass the Arch du Triomphe, but find me the rule where it says you can’t ride in the basket of a bicycle. I dare you.

2003: Chuck Norris. If you have to ask why, you just aren’t worthy. Specially-engineered bicycle allows him to perform roundhouse kicks. One kick provides enough energy to complete all 21 segments of the Tour in less than 1 minute.

2004: Jason Statham. Because Chuck Norris let him.

2005: The European Union. And why not? If a big mass of people and governments can win the Nobel Peace Prize, why not the Tour de France? Considering that the reasoning for granting them the peace prize is, essentially, that they did stuff, I’ll presume that one of the stuff is winning the Tour. Luckily, fitting them on the podium is France’s problem, not mine.

In Short About the Boy Scouts

October 20, 2012 Comments Off

The real question we should ask about the Boy Scouts of America is this:

How can such an enriching and valuable program be associated with such a deplorable and disgusting organization?

Always remember to never confuse the program with the organization. The program is an environment dedicated to help boys become better men. The organization is a “nonprofit” body designed to manage the program from a business standpoint.

Full disclosure: this is coming from a person who is both an Eagle Scout and a cynic regarding nonprofit organizations. To me, the term nonprofit merely means that they enrich themselves in more subtle ways than GM, Bank of America, and Microsoft.

The program says that scouts will be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Saying that gay individuals lack a sound moral compass is not Friendly, nor Courteous, nor Kind. It is merely Ignorant (not one of those twelve points).

Saying that atheists and agnostics lack a similarly suitable moral compass is similarly Ignorant.

Those two policies are also Disgusting, also not one of the twelve points.

I, for one, am happy for the recent publicity. I hope it shines a light on the illogical and domineering influence of certain religions on the organization. I hope those who obtain a high standard of living (through handsome not-for-profit salaries) are forced to open their doors for all to see the inner workings of their precious organization. I hope it causes a renewed sense of purpose concerning youth protection. I want a bright light to shine on all of it. I hope the same light fades the idiocy that causes the organization to adopt a policy of ignorance, intolerance, and discrimination.

In short, I hope that attention by the public will cause the organization to come in line with the program, and not vice versa.

Distantly Related to the Great Graduation Date Debate of 2012

October 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

This whole “unethical to omit your law school graduation/bar admission date from online resumes and bios” thing caused me to remember something from my own past.

Just an anecdote. Take it for what it’s worth.

From June 1996 to June 1998, I was a Second Lieutenant in the Army. For those of you not familiar with Army ranks, this is lowest officer rank (pay grade O-1). For most in the Army, being a Second Lieutenant is the lowest of lows. As a population, they are both clueless and given a certain amount of authority. It can be a deadly combination.

I now freely admit that I was clueless. Why? I was new. I had very little immersion in my craft, with my only knowledge of the Army from academic/training environments. For that reason, being a Second Lieutenant is very much a purely developmental rank. My peers and I were a constant source of amusement and derision for the Noncommissioned Officers (Sergeants, essentially) who knew us. Though, the good Sergeants took great pride in training us and improving our level of competency.

Anyway, the Army abbreviation for Second Lieutenant is 2LT, and 1LT for First Lieutenant (pay grade O-2).

When my signature was present on a memo, I should have typed “2LT, IN” under my name. That stands for Second Lieutenant, Infantry (my rank and branch of the Army). However, most of us Second Lieutenants put “LT, IN” because of our shame at being of such a lowly, entry-level rank. That way, people would think that, perhaps, I was a First Lieutenant, which is infinitely better in Army society.

See that? I did that in the hopes that people would see me as more experienced than I really was. Sure, I could sugar-coat it and come up with a bunch of intelligent-sounding excuses, but that’s akin to coating a turd with potpourri. It is still just a turd.

One day, I submitted a memo about an upcoming rifle qualification range to my Battalion Headquarters. A few hours later, I received a call from headquarters, telling me that the Battalion Commander (a Lieutenant Colonel (pay grade O-5) wanted to see me.

I arrived at his office. He told me to enter. He did not invite me to sit. The conversation went something like this:

Battalion Commander (BC): Lieutenant, I noticed you put your rank abbreviation as “LT” instead of “2LT.”

Me: Yes, sir.

BC: Why?

Me: I……..um……….(long pause)……..(looking at my boots)…….(sweating profusely).

BC: Don’t worry. I know the reason. You’re trying to bullshit about your rank. But you’re really bullshitting yourself.

Me: …

BC: What are you hiding? Do you realize how stupid this looks? Did you think you could just reinvent Army acronyms?

Me: Sir……..I……….(sweating gallons).

BC: I don’t think you are dishonest, Lieutenant, but this signature block gives the impression that you’re trying to be. Do you want to be seen as dishonest?

Me: No, sir.

BC: I didn’t think so. Go re-do this memo and have it back to me in 10 minutes. [he crumpled it into a ball and tossed it at me].  Stop being a moron. You’re a butter-bar [a slang term for a 2LT derived from the gold-colored bar worn by 2LTs on their uniforms]. Be happy about that. When you’re as old as me, you’ll wish you could go back to the days of being a 2LT. Before you know it, the rank will be a thing of the past and you’ll be older. Do you understand?

Me: Yes, sir.

BC: Get the fuck out of my office.

After that, he and I got along great, and I always put “2LT” under my name. Well, until I made First Lieutenant, at which time I quickly put “1LT.”

Damn It Greenfield, They Just Want Clients

October 17, 2012 § 12 Comments

Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice has turned his attention to young lawyers (really, any lawyer) who fail to include graduation/admission dates on their websites and other online resumes.

The one thing that stands out above all others are lawyers who omit dates from their websites and blogs. This is wrong, and whenever I see “Harvard Law School” without a date, it tells me that this lawyer is concealing a simple, basic fact.  Concealment is hardly transparency.

The Lawyerist followed-up with this post.

In many respects, the comments are more interesting than the posts themselves. Frankly, I agree. After all, what good, ethical reason exists to explain the purposeful omission of such basic, obvious information?

That’s all fine and good, but, as a male, I tend to be more visual. This depiction of Greenfield and a young, unsuspecting lawyer is much more illustrative, I believe.

I See Signs…

October 11, 2012 Comments Off

I’m happy to live in a country where both of these points need a sign.

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