f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 22, 2004

the Other stupid party

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:29 pm

In two astute posts today — The Stupid Party and More on the Stupid Party — Prof. Steven Bainbridge

has taken “his” Republican Party to task for arrogant and ham-headed behavior this past week in the

House of Representatives.  After reading Avi Schick’s column today from The New Republic on the

Kerry Campaign’s decision to hide John Kerry’s role as the leading sponsor (since 1997) of the Workplace

Religious Freedom Act, I can assure you that the Republicans have no monopoly on stupidity.

dunce n

Please read the entire article.  Here are the opening paragraphs:

“On July 31, 1997, John Kerry took to the Senate floor to introduce legislation that, in his own

words, “would protect workers from on-the-job discrimination related to religious beliefs and

practices” by ensuring “that employers have a meaningful obligation to reasonably accommodate

their employees’ religious practices.” . . .


“If you’ve never heard of WRFA, you’re not alone. Despite having been the bill’s lead sponsor,

Kerry refused to mention WRFA, let alone take credit for it, once it became clear that he would be

the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. In doing so, he passed up a trifecta of opportunities:

to connect with communities of faith; to challenge President Bush’s fealty to corporate interests;

and to present his Senate record as aggressive and idealistic. But WRFA also became wrapped up

in abortion politics, and so Kerry refused to speak about it for fear of offending liberal advocacy

groups. His campaign’s ham-handed approach to the bill points to everything that is wrong with

the Democratic Party’s current treatment of faith.”

dunce  Click here for a rant from Change for America against Kerry’s support of WRFA; and here for the

ACLU’s case against the proposed Act.   [see our post towards a “democratic morality” ]


all sorts of fools
moon-gaze too…
winter prayers

                  Kobayashi ISSA

jackal sequel

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:31 pm

Ross Fishman of Red Jackal Ads has responded to the questions we raised about his services

creating glossy-magazine-style Yellow Pages ads for lawyers, in a Comment that deserves to be 

read in full. ( Ernie touted the “tasteful” ads earlier this month.)  I’d like to highlight two issues: 


wolf dude neg   Ross Fishman says:  “[Y]ou comment skeptically that this will inevitably lead to”…

higher profits for some lawyers, without an increase in the quality of legal services”? Well, yes,

that’s our goal.  We’re an ad agency, not Legal Aid; we can’t practice law or control the quality

of the legal services of our clients. Our specific goal is to generate significantly higher profits for

some lawyers — our clients — just as mega-ad agency Leo Burnett’s goal has long been to generate

more sales and higher profits for Pillsbury using the Dough Boy. Hey, it’s the American way.”

   winter nears –
   in the dog’s eyes
   the wolf

                         Billie Wilson

Your Editor’s Reply:   An ad agency may not have a special duty toward the legal client, but lawyers

certainly do.   Consumers can readily tell whether Pillsbury biscuits are worth their premium price, and lose

little giving it a try.   But, the average consumer of legal services cannot readily judge quality or price, which

is one reason why clients are given fiduciary protection.  A lawyer’s using PR image-making (and faux empathy)

to create a platform for higher fees, unrelated to the quality of services, does not jibe with my concept of

fiduciary responsibility.  Unlike the legal profession, Pillsbury has never claimed to put its customers’ interests first and has never sworn to do so. 


tiny check  Ross notes that Lawyers Weekly, despite its excellent work, may not always “get every single

fact correct,” but confirms that “Lorne [MacLean, the ad client in the story] had just spun off his divorce

practice from his partner.”

the wolf too
peeks out his hole…
autumn dusk


Issa, translated by D. G. Lanoue


Your Editor’s Reply: This still leaves unanswered whether the LW USA article was correct in stating that

MacLean, who had so recently started his own firm, had “increased his firm’s already significant profits by

more than 200 percent” and did so “By simply changing the design of his Yellow Pages ad.”  Whether

used by a lawyer or an ad agency, if the quote is misleading, it should not figure so prominently on Red

Jackal’s website


    in the dark

the trap snaps shut

    silent dawn


                            Jim Kacian



p.s.  My family name starts with “jackal,” but I’m not sure I’d want that scavenger-predator as

my logo or corporate identity.   The image of the famous movie-character killer for hire doesn’t

inspire me, either.  Guess I’ve gone soft with all this haiku around.

    red fox

please eschew thoroughly

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:52 pm

There are quite a few meaty topics to masticate at my favorite weblogs:      eschew



Eschewing Obfuscation 


tiny check  Multi-linking Networkian extraordinaire J. Craig Williams scolds judges for using

arcane and darnright obscurant language in their opinions.  Craig’s research diligence

reaches supernumerary levels in this posting. [Harvey Keitel and Abe Vigoda learn the

meaning of supernumerary in their super-silly-ously entertaining film Crime Spree.]


tiny check Plain-speaking Jerry Lawson joins in the plea of James Robertson and Cindy Chick

that KM jargon be avoided when “pitching KM implementation.”  Jerry earned our gratitude last

year by observing that “the word blog makes this powerful new form of Internet communication

seem trivial.” Jargonophobes of the world unite!


Eschewing Expert Deception


LegalReader points to a new case out of Massachusetts that should delight Ted and       honest flip 

Walter, while pleasing ethicalEsq, too (from LexisOne): —

Court Issues $20,000 Judgment Against Expert Witness; Neurologist Misled Jurors
A Massachusetts General Hospital neurologist has been ordered to pay more than $20,000

in legal fees after a judge in Lawence ruled this week that he deliberately misled a jury in a

malpractice case, forcing her to order a new trial.
by Scott Allen, The Boston Globe


Eschewing Weblog Sell-Outs


I f you missed Billmon‘s LA Times op/ed piece on Sept. 26, 2004, Blogging Sells, and Sells Out, you can

find excerpts at netlawblog, decrying “glorified billboards” and “sponsored blogs.”  Jerry Lawson asks: 

“Does the future really look as bleak as this? Sellouts will always be with us, but one of the beauties of

blogging is that it gives the authentic, honest voices, who will also always be with us, a chance to be heard.”  


thorns  Not Eschewing Enough 


1). Malaprops and Misnomers:   Today, Bill Gratsch at Blawg.org mentions the new Law.com weblog network

and says “it appears they have randomly selected seven blawgs covering a fairly wide range of subjects.”  Since

Bill has seen close-up the varying quality among weblawgs, he surely must know that Law.com could not have

possibly chosen these eight quality weblogs randomly  — they are the wheat, not the chaff.    Dictionaries: use ’em,

don’t abuse ’em!


2) Self-flaggelation based on megablogimania:  The admirable Jim Moore ruminates today on the lack

of blog success in achieving political and social-humanitarian goals.  I want to humbly suggest that Jim expects

far too much from weblog technology.  It is merely a means of communication.  Having this technology has not

changed human nature, increased altruism, nor alterred significantly the sources of power on this planet.  (see our post)



first frost

only a dead fly

in the mailbox



abandoned factory

a cloud rests

on the smokestack


by dagosan:

faithful husband

enjoying egg salad —

every day
                                    [Nov 22, 2004] 


                                                             — you can find the eschew obfuscation bumper sticker here at cafepress.com

ethics DeLayed is ethics denied

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:04 pm

It’s great to see the mainstream media joining webloggers such as Steve Bainbridge and C.E. Petit in pointing

out the hypocrisy of House Republicans for their new “DeLay rule”. [see GoogleNews]  Here are some excerpts:


honest flip  In Paper bag politics Vincent Fiore says:

If the stunning election victories of the Republican Party are to mean anything, they must continue

to dance with what “brung’em to the dance,” and that is the moral and ethical concerns that created

the majority they now enjoy, without the arrogance and abuse of power that was so completely

abandoned by their Democratic Party colleagues in the early 1990’s.

In its editorial ‘Tom Delay rule’ hurts GOP’s image , the Allentown [PA] Morning Call adds:

So, the Republicans threw out an 11-year-old ”good government” rule. It was one of the reforms put

in place in 1994 as part of the ”Republican revolution” and the Contract with America agenda. Mr. DeLay

voted in favor of it himself, in fact. However, things have changed. Three associates of Mr. DeLay in

Texas have been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate funds in 2002 campaigns in that state.

Also, see Clarence Page (“House leadership makes old Chicago pols look good“); and David Brooks: (“A scandal waiting to happen”); unlike his liberal counterpart on the PBS NewsHour feature Shields and Brooks, David Brooks is consistently willing to point out when conservatives, Republicans or the Bush Administration stray from good politics or consistent principles; for that, he earns our respects. We wish our fellow Dems and Libs would do the same.


first snow falling
I trust in his hand…
bridge by the gate

entrusting it to young folk
I sleep…
cozy wood fire


trusting its fate
to the autumn wind…

. . . . . for more poems on trust by Issa, click here; translated by David G. Lanoue . . . . . . . . . wolf dude

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