Wretched Hive

Filed under:Heh,Movies — posted by Anwyn on February 16, 2011 @ 8:23 am

The little bee is a nice touch.

Comair Crash Case Ruling

Filed under:People in Court,Sad — posted by Anwyn on February 11, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

Apparently this lawsuit against Comair for the 2006 crash was the only one not already settled. The judge ruled out punitive damages but called the pilots’ conduct “reprehensible,” which is actually a factor the U.S. Supreme Court has directed be taken into account when calculating punitive damages in cases that allow them.

Do careless mistakes, though bearing horrible results, qualify as “reprehensible conduct?”

The court awarded just over $7 million to the killed passenger’s family–his wife and two daughters.

Bird v. Snake

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 10, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

Not the kind of bird or kind of snake you’d expect.

Awesome photo. I think there’s even a scowl on the little birdy face.

Wonder Why I Don’t Want to Do Business with the RNC

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on February 9, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

It isn’t just their telephone manners.

She’s a Lady, and Also a Criminal and Maybe a Bad Lawyer. Or a Really Bad Judge.

Filed under:Law School,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 7, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

I’m in law school now, and I haven’t had nearly as much to say about it on this here blog as I thought I would have. I hope to change that, but meantime, one general observation that has made a big impression: Remember when all general pronouns were male? “So the owner, whoever he may be, must take responsibility for keeping the fences in repair.” “Anybody who wants it can have the old couch, provided he will come pick it up.” Or if you wanted to get fancy, usually in writing, you could use the cumbersome “he or she” or “his or her.” “A parent must pick up his or her child by 3:00 each day.”

But people made a fuss, because it’s easier to type one pronoun instead of two pronouns and a conjunction, and it’s sure as hell a lot easier to SAY only one pronoun, so that’s what most people did, so people, womyn and otherwise, fussed. I never really have been in an environment where people took the fussin’ seriously, though. Until now.

Law professors and law textbook authors are very conscientious about this. One of my professors uses at least 90% female general pronouns; the rest, as far as my unscientific observation extends, do a more equitable split. The law books are 50/50ish as well. And I’ve discovered the downside: Sure, ladies, we’re now the doctors and lawyers and federal judges. We’re also the criminals, thugs, overbearing cops, and really bad attorneys being sued for malpractice.

Men used to pay for being the pronoun of general use by being ALL the pronouns of general use, whether somebody was talking about an upstanding homeowner or a nasty loan shark. Innocent victim or accused heinous criminal. Awesome attorney or lousy lawyer. I find it gives me the twinges when my criminal procedure professor talks about a horrible crime in terms of what the accused told the police: “And she asked for a lawyer, but not till after she confessed.” Ugh.

I prefer the old way. We all knew it could most likely just as easily be a she as a he, but we didn’t have to hear females discussed as criminals and screwups in cold blood. Darn you, fussin’ feminists.

Republican National Committee: Sigh

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 7:13 pm

All last week there were calls from an “unavailable” number that I didn’t recognize. Some I ignored; some I picked up but didn’t speak first–the machine was smart enough to hang up on me in those cases. Friday night I finally decided to talk to whoever it was to make them stop.

It was the Republican National Committee.

I told the woman at least three times that I would not be making a commitment over the phone, that I knew perfectly well where the website was and how to donate to them. I hope they pay her what she’s worth, because as an attack-caller she’s worth her weight in gold. She was perfectly polite but totally aggressive and untiring. I didn’t hang up on her partly because I’m usually a little too nice to do that and partly because I was sitting there in sheer amazement wondering how many times she would continue speaking after I told her, in increasingly bitchy terms, that I would not be making a pledge over the phone.

Tonight they called back. I had to get frosty with a totally different type of caller, one who was clearly out of her depth and didn’t deserve to be yelled at because it’s obviously not her policy to make repeated calls to people who refuse to pledge over the phone. But she was hapless enough to admit that that is their policy–to call people back who do not donate over the phone. Right–not only did talking to them once not make them stop, but they actually take a refusal as incentive to keep hounding you. I said to her, “Because that will win people over? I think I’m actually going to have to ask you to remove me from the phone list now, which is really a shame. The policy of continuing to call people who refuse is bizarre.” She agreed with me that it was bizarre and said that I would continue to get mailers, just not phone calls. I said, “That’s good, because I don’t want to cut ties to the national party, I just do not want repeated phone calls.”

She said she understood. It’s too bad that her party, which purports to be the one that actually does understand the incentives that drive human beings to take certain actions, does not. Bleah.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace