Saturday, May 21, 2005

T-minus 28 days

Soon, I will no longer check that "single" box on my W-2s. For guys, things don't change that much, especially for those who are used to wearing rings on their fingers. I don't have to go down to the Social Security Administration to change my name, along with a dozen other places. I don't have to buy a dress or anything either.

While the bridal-industrial complex is engulfing my soon-to-be-wife this afternoon, I am off to see Episode III with a friend I have had since 4th grade (and I've known him since kindergarten, when he and another kid named JC Foster destroyed my He-Man thermos, which meant war of course) who is going to be a groomsmen and join me in Boston for the revelry next weekend with the other members of Team Groom.

The weather of late has been like Boston last year: erratic. We have had rain, snow, rain, and then 70+ degrees days in a row with sunshine nonstop. Not that I am complaining. This state still has the best weather for seasons of anywhere in the world.

The winters are pretty mild, the average temp is around 30-40 degrees with lots of snow to make it worth your while. The falls are great and last from September to October/November. Spring is not as muddy and overcast as others I have experienced and towards the end (April/May) it can be quite lovely. Summer is hot but doesn't get to the hundreds until late July and August usually. And remember, it's a DRY HEAT.

I am wondering if 2005 will be like 1983 in Salt Lake, when I remember sandbags and bridges over State Street because of all the excess run off. I haven't seen this much precipitation in Utah since then, and my memory is pretty hazy because that was back in the He-Man days.

Work is going well. Everyday I get a new motion or memo to write, and I get to learn what a motion in lemine is or whatever. Doing research now has a point, instead of make believe people we worked for in our Methods class. Now I work for the taxpayers of Salt Lake County and the victims in that case. My senior law clerk who is showing me the ropes has to go in for another Elizabeth Smart hearing soon. I wish I could go and hear that nutbar sing. Even though she tried to explain it to me, I still don't get why they have to let him sing every time and not just have him be present via closed-circuit TV. That way he can sing all he wants and not disrupt the proceedings, which is what he really wants to do.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Only in New York

Some Hillary can lose to the same state (NY) as a presidential candidate (albiet narrowly, within the margin of error) that she trouces in her Senate reelection bid. There's even a Giuliani cross over where he wins NY electoral votes but she gets the senate seat. Somehow, I doubt that will happen. Then again, it is a Fox News poll.

A Fox News/Mason-Dixon poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) trailing both GOPers ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (46%-44%) and Sen. John McCain (42%-41%) in WH '08 matchups among NY regis. voters.

The Fox News/Mason-Dixon poll shows Clinton defeating 4 possible GOP '06 SEN opponents: Giuliani (53-43%), NY Gov. George Pataki (59%-36%), Westchester Co. DA Jeanine Pirro (60%-24%) and Nixon son-in-law/atty. Ed Cox (58%-25%) among regis. NY voters

Thursday, May 19, 2005

And you call yourself a conservative?

Our quote of the day"I've never read the Bible cover to cover; maybe I should have."-Sen. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, New York Times Magazine, 5/22 issue.

The next most endangered GOP Senator this cycle is Conrad Burns of Montana, who "led all 535 members" in donations from Jack Abramoff and the tribes, "netting at least" $136K from '01-'04. As Bureau of Indian Affairs budget panel head, Burns "had a say" in the funding to tribal casinos. Yet he screwed over tribes in his home state over those represented by Abramoff.

The second highest recipient was Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) with $115K and then Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), with $56K. So that's why I hate P. Kennedy dumb AND corrupt. I already knew Ney had no shame (the "only lawmaker to receive donations from both Abramoff and Scanlon"), but Patty K.?

Just because he is a Kennedy, it doesn't mean we give him a free pass.

Nevada governor signs 'anti-pimp' bill

"AB470, dubbed the "anti-pimp bill,"removes a requirement that an act of prostitution or pimping be corroborated by a third party to prove guilt. With the new law, a pimp can be prosecuted based solely on the word of the prostitute."

It's all the name of economic efficency. See, without the middleman sucking up all of the Whores' money, there is more money for Hookers to live off of and thus less need to sell their body to the night, to paraphrase Sting. Less sex means less chance of contracting diseases and less pimps means less abuse of the prostitute as well.

Now the only people she has to fear is pycho Johns, serial killers, and the police. Nevada is such an enlightened state.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

SL Co. Tuition Reimbursement policy change

In keeping with my new standards of ethics, I am just going to copy and paste an email notice in it entireity that has been public knowledge for months and which I have previously discussed on this site:

The County Council has approved an amended "Tuition Reimbursement Program" effective May 23, 2005.
All applications for the program, as of that date, will be on a reimbursement basis as opposed to the current front end tuition assistance payment.

You still must submit your application for tuition reimbursement no sooner than 30 days prior or 30 days after beginning classes.

Applications currently submitted pending required documentation will be processed under the new reimbursement policy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bugman covers his bases

Maybe the Majority Leader knows the jig is up and it prepping to return to his old career. Or maybe it is just our quote of the day

"It's always good to know a trade" -- Pest Control Board's Murray Walton, on Tom DeLay completing 8 hours in training each year to maintain status as a "pest control technician" Thanks Austin American Statesman (reg. req.)!

Monday, May 16, 2005

first day on the job

So I don't know how it happened, but somehow I managed to get an awesome summer job that pays: a Law Clerk for SL County. So now I think cannot write about Yocum or Carroon or anything covered by county government because I am part of their legal team.

Also, I cannot talk about all the interesting stuff I see as far as cases and victims etc. But, I can say that the people are very nice, interesting and friendly. I am sure I will work hard but at least right now, I am so pumped and happy. I usually get too excited about a new job, only to get quickly cynical, so I will have to watch out for that. But right now, I am just so greatful to have such a great job.

Plus, I got lots of free stuff (mug, folder, pins) with my this logo on it:

And if that weren't enough, you have to see office supply closet. It is like Noah's Arc. I have great pens and wonderful choices of everything. My female collegues get pink notepads and purple post-its. And one of the out-of-state clerks (from U. of Tulane) is hooked on those rubber covers for your thumb to turn pages: "These things are like GOLD!" I am just happy to have a computer and cublicle near by senior law clerk. Lord knows I will need the help. "Have you taken Crim Pro?" ME: Nope "Evidence?" She asks hopefully. ME: all next year, sorry. I guess I will just learn it on the job.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

being a mercenary ain't easy

So says the Salt Lake Tribune. The Pentagon's hired guns "don't often have the kind of protection afforded their uniformed counterparts."
The cash is good. Really good. One-hundred-thousand-for-six-months-work good. Sometimes, it's even better than that. And that's nothing to scoff at for soldiers who don't make a quarter as much for a full year's work.
But worth it for the job they're contracted to do?
Standing in the dining room of her Murray home, Carol Thomas Young gazes downward at a framed photograph of her son.
"No way," she says, staring into the glass with tears in her eyes. "It's not worth it at all."
These folks put their lives on their line for Bush and his cronies, while the 101st flying keyboards cheer from the sidelines but would never dream of enlisting. Why? Because they don't have to: they make enough money that they are desperate enough risk being the next hostage executed on Al Jezzera.

27 year old Brandon Thomas signed up for mercenary duty when he learned that his National Guard unit wasn't going to be called up any time soon. He died in one of those massive car bombings in Bagdad that tend to blur together these days. The company he worked for got $20 million in contracts, some even from Fox News.

These companies save money by giving them no meaningful armor and not paying them until they are over in Iraq or Afghanistan, where they can't go into Wall-Mart and buy a vest. Remember all those stories of the US military spending hundreds of billions on missile defense (Star Wars) while failing to protect their own soliders in combat zones? Now imagine a greedy, corning cutting defense contractor being in charge. And they get you by flashing cash in your face:
The e-mails started popping into Rodney Allen's inbox three months before he left the U.S. Marine Corps. The messages came from a recruiter working for Dyncorp, one of the largest private security providers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"They were offering a one-year contract with the company, providing security for various officials in Iraq," Allen says. "It was starting at $160,000 a year."
As a noncommissioned officer in the Marines, the Utah native had been making about $27,000 annually.
"Well-qualified contractors - particularly those with special forces experience - can fetch that much [$130,000] in six months. And some have reported contracts exceeding $1,500 a day, the equivalent of about $550,000 a year. "

Meanwhile, the National Guard is staying officially neutral on joining up as a mercenary, while basically giving it their blessing. "I've never heard of an instance where the Guard says 'No, you shouldn't work there,' " said one soldier.