Watch Me Take The Bar
Watch Me Take The Bar
This blog, originally started as a chronicle of my taking the bar, is now a look into the mind of an attorney in solo practice in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Thursday, March 30, 2006

Should You Just Have $22.00 Burning A Hole In Your Pocket...

...thanks to GG, here is a way to get rid of it.

Now, truly. Is this necessary? I mean, one of the many, many reasons I love my iPod is that it fits conveniently into the pocket of whatever pants I am wearing. I do not feel the need, nor the desire, to clasp this technological marvel to my groin, however. I can walk through an airport, take a speedwalk around my condo complex, or go wherever I want, and the iPod is already portable enough and carryable enough.

Good grief...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Can't Remember If I've Told You This One...

One of the problems of having a blog with 365 entries is that you sort of forget what you've said to your readers and what you haven't. I don't know if I've told you the story below, but, even if I have, it's worth your read again. Plus, I'm not the one telling it.

It's written by my Uncle Tom. He sends it out every March 28.

After five years of teaching university, I moved to Ohio and the only job I could find was selling shampoo. I was given one hundred beauty salons spread over a dozen towns and told to visit them every two weeks.

One day, I noticed a client going through her very large appointment book, crossing off a week here and a week there.

I said, "Jody, what are you doing?"
Jody said, "Oh this? I figured out that I make enough money to pay my bills and take a vacation every six to eight weeks. So I am crossing out the weeks I won’t be here so my clients know when they need to book with me."
Of course as a former university professor, I pointed out to her why she shouldn't do that. I proceeded to explain how it made her less productive, most people don't take that many vacations, and the effect it had on her return on investment etc.
That’s when it happened. That’s when she gave me that one simple piece of philosophy that I still struggle to live by.
Jody said, "Wait a minute. You don't understand.
I don't live to work.
I work so that I can live!"
I hope you remember the words of that very wise client I married a couple of years later:

"I don't live to work. I work so that I can live."
Jody Stoyan 1958 -- March 28, 1998

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Can't Quite Get Over This One

Bassett here. Been down the past few days with a weird fluish-coldish sort of combination; so have found myself a little listless and more inclined to watch TV than normal.

Last night, found myself watching a documentary about the Titanic on the History Channel (and remarking again that it's a channel I should watch more often.) They were talking about the evacuation and how badly it was carried out, with hundreds of seats on the lifeboats going unfilled. On one side of the boat, they enforced the rule of "women and children first." On the other side of the boat, while they announced it as "women and children first," if there were no women and children in sight at that moment, they'd let men on.

One of the comments made, I find equal parts telling, disturbing and grossly comical. It went something like this:

"The morals of the time were such that a man might take a seat that should have gone to a woman or a child, but he would feel very bad about having done it."

Well, doesn't that make everything better?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Move Along, Nothing to See Here (other than a police department failing to get domestic violence...again...)

A fellow by the name of Oscar Rabadan of Wheeling, Illinois, had visitation with his kids (a 14-year-old and a 9-year-old) over the weekend. He was to bring them back at 8:00 PM.

At 10:30, their mother, Adriana De Leon, called the police.

Now, Oscar and Adriana are apparently on the outs. There appears to be an order of protection against Rabadan which specifically prohibits him from concealing the children.

Now, protection orders are issued by judges.

Who interpret the law.

And create a set of expectations about what people can and can't do.

And, apparently, this judge specifically prohibited Oscar here from concealing the children.

Now, we're out of court, and Oscar's violated that set of expectations, so, of course, we should turn to the police.

Which, in this case, is the Gurnee, Illinois Police Department.

And they have indicated they aren't issuing an Amber Alert because the case does not indicate "a direct threat to the safety of the children."

And, y'know, he's probably right. I mean, it's the kids' dad. He's just got them at his apartment, they're just staying a few extra days.

Oh, wait. The police were told he cleaned out his belongings in Wheeling, and may be headed to San Antonio, Texas, or the surrounding area.

"Surrounding area?" Could that mean, like, Mexico?

Yeah, no direct threat here.

Other than the fact that these kids may never see their mother again.

BTW, this article from the News-Sun Online is fascinating in its description of the things said by Police Commander Jay Patrick.

First, he makes the aforementioned comment about not issuing an Amber Alert due because "there is not a direct threat to the safety of the children."

Then he says that Oscar has filed court papers in an attempt to gain custody, and a hearing is scheduled later this month.

He then said there was an active order of protection against Oscar.

And then he mentions that the guy cleaned out his apartment and may be headed for points south.

Jay? Jay? Are you listening to yourself and what you're saying? Because I am.

I like that you first pointed out that Oscar filed for custody. Jay, a lot of people can file a lot of things, but that doesn't mean that they are entitled to them. For instance, just to pick something at random, the kids' mother could file a complaint against you for not getting domestic violence and assuming that the fact custody has been filed for means that his taking them isn't a bad thing. She probably wouldn't be entitled to get anything, but she could file for it.

So, just based on her complaint, we should fire you? And just because Oscar filed for custody (the way he would take custody of them legally,) we should turn our heads when he can't be troubled with laws and rules and hearings and just takes them illegally?

What you're really saying, Jay, is that this is just a nasty divorce and they're fighting over custody and possession is nine-tenths of the law. Right? I mean, we can level with each other here. That's what you MEANT to say, right?

And these kids don't deserve their mother. I mean, the parents are fighting, so clearly, it's a screwed up family, and they're just going to end up screwed up, so, why trouble yourself, right?
(Of course, maybe these kids will end up screwed up from not having a mom, but let's not trouble ourselves with that little detail, OK? I mean, these are facts, and we wouldn't want to get into those in domestic relations.)

Oh, and the fact you ACKNOWLEDGE there is a protection order (which, where I come from, only gets handed down when someone does something bad), might give some people all they need to know to think there might be a direct threat to the kids.

But, not you.

And, sadly, many other law enforcement officials across the country are the same way. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard, "Oh, it's just a messy divorce" as a reason for law enforcement not stepping in, I could be on easy street for the rest of my life.

It's just a messy divorce, so, parents don't really deserve protection, do they?

How about kids? Nah.

It's just the law. It's not like we want the police to, y'know, enforce it or anything.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Attention, Eve: Here's A Character for Your Barzam Novel

WARNING: If you took the bar exam recently, this story may cause your head to explode.

Last night, I had dinner with a friend from law school who was in town. Through the course of it, she mentioned she had talked to a classmate of ours and he sent his regards. This fellow had not been with us for our third year in law school, because he was like a "visiting student" at some school in Maryland, pursuing becoming a sports agent. So, I asked what he was doing, and was told he was working for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

So, I said I assumed he hadn't taken the bar. My friend (who has also taken and passed a bar exam), said, "Wait 'till you hear this story."

Seems he was registered for the Maryland bar and started taking BarBri when he got his job offer, two weeks into BarBri. He decided to go work for the Cavs.

Three days before the barzam, his boss said, "Here's a plane ticket to Maryland. You're signed up, you may as well go see how you do."

"Don't tell me he passed."

My friend put her hand up. "Just wait," she said.

"He went to Maryland. Got SMASHED the night before the bar exam. Took the first day.

"Got SMASHED that night. Took the second day."

I'm thinking, what an idiot, to have a free shot at the bar and get smashed.

"And he passed."

Yeah. He owes everyone who took the bar one summer.

Or at least, reeeeally good Cavs tickets.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Wonder Every St. Patrick's Day

why the poor Prime Minister of Ireland always finds himself at the White House on March 17.

Seriously. Every St. Patrick's Day, the President, be it Bush or Clinton or Bush (or, in a few years, maybe, Clinton?) hosts the Prime Minister of Ireland, and talks about how many Irish-Americans there are in the United States, and how his great-grandfather's uncle's college roommate was Irish.

And I'm thinking the poor Irish PM is standing there through this photo op, thinking, "Ach, Seamus, here ye are, the Prime Minister of Ireland and here I am with some Texas cowboy who won't even have a damn green beer with me today."

Seriously. It's St. Patrick's Day. He should be in, y'know, Ireland. I mean, we don't send W over to Ireland for the Fourth of July, do we?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sick of Hearing Me Talk About the Plight of Battered Women & Custody?

Fine. I'll be quiet for a bit, and instead let you read an article by the Suburban Chicago Newspapers on three women who are fighting the good fight: Annette Zender, Carroll White and Kirsten Tippett.

I met Annette at the Battered Mothers' Custody Conference in Albany in January. All three of these ladies have found themselves in horrible circumstances. And rather than giving up, they're trying to make sure that others don't find themselves similarly situated. This makes some judges and attorneys rather uncomfortable, but that's OK. It should be called embarassment at the situations they've created.

OK, I'll shut up before I start preaching. More.

Sick of Hearing Me Talk About the Plight of Battered Women & Custody?

Fine. I'll be quiet for a bit, and instead let you read an article by the Suburban Chicago Newspapers on three women who are fighting the good fight: Annette Zender, Carroll White and Kirsten Tippett.

I met Annette at the Battered Mothers' Custody Conference in Albany in January. All three of these ladies have found themselves in horrible circumstances. And rather than giving up, they're trying to make sure that others don't find themselves similarly situated. This makes some judges and attorneys rather uncomfortable, but that's OK. It should be called embarassment at the situations they've created.

OK, I'll shut up before I start preaching. More.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Now Exiting The State of Logic. Return In Doubt.


Just, wow.

Here's a leap in logic for you. Because women have a choice in whether or not to give birth to a child, the man should have a choice in whether or not to pay child support.

A lawsuit is being filed in Detroit, apparently, on behalf of the men's rights movement, making this argument. They're calling it "Roe v. Wade for men."

I'd call it "Responsibility vs. Financial Evasion for men."

Apparently, Mr. Matt Dubay, a 25-year-old computer technician from Saginaw, would like the Michigan child support law declared unconstitutional.

Dubay told her he didn't want to be a father. He claims the woman he was dating assured him she couldn't get pregnant, due to contraceptives she was taking and other physical issues.

There is now incontrovertible evidence that this was inaccurate, and Mr. Dubay now finds himself ordered to support his eight-month-old daughter.

"It's just not fair," he tells the Detroit News. "She has options in this. As a man, I have no options and am forced to live with her choices. I was up front. I was clear that I didn't want to be a father and she reassured me that she was incapable of getting pregnant."

OK, Matt? Matt? Let's just take your story that she said she was on contraceptives and physically unable to get pregnant.

First of all, in the words of jury instructions read in courtrooms everyday, "All human activity involves some risk." And the activity which you engaged in which has gotten us to this point in time is no exception. Contraceptives occasionally fail. The human body repairs itself. People are inaccurate about the medications they are taking or their state.

The good news is, there are things you can do to reduce your risk, which (while the Detroit News did not, thankfully, go into specifics) it appears you may not have done. So, if everything you say is true about what your girlfriend told you, you still might have been able to reduce the amount of risk. So, simply stating that "As a man, I have no options and am forced to live with her choices" is a gross oversimplification. As a man, you had options to understand the nature of the risks and not assume that her word was the be-all, end-all. You made a choice not to. You are forced to live with choices both of you made.

And, by the way, if your logic prevails, your child will be forced to live by the choice you are making not to support her. So, if we assume that the mother was a lying, conniving person, and as a result, you get a pass at support, the child (who did not choose either of you) will suffer.

So, really, Matt, the only one who does not have options and never has had options is the child you would like to get out of supporting.

(PS: The mother is raising the child, so it's not like she's exactly getting off with no responsibility.)

All right, let's leave Mr. Dubay's case alone for a moment and just think about what the consequences it would have if we adopted his position.

This should not take long, but let's spell it out. Essentially, you would be telling women that a man could threaten them that, if they chose to give birth to a child, they would be left to raise them completely on their own.

And most everyone agrees that, as a matter of policy, we would prefer women to give birth. As Bill Clinton said, "Abortions should be safe, legal and rare." You make them rare by creating an environment where a few things happen:

(1) Fewer unplanned pregnancies. That means you educate people on how to reduce the risk of the risky activity described above. (It doesn't mean you tell high school students to stop thinking about sex.)

(2) You ensure a system of adoption that will make a woman feel that, if she wishes to carry a child to term but give it up for adoption, the child will be raised in a nuturing and appropriate environment.

(3) You ensure that the woman feels she can make a go of it for herself and her child, should she choose to carry it to term and keep the child.

What the Matt Dubays of the world are proposing manifestly does not help us get to #3. Rather, it's giving every guy the right to say, "You wanna have the kid, witch? Then you pay for it!"

Of course, this all may be academic in that, soon, women may not be able to make that choice.

PS: In writing this post, I have assumed that Mr. Dubay did not take certain protective measures. If I am wrong, and he did everything a "reasonably prudent person" should do, I apologize, although even when you do all of that, you may still find yourself in a situation where you receive a surprise nine months later. However, even if he's completely innocent (which I doubt), the precedent his case would set for non-innocents would be horrible.

Tuesday Takes

I watched Keith Olbermann the other night on CSPAN's Q & A. He made the comment that the difference between, say, a weekly column and a blog is that you only have to blog when you have something to say. A good guideline; hence, why occasionally I disappear off the map for a while.


I will say, the past few days have been pretty damn pleasant. We got up to the mid-sixties here in Ohio (don't worry, we're back into the mid-40's today); and I spent a good part of my weekend relaxing and reading. Lest you think I'm letting my brain turn entirely to mush, I'm reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which weighs in at well over a thousand pages. I started it last week and am around page 230. It's written very well.

Apparently, I'm in the midst of a World War II kick. The book I read before this was a collection of Eleanor Roosevelt's columns; next will be a book of Franklin Roosevelt's speeches. Just the way the books were stacked...


Having the windows open and being able to spend a little time outside did wonders for my soul, I'm happy to report.

On the other hand, I do have a problem. The condo where I'm living has no outside porch. There's a "porch," by which I mean there's sliding glass doors and you can open the windows and let the air in, but you still have a roof over your head. In additions, the places in the immediate vicinity to sit outside are relatively few, at least until the swimming pool opens.

And, on the subject of the swimming pool: I hope someone can tell me there is an officially-sanctioned way to close your pool for the winter while leaving water in it which becomes quite dark and frightening, because that's what they do at the condo. I at least hope they drain the damn thing before it's open for business.


I also continue to work at unpacking enough stuff in my guest room, which will eventually become my home office, that the door to it is no longer permanently closed. I was surprised by how it changed, to some degree, the character of the whole condo.


I mentioned a moment ago I hadn't had anything to say in a while but, after this rather inane update, I'll be preparing a post about something I have a lot to say about. How much I can put on a family blog is debatable, but, anywho...


EDIT: Good God, people. I posted this, and two minutes later, it's SNOWING. SNOWING, for Pete's sake. Not 18 hours ago, I was sitting outside sunning myself.

Ah, the joys of being in Ohio.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't Make The NCAA Mad

Disclaimer: The author should note he is wearing an Ohio State national championship (football) t-shirt. That said, I'm at best a casual fan of OSU basketball, which has fallen into disrepute recently because of blatant NCAA violations.

OK, so, the NCAA has slammed Jim O'Brien, Ohio State's former basketball head coach, and Ohio State. They've ordered the school to remove any mention of their trip to the 1999 Final Four, because they were playing with an ineligible player. And so they'll change a penant currently hanging in their arena mentioning they made that trip.

But, here's the quote from SI's article on the subject that got me: "[R]ecord books will be blotted out to eradicate pictures and statistics for the four tournament teams that included an ineligible player..."

Blotting out pictures? Didn't we get over that with, like, Stalin standing on Lenin's Tomb?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, draconian, thy name is NCAA.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Now Taking Bets: How Long Will This One Last?

The Ohio State Bar Association publishes a report every Monday. of notable cases from the Ohio Supeme Court and the appellate courts around the state. These are sorted by topic. This week, while looking through the report, I noticed that the Supreme Court had reinstated a fellow by the name of James King to the practice of law.

Just on a lark, I was interested to see what Mr. King had done to get suspended, and how he got back in the good graces of the Supreme Court again.

Well, the case header said that King was disbarred for "dishonesty, deceit, or misrpresentation," not to mention a "false statement to client regarding status of case." Fair enough.

Then I read a little further. It turns out this is not Mr. King's first resurrection from being suspended; he was suspended in 1990 for "conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." This happened after King was convicted, in federal court, for filing false income tax returns. In 1991, King was restated.

But he had another chance to argue before the Supreme Court. In 1996, he was suspended for six months for "neglecting an entrusted legal matter." This was his last disciplinary infraction until 2004.

Now, here's my question. We've got one "neglecting entrusted legal matter." We've got two "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentations."

At what point, precisely, do we say, "Jim, y'know, maybe you should take up some other profession?"

He's already had his three strikes, hasn't he?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

If A Duck Is Your Control Group, Don't Be Surprised When It Tests High For Being A Duck (And Please Don't Call It A Psychopath)

About a week and a half ago, a friend sent me an article about the use of the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) in custody evaluations involving battered mothers. It's an article from the Spring, 2005 edition of the ABA Family Law Quarterly, entitled "Use of the MMPI-2 in Child Custody Evaluations Involving Battered Women: What Does Psychological Research Tell Us?" (39 Fam L.Q. 87) by Nancy Erickson.

I suppose we should start with defining our terms.

The MMPI-2 (hereafter, just "the MMPI"), has been around since 1942. It was first developed to assist in weeding out people in the military with psychological problems. It was updated in 1989, and tests the person who takes it on ten "scales," for such maladies as depression, hypochondria, psychopathic traits, paranoia and schizophrenia.

When they score your questions, they see how you scored on each "scale." They refer to this as the "T-scale." If you score above a 65 (sometimes 70), it's considered clinically significant.

Once they have this all together, they determine the participant's three highest scores. So, if you had scored highest on scale 2 (depression), second-highest on scale 4 (psychopathic deviate) and third highest on scale 9 (hypomania), you would get a score of 249.

The psychologist or psychiatrist administering the test then uses the score to reach a conclusion about the person's psychiatric makeup. At least, that's how it's supposed to happen. At the Battered Mothers' Custody Conference I attended in January, we heard that there are computer services to evaluate scores and spit out responses. (congratulations! My Dell Inspiron says you're crazy!)

Now, how does this relate to battered mothers? Well, they evaluated thirteen studies that evaluated the three-number score that women who took this test and had been victims of domestic violence got. In six of the thirteen, there was a code with a three-point combination of 4, 6 and 8, also known as "psychopathic deviate," "paranoia," and "schizophrenia." Schizophrenia, by the way, is defined as "confusion in thought processes; feelings of being overwhelmed."

Let's take the last two first. OK, paranoia. You're just coming out of a relationship where a person you loved and trusted with your most intimate thoughts, fears, dreams and hopes has not only decided he doesn't love you, but in fact will make you a target for all types of abuses. And you present with trust issues? You don't say!

Schizophrenia, also known as confusion in thought processes. You're in the midst of a custody battle, you don't know what's going on, someone's trying to pull the rug out from under you, you probably are working very hard to make ends meet (and only occasionally succeeding), and your thought processes are confused? How is that possible?

But let's go back to the "4" scale, psychopathic deviate. Now, the description given is that it implies "anger," which one might assume someone who's been the survivor of domestic violence would have a good deal of. But, let's be clear, a disguising of "psychopathic deviate" is not something that you want to hang on your wall. The typical high scale-4 person is, basically, the description a batterer would give of his victim, showing, among other things, "impulsiveness, poor interpersonal judgment, unpredictability, social alienation, and a reduced sense of responsibility and morals." Also, these folks have trouble adjusting to marriage and work, and sacrifice long-term goals for short-term desires. (One could argue this last one is a tradeoff a battered woman must make all the time, trying to survive to the next day and not being able to plan for ten years down the road.)

Clearly, you would not want such a person getting custody of a child, would you? This is a monster. I mean, when they crafted this test, they must have talked to the worst, the lowest of the low. We're talking Gacy, Dahmer, Bundy, Manson, right?

Wrong. First of all, they specifically excluded anyone from the group who had committed capital offenses. Per Nancy Rhodes in Comparison of MMPI Psychopathic Deviate Scores of Battered and Nonbattered Women, 7 J. FAM. VIOLENCE 297 (1992), "The group they used was a group that was "predominantly female," who had been placed in a psychiatric setting by the courts for "stealing, lying, truancy, sexual promiscuity, alcohol abuse and forgery."

This is of some note. You see, "Behavioral indicators of sexual abuse include running away from home, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, truancy and shoplifting. Such antisocial behaviors are also associated with physical abuse and neglect."


So, what we're saying here is that we based the psychopathic scale on women who have exhibited certain problems. And these problems are, very frequently, symptoms of abuse in an earlier time. We've taken the personality traits they exhibit, and we've distilled them into a test.

Then, we give them to a woman who has just been abused.

And, surprise! She scores high!

Let's put this in terms of the psychiatrist testing. "Your Honor, this woman who claims she was abused was tested on a scale developed by looking at women who have done things which are frequently traits of being abused. She scored high. Ergo, she's a psychopath. Let's give her children to the man she claims abused her, because, clearly, she's making up the abuse."

AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! *bangs his head on table*

OK, but, let's just (for the heck of it), go with the argument that scale 4 is valid, and a person who scores high for scale 4 behaviors will show those behaviors and shouldn't be around kids. What happens to the scores of someone who has recently been abused after the abuse ends?

Guess what. It goes back down.

(Someone might suggest that, if we want to discourage the behaviors in scale 4 we don't like, we could end the abuse for women, instead of taking their children away, but that would, of course, be way too simple.)

(BTW, the article also discusses -- and debunks -- much thought there was a predisposition to being a battered woman. If you have normal scores, and you go into a battering relationship, you may very well come out with high scale 4 scores.)

Now, one last thing. When servicemen used to come back from the war with flashbacks and bad psychological "baggage" from the war, the term used was "shell-shock." It has since been called "post traumatic stress disorder."

And, not surprisingly, if you are a survivor of domestic violence, you frequently will suffer from PTSD.

Except, a more severe form than people who are in combat.

But the MMPI doesn't HAVE a scale for PTSD; rather, they created a "supplemental scale," which just uses the answers to the current questions, instead of specifically asking questions directed at finding out whether the testee has PTSD. As I understand the problem with this, it's like this. Let's say we need to know whether a person likes sweet foods or foods that are not so sweet. We ask the question: "Would you like broccoli or chocolate ice cream?" If they say chocolate ice cream, it means they like sweet foods.

Now, let's say we want to know, additionally, whether the person likes sugary beverages or more natural offerings. Adding a scale for this would involve adding questions such as, "Would you like Coca Cola or milk?" Adding a supplemental scale for this would involve asking the broccoli-or-ice-cream question, and using THAT answer to determine whether or not they want sugary beverages. (And if you think that works, just check to see how many people have a Coke classic with chocolate ice cream.)

So, we aren't testing for PTSD. Wonderful. But, at least the abuse survivor feels safe because it's over when she's being evaluated for custody, right?

Wrong. In a custody dispute, according to Erickson, "The victim must see the batterer in court. Additionally, she usually has contact with him when visitation starts and ends, and sometimes she must even have some contact between visitations in order to make visitation arrangements and communicate with regard to the children. These constant reminders of the trauma of the abuse may delay her healing process and may extend her PTSD symptoms. Those symptoms, in turn, may cause a forensic evaluator to view her as a poor candidate for custody."

Ya don't say.

As Erickson concludes, the whole issue "raises the question of whether custody evaluations should be carried out with abused women in transition, because their acute state of psychological distress may influence an accurate evaluation of their capacity to parent."

Failing that, we could stop using a scale developed with a large number of abuse victims as the control group and be surprised when others who have been abused display the same traits.

Or, at the very least, we could stop labeling them psychopaths. That's not too much to ask.

Is it?

To See Some Good Ol' Civil Obedience,

click here.

It's a short film by some college students entitled "A Meditation on the Speed Limit." Find out what happens when everyone goes the speed limit on the Atlanta superhighway.

Hilarious. :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Watch Me Take The Bar (ver. 2.1)

You may notice a few changes on the blog. As you can tell, it's not a redesign; just an upgrade. To wit:

  • The "About Me" section now takes you to a more descriptive post about me, which even includes a picture (for those of you wondering what I look like.) This has the added bonus of nixing the link to my podcast site that was never used...

  • I've added a link to all my posts on domestic violence-related issues, as well as some links and resources. (If you can think of any others, please feel free to let me know!)

  • I fixed the link to Lindsionary. (Yeh, I know, it's been a few months, but I just hate getting in and monkeying with the template.)

  • Changed the description. Got rid of the surplus comma that always bothered me (but not enough to get in and monkey with the template.)
Enjoy your stay!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

If You Are Reading This, You May Already Be In Danger of Being Suspended!

This is, without a doubt, one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever read.

A student in Costa Mesa, California, got on the popular teen website Myspace and created a group, the name of which was, "I hate [name of the girl.]" He invited some friends to join this group. He had a folder, within which was posted, "Who here in [this group] wants to take a shotgun and blast her in the head over a thousand times?"

Now, this is clearly disturbing and something that needs to be dealt with. The school district is attempting to expel him.

But here's the thing: The students who looked at the group -- didn't actively participate, simply LOOKED at the group -- were suspended.

Come on.

This is thought police stuff, folks. I'm all about preventing bullying and that sort of thing, but all these students did was click on a website. At home. On their own time.

Abandon all thoughts of the constitution, ye who enter the TeWinkle Middle School.

Good grief.

The People Have Spoken...

Leave it to the Onion to make me laugh...

(thanks to Janet for the link.)

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