August rambling #1: Dystopian Reader

Tony Bennett is 90!


Alan David Doane’s new blog The Dystopian Reader; see, in particular, the lead story here

Arthur@AmeriNZ’s political notebook #1 and #2 because otherwise this post would be filled with these links.

The Latest Beaverkill Sinkhole, On South Lake Avenue in Albany

Please read this before you post another RIP on social media

Why George W. Bush stood there and took the wrath of a soldier’s mom

Donald Trump: stop calling him crazy Continue reading “August rambling #1: Dystopian Reader”

My first jury duty voir dire

I was not complaining about doing jury duty, I was frustrated by the TIMING.

courtroomAround August 10, I got a notice in the mail for potential jury selection.

“The law requires you to complete this questionnaire. Please respond within 10 days.
“Your name was selected at random from voter, Department of Motor Vehicles, tax, social services or unemployment lists. This is not a summons. You are NOT required to appear for jury service at this time.”

I went through this seven years ago, but it’s modernized in that I can answer online:

Please enter your e-mail address so we may contact you concerning this questionnaire (2-5 is oui, 6-7 is non):

  1. Date of Birth: Month: Day: Year:
  2. Can you understand and communicate in English? Yes No
  3. Are you a United States citizen? Yes No
  4. Are you a resident of Albany County? Yes No
  5. Are you at least 18 years old? Yes No
  6. Have you been convicted of a felony? Yes No
  7. Have you been a juror in State or Federal Court in the last 6 years or in Town or Village Court in the last 2 years? Yes No

TWO weeks later, I get the card saying I had to call in over Labor Day weekend to see if I had to report, and with a number 128, I was fairly certain I would, and I did, starting Tuesday.

I noted this on Facebook, and some folks misunderstood Continue reading “My first jury duty voir dire”

45 years ago: my first time in a courtroom

I wrote a really angry note to the judge, but I had no intention of actually mailing it.

courtroomOn Labor Day this year, I knew I was going to be going to jury duty the next day. That situation reminded me of a long-ago story, but the details were fuzzy. So I called a witness, who I’ll call Megan, who I had not spoken to in 40 years.

It was (probably) the fall of 1969. I was walking Megan home from high school, something that I seldom did. She was a relatively new person in my old neighborhood of the First Ward in Binghamton, for maybe a couple years, but she went to my junior high school, Daniel Dickinson, and lived near one of my friends I’d known since kindergarten.

I get to her house when this guy living next door, who I had never seen before, starts yelling racist remarks to me. It was my training Continue reading “45 years ago: my first time in a courtroom”

40 Years Ago- May 18, 1972: Arrest and Trial

Fourth degree criminal trespass, in the state of New York in 1972, was a VIOLATION, akin to a traffic ticket. Specifically, it was not a CRIME, such as a MISDEMEANOR or a FELONY would be.

After I got back to my dorm room after my arrest at IBM Poughkeepsie on Wednesday, May 10, I figured I ought to call my parents to tell them what had happened. I remember almost nothing of the actual conversation. I DO remember that the conversation took 2.5 hours and cost $39! In-state calls with New York Telephone, at the time, were more expensive than out-of-state calls. Monopolies and all that.

That Saturday, I go visit my friend Alice in jail. I hug her; the matron didn’t like that. Continue reading “40 Years Ago- May 18, 1972: Arrest and Trial”

John Edwards, George Zimmerman trial prediction

We discover that the Securities and Exchange Commission had staff IN the Lehman offices MONTHS before the disaster, and apparently didn’t recognize what was going on.

John Edwards (D-NC), the 2004 Vice-Presidential nominee on the John Kerry ticket, is on trial for misappropriation of 2008 Presidential campaign contributions in order to support Rielle Hunter, his former lover and mother of his youngest child. This was going on while Edwards’ wife Elizabeth was was dying of cancer; a sordid affair. Edwards was offered a plea bargain that would have given him months of jail time, though he would have lost his law license; he could get 30 years. I suspect he turned down the deal because he thinks he can win in court. The crux of the matter is whether those payments to Hunter were actually campaign contributions.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Melanie Sloan notes “Sen. Edwards’ conduct was despicable and deserves society’s condemnation, but that alone does not provide solid grounds for a criminal case. DOJ’s scattershot approach to prosecuting public officials is incomprehensible and undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system.” Continue reading “John Edwards, George Zimmerman trial prediction”