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A Curse Word Amendment

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

This is a blog about curse words… or it could also be called “Times have sure changed!’.

In 1897, the state of Maine enacted a statute that banned boxing from being shown in films. Then, in 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case that held that there could be censorship in films because they were considered commerce and not art; which meant that there were no free speech first amendment protection.

Wikipedia provides an interesting listing of the various content that was disallowed in early films. (here) Such censorship ranged from language and subject matter, to content that still would not be allowed today.

The Motion Picture Production Code was drawn up by a Republican lawyer/former Postmaster General by the name of Will H. Hays. He prepared guidelines for filmmakers to assist in what would become standards of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. It was known as the Hays Code, which was enforced under the Hays Office or Board.

That brings me to the infamous  movie Gone With The Wind. Prior to that movie, curse words were not allowed.

On November 1, 1939, an amendment was passed that would effect the dialogue of that movie.  The amendment still recognized that using the words “hell” or “damn” were still not allowed unless their use “shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore … or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste.”

With that amendment, Scarlett O’Hara tearfully asked Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”. With that, a nation was shocked when Butler uttered his last words to her, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn“. In 2005, that quotation was voted as the number one movie line of all time by the American Film Festival.

My how times have changed. I hope you have a great weekend!

And for our pic o’ day:

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The Politics of Politics Settlement

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Gary sneaks out of his room in nothing but his underwear to drop his food tray in the hallway. To his horror, his hotel room door closes behind him, locking him out. Thankfully, Captain Obvious is there to help  … but not really. He’s just there to point out that, normally, people wear pants and that despite Gary’s attempt to hide behind the plant, he found him immediately. Gary’s co-worker shouts after the hustling Gary that “It’s Wednesday Gary” and Gary shouts back “I know that, Janet”.

In a follow-up commercial, Gary sarcastically thanks Captain Obvious for telling him about hotels.com since he’s locked out of his room. And then tells him,  ”I don’t need a hotel room, I just need to get back in the one I already have”. Captain Obvious tells him “No need to thank me, since I haven’t helped you in the slightest”.

Sometimes I want to also sarcastically reply back to all those political emails from candidates who thank me for giving to their campaign and for being helpful. In fact, these computer generated spamming political fundraising emails remind me of Captain Obvious. I want to email back, “Don’t thank me, since I haven’t helped you in the slightest”.

But, that’s what happens in the world of politics, which leads me to an Associated Press story about a lawsuit that had previously been filed by former candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

According to the lawsuit, Cuccinelli said that the PAC raised $2.2 million in 2013, while promising donors  that their contribution would help Cuccinelli in his Virginia campaign for Governor, against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Records show that the PAC only gave Cuccinelli’s campaign a total of $10,000. They were just using a name to raise funds for their own use.

As a result of the lawsuit, Federal court pleadings filed last week show that Cuccinelli and the Virginia-based Conservative StrikeForce PAC reached a settlement that will prohibit the PAC from using a political candidate’s name for future fundraising efforts against the candidate’s wishes.

Also as part of the settlement and specifically relating to the lawsuit, the PAC agreed to pay Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign $85,000 and to give it exclusive rights to the PAC’s direct mail and email donor lists.

Here’s more of the nonsense of political fundraising, as well as why you and I should expect to keep getting bombarded with nonsense in our email in-box.

According to the press release statement, The StrikeForce PAC made no admission of wrongdoing as part of the settlement. It simply said that it would continue to operate but will “cease and desist” from using any candidate’s name or image “upon receipt of a written request.”

Seriously? I think Captain Obvious would not even have to state anything about that. It’s already obvious.

I think I need a good pic o’ day to feel better after that!

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Don’t Trash Talk NASCAR

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Fan is short for fanatic. I know that I have been guilty of being a fan… a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal. However, a story from an Indiana TV station has taken fandom to a criminal level.

An Indiana man (David Wilson) attacked his fiancée because she was “talking trash” about Nascar.   According to the report, the fiancée called 911 during the Indianapolis 500, saying Wilson had gotten upset during a fight over whether the NASCAR circuit or IndyCar was better.

She told police that they had been drinking all day. She said that he got angry when he heard her and another person talking about IndyCar, and how it was better than NASCAR. Of course, this conversation was taking place in IndyCar territory, close to where the Indianapolis 500 race takes place each year.

Wilson did not deny some of the facts but denied others. He told police he was in the kitchen making dinner when he heard his fiancée and the other person “talking trash about NASCAR.” He said that he yelled into the room at both of them. However, he denied any kind of physical altercation.

The man also complained that he was “extremely upset” that no one in the house would help him with the household work. They were just out in that room talking about racing. Police arrested him on charges of domestic battery and strangulation.

No word on whether NASCAR or household chores will come in the way of their marriage going forward!

And for pic o’ day…

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Oh Those Motivating Quotes!

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Coming back after a long weekend can be a bit challenging. But here we go! Sometimes it’s good to grab a quote to stir up some motivation.

‘Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again!’
- George Bush

OK, maybe that’s not one I was thinking about. But, here’s a thought from the Our Daily Bread message boards that reminded me of another quote:

A doctor’s surgery suite had a notice hanging on the reception area. It invited patients who were in the check- in line, to pray for the doctor… and for each other as they waited their turn. That reminded me of Oswald Chamber’s statement that, ” ‘Prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying ‘Prayer changes me and then I change things’ “. A wonderful reminder of the power of prayer.

And on to pic o’ day. Because the “Deflatriots” and Tom Brady are still in the news, a look back at popular Tom Hanks’ classic movie…

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A Good Night’s Sleep

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

This is the my blog until Tuesday, as we head into the weekend and Memorial Day. I wanted to write something about relaxation. That led me to thinking about a bed.

In the time of Shakespeare, mattresses were held securely to bed frames by ropes. A person could pull on the rope to tighten the mattress. The more a person pulled on the rope, the more the bed felt firmer. That’s where we get the expression Goodnight… sleep tight!

I hope it’s a great weekend and that you do get some relaxation. And for Monday, a time to remember those who have died in the armed services, protecting us.

And for pic o’ day

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Ole Pic o’ Day

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Even when I can’t blog, I should still post pic o’ day, right?

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A Crazy Bill

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Usually I am blogging about new laws that have been recently enacted into law.  I am going in another direction.  This blog is about a legislator who wanted to eliminate a law.

Florida Representative Ritch Workman wanted to repeal a current state law for a curious reason. It was a law that kept little people from being tossed as a game. Commonly known callously as “dwarf tossing”

“It’s a barbaric activity,” said Workman, first elected to the statehouse in 2008 to represent Melbourne, a city of about  78,000 residents near Orlando. “But they [little people] don’t need government to decide for them,” he added. “This (law) is insulting. Their actions aren’t endangering anybody else. For every law that’s on the books a little piece of your liberty and freedom is lost.”

At this point you are probably wondering if I am serious. According to Workman, legally preventing the intoxicated from throwing little people in bars is a violation of civil rights. I even think that he used the old nonsense of “it creates jobs”.

Fortunately, there was such outrage over this bill that in 2012, Workman finally withdrew it. The organization Little People of America did an effective job of lobbying against it as an outrageous bill. Amazingly, Workman has since been reelected. I thought that this bill was just as unusual as some of the previous old laws that are still on the books.

 

And for pic o’day, here’s a positive thought that was sent to me.   Circumstances

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Insurance in Sports

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

This picture with chopstick instructions made me laugh.

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It’s why the Preakness horse race on Saturday would cause people to bet on the horses. Different odds for different beliefs in their possibility of winning. Although, the result would cause me to believe that only American Pharoah had a chance.

While many of us don’t believe that life is just about luck or chance, insurance companies look at it as risk measurement. A belief that life is a bit of chance is what insurance companies count on in selling their product. They collect premiums with the hope that you will never need payment of insurance. We make payment for insurance premiums… with the hope that we will never need to collect!

That brings me to Ekpre-Olomu. The fact that you probably don’t know the name is part of the story. He used to play cornerback for the University of Oregon and was expected to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.

He was a concensus All American who tore his ACL in December practice. Because of that knee injury, he was unable to perform at the NFL combine nor at pro day at his school. Those are the times when NFL scouts make their recommendations.

Because of his injury and subsequent fall in the recent draft, Ekpre-Olomu is now in line to collect on a 3 million dollar insurance policy. Last year, to encourage him to stay and play at the school, Oregon took out an insurance policy against such an injury that would effect his pro career.

When he wasn’t selected in the first round, he was eligible to collect on a portion of the policy. When he fell out of the second round, he was in line to collect the full 3 million. It won’t make up for his full loss because if he had been drafted around the 12th pick, he would have collected somewhere around 10.5 million in guaranteed money in that slotted spot. Still, that insurance policy will be a helpful offset as he works to get better from his injury.

That’s a form of disability insurance that is now becoming more popular among athletes. When I first started practicing law, I purchased a disability policy that would  pay if I am unable to physically try cases in a courtroom. I am thankful to be paying those small premiums… without ever collecting.

 

And for our Monday pic o’ day, a lack of confidence…

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The Law Excuse Blog

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

I have been out of town on a case, which is my excuse for not writing a blog the last couple of days. I could have written a short blog or at least posted a pic o’ day with the ease of technology by iPad these days, But,  I now claim the law as my excuse!

I did receive some great pictures. Here’s one from Jeff R. that just makes me laugh. You will only appreciate this one if you are not a fan of the Patriots. In light of the recent Tom Brady suspension and all the discussion of football deflating, this is a classic sarcasm picture  of their championship Super Bowl ring. (couldn’t help it, I had to post)

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I also thought that the Friday blog is good time to post a few more unusual laws that are still on the books in various states.

Here’s a curious one from Maryland: It is illegal in Maryland for lions to attend the theatre.
And, in Alaska it is against the law to wake a sleeping bear, just to take a picture. That seems more than curious. And finally in our Friday blog look at some unusual laws: In South Dakota it is against the law to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory. Guess that was a real problem.

I hope you have a great weekend. And here is our pic o’ day:

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The Law of Long Life

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Physicians of the Roman Empire used to believe that walnuts could cure head ailments, since their shape was similar to that of a brain. In medical writings of that time, the walnut was recommended as, “if chewed and laid on as a plaster, cures gangrene, carbuncles, stye in the eye, and hair loss”.

Moving forward  to modern medicine, researchers at the National Cancer Institute gathered and pooled data about people’s exercise habits. (The study) This study included six health surveys totaling more than 661,000 adults, most of them middle-aged.

     With this cumulative data, the researchers grouped the adults by their weekly exercise time; comparing those who did not exercise at all to adults who worked out for various amounts of weekly exercise, including 10 times the current health and exercise national recommendations or more. That category meant that the highest exercise group did more than a regular amount of weekly exercise, exercising moderately for 25 hours per week or more.

     Using the data from these groups, the researchers then compared 14 years’ worth of death records for the group. Not surprisingly, they determined that the adults who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death.

     Those who exercised a little, not meeting the recommendations but at least exercising a little bit, lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent.

     Those who met minimal recommended exercise guidelines precisely, completing 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise; statistically lived longer lives and a 31% less risk of dying during the 14-year period compared with those who never exercised.

     Here’s the “kicker”. The blue ribbon” for best exercise benefits resulted among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise by working out moderately; mostly by walking, for  a total of 450 minutes  of exercise per week. Their reward: those adults were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who did not exercise.

     So what’s the conclusion? Anyone who is physically capable of activity should try to “reach at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and have around 20 to 30 minutes of that be vigorous activity,” says Klaus Gebel, a senior research fellow at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. And… even more exercise is better.

     Despite these statistics on exercise, it usually doesn’t impact someone to exercise. It’s the same reason that a pack of cigarettes can warn of imminent danger from smoking, while a person ignores and lights up.

     I am going to use these statistics to touch on a final point that is one of my “soapbox items”. Last week, owners of hotels in Virginia Beach came out against any offshore drilling of the shores of Virginia Beach. (Pilot Online) They are against it because they know that any drilling that causes an oil spill will end all tourism in Virginia Beach. Still, politicians continue to push offshore drilling to “create jobs”.  I guess facts can’t get in the way.

     One final note, I did perk up when the Romans suggested using walnuts to fight hair loss. Hmm!

 

And for pic o’ day:

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