Tuesday Night Open Thread: A Potpourri

I just got a new HP Mini 311 Netbook with Windows 7 that I'm trying to set up tonight. My Verizon broadband device was 2 years old and eligible for an upgrade, so instead of getting another one, I got the Netbook from Verizon for $149 (instead of $699.) I'll report back with a review as soon as I've got it all working.

My good friend Anita Thompson has a new post at HuffPo on the People cover photo of Johnny Depp as the Sexiest Man Alive. He's wearing his Gonzo medal, and Anita explains how Hunter and Johnny became friends and what "Gonzo" is all about. I hope Johnny calls her soon, because I've asked her to badger him into not abandoning his plan to star in the film version of Shantaram, which now that I've read all 900 pages of the book and loved it, I think he's perfect for. Production has been stalled for a few years, and the latest word is that it's on indefinite hold. [More...]

Another one of my Colorado pals, Jesse Csincsak (professional snowboarder, former Bachelorette winner and 2009 TalkLeft Bachelor of the Year) will be covering the Winter Olympics in Canada for the Associated Press starting at the end of January. He's co-hosting a show called "“Beyond the Medal,” with Laura Ibrahim. You can watch him here teaching her to rock climb. He'll also be doing another 1 hour special on MTV MADE about snowboarding, which is going to film sometime in January.

In other media news: CBS Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen (based in Denver) has his final Courtwatch column today. I first met Andrew 12 years ago when he provided commentary at the McVeigh trial, and I think he's top notch. He also has a great Twitter feed which will remain.

Finally, if there's one post you should read tonight, it's this one by Christopher Soghoian (hat tip to Marcy at Empty Wheel) on how Sprint has provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009.

[Sprint] provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.

I followed the links to this conference he attended where he recorded the Sprint guy discussing it, and just the Agenda tells you a lot about how much the information Government can get about you from your use of your cell phone and computer. His Twitter feed has links to Facebook, My Space and Yahoo's enforcement manual. I read the Yahoo one and felt like canceling every web-based e-mail and other account I have.

If I weren't going to be in Key West on Friday lecturing on new surveillance tools, I'd be attending this Conference at CU Law School in Boulder where Chris is going to be one of the speakers. The topic:" A Gentle Introduction to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act." Wiretapping is bad, but what the Government can get on all of us through the ECPA and with pen registers and trap and traces is really out of control. And if you check the companies at the first link , you'll see what a booming business it's become. They are making a fortune finding new ways to provide sensitive information about us to law enforcement.

I think it's all possible because of "clouds" and how we've been tricked via Google, Windows, Flickr, Facebook, etc. into storing things online instead of on our own computers -- and GPS and the phone companies providing cell site locator information. And of course, CALEA, enacted in 1994, which I've been criticizing for more than a decade.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Chocolate candy class tonight (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:53:12 PM EST
    missed "the speech", but learned how to temper chocolate, make mallomars and bourbon ganache truffles and we got a goodie bag ta boot! One of the chef's worked for Thomas Keller. His chocolate cookie recipe that's used in the mallomar is quite good. Ah, heck, it was all good! I think those same cookies will work for ice cream sandwiches in the summer with my berry ice creams. I now feel confident enough to start exploring chocolate and candy making. I see a lot of dark chocolate in my future {grin}

    Excellent. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by scribe on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:17:15 AM EST
    Now, try this:  when making ganache, soak some strongly flavored spices or such in the cream overnight (in the fridge) before you get started, to flavor it.  

    Stuff like cardamom (unground), cayenne, black or green teas.

    Or add some Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

    I've been thinking about making some truffles;  I usually KISS by just rolling them in cocoa powder, rather than dipping them.

    The thing about tempering chocolate is that it's much more easily done in large quantities (a pound and up).  This b/c it's easier to control the heat as the larger quantity changes temp more gradually.


    I'm a little jealous (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 10:03:18 PM EST
    But my scale will clearly disagree!

    All in moderation :) (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 10:09:42 PM EST
    I like having a bit of chocolate around. Most of it's pretty rich though, so you don't need much. The skills learned are useful. Same with the pastry class I took. One good thing I learned, is that you can keep reusing your dipping chocolate. That make's it much easier to dive in and try some chocolates. {grin}

    My vague recollection (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 10:17:50 PM EST
    is that you can use a fresh chocolate bar to tempter other chocolate that you've melted. I'm sure there's a way to do it from scratch, but I don't know how.

    The thing for me is that I absolutely cannot keep sweets in my apartment. If I do, I will invariably eat all of them. And too quickly. Ice cream, my other weakness, is also only to be eaten out. Limiting the variety of food I keep in the house has actually been a pretty good keep-the-pounds-off strategy.


    Listening to NPR and a wonderful song (none / 0) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:12:07 PM EST
    One more night up in the Canyon, perhaps-- Langhorne Slim?

    absolutely fantastic.

    Jeralyn, please go to one of the cheap restaurants on Stock Island, and have a cafe cubano for me. Used to eat breakfast at one of them, Cuban bread, cafe en leche, and one egg with a slice of ham. i think it was a buck and a quarter.

    Ah well, times change.

    Embarassment! (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 10:08:19 PM EST
    Counting Crows, long December...

    D'oh! I blame the vicodan.


    If I were a Windows user, I would avail myself (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:20:53 PM EST
    of Microsoft's FREE Security Essentials and as quickly as possible before installing that I would Decr@pify. I would not use 3rd party antivirus software.

    A geek columnist whom we respect (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:25:51 PM EST
    recently recommended the free Microsoft security software, too.  So, with yet another PC crashed from viruses recently (the PC used by our progeny, who go to sites we never would use), we installed the MS software on our other computers just a few days ago.  We'll know more in a few more months, when we will see if we can get away with fewer bills for repairs, new PCs, etc.

    Btw, we do also find Spybot very good, too.


    Using more than one package of that software (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:29:34 PM EST
    at a time is just asking for trouble. One alone slows down your machine.

    This is why I use a Mac. . .


    I loooove my little Acer netbook (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:30:12 PM EST
    -- the 8.1, I think, the smallest there is.  But it does everything I need on the road, thanks to all those ports, and weighs so little.  And only $150!

    The only problem is trying to wrestle it away from everyone else around me, 'cause it's so cute.

    A thought on Afghanistan (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:05:14 PM EST
    This war will require funding, and $30b is not going to come in any single appropriation. There will absolutely positively have to be another "emergency" supplemental of at least $100b. So, knowing that one way or another the President is going to find the votes for that supplemental, if I were in the House I would allow my vote to be bought. Include another trillion in purse stimulus (or something similar like unemployment benefits or aid to state government) and I will vote yes.

    Another way to buy my vote would be to attach healthcare with a strong public option to the war funding supplemental.

    The Dog That Didn't Bark. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Addison on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 01:56:36 AM EST
    Between the Lines, an Expansion in Pakistan (NYT):

    Quietly, Mr. Obama has authorized an expansion of the war in Pakistan as well -- if only he can get a weak, divided, suspicious Pakistani government to agree to the terms.

    In recent months, in addition to providing White House officials with classified assessments about Afghanistan, the C.I.A. delivered a plan for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the C.I.A.'s budget for operations inside the country.

    A couple of Blue Dogs have annonuced (none / 0) (#14)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:59:08 AM EST
    plans to retire:
    Rep. John Tanner (D-TN)
    Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS)

    Ben Nelson (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:24:25 AM EST
    is putting the Stupak amendment back in HIR Bill. At this point I'm at let this turkey of a bill just die on the vine.

    More bad news in health care (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:54:20 AM EST
    The COBRA subsidies that were put in place as part of the economic stimulus passed last February, expired on Monday.  These subsidies paid 65% of a person's monthly health insurance premium for 9 months. Congress has the option to renew this program, but so far, nothing has been mentioned.  The kicker is, this loss of subsidy will make many people drop their COBRA coverage, as they cannot afford it, but if Congress decides to renew this subsidy say, in January, those who dropped it will not be able to get the coverage back.

    Free clinics are expecting longer lines as more and more people have to drop their coverage.

    In Michigan, the average subsidy for a family policy was $665 a month, toward a plan that cost $1,023, according to a report issued Tuesday by FamiliesUSA, a national health research and advocacy group.

    The coverage is so expensive, often exceeding a person's monthly unemployment checks in some states, that only one in five unemployed American workers purchase COBRA, FamiliesUSA said in a report earlier this year.

    There's another catch: If a person drops COBRA now, he or she would not be able to return to the program if Congress approves legislation to extend the subsidies. Rochester Hills insurance broker Rick Young said some people paid for their insurance in December and plan to again in January, hoping Congress will approve an extension by then.

    The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Tax Committee estimated that approximately 7 million adults and dependent children would receive the COBRA subsidy in 2009. The loss of COBRA subsidies couldn't come at a worse time, just after an 8% cut in Michigan's Medicaid payments to doctors, said Kim Sibilsky, executive director of the Michigan Primary Care Association, a group of federally subsidized clinics in the state. The smaller payments are expected to cause more doctors to decline to see Medicaid patients.

    Michigan is "truly like the little Dutch boy with his fingers in the dike right now," Sibilsky said.

    And round and round we go.....

    Ah... (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:06:08 AM EST
    From the sidebar of that article I linked to above:

    Two bills before Congress would extend subsidies for laid-off workers buying COBRA insurance.

    S2730, introduced in the U.S. Senate last week, would renew the subsidy program for six more months and pay 75% of the cost of a plan. Subsidies had paid 65% of a plan's cost. It also would extend subsidies to workers whose hours are cut to a point where they would not be eligible for health benefits at work.

    H3930, introduced in October in the House, also extends the 65% subsidy for six months and lengthens the time a person can purchase COBRA to 24 months, up from 18 months.

    I'm also very happy with my HP mini, (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:02:19 AM EST
    it's a 110 I think.  It's running on XP (I know - I'm a fuddy-dud late adopter) and doing just fine.  I can do more with it than I can with my old XP desktop.

    I bought it retail at Staples for like $350.  Does anyone have any opinions about the Kaspersky anti-virus they pressed on me?

    Question (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:08:51 AM EST
    Since my laptop is about to die, this is pretty relevant to me right now.

    Do you use your Netbook in place of your regular PC?  I can't afford 2 computers, and I'm only one person.  I just need something that I can surf the web, run MS Office for basic stuff (like resumes, basic spreadsheets, etc.), run my iTunes off of (I have an external hard drive where all my music and videos are kept).

    Could someone use one of these things as their primary home computer?



    That's what I'm doing now. (none / 0) (#21)
    by scribe on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:22:35 AM EST
    My desktop still runs fine, and I will be migrating some of the programs and files from there to here (Keeping WordPerfect was a motivator behind staying with XP, right up there with Vista's crashtastic reputation).

    You will need some flavor of external drive or connection if you want to move stuff from anywhere other than the web into your mini.  I have held on to LapLink, but you could just as easily use a thumb drive or memory stick or whatever they call them.

    But, for everyday use (including streaming audio and video - the installed speakers are a bit tinny but work fine, and there is a headphone jack), the short answer to your question is "yes".


    Fantastic (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:24:42 AM EST
    Don't really have an extra few hundred dollars lying around right now, so if I can get away with only spending a couple hundred, I'm good to go.



    I did read recently that (none / 0) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:08:16 AM EST
    HP/Compaq (I think) is about to release a laptop and a desktop for under $400 to compete.

    My question on the Netbooks is the connection to the internet. Are they strictly wireless connections?


    The should (almost) all come with ethernet (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:09:54 AM EST
    If you do it, also budget (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:09:25 AM EST
    for an external keyboard and mouse, and if you can swing it, an external monitor. Those will make home use far more bearable.

    I find a lot of ports important (none / 0) (#29)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:23:44 AM EST
    because I use a mouse, a flash drive, and sometimes speakers.  So when I did my research, I found that the Acer recommended as the rare netbook with three ports.  At least then it was rare, some months ago.  So if that matters to you, too. . . .

    It also was highly recommended for other reasons, and it has lived up to all, if you want to take a look at it.  Again, it was $150 at several stores then.  That was the smallest one, about an eight-inch screen -- but I have the larger PC for graphics work.  Then again, I could just hook up the netbook to my larger monitor, if need be.  Or if the netbook were my only computer, I would go up to the 10-inch size or so.


    Very much recommend Kaspersky AV (none / 0) (#27)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:08:42 AM EST
    Not only in the fore-front of malicious trojan identification and protection, but the program has a great system of identifying "vulnerabilities" In other words, a scan report will show not only resident viruses (if there are any)but also list said vulnerabilities. These are code holes in various prgs that hackers use to backdoor into people's systems. Software manus (like MS Office suite) regularly offer updates that fix these holes and KAV points you to them. Notorious bad boys are Adobe PDF reader (dump it and use Foxit from Mozilla) and Quicktime. (we use quicktime lite)

    the above is for SCRIBE (none / 0) (#28)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:09:20 AM EST
    Computer question... (none / 0) (#26)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:39:49 AM EST
    I downloaded a graphics driver update from Intel the other day and now I get a blank screen with only the cursur on it.  Starting in safe mode doesn't do anything and system restore to an earlier date didn't do anything.

    Any suggestions?!  If I installed Windows 7, would that work?


    Ugh, had that happen to me (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:26:48 AM EST
    after one of those d*mned overnight updates that happen without my asking for them.  I was able to go in and uninstall the update -- can you uninstall your update?  But system restore ought to have done that, from what I know . . . but not that I know much.  This is when I call or take it to my geek. :-)

    If you are referring to Windows updates (none / 0) (#32)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:37:57 AM EST
    you can disable the automatic update option.

    Thanks, yes, I did do that (none / 0) (#40)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:51:11 AM EST
    but other programs seem to like to update in the middle of the night, too, like Adobe Reader.  And I know it's one of the back-door bad boys, but I have to have Adobe Reader for many workplace memos.

    Cream, dump Adobe Reader (none / 0) (#44)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:28:11 PM EST
    It is also offers a back door for hackers, that they (Adobe) never seem to resolve. Try Foxit from Mozilla, See my comments here, if interested

    I know -- but again, as I said (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 01:11:45 PM EST
    it is the program used by my administration, so I have to have it.  Or I would know even less of what is being done by, for, and to us. :-)

    Do you require interactive access to be able (none / 0) (#55)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 04:28:23 PM EST
    to edit the docs? Otherwise, both Adobe Reader and Foxit will simply read any PDF, regardless of what program generated the PDF

    But do NOT do that unless you have a really (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:57:09 AM EST
    good reason. If you're looking to get hit with a Windows vulnerability, turning off the updates is a good way to fulfill that desire.

    you can do the updates yourself, when you want to (none / 0) (#45)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:28:51 PM EST
    There are lots of thing you can do yourself (none / 0) (#46)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:36:45 PM EST
    that are better left automated.

    whatever...... (none / 0) (#47)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:46:59 PM EST
    Computer Question (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Dan the Man on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:28:38 AM EST
    Go into safe mode, uninstall the driver, and then reboot.  Uninstall the driver by going to Device Manager, click on Display Adapters, right click on your card, click uninstall.

    Well... (none / 0) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:51:30 AM EST
    ...even when I start in Safe Mode, I still get the blank screen.  I can't even get the Command Mode to come up.  So, I can't unistall anything or even get to the Device Manager.

    That's why I'm wondering if installing a new Operating System will work.


    Can you start up from (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:17:41 AM EST
    a disk with the OS on it? On a Mac I would be doing that, not sure about a PC though.

    Don't know... (none / 0) (#38)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:29:42 AM EST
    ...but I guess there's only one way to find out!  Unfortunately, I didn't get a disc with the OS system on it and I don't have a back-up disc either.  

    Grrrr.  Stupid technology!


    My relic.. (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:52:54 AM EST
    running Windows '76 at home will give me the blank screen/blinking cursor at start-up sometimes, not sure if thats what you've got going on...I just hold the power button down and reboot and repeat till it finally works...sometimes it takes 2-3 reboots.

    Probably not the right thing to do but luddites are luddites:)


    An early morning public statement (none / 0) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:01:05 AM EST
    by Tiger, appears to be an apology to his family for "transgressions".

    Not sure if this is too late from a PR standpoint. Perhaps it didn't matter as the tabloids and cable news (and sports) are now using Tiger as the soupe du jour.

    His lawyer managed a small fine. His PR man now goes into full crisis mode.

    Seems there are (none / 0) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:06:45 AM EST
    numerous women willing to chat about their affairs with him.

    You know what they say about love and war :)


    Trend Micro - Good (none / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:06:08 AM EST
    knock on wood, anyway.  I have it (I think it cost like $45) and it has worked really well so far and doesn't slow down my computer at all.  Have to find out about this Microsoft Security Essentials thing though...

    I have one (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:12:26 AM EST
    computer with Norton, one with McCaffrey, one with Trend Micro and one with Windows Live (two desktops, two laptops.) They all seem to work fine.

    Sherriff of Nautingham alert... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:55:35 AM EST
    in Georgia...charitable stoner donates a pound to Goodwill, and the police seize it...least they coulda done was paid for it, goodwill is hurting right now...warring on the poor bastards!

    Phony lawyer... (none / 0) (#48)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:55:28 PM EST
    ...facing stiff penalties.

    The man who fooled federal judges, prosecutors and his clients listened as U.S. Magistrate Craig B. Shaffer advised him that he is facing up to 35 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines for posing as an attorney.

    Kieffer, a 54-year-old ex-con, pretended to be a lawyer in several federal courtrooms across the country, including U.S. District Court in Denver, where he tried a murder-for-hire case.

    Doesn't the court check credentials as a matter of course?

    35 years? (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 01:16:44 PM EST
    Good god...whats the crime again?  Posing as a lawyer or the sentence for doing so?

    This reminds me of a pet peeve thats buggin' me lately...people like Perry Mason here and the WH party crashers can't lie to the authorities, thats a crime they say...but the authorities can lie to the people all day long and twice on Sunday.  It ain't easy livin' on "Animal Farm"...I tell ya:)


    Yeah... (none / 0) (#51)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 02:18:20 PM EST
    ...you'd think he was posing as something important--like a Dr.  :0

    I read that the WH party crashers stiffed some guy up in Aspen out of the entry fee for some snow polo tourny.  They sure are quite the pair of fame wh*res.



    The emails between them and the WH (none / 0) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:03:28 PM EST
    were posted online this morning. Did you see them?

    I think they pushed their luck going without final confirmation they would be on the list, but the Thank You and You're Welcome exchange with the WH after the party was interesting.


    Not to a put a damper on your enthusiasm (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 02:28:20 PM EST
    But he posed as a lawyer, which is a crime.  Now, you may not htink it warrants that much time, and maybe it doesn't, but thi just isn't about him posing as a lawyer.  All the cases he tried are going to have to be reviewed, if he had any criminal cases, all those will especially be reviewed, (and if he defended criminals who went to prison, all those will be subject to appeal).  Depending on how long he "practiced", the amount of time and money that is going to be spent trying to rectify this is going to be huge.  

    In other words, this is a HUGE case of fraud.


    And to all that... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 03:12:53 PM EST
    I say...big freakin' deal! 35 freakin' years!

    Our criminal system is the big fraud....this is merely a petty individual fraud within a gigantic systematic fraud.  35 months is preposterous for impersonating a lawyer, much less 35 years.


    We have enough problems (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 03:27:03 PM EST
    in this country with lawyers impersonating lawyers. And then there's all the grandstanding Grand Inquisitors impersonating human beings.

    Kdog, stop and think for once (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:42:10 AM EST
    about the guy's clients.  Maybe they were up on drug charges.  Why in the world are you arguing against them getting the best legal advice?

    Or at least think about the fact that the clients paid him.  If it were you, you could have used all that money for more drugs.  Now feel some sympathy?


    A little... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:05:09 AM EST
    you know how to pull my strings CC:)

    Do we know if his legal representation was not up to snuff?  Just because he lacks the piece of paper doesn't mean he didn't do right by his clients...and its not like he was a public defender...the accused were buying and are responsible for the person they hire to represent them.


    But (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:23:58 AM EST
    If they hire someone who puts themselves out to be a lawyer, there is a certain expectation that that person is fully licensed to practice law.

    And it doesn't matter if he "didn't do right by his clients" - those cases will still come up for appeal (any convict who doesn't ask for reconsideration is nuts).


    When I'm looking for a job... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:45:34 AM EST
    I put myself out to be the greatest paper-pusher of all time...its up to the person doing the hiring to decide if I'm bullsh*tting or not, no?

    Not in the case of legal representation (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:32:33 AM EST
    Someone who puts themselves out as an attorney MUST (by law) be licensed in the jurisdiction where they will be practicing.  For example - I'm a licensed attorney in Michigan and in DC, but I live in Virginia.  If one of my neighbors comes and asks for legal advice, I cannot ethically and legally give it  - that would be practicing law without a license (but of course, this DOES happen in reality on simple stuff). Doing so could not only have me facing jail time (depending on the egregiousness of the act), it could also cause me to be suspended, be fined, or even permanently lose my licenses in Michigan and DC, even though my act had nothing to do with those jurisdictions.

    Folks around here complain about how bad "the system" is - I imagine it would be much worse if we allowed anyone to put themselves out as competent and licensed attorneys. (Think of it like doctors - do you check out every doctor you go to to make sure their degree is valid, they are licensed in the place you are seeing them? Or would you be ok if you were hoodwinked by some shmo putting himself out there as a doctor?)


    Re: Dr's (none / 0) (#64)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:46:44 AM EST
    I certainly do check them out as much as possible.  Where they went to Med School, where they did their residency, are they board certified, any complaints filed with the Med Board and such.

    If I were to need a lawyer, I would certainly do the same.  

    Caveat emptor.

    And my question remains unanswered--why do the courts not certify the credentials of the attorneys that appear before them?


    I agree (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:58:30 AM EST
    But think about how many people enter the criminal justice system that need a lawyer right now and are poor or are indigent - they do not have the time, nor the access, nor knowledge enough to go to the web and look at the state bar website to see if a lawyer is licensed or is suspended.

    Now, my guess is in most civil cases (with maybe the exception of personal injury), people will go to a lawfirm, where they mostly (correctly) assume the law firm has already done that due diligence.  (Although not always - I've heard of partners in law firms being found to not have a license).


    Personally... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:14:44 AM EST
    I'll take a top flight jailhouse lawyer with no degree over a mediocre lawyer with a degree in good standing with the bar.

    I mean at the end of the day its just a piece of paper...


    I disagree (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:25:35 AM EST
    It isn't "just a piece of paper". I'm not sure of how the law works in this case, but your undegreed, unlicensed "attorney" would definitely be in trouble, and, if you hired this person to represent you, knowing he wasn't an attorney, there may be some jurisdictions where you could be in trouble for knowingly perpetrating a fraud upon the court.

    If only there were.. (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:42:44 AM EST
    a jurisdiction where it was against the law for the court to perpetrate their fraud on those who sit before it....then we'd be getting somewhere.

    Are you saying (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:54:43 AM EST
    you don't recognize the authority of courts?  :)

    Hate to break this to you, but the system gets it right WAY more times than it gets it wrong....


    You sure? (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:56:45 AM EST
    Every drug conviction is getting it wrong.

    It's not petty (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:21:57 PM EST
    You know how much this is going to cost to go through all his cases?  Money that YOU (and the rest of us), by the way, are going to have to pay for. Money that could certainly be better spent, say for  drug abuse prevention, community policing, education, road building, whatever. Speaking of a huge waste of our resources - the man-hours, supplies, and court time to fix all this, not to mention lawyers' fees.  Again this is a HUGE fraud perpetrated upon his clients (you know - those criminal defendants you like to stick up for - they were cheated too and may be sitting in prison unnecessarily!), the system, and the PEOPLE.

    Bernie Madoff (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:22:33 PM EST
    Defrauded a whole system and a whole bunch of people - are you of the same mind that he shouldn't be sitting in prison?