Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Doctor Who and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Season 2 Disc1 of the new Doctor Who series that I received from Netflix has a problem, and its not a Netflix error but a mistake in the pressing of the disc.

On the Disc if you go to special features, the disc shuts off and you need to open it again.

Then when you watch episode 2 on the Disc New Earth, an interesting thing happens.

Right after the cat creature blames Rose for ruining everything (about 32 minutes in), the Doctor Disappears and in return is a a scene from the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in all its gory glory, and then the disc reutnrs to the main menu.

Looks like a bad mastering job on the part of the BBC along with lousy quality control. It certainly turns the episode into a cliff-hanger ending, as you can never know what happened at the end of the epidsode with this set.

On the otherhand a face off between a sonic screwdriver and a Texas Chainsaw could have been fun to watch.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Legal Argument of an Indiginous Moor of America

I have heard of this, and had even read some cases on it but this is the first time I've seen this tried in court.

I'm waiting in a packed court room in Eastpoint, Michigan awaiting to be called for my motion to enter judgment based on an arbitration award, when the case of STI v Jerome Monroe gets called.

Now I always listen with some attention as other motions are called to get the flavor of how the Judge makes rulings and to see other attorney's styles and see how various matters might be argued -- it is a valuable occasion to learn while awaiting your turn.

So up walks the attorney for STI and up walks MR. Monroe, a tall and wide man of African-American ancestry well dressed for court as he is clad in jeans and a parka,
holding some kind of blue binder type book.

The attorney begins to speak as its his motion for a default entry, but Monroe cuts him off claiming the court has no jurisdiction over him.

"How so?" inquires the Court.

Sayeth Monroe - "I'm a sovereign indigenous Moor and I demand an Article 3 court and this court has no jurisdiction over me."

The Court then takes him through exactly how it has jurisdiction over him - the amount owed is under $25,000, he lives in Eastpointe even though he claims he doesn't reside there as he's a sovereign Moor, not a resident. The Court gets him to admit he has a drivers license, and also gets him to admit that he does in fact have the Harley Davidson Motorcycle, the debt for which he is being sued for by STI (You've figured out by now that he was trying to avoid paying for something with this argument right?).

He continues to interrupt throughout this line of questioning saying that not only the court has no jurisdiction and he demands an Article 3 court and a change of venue, but he doesn't
consider himself bound by the Constitution but rather international
treaty as he's indigenous to this land.

The Judge at this point tries to figure out the indigenous part and asks if he's a native American then. He says no he's a Moor. When asked to explain he claims the Moors were here before white people and he's sovereign in this land. The Judge doesn't buy it and states there's lots of people in this court and society of various ethnicities and that he's enjoying the benefits of this society including the Motorcycle and income.

Our Moor states he has no income but the sweat of his brow and he's paid in Federal Reserve Notes, not money.

At this point the Judge lets him know she has jurisdiction and that's it and then sets discovery. he then asks to be on the record. The judge points out that everything he's said is on the record as the court clerk is taking it all down. He of course doesn't believe her, so the judge points out the court clerk duly taking everything down.

He then claims for the record that under the UCC he doesn't owe any money as the debt is invalid. The judge points out he's getting somewhere and actually making a legal argument, even
though he's citing a part of the UCC that completely does not apply to the situation.

Meanwhile, the attorneys in court and the other spectators are having a hard time not bursting out laughing.

Moor Monroe then continues and states for the record that attorneys and the court are all in cahoots. At which point the Judge, beginning to lose patience notes for the record that it is not so and is a ridiculous allegation.

The Court then sets discovery and our Moor claims he will send his requests to the creditor directly not the attorney as the creditor isn't present. The Judge succinctly and carefully explains the concept of agency and legal representation and declares he needs to start
following the rules and if he has any submissions they must be filed on the attorney.

Monroe then states he never got any notice of this hearing. The Judge then asks how he happened to be here in the court on time. Our Moor states he occasionally checks at the Court for things.

At this point people are laughing out loud, and the Judge didn't buy it either, and notes he clearly did get notice of the hearing and sets a scheduling order for discovery, dispositive motions and trial accordingly.

He won't accept the scheduling order from the court, but the court states he better comply with it so it may be in his interest to take it.

Kudos to Judge Redmond for putting up with this Moor-on in a restrained and judicial manner. Many Judges that I've seen would have laughed him right out of court or even held him in contempt for some of his statements toward the court.

Watching a pro per litigant argue a crackpot legal theory in order to get out of paying money he owes for a motorcycle he had no problem accepting is rather fun to watch.

Note to others, this crackpot "I'm a Sovereign whatever and demand an Article 3 Court as there's no jurisdiction here!" argument really doesn't wash with the courts, so save the time you spend surfing the net for it, and definitely save your money on the crackpot "How to Claim You're a Sovereign Citizen in Court" books, and use the money instead to pay your debts.

Flying NWA while not Muslim

As Lagniappe's keeper notes on his blog, and as Reported by Debbie Schlussel on her blog, NWA just Caved to the 40 Muslims who showed up at the gate 20 minutes before their international flight, offering apologies and compensation as noted in the Detroit News:

Reacting swiftly to allegations of discrimination, Northwest Airlines apologized to 40 local Muslims on Wednesday for barring them from a plane in Germany on their return trip from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

The airline said it will reimburse the pilgrims for the additional costs for flights and "reasonable" costs for accommodations.

Lagniappe's Keeper on his blog now recounts my similar tale of woe with a mistimed flight:
Anyone showing up late doesn't board even though the plane is still sitting there, as my friend, keeper of The Shekel blog found out when he was here visiting me a few months ago. I dropped HIM off at Northwest's Dulles terminal half an hour prior to departure of his flight to Toronto and they refused to let him board. I guess that he should have taken a towel out of his suitcase, made a funny hat out of it, and claimed to be a Muslim cleric. Then he would have either been allowed to board (and probably given a seat right next to the cockpit, knowing Northwest) or given financial compensation like these screaming twelfth century throwbacks were.

But my friend wasn't a Muslim so he just had to sit and watch his plane leave without him and wait for the next one, earning no small amount of wrath from his lovely wife (who reads this blog so I'll say no more) when he finally did arrive in Toronto several hours late.
Actually, he got me there 45 minutes before the flight, but they refused to let me board as I was apparently required to be there an hour before at a minimum and would have to go through security screening and they would not accept my 1 piece of checked baggage -- checked of course due to stupid TSA regulations regarding liquids and the presence of a safety razor for shaving (A Gillette Fusion if you must know - it does work).

I offered to run for the gate and have Lagniappe's Keeper come and get the checked luggage and hold on to it for me so I'd only need my carry on. They politely refused, noting I could not leave the bag with them while he turned around and came back to the airport to get it.

So I was well and truly stuck.

However, they were helpful in getting me on the next flight, 4 hours late, so I had 4 hours of time to spend around the airport, which can be fully explored and experienced in far less than 4 hours.

However this change did cause me great stress due to the above mentioned wrath of my wife., who is still really pissed (OK, just a little sore still) that Lagniappe's Keeper had an issue with timing and couldn't get me to the airport on time, and with me for not getting him in gear to get me there. Since I was in Toronto at the time with here and he was in DC, I got the brunt of the royal beat down due to the missed flight - and far more importantly, the missing of the family dinner due to missing the flight. That was not good.

Now did I make a big fuss? No, after all it was Lagniappe Keeper's fault for my getting there late, not Northwest's. After a small amount of pleading to figure out how to get on the flight made it very apparent that I wasn't getting there on time, I politely asked what could be done and they politely got me on a later flight.

if you're late for your flight, you have only yourself (or the person who is supposed to get you there on time) to blame.

Claiming that Northwest Airline is wrong for not allowing 40 people to board 20 minutes before the flight departs, especially 40 people coming back from a religious pilgrimage whose ccoreligionists in their zealotry for that religion have successfully used aircraft as weapons to kill Americans is ridiculous.

If only Northwest had had the fortitude to hold strong in the face of Imam Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini's threat to have Muslims boycott the Airline - that boycott might have been something to promote as a safety feature.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Judge Miller honored by the FAA for 50 years of flight

Judge Donald Miller of Macomb County, Michigan has just been honored by the FAA as a Master Pilot for 50 years of fliying without an incident.

Judge Miller is the former commander of The Air National Guard at Selfridge Air Force base here in Michigan, and there's some great pics in his chambers of his standing by F16s that he used to (and possibly still does)fly.

In addition, Judge Miller is a judge's judge and a gentleman's gentleman who conducts his court with decorum, order, and respect for all parties.

Judge Miller is well deserving of this safe flying honor.

Tim Minear's Drive soon to come on Fox

Tim Minear, one of the fine writers who worked on Firefly, has just had Fox greenlight his new show Drive.

Impressively the Show will star, among some other very strongly cast actors, Nathan Fillion (formerly Mal of Firefly).

Any show written by Minear and starring Fillion has got to be good. Tim can write, and Nathan can act, so I can guarrantee I'll be watching this one when it comes out.

My only hope is that Fox gives Drive some gas so it doesn't run Out of Gas like Fox did to Firefly.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

FDNY Administration bans display of flag, memorials for 9/11 Firefighters

Going way to far on this one, and as a public employer, likely infringing on the Fire Fighters' First Amendment rights.

From Fox News:New York Firefighters Outraged by Ban on American Flags, Pictures of Fallen Colleagues on Lockers
In a stunning crackdown, the FDNY has demanded that all personal decorations, including flags and pictures of colleagues killed on Sept. 11, 2001, be removed from lockers.

The controversy began two weeks ago when a sexually explicit slogan was reported at Engine 230 in Brooklyn. In response, FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta banned all decorations, including American flags, "Support Our Troops" stickers, pictures of family and Mass cards.
Typical bureaucratic overeaction. It is valid to prohibit sexually harrasing material, but don't do this ham-fisted, overbroad, "let's ban everything at every firehouse" approach to what seems to be a small problem at one engine company.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Scorpions on a M*****ing Plane!

As if Snakes on a Plane wasn't bad enough:
From the Detroit Free Press
A scorpion stung David Sullivan on the back of his right leg, just below the knee, then continued up that leg and down the other, he believes, before getting him again in the shin.

It wasn’t what he was expecting on a flight from Chicago to Vermont.

And you think you've had a bad flight.

This boarding of unwanted arthropod stowaways happens more often than we think:
Such incidents are not unheard of. An American Airlines flight was delayed for an hour in Toronto on Sunday after a passenger was stung by a scorpion that had made its way onboard. Paramedics treated the man when the flight from Miami landed. The delay came when officials searched the aircraft to ensure no other critters had stowed away.
Yeesh, illegal stowaway terorrist scorpions.....what will air travel face next?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Strawberry Shortcake and the MPAA

So my just-turned 3 year old daughter goes to the Library and wants me to sign out a Strawberry Shortcake DVD so she can see it at home. Just-turned 3 year old girls like Strawberry Shortcake. . . . a lot.

So being a big girl, she proudly takes it out of the box by self and puts it into the DVD player. The first thing that comes on after the disc is put in the player: This MPAA Anti-Piracy Ad (Without the clever text addition by the poster at Youtube).

Understand, the flashing lights, blaring music and alarm sound served to scare the living heck out of this kid.

She did not understand what it was and was very upset, including saying "where is Strawberry Shortcake?" in a tremulous voice.

I couldn't just hit the title button to jump to the main title to get her to the movie, as I first had to find the elusive, child moved remote. I then had to fast forward it past, as the helpful disc manufacturer had overridden the title button so you couldn't go direct to the title but had to fast forward through this ad and some previews, thanks for that trick as well guys. Oh, and every single time you put this disc in, the ad starts...EVERY single time.

Last time I checked, just-turned 3-year-olds are not big into movie piracy. In fact, counting past 20 and spelling their names are new challenges and she just learned how to put a disc in the DVD player by herself, but now she's scared to do it because of this ad.

The MPAA just missed its target audience for the ad on this one by about, oh at least thirteen years but succeeded in scaring a toddler and royally pissing off her parents. Yes, when something unreasonably scares their kids for no damn good reason, parents get really pissed off.

Great job there MPAA.