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Michael Vick: The other shoe drops!

July 30, 2007 11:13 AM

In the form of this pro se lawsuit, filed last week by Jonathan Lee Riches, Inmate No. 42948-018.  He seeks $63,000,000,000 "backed by gold and silver."  He alleges that Michael Vick stole his pit bulls, his identity (and used it to by dogfood) and his copyright.  And check out Count IV.  That one's a doozy.

 Michael Vick Pro Se 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg



HT: Above the Law

Starting Thursday, we'll be "roaming through Michigan." It's going to be just like this!

July 29, 2007 02:13 PM

Elliptical Machine, Day 11

July 28, 2007 11:25 PM

No, it hasn't moved from the downstairs hall.  But, Henry has started chewing on it:


And, it likes scotch:


Why not leave it where it is?

How is it responsible journalism to publish the homeowner's addresses for the 10 most expensive homes on the Magic Mountain?

July 27, 2007 08:11 AM

As the Enquirer does this morning.  It's class warfare journalism, and it's unsafe.  I know it's part of the public record, but it doesn't have to be publicized.  Those are two different things.

Remember this from two years ago in Chicago?

Federal judge's family killed

Husband, mother found slain in basement

Jurist had been a target of white supremacist

Well the Enquirer's list includes a federal judge's home address, and she has to deal with the criminal element every single day.  That doesn't need to be in the paper.  Most judges try to keep their home addresses on the dl security reasons. 

And as for the other names on this list, why not just run that under the headline "Kidnappers Look Here"?

Tony Snow on Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

July 26, 2007 01:46 PM

And writing like American leaders used to write, in Christianity Today:

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

The whole thing is an excellent read.  It's like a nice mix of C.S. Lewis and Peggy Noonan. 

And, how come Tony's day job doesn't keep him from writing?  I can barely get in a handful of blog posts per day, and I'm not the White House Press Secretary.

Airhead TV

It's summer, so it's terrorist dry run time

July 25, 2007 09:10 AM

Lovely.  The TSA has sent out a memo to airport screeners and air marshals warning them to be on the lookout.  Apparently they have had several people who have tried to get some strange items through airport security recently:

  • San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person — either a citizen or a foreigner legally here — checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.
  • Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person’s carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.
  • Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.
  • Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

Over at National Review's media blog, Greg Pollowitz wants to know "what happened to the four people who had these odd items taken from them?"  A very good question.  I would like to think they've all been tortured and forced to give up what else they know.  Such as: Why were they doing this?  Who asked them to do this?  How can we find these people if we'd like to speak to them?  You know, the kind of information that maybe it would be good to have.

But I'm quite confident these people have only been asked polite questions, which they dodged before going on their way.  Why?  Because innocent people always travel with blocks of cheese wrapped with wire coil, batteries, electrical switches and tubes.  I know I never leave home without my improvised cheese bomb.

New details emerge on Voinovich's screaming match with John McCain

July 24, 2007 08:47 AM

As discussed here a few weeks ago George Voinovich got into a nasty battle about Iraq with John McCain at a Republicans-only meeting recently.  You may recall that one Senator described it as "the most serious fight that I have seen in my time in the Senate."

Well, this morning Laura Ingraham's show is running "Best of" bits while Laura is out of town.  Apparently she had Senator Bunning on a few weeks ago, after the Voinovich/McCain fight, but before news of who was involved leaked out.  Senator Bunning talked about the incident, without naming who was involved in the fight with McCain.  But of course, now we know who it was.

Bunning said it got so ugly that he walked out of the meeting.  Apparently Voinovich challenged McCain's integrity, something Bunning said that "you do not do."  McCain responded by lighting into Voinovich, and telling him he had no idea what he was talking about.  It went downhill from there.

Voinovich's erratic behavoir on Iraq policy has pretty much enfuriated everyone, hasn't it? 

We drastically need to change the lead item...

July 23, 2007 09:19 AM

So check out some poorly placed advertising.  Here's one that's pretty tasteless:

But not as tasteless as this:

Hey, it least it's not a post about Hillary's cleavage.  More unfortunately placed advertising here.

And in the Washington Post, they talk about Hillary's heaving bosoms

July 20, 2007 03:15 PM

Pulitzer prize winning columnist Robin Givhan writes:

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.

And they run a picture:

 The presidential hopeful revealed a changing fashion sense in the Senate.

Now if that isn't enough to get you to turn away from the computer screen for the weekend, I don't know what is.  Go.  Outside.

Senator McConnell gets a Gold Star for his work in the Senate yesterday

From the Corner at National Review Online:

At 8:47 p.m.,
[Colorado Democrat] Sen. Salazar offered an amendment, #2356, a sense of the Senate that the President should not pardon Scooter Libby.

Speaking on the floor, he said: “It is regrettable…that we are having to have these votes on these politically motivated amendments that are coming forward from the other side. It would be in the best interests of this institution and the American people to stop this and not to go forward with these kinds of amendments. But regrettably, if you’re going to shoot this way, we’ve got to shoot that way. And so I would ask my colleagues to send the Sense of the Senate to the United States President that he should not pardon Scooter Libby."

The Salazar amendment failed on a vote of 47-49

At 9:16 p.m., [Kentucky Republican] Sen. McConnell offered an amendment, #2357, “deploring the actions of former President William Jefferson Clinton regarding his granting of clemency to terrorists, to family members, donors and individuals represented by family members, to public officials of his own political party and to officials who violated laws protecting United States intelligence, and concluding that such actions by former President Clinton were inappropriate.”

Everytime a Democrat says the word "pardon," the first word the press should hear out of Republican mouths is "Clinton."  Good to see Senator MConnell gets it.

Hummer is vandalized in upscale tree-hugger neighborhood

July 19, 2007 01:11 PM

From the Washington Post:

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

Oh the open-mindedness of the modern American environmentalist.  You don't like something, destroy it.  Can't sensible people simply agree that Hummers and Priuses are both tacky, and have no place in our common life?

Public sector attorney pay... Woefully pathetic or just what they deserve?

Meet Adam Greenway, the public defender who delivers pizza by night to make ends meet:

"I never thought I would be 30 years old driving pizzas out after graduating from law school," said Greenway, whose second job is delivering pizza for Papa John's. "But you have got to make ends meet."

Greenway, who works for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, graduated in 2005 from Syracuse University College of Law in New York with a $130,000 student loan.

As unfortunate as it may be, a $130,000 student loan is not unheard of for law school graduates.

International human rights law was Greenways first path of choice for his profession, but a law professor turned him on to public defending.

"I loved it," the Pennsylvania native said. "I just loved being in the trenches and digging."

The same professor said Greenway should head to the South to become successful at public defending. And the South is where Greenway and his family headed, relocating to Kentucky in the summer of 2005 upon graduation.

Whoever this professor is, he should be taken out back and shot.  Not giving out career advice to students.  You do not need to relocate to rural Kentucky to become good at public defending.  That advice makes zero sense.  The cases in big cities will be much better and more important.

And, taking the lowest possible paying job is really stupid when you know this about to happen:

A few months later, the monstrous student loan reared its ugly head and it was time to pay up.

With a salary lingering right around $30,000 per year, a mortgage, three children and a $130,000 student law school loan to pay, Greenway picked up the second job in October 2006.

His student loan payment is $477 each month for the next 20 years.

I started out sympathic to him, and then, no.  I did a two-year stint as an Assistant Attorney General before going into private practice, and yes, the pay was awful.  But the only person I was supporting was myself.  Granted, public defenders are weird as a whole, but I do not understand how this guy thinks he is being a responsible husband and father of three.  Taking a job that pays $30,000 a year when you have a law degree and $130,000 in student loans is ridiculous.

His children are the ones that suffer the most, he said.

"My wife's pretty OK with it," he said. "She doesn't like it, but she understands that's what we have to do."

Actually, no.  It's not what you have to do.  You're doing it because you want to, not because you have to.

John McCain is one of my least favorite Republicans, but I do believe in giving credit when it is due

July 18, 2007 03:02 PM

From his speech on the Senate floor early this morning:

Surely, we must be responsive to the people who have elected us to office, and who, if it is their wish, will remove us when they become unsatisfied with our failure to heed their demands. I understand that, of course. And I understand why so many Americans have become sick and tired of this war, given the many, many mistakes made by civilian and military leaders in its prosecution. I, too, have been made sick at heart by these mistakes and the terrible price we have paid for them. But I cannot react to these mistakes by embracing a course of action that I know will be an even greater mistake, a mistake of colossal historical proportions, which will -- and I am as sure of this as I am of anything – seriously endanger the people I represent and the country I have served all my adult life. I have many responsibilities to the people of Arizona, and to all Americans. I take them all seriously, Mr. President, or try to. But I have one responsibility that outweighs all the others – and that is to do everything in my power, to use whatever meager talents I posses, and every resource God has granted me to protect the security of this great and good nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. And that I intend to do, Mr. President, even if I must stand athwart popular opinion. I will explain my reasons to the American people. I will attempt to convince as many of my countrymen as I can that we must show even greater patience, though our patience is nearly exhausted, and that as long as there is a prospect for not losing this war, then we must not choose to lose it. That is how I construe my responsibility to my constituency and my country. That is how I construed it yesterday. It is how I construe it today. And it is how I will construe it tomorrow. I do not know how I could choose any other course.

I cannot be certain that I possess the skills to be persuasive. I cannot be certain that even if I could convince Americans to give General Petraeus the time he needs to determine whether we can prevail, that we will prevail in Iraq. All I am certain of is that our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us, and that I cannot be complicit in it, but must do whatever I can, whether I am effective or not, to help us try to avert it. That, Mr. President, is all I can possibly offer my country at this time. It is not much compared to the sacrifices made by Americans who have volunteered to shoulder a rifle and fight this war for us. I know that, and am humbled by it, as we all are. But though my duty is neither dangerous nor onerous, it compels me nonetheless to say to my colleagues and to all Americans who disagree with me: that as long as we have a chance to succeed we must try to succeed.

I am privileged, as we all are, to be subject to the judgment of the American people and history. But, my friends, they are not always the same judgment. The verdict of the people will arrive long before history’s. I am unlikely to ever know how history has judged us in this hour. The public’s judgment of me I will know soon enough. I will accept it, as I must. But whether it is favorable or unforgiving, I will stand where I stand, and take comfort from my confidence that I took my responsibilities to my country seriously, and despite the mistakes I have made as a public servant and the flaws I have as an advocate, I tried as best I could to help the country we all love remain as safe as she could be in an hour of serious peril.

It really doesn't get much better than that.

Before you accuse a co-worker of checking you out from a neighboring urinal...

... make sure he does not have a medically diagnosed "lazy eye."  At least so holds the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming that Todd Bernier's sexual harassment suit against Morningstar should be tossed.  From the Court's opinion:

[O]n Friday, January 23, 2004, Bernier noticed Davis taking “an overt, purposeful and glaring look” at Bernier’s penis while they were both standing at the urinals in the men’s bathroom on their floor. Bernier knew that Davis was gay—he had learned this in 2003, some time after Davis brought a male date to the company’s 2002 Christmas party—but he was not aware until this litigation commenced that Davis had a “lazy” left eye that sometimes made it appear that he was “looking off at something” when conversing.

What Bernier did after the incident, though, was what killed his claim:

[H]e sent Davis an anonymous instant message through a little-used internal system. The message, which popped up on Davis’s computer without warning, said, “Stop staring! The guys on the floor don’t like it.” Davis, under the impression that he was being harassed for being gay, promptly notified Morningstar’s Human Resources department.

Big, big mistake.  The law is that if you feel you're being sexually harassed in the workplace, you must follow the reporting procedures set forth by your employer.  Do not take matters into your own hands by sending anonymous messages.  It won't take Tech Support long to figure out who you are. 

And of course, always follow established urinal protocol by taking an end one first, and never going to one next to one which is being used by someone else.  A little common sense never hurts in these situations, especially if it keeps you from having to figure out which of your co-workers have medically diagnosed lazy eyes.

HT: Keeping Up With Jonas via Above the Law

Do not order one of these through the mail

July 17, 2007 08:23 PM

So for Mrs. NBS's birthday, romantic charmer that I am, I got her workout equipment.  This is actually a little bit for me too, since it will presumably mean I don't have to not go to the gym anymore.  Now I'll be able to not workout from the comfort of my own home.

So we go shopping for an elliptical machine, and it's basically either buy something really expensive from that fancy place on Montgomery Road, or buy one made out of plastic and toothpicks from Dick's.  Nothing middle of the road.  So it was Costco to the rescue!  And, to make things even better, Costco has free shipping. 

Of course it arrived while I was at work, and the driver told Mrs. NBS that he couldn't bring it inside, because he's "not allowed to go inside."  He was just going to leave it on the porch, and I can tell you that if he had, that's where it would still be sitting.  Fortunately Mrs. NBS persuaded him to shove it inside the front door, which he did, blocking all access and egress.

This is what they sent us:


I don't know how much it weighs, but I can tell you it is unmovable.  We can slide it around on the floor, but I have no idea how to get it up the stairs to the NBS home gym (a.k.a. the corner of the bedroom currently occupied by a t.v. and my great-great-great grandmother's fainting couch).

So this evening, Mrs. NBS went off the l'hopital for work, and I spent an hour trying to get it upstairs.  I was thinking if I just got the corner of it on the bottom step, I could slide it around, get it all lined up, and eventually push it up the stairs.  Did not work.  The corner is too tight, and I could not even get one side of it lifted. 

So now I'm in a vicious circle: I can't get all buff and toned because the elliptical machine is still in the box, and I can't get it out of the box because I'm not all buffed and toned.

I think what I may do is take all of the pieces out of the box downstairs, and then carry them upstairs one part at a time.  But now I'm too tired, so I'm just going to take a picture of it and put it on my blog.

NBS gets invited on the radio!

How exciting, I've been approached by a local radio station asking me to be on the air.  They want me on to do "ask the expert" segments.  Basically this involves chatting with the hosts about legal issues, and taking calls from listeners.  It sounded like fun, and I was so flattered.  And I was completely confident I could use the opportunity to catapult myself to broadcasting fame and became the next Nancy Grace.  As regular NBS readers know, combining legal skills, a black and white sense of justice, and histrionic behavior is well within my skill set.  No more boring days at the office.  I was on my way!

And then, the station told me that as "the expert" it would be appropriate for me to commit to $6,000 worth of paid advertising.  I was slightly shocked, because I listen to this radio station, and they do NOT tell their listeners that their "experts" pay to be on the air.  But she was quite clear: It was a quid pro quo.

How disillusioning!  And how dumb am I for being so naive about these things?

From the "Making NBS Seem Mainstream" Department

July 16, 2007 09:26 PM

Last week I introduced you all to someone who is even more conservative than I, this week, I give you someone more snobby.  Do check out the writings of one Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, and his blog, Reflections of a Young Fogey.  Mr. Heydel-Mankoo is an historian, honours consultant, protocol and etiquette consultant, and a royal and political commentator.  He is also the editor of Burke's Peerage & Gentry, and the grandson of Polish aristocrats Baron Adam Heydel and HSH Princess Karolina-Katarzyna Jablonowska. 

He also appears to be about 30, thus making him rather young to have devoted a career to monitoring other people's breeding.  I'm a Colonial Warrior, but I don't try to make a living off of it.  It would be fun to have him at a Warrior's event, though--mostly because he's significantly under the average age of 70, and also because he probably doesn't approve of Colonials Who Are Warriors.  A monarchist could really stir things up.  One gets the sense from reading his blog that he is definitely peeved we won the Revolutionary War.

Here's a sample:

Monarchists, traditionalists and historians gathered en masse yesterday evening in the dignified surroundings of London's Travellers Club library to honour the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660; thus marking the end of 11 years of hated, puritanical republican dictatorship. The Royal Stuart Society organises this splendid annual dinner on or around Oak Apple Day, May 29th, King Charles II's birthday and the date of his triumphal entry into London.

He then goes into a lengthy discussion of The Royal Stuart Society, and its aims:

The Society gladly recognises that those who form its membership are likely to have a varied range of particular interests. For some it will primarily be support for the institution of monarchy and the upholding of monarchical institutions against attack from their opponents. This support may favour, for instance, the legitimist stance based on hereditary principles and exemplified in the Jacobite movement and tradition after 1688. Adherents of this position will look with favour on the senior and direct hereditary heirs of the Royal House of Stuart although as our page on ‘Succession’ makes clear, none of those heirs has claimed any or all of the thrones of the British Isles since 1807. Other members of the Society will support or find acceptable the ‘parliamentary’ monarchy created by the Act of Settlement (1701) and now embodied in the reigning House of Windsor. For all there will be a consensus based on the desirability of having a monarchy rather than a republic. Closely linked with support for monarchy, members are likely to favour organised society in these islands being of a Christian, civilized and traditionalist nature. In a more general way they will favour co-operation with other credible monarchist bodies such as the International Monarchist League to support monarchical forms of government worldwide.

The Colonial Warriors have a rather different charter, but we do allow membership to descendants of those who fought for the Crown.  So we'd welcome members of The Royal Stuart Society to join our "hated, puritanical republican" brood.  Apparently, though, the feeling is not mutual.

But I do have something that Mr. Heydel-Mankoo and I surely do agree on.  True story: A few years ago, I was in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey, near the stone that reads "The Burial Place of Oliver Cromwell 1658-1661."  And hand to God, this obese tourist woman who was standing next to me exclaimed:

"Awwwwwwwww.  He only lived to be three years old!"

If we hadn't been in a Church, I would have just unloaded on that woman.  I'm trying to take in the surroundings, and then there's this idiot.  If you are that stupid, you need to keep your mouth shut.  Those were the years that he was interred her, you fool.  Oliver Cromwell was not a baby.  He was a brutal dictator who got dug up, hanged, and decapitated after the Restoration of the Monarchy.  Not a baby.

Anyway, I'd like to think Mr. Heydel-Mankoo and I would share a common disdain for stupid people.  And both of us would probably would like this photo:

It's the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey, sans fat, ignorant tourists.

George Voinovich, still classy after all these years

From CNN via Think Progress:

Last week, in a conversation with senior White House political aide Karl Rove, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) warned that conservative support is quickly eroding for the war, and to stem the tide, Bush must institute a plan that begins the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Voinovich told Rove, “The president is a young man and should think about his legacy.”  CNN reports:

Voinovich added that other Republicans are close to speaking out against the President’s current strategy. “I won’t mention anyone’s name. But I have every reason to believe that the fur is going to start to fly, perhaps sooner than what they may have wanted.”

In private, Voinovich is more blunt, using a profanity to describe the White House’s handling of Iraq by charging the administration “f–ed up” the war.

What a great fit Senator Voinovich is in the senatorial "gentlemen's club."

Also: He's warning the White House that conservative support is eroding?  What the heck does Senator Voinovich know about "conservative support?"

Meet Paulina Bandy. The girl who passed the bar exam on the 14th try.

Thanks to the hilarious David Lat over at Above the Law, Paulina Bandy has been brought to my attention.  The timing is perfect too, because I've been down in the dumps about my law practice.   They don't show it on the tv shows, but it can be... well... extremely boring.  But there's nothing like the less fortunate to make one feel better about one's self:

ORANGE – Paulina Bandy couldn't fail the state bar exam again.

Not after she failed 13 times before.

Not after she had spent tens of thousands to attend law school. Not after she put her husband Jon Gomez through the ringer for so many years. Not after the debt she piled up forced her family to move into a 365-square-foot home.

Not after she spent the last eight years of her life studying to pass one stinking test.

Her 14th try came on a day in February. She did breathing exercises and self-hypnosis.

During this time, she sold off her wedding gifts at garage sales, spent thousands of dollars on exam fees and prep courses, and was told by her father-in-law that she was "a pretend lawyer" who had ruined his son's life. 

But after the 14th attempt, the call came.  She passed: 

Paulina Brady bar exam well endowed Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg







Thank you, Paulina Bandy.  You are one crazy, self-destructive woman an inspiration.

Love blooms in the jury box

From wire reports:

Love blossomed at a New York City murder trial last year between jurors Traci Nagy and Jonathan Cinkay. They picked up their marriage license last week, and Queens County Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, who presided over the case, is to marry them next month, a newspaper reported.

The two made goo-goo eyes on the first day, and fellow jurors encouraged Nagy, 36, to date Cinkay, 33.

The judge said he had noticed that rather than the usual somber panel, this jury seemed "full of beaming, happy people," but he "didn't imagine they were all playing matchmaker."

The warm feelings didn't do the murder defendant much good. He was convicted.

Maybe dodging jury duty is not such a good idea, for some?

The NBS Summer Spot...

July 13, 2007 09:10 AM

... is profiled in today's New York Times:

The Sailing Ship Manitou on Grand Traverse Bay.

The article begins:

DRIVING along the fingerlike peninsulas of Grand Traverse Bay, it’s easy to see why this part of Michigan calls itself the cherry capital. In spring, dense orchards explode in creamy blossoms, their pink hues like Impressionist smudges against the brilliant blue of Lake Michigan; come July’s harvest time, the branches are thick with ruby fruit.

But sprouting from the rolling green hillsides between the orchards is evidence of yet another fruitful enterprise — the neat rows of vineyards, which are fast turning this area into a destination for oenophiles and casual wine tasters alike.

The article leans heavily on the region's booming wine business--which I heartily support, even though it seems so foreign to those of us who have been going for years.

To ease into your exploration, sidestep Traverse City at first and head due north on Old Mission, a 22-mile strip that’s narrow enough in stretches to let you drive up its spine while taking in bay views in both directions. It’s home to six wineries, soon to be seven, including the Chateau Grand Traverse and Chateau Chantal, both of which have guest houses with rooms overlooking the vineyards. All offer daily tastings of their rieslings and pinot noirs and, naturally, some version or other of a cloying cherry port.

They even talk about one of my favorite spots:

The peninsula exudes a breezy country vibe, felt on quiet residential streets and in the stuck-in-time Old Mission General Store — opened in a wigwam in 1839 as the first trading post between Detroit and Mackinac Island. It’s run now by Jim Richards, a former actor from Detroit who inherited a family cherry orchard and purchased the store nine years ago.

“I thought it would be a noble cause to preserve this store,” said Mr. Richards, his days onstage and in soap operas still evident in his booming voice and jaunty derby (it’s a store rule that all the male workers wear period hats, a homage to those in the first photo of the store, in 1863, which is framed and hanging on the wall). There are plenty of other leftovers — creaky wood floors and big wooden barrels of peanuts, an antique Victrola and a heavy, ancient telephone whose receiver Mr. Richards picks up when it ding-a-lings — plus modern additions like store-made cherry salsa, steaming cups of chai and fat Italian sandwiches.

And they run a picture of the Old Mission lighthouse:

Ahhhhhh.  Just a few more weeks.

Update: The BBC misrepresented the Queen's Big Showdown with the Photog

I am trying to follow up on earlier posts, and this one is a good one:

BBC bosses face new questions over why they waited almost 24 hours to apologise for lying about the Queen.

The corporation has admitted it "misrepresented" what happened in an encounter between the Queen and photographer Annie Leibovitz at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen was apparently shown storming out during a photo shoot when in fact she had been walking to the shoot and the footage had been spliced together out of sequence.

There are calls for the responsible official from the BBC to resign.  I think it would be humanizing if her handlers would let her be angry on occasion, and ultimately good for her reputation.

Drive around the block music. That's what I call it when a great song comes on the radio, and you keep on going before heading home.

July 12, 2007 09:52 PM

The last thing I want to do is discourage blog commenters...

...but there's a way the true identity behind that supposedly anonymous comment can be revealed--it may come out in litigation.  From Breitbart/AP:

DALLAS (AP) - The chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc. wrote anonymous online attacks against a smaller rival and questioned why anyone would buy its stock, before Whole Foods announced an offer to buy the other company this year.

The postings on Internet financial forums, made under the name "rahodeb," said Wild Oats Markets Inc. stock was overpriced. The statements predicted the company would fall into bankruptcy and then be sold after its stock fell below $5 per share.

So what did the CEO say?

"Would Whole Foods buy (Wild Oats)? Almost surely not at current prices," rahodeb wrote. "What would they gain? (Their) locations are too small."

Rahodeb also said Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats' management "clearly doesn't know what it is doing." The company, he wrote, "has no value and no future."

Oh the nasty, nasty world of organic and natural food retail!

The article doesn't say how they discovered it was the Whole Foods CEO, though, and I am curious to know.  When folks leave a comment here at NBS, I can see their IP address if I want to, but it usually means nothing to me, and I never check.  But I don't know how they tracked the CEO's blog comments back to him.  Any ideas?

UPDATE: Have I told you lately how much I hate my blogging platform, Moveable Type?  Now it is doing funny things with the indentation on my posts.  I'm leaving this post as is, so you all can see and learn.  When I fix it, it reverts back to the improper format, for no apparent reason.  Stay away from Moveable Type!

UPDATE No. 2: From Ann Althouse, we hear of another thing Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey was posting under the name "rahodeb:"

I like Mackey’s haircut. I think he looks cute.

This was among the 1,100 comments he posted on the Yahoo Finance board, touting Whole Foods and trashing Wild Oats.  How unbelievably embarrassing. 

George Voinovich gets in a screaming match with John McCain

July 11, 2007 07:21 PM

According to Politico.  One fellow Senator described it as "the most serious fight that I have seen in my time in the Senate."  The source of the heat was Iraq.  Voinovich (as everyone knows by now) wants to cut and run.  McCain wants to stay.  And win.

McCain might actually start to do better in the polls if he'd yell at Senator Voinovich more often.

Aw shucks. Me?

You scored as Draco Malfoy, Spoilt and proud, you place high value on the purity of wizard blood and look set to follow in your father's somewhat shady footsteps.

Draco Malfoy


Albus Dumbledore


Hermione Granger


Ron Weasley


Harry Potter


Remus Lupin


Sirius Black


Ginny Weasley


Severus Snape


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

"Less dressy, what do you think this is?"

I am eagerly awaiting the first time this video is linked up on YouTube.  Apparently the Queen went off on celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who had apparently suggested she remove her crown.  Here's a still:

She was not amused by the suggestion, apparently:

TV cameras follow the Queen storming off with an official lifting the large train of her blue velvet cape off the floor as the Queen tells her lady-in-waiting: "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing like this thank you very much."

Sounds highly entertaining.

Remember Pearl the two-year old landlord? There are out takes...

The Landlord Out Takes

For those of you who think NBS is too conservative...

July 8, 2007 10:45 PM

... you really need to check out Andrew Cusack's blog.  He's young, extremely intelligent, a great writer, and an American who doesn't even believe in the Declaration of Independence.  Yes, he's a monarchist.  Talk about diversity of opinion!  You don't run into many monarchists these days.

It takes a special kind of person to post on the Fourth of July the following words: "Two hundred and thirty-one years ago today, the tragedy of our people commenced."  He then has a picture of George III alongside a picture of George W. Bush, and says he prefers the former.  Misguided, I know, but a fascinating perspective.

And he has some great things to say about Sewanee.  Check out his feature "Maces of America," a "series of post covering the history, design, and use of ceremonial maces in the United States."  In it, he writes of Sewanee:

The University of the South, which sits on a 10,000-acre domain in Sewanee, Tennesee, is in my opinion the St Andrews of America. To my knowledge it is the only university on this side of the Atlantic which comes close to, and in many regards exceeds, the Universitas Sancti Andrea apud Scotus in the maintenance of tradition.

High praise, my friends.  High praise.  Do check out his blog.  It's so well-written that you may find the comment sections too intimidating.  But go there and lurk.

How much do I love the idea of Cindy Sheehan running against Nancy Pelosi?

Very, very, very much.  From the AP:

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."

Few people out here realize it, but the locals in San Francisco are not all that wild about Nancy Pelosi.  They think she's too conservative (hard to believe, I know), and that she's sold out her hard left constituency so the Democrats won't look so wacky to people in red state America.   The problem is that Pelosi knows that if the public actually knew how radical she is, the Democrats wouldn't stand a chance.  So Pelosi has to hide it.  And that makes the lefties very mad.  There is no compromising with those people.

So I'm very excited about a big left wing slugfest out in San Fran next year.  Can you imagine all the free media Cindy Sheehan will get in the Bay area if she takes on Pelosi?  She's got the name recognition, and she's clearly nutty enough to seek public office.  So she just might do it.

Run, Cindy, run!

The apotheosis of the modern American yuppie

July 7, 2007 11:40 PM

Mrs. NBS and I now have this insured with Lloyds of London:


No, not kidding. 

In our defense, we are extremely worried about hip displasia.

[Apotheosis defined, here.]

The Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem is a troll

I'm using internet lingo, of course, which defines "troll" as follows:

Troll.  One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks with no substance or relevance to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.

Over at my friend Brad Drell's blog, Paul Marshall has started speaking up in the comments.  He's the Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem, PA.  Brad's a fellow attorney, was a fraternity brother of mine at Sewanee, and on the conservative side of things in the Episcopal-Anglican crack-up.  Bishop Marshall is not in the same camp. 

So guess what Bishop Marshall is saying in Brad's comments section?  He accuses Brad of being crazy.  He says that there are meds available to cure Brad's condition (conservatism, I guess), and that he hopes Brad's "symptoms are being managed."

And yes, we do know that is THE Bishop of Bethlehem who is posting the comments, not someone doing so under an assumed name.  Can you imagine?  Granted, Bishop Marshall is best known for recently launching an unhinged attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, accusing him of coddling conservatives (would that were so!) and destroying the church.  So at least Brad's in good company.  He's right there on Bishop Marshall's shit list, along with the The Most Rev. Rowan D. Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and heir to the throne of St. Augustine.  Not bad for a guy from a small town in Louisiana.

But good company aside...  isn't it a little bizarre for a Bishop to be accusing members of the laity of being crazy via blog comments?  It certainly does makes one wonder who is off their meds.  And it doesn't seem to me like it's Brad.

And now the French left is mad at their new President because he jogs

July 6, 2007 10:04 PM

No, I'm not joking.  From the Times of London:

President Sarkozy has fallen foul of intellectuals and critics who see his passion for jogging as un-French, right-wing and even a ploy to brainwash his citizens.

You got it.  Jogging is un-French, right-wing, and a brainwashing ploy.  C'est incroyable!

Attacks on Mr Sarkozy’s pastime, which he has made a symbol of his presidency, began on the internet as soon as he bounded up the steps of the Elysée Palace in shorts when he took office in May. That moment has become the icon of his hyperenergetic administration. The grumbling has now moved to television and the press.

“Is jogging right wing?” wondered Libération, the left-wing newspaper. Alain Finkelkraut, a celebrated philosopher, begged Mr Sarkozy on France 2, the main state television channel, to abandon his “undignified” pursuit. He should take up walking, like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men, said Mr Finkelkraut.

Jogging is not right-wing, you idiots.  You want right-wing, try brush clearing.  I love brush clearing.  It is satisfying and healthful.  But not for the French, who don't care about such things:

“Western civilisation, in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.”

How arrogant.  And unintellectual to not realize the connection between a sound body and sound mental health.  Exercise literally cleans the brain.  It scrapes out all the junk, and helps you think clearly.  And to think the French left claims the mantle of Western Civilization!  It's not theirs, and they obviously only claim it when it suits them.

Mr Sarkozy’s habit infuriates his critics – and some supporters – because he flaunts it so hard. Le running du Président, often clad in his favourite NYPD T-shirt, has become a ritual, like King Louis XIV’s rides at Versailles....

The NYPD t-shirt must really make them mad.  Perhaps that is what this is all about?

Until “Speedy Sarko” won office, French heads of state shunned physical exercise in public. The late François Mitterrand was privately partial to golf, but the reflective stroll was his public trademark. Jacques Chirac, Mr Sarkozy’s predecessor, was famous for his energy, but in public he moved at walking pace and in suit and tie.

What a hideous culture they have.  No public exercise for their leaders?  Disgusting. 

Le jogging, originally known as le footing and now more fashionably as le running, caught on in France, as elsewhere, in the 1980s and eight million claim to indulge. But Mr Sarkozy has rekindled a French suspicion that the habit is for self-centred individualists such as the Americans who popularised it. “Jogging is of course about performance and individualism, values that are traditionally ascribed to the Right,” Odile Baudrier, editor of V02 magazine, a sports publication, told Libération....

I love that.  "Jogging is of course about performance and individualism, values that are traditionally ascribed to the Right."  Isn't amazing that someone would say that like it's a bad thing? 

I love Tammy Bruce's take on Al Gore's son getting busted for DUI, possession of controlled substances, and driving 100 mph in his Prius. This is what happens when you have an outbreak of smug.

Update: Episcopalians Boot Priest Who Says She's Also Muslim

I really need to do a better job updating stories that I have previously posted on, when the story changes.  I just assume everyone is as well read as I.  Obviously, that is a mistake, as I was out this evening with a reader of this blog who loudly condemned Episcopalians for having a Muslim priest.  Remember that Priestess?  Well, the news this week is that she's been collared by her Bishop.  Per the Seattle Times:

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, a local Episcopal priest who announced she is both Muslim and Christian, will not be able to serve as a priest for a year, according to her bishop.

During that year, Redding is expected to "reflect on the doctrines of the Christian faith, her vocation as a priest, and what I see as the conflicts inherent in professing both Christianity and Islam," the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, wrote in an e-mail to Episcopal Church leaders.

At the end of the year, the two are going to revisit the issue, and it's clear what the Bishop's position is going to be: "You have a year to return to the faith, or you're out."  I think there's plenty of reason to boot her now, but I understand the Bishop's position.  It is better to try to return people to the fold than tell them to take a hike.

So there, reader.  Now there's nothing wrong with the Episcopal Church.  We're perfect! 

The Brits also write much more interesting obituaries

From the Telegraph:

Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

What a great lede!

The great-great-grandson of Prince Otto, Germany's Iron Chancellor and architect of the modern German state, the young von Bismarck showed early promise as a brilliant scholar, but led an exotic life of gilded aimlessness that attracted the attention of the gossip columns from the moment he arrived in Oxford in 1983 and hosted a dinner at which the severed heads of two pigs were placed at either end of the table.

When not clad in the lederhosen of his homeland, he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women's clothes, set off by lipstick and fishnet stockings....

Von Bismarck's university career ended in catastrophe in June 1986, when his friend Olivia Channon [daughter of one of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet ministers] was found dead on his bed, the victim of a drink and drugs overdose. Von Bismarck admitted that his role in the affair had brought disgrace on the family name; five years later he told friends that there were still people who would not speak to his parents on account of it, and who told his mother that she had "a rotten son".

Never concealing his homosexuality, von Bismarck continued to appear in public in various eccentric items of attire, including tall hats atop his bald Mekon-like head. At parties he would appear in exotic designer frock coats with matching trousers and emblazoned with enormous logos. Flitting from table to table at fashionable London nightclubs, he was said to be as comfortable among wealthy Eurotrash as he was on formal occasions calling for black tie.

Although described personally as quiet and impeccably mannered, von Bismarck continued to live high on the hog, hosting riotous all-night parties for his (chiefly gay) friends at his £5 million flat off Sloane Square. It was at one such event, in August last year, that von Bismarck encountered tragedy for a second time when one of his male guests fell 60 ft to his death from the roof garden. While von Bismarck was not arrested, he was questioned as a witness and there were those who wondered - not, perhaps, without cause - whether he might be the victim of a family curse...

He never married.

The Enquirer's obituaries could be so much more interesting, couldn't they?  But I'm not sure the West Side could handle it.

The latest from the Giuliani Camp

July 5, 2007 03:31 PM

His staffers had a conference call with reporters this afternoon.  Of interest:

In response to a question from Carl Cameron of Fox News about a comment about how Rudy alters the electoral calculations for the GOP, DuHaime declared that Rudy would put a slew of blue states in play, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. He added, "[Rudy Giuliani] has a tremendous opportunity to win New York or California."

As I've said before, while I like Rudy personally, I don't support his candidacy because he is not conservative.  But there's no denying he has appeal in New York and New Jersey.  And it may be necessary to have those in play.

Housesitters from Hell

The New York Times is out with a special interest story about what can happen when you make bad choices about housesitters:

The first sign of trouble came when Ms. Gottlieb’s secretary called from New York to say there had been a large party in the apartment, according to the building’s doorman. The estimate was about 100 guests. “It was a great entertaining space,” Ms. Gottlieb says dryly, “as this woman may have realized.”

Then came the terrible moment when Ms. Gottlieb and her husband returned home.

“The first thing we’re greeted by is the dead ficus,” she says. “The phone bill for $400 didn’t come till later. Then we go upstairs and we’re unpacking and I lift the hamper and every pair of underwear I owned is in the hamper.”

Ms. Gottlieb pauses. “She had used all my underpants and left them dirty in the hamper,” she says.

Yes, that would be a bad thing to discover.  How disgusting.

There's also the story of the couple who went off to Bora Bora on their honeymoon, and returned to discover that their housesitter had posted a video of their cat (which weighed 37 pounds) on YouTube.  You can watch the video "My Big Pussy (cat) Babe!" here.

And there's the story of the woman who returned to L.A. to discover there had been a mudslide:

“I go back to L.A. a few days early and go to my house,” Ms. Strickland says. “I go into the bathroom to wash my face and I look in the mirror and what’s exactly behind me is a wall of mud. It’s come through the window; completely buried the toilet. I can’t register this. I turn around. There is a large Jacuzzi bathtub and tile on the same wall as the toilet. That wall is bowed.”

Going outside — the sensible thing to do when a supporting wall appears to be giving way — Ms. Strickland found that the five-foot space between the back wall and the hill was filled with mud that was rising over the roof. She hot-footed it over to her boyfriend’s apartment. When Ms. Strickland called her friend and told her that mud was filling up the bathroom, her friend, who had apparently been using a second bathroom, was not surprised.

“She said, ‘I know,’ ” Ms. Strickland says. “I said, ‘When I called from Alabama, why didn’t you tell me?’ She said: ‘I didn’t want to worry you. You know, we have cockroaches in New York.’ Somehow she equated the two.”

But this, hands-down, is the worst story:

Ms. Michaels’s young housesitter had not mentioned that his mother was on the lam from child welfare authorities, who wanted to remove the children from her home because she was keeping company with a drug addict who beat her.

It was not until Ms. Michaels returned that she learned her tenant had moved upstate to be near her boyfriend in Attica and turned the apartment over to her ex-husband. The ex-husband had taken up with a 42nd Street junkie and hustler. (As we said, this is an old story: 42nd Street was frequented by people not necessarily going to see “Mary Poppins.”)

The two housesitters had sold Ms. Michaels’s furniture and Oriental rug, but this was not sufficient to meet their financial obligations, including those to the junkie’s dealers, one of whom came to the apartment and knifed the ex-husband, who bled on one of Ms. Michaels’s last remaining possessions, her mattress. Also, her cats had grown so wild that a neighbor had taken them to the A.S.P.C.A., where she assumes they were destroyed.

Ms. Michaels sued the ex-husband, winning a settlement of about $39,000, of which, she says, she received one payment of $35.

While I have never heard of anyone leaving their home in the hands of a street junkie and huster, who sold off their possessions and got knifed on the premises, I do know of someone who (1) drank the entire contents of the homeowners' wine cellar (including many. many bottles of expensive champagne), (2) hosted innumerable parties, (3) wore their clothes, and (4) managed to flood the garage, ruining a Mercedes.

No, this was not I.  But I did help (with the wine).

I Love the British Press

Here's what they think makes for a good headline:


And they're right!  Talk about a headline that draws the reader in.  So here's what the article says, since I'm sure you're curious:

A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.

"You were expecting sixty-seven virgins?" he then yelled, whilst kicking him again.  Actually no he didn't, but that would have been the only thing to make this story better. 

But Mitt recognizes what is already a big problem...

July 4, 2007 04:41 PM

Dozens of reporters following the Clintons.  And for the Romneys

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa -- Eyeing the dozens of reporters and photographers perched on a flat-bed truck in front of the Clinton entourage, Romney couldn't help himself.

"Who says there is no such thing as media bias?" he said with a smile to the sole journalist following his entourage. 

A few weeks ago, a pretty apolitical (but voting) family member told me that all she ever hears about are Hillary and Obama.  "Who's even running for the Republicans?" she asked.

The Romneys run into the Clintons in Iowa

Polite.  Civilized.  From Politico:

"Nice to see you!" Sen. Clinton exclaimed to Romney. 

Introducing Josh, Romney began to tell Sen. Clinton about his son's plan to drive around the state.

"He's been driving around." Sen. Clinton shook her head knowingly, like her husband, already aware of Josh's travels.

Proving he had been listening to how many stops Josh had made, Bill Clinton then piped up, "He's halfway home!"

"Well, it's a good deal," Sen. Clinton offered

"How many counties have you hit," Romney asked, "45?"

"About 50," Josh quickly responded.

"Well, he's over halfway," Sen. Clinton said, demonstrating her knowledge of Iowa's 99 counties.  "You've got this built-in campaign team with your sons, boy I tell ya," she added, good naturedly.

"There's nothing like it," Romney replied "If we had known, we would've had more."

At this, Ann Romney got a look on her face is if to say, "not so fast" and everybody enjoyed a good laugh.

The election is still 16 months away.

Happy Birthday... my alma mater.

HT: Drell

Summer dress code No 2. And this one goes out to all the ladies.

July 3, 2007 01:44 PM

Once again, Above the Law is asking the important questions: Capri pants at work, yea or nay?  In my opinion, the correct answer is clear: yea for secretaries, big nay for professionals.

And spaghetti strap tank tops... ever okay in the office?  I'm very much in the pro-spaghetti strap tank top camp, but have to reluctantly state that they are only appropriate under a jacket or blazer.  It's a shame, I know.

At our office, there's a big debate every summer over what constitutes appropriate summer footwear, and the secretaries start agitating about mules and strappy shoes.  A good rule of thumb: if it makes a flip flop noise when you walk, it's not okay.  Another pet peeve of mine?  People who call flip-flops thongs.  Those are totally different.

Summer dress code, male edition

What is okay?  A seersucker suit?  A short-sleeved dress shirt?

My take is that seersucker suits are great, though I personally can't wear them because they make me look like Babar.  The fact that I have an elephant head doesn't help, either.

And short-sleeved dress shirts?  They're for the guys in tech support.

George Zamary is running for City Council...

July 2, 2007 08:14 AM

...I heard this over the weekend, and was a little surprised.  Not that he's running for office, but that he's running now.  Anyway, now I see others are reporting it too, and it is not just a rumor.  I know George pretty well, and would describe him as a "liberal on social issues" Republican.  Perhaps he's going for the disillusioned-with-Leslie Ghiz demographic? 

George is a good guy, and better than a lot of people who are running.  It's too bad about that "liberal on social issues" bit, though.