Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 25th, 2008

The endless struggle

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When I was in grad school in Iowa City in the 60’s, it was a struggle for adult college students to vote: the town didn’t want students voting, pure and simple. And it’s still going on. Greg Gordon reports:

Colorado Democrats accused a Republican county clerk Wednesday of falsely informing Colorado College that students from outside the state could not register to vote if their parents claimed them as a dependent on their tax returns.

At a news conference in Colorado Springs, Democrats also criticized Robert Balink, the El Paso County clerk and recorder, who was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, for taking other steps they said would dampen voting by college students, who are expected to heavily favor Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“When election officials spread false information about who is eligible to vote and remove, not add, polling places, we need to be concerned that eligible voters will be denied their right to vote,” said Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party.

Balink issued a statement saying his office had misinterpreted state law and “mistakenly published information that was incorrect.”

Balink’s actions are the latest of several instances in which local election officials, including some in Virginia and South Carolina, have discouraged college students from voting in a year in which legions of students have thrown their energy behind Obama.

Discovery of these restrictions comes as Democrats have increasingly accused Republicans of using an array of tactics to suppress the Democratic voter turnout in the November election.

Liz Olson, the elections manager in Colorado’s El Paso County, said that the office “takes full responsibility for what’s in that document. Nobody told us to put anything in there.”

Martha Tierney, an attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party, said she obtained emails showing that Balink’s office sent a misleading flier to the Colorado College president’s office to provide students with voter-registration information and urged its circulation on campus.

The flier stated: “What this means is that if your parents still claim you on their income tax returns, and they file that return in a state other than Colorado, you are not eligible to register to vote or vote in Colorado.”

Voter residency requirements vary from state to state, but must meet the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, said Jon Greenbaum, a voting rights expert with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Greenbaum said that what states and counties can’t do is adopt rules that treat one group of voters differently than others.

Greenbaum noted that Virginia’s elections board recently revised language on its Internet site that discouraged students from registering after reports of a similar episode at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va. The New York Times reported Sept. 8 that a local registrar had issued two releases that incorrectly suggested dire consequences for the university’s students who registered to vote there, including the possibility they no longer could be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.

Sujatha Jahagirdar, program director of the Student Public Interest Research Group’s New Voters Project in Washington, said she encountered similar problems when she posed as a college freshman last week and called registrar’s offices in Greenville County, S.C., home to Furman University, and York County, S.C., where Winthrop University is located.

Jahagirdar said a Greenville official asked if her parents listed her as a dependent, and when she replied in the affirmative, told her: “You should vote where your parents live.” She said a York County representative asked if she was in town for school, and when she said yes, stated flatly: “You can’t vote here.”

A caller on Wednesday got similar responses.

Told of the information imparted by his staff, Conway Belangia, Greenville County’s director of registration and elections, said that “if a staff person made a statement like that, it was an error.”

A York County official didn’t respond to calls for comment. …

Continue reading. I think it’s probably educational for students to see the corruption in the process and the heavy-handed efforts to suppress voting.

Written by Leisureguy

25 September 2008 at 3:16 pm

Best family-friendly law firms

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Lauren Gerber has an interesting column:

Two weeks ago, Yale Law Women released its third annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List. The Top Ten Firms, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Arnold & Porter (Washington, DC)
  • Covington & Burling (Washington, DC)
  • Debevoise & Plimpton (New York)
  • Dorsey & Whitney (Minneapolis)
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Los Angeles)
  • Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago)
  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (New York)
  • Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo (Boston)
  • Perkins Coie (Seattle)
  • WilmerHale (Boston)
  • To produce the List, my classmates and I surveyed the Vault Top 100 firms, asking about issues ranging from parental leave policies and their usage, to same-sex domestic partner benefits; from part-time practices, to percentages of female partners. We released the Top Ten List in an effort to spark change in the profession, to encourage firms to take greater steps toward improving the quality of life for their attorneys, and to make Big Law a viable, livable profession in the long term. Whether or not those goals are realistic has yet to be determined.The recent proliferation of rankings like the Top Ten List has provoked considerable discussion about the ability of external evaluations to provoke meaningful change in firm policy. Critical assessments of work-life balance have proliferated for many years (even decades), yet many would argue that the systemic changes needed are still as remote as ever. Still, we wouldn’t have created the Top Ten List if we didn’t believe strongly that it could make a significant difference.

    This column will explore possible causes of work-life conflict and poor retention of women at major law firms. …

    Continue reading.

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Posted in Business, Daily life

    Injustice, American-style

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    A prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, resigned this week, alleging that the government had denied a defendant access to “potentially exculpatory evidence.” Army Col. Lawrence J. Morris, lead prosecutor for the tribunals, denied the reports and said that Vandeveld resigned for “personal reasons.”

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Day off

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    I just cleaned out my reader and believe that I’ll take a day off. Also just got a call from CHOMP for 2 units of blood—dang, I hope that doesn’t hurt my walking. I put them off until next week, in any event.

    So enjoy your day and I’ll be back blogging tomorrow.

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Posted in Daily life

    Non-blog productivity

    with 2 comments

    Teeth clean, hair cut, lunch purchased (and eaten—Papa Chano’s Supreme Tongue burrito), kitty litter and some basic groceries purchased, litter changed, shiso crop irrigated, and soup a-cooking.

    The soup is a bean soup. I soaked a pound of flageot beans overnight. I also put a smoked ham shank in a pot of water with a little bouquet garni bag containing peppercorns, whole cloves, and whole allspice, and left it covered overnight in 200º oven. This morning I put it uncovered in fridge, then on returning from the dentist skimmed off the solidified fat and removed the bones and meat. Chopped the meat and returned it to the stock and discarded the bones.

    The flageot beans are cooking now (with three star anise for company), and to the big pot with the meat and stock I’ve added cooked kamut, cooked kernels of purple Peruvian corn, chopped kale, celery, carrots, onion, parsely, along with oregano and splashes of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. When the beans are done, they’ll go in also, along with a can of diced tomatoes, and then I’ll simmer the whole thing until the veggies are cooked.

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Posted in Daily life

    Late start

    with 3 comments

    I have to go out for a while (dentist, haircut, kitty litter), but blogging will resume later.

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 8:31 am

    Posted in Daily life

    A Lord shave

    with 5 comments

    Razor and Brush offers a continually expanding product line. Their razor offerings include the Merkur line (the modern-day standard), Weishi razors (very nice and mild razors from China), Treet razors (from Japan) and now a variety of razors made by Lord, an Egyptian company. I just got a razor and selection of blades, all made by Lord, and I gave them a go this morning.

    The Racer razor shown is a very inexpensive little guy, mostly plastic but with a metal cap that gives it a nice weight distribution for shaving. The cap covers the ends of the blade, which I’ve not seen before but is a nice idea. It lacks some refinements of higher end razors, but I wanted to try it as a possible beginner razor. One thing I noticed immediately: as you tighten the head, you must be careful that the blade stays straight—careless tightening results in a blade unevenly exposed. But if you press down on the top as you tighten, you can keep the blade straight.

    I used the Racer blade that came in the package, and I picked Tryphon Florida Water shaving soap—an appropriate choice since Tryphon/Razor and Brush/Barbieria Italiana is located in Florida—and the Rooney Style 2 produced a totally satisfactory and fragrant lather.

    The little razor did a very good job indeed. Three passes, and I have a very smooth face. The blade is not bad and worth a try.

    For the finish, Murray & Lanman Florida Water seemed the only appropriate choice.

    Written by Leisureguy

    25 September 2008 at 8:13 am

    Posted in Shaving

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