Category Archives: Charts ‘n’ Graphs

Why I live in Colorado

Image: Color-coded map of the US, with the following legend:

Western half of WA & OR:  “Rain”

Eastern WA & OR, MT, ND, SD, NE, IA,WI, AK: “Cold; lots of conservatives”

MN: “Just really fucking cold, trust me”

MI, IL, IN, OH, WV, PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME, HI: “Muggy; insects”

West coast of CA:  “Expensive”

Eastern part of CA, NV and AZ: “Conservatives; chance of tarantulas”

UT: “Pretty; still too many conservatives”

KS, OK, TX, MO, AR, LA, KY, TN, MS, AL, GA, VA, NC, SC, FL: “Hot; muggy; insects; conservatives”

NM: “One other place I’d consider living”

CO: “Colorado!”  (Indicated by the CO state flag: red letter C, enclosing a yellow circle, with three blue and white stripes.)

My brain with a cold.

Image description:  White on black silhouette of a woman's head, divided into two sections.  The front section including the nose and forehead is labeled "bricks;" the back section is labeled, "Recurring tape loop of all the things I have to do but feel too crappy to do."

Image description:  White on black silhouette of a woman’s head, divided into two sections.  The front section including the nose and forehead is labeled “bricks;” the back section is labeled, “Recurring tape loop of all the things I have to do but feel too crappy to do.”


Things that are like Kim Davis

things that are like kim davis

{Image: the image is a Word table that can be viewed at this link.}

Things that are not like Kim Davis:

A person being drafted involuntarily into the military asserting conscientious objections to serving in the military.

The difference: the word “involuntarily.” Davis’s situation is like a pacifist enlisting in the all-volunteer army and then asserting conscientious objections to serving in the military.

It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a), which is defined as

all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.

42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e(j) (emphasis added). So if you’re a county clerk and you want to wear a yarmulke or headscarf to work, you can because it will not affect the conduct of the employer’s business. If you are a pharmacist, the whole point of the employer’s business is to sell medicine, so you cannot require your employer to accommodate your Christian Scientist beliefs by removing one of your primary job duties.

Kim Davis is not a conscientious objector; she’s a person refusing to do her job or possibly a person who has the wrong job.

Update:  Eric commented

One difference: when Kim Davis took her job, issuing gay marriage licenses was NOT part of her job.

My easy and, I think, correct response was that issuing marriage licenses was part of the job.  That should be the end of the discussion.  But it made me think:  how would I handle Kim Davis’s case if it were a real case — as opposed to a publicity stunt — and she came to me for legal advice?  Distasteful as I find her religious views, I would advocate a role for her that did not require her to personally issue marriage licenses to people she did not approve of.*  There appear to be a number of employees in the clerk’s office willing to issue all legal licenses; if the office could permit her to refuse to issue such licenses “without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business,” I think that would be permitted.  The distinction is like a Wal-Mart employee who won’t sell guns — which should be permitted as it’s an enormous store with plenty of other tasks — and a gun store employee who won’t sell guns — which will cause undue hardship as the employer would be paying the employee to do nothing.

The problem with this analysis for Davis is that she apparently instructed the rest of her staff not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, which did cause hardship in that the entire office ceased to be able to do one of the things it is tasked with doing.


*The test for religious accommodation requires sincerity but sadly not consistency, so she can decide to disapprove of gay and lesbian couples, while continuing to issue licenses to people of other (and different) faiths, divorce(e)s, child abusers, tax cheats, lusters, gluttons, sloths, greedy bastards and other sinners, deadly or otherwise.

Garage Triage


*  Includes car, bike, snow blower, tools (actually used), tools (aspirational), and the complete Fair Employment Practices Cases, Vols. I – 1997, complete with Post-It annotations by Peter C. Robertson.

Legal Research Graph

The pattern will continue — bouncing between 2 and 10 — up to the moment the brief is filed.  Indeed, I have been known to stop for a game of tennis ball fetch just before typing in the boilerplate “Conclusion” section.

Memo to OC: remember the ratio!

We just got a 12-page brief from our opposing counsel.  Here is the score:

Italics:  9

Italics + underline:  11

Italics + underline + bold:  1

I’m not talking about case names or other citations.  I’m talking about entire sentences, frantically italicized and underlined.  Important things like “two entire business days passed without any follow up response trom plaintiffs’ counsel as to the six (or seven) deponents’ availability to proceed with their depositions on any date.”

What I love about law:  nerding out with Westlaw and a good, chewy legal question.

What I hate:  being yelled at through font changes about deposition scheduling.

Vegas Diary

Arrive at the Vegas airport with no power in the power chair.  Parking guy happy to help because he loves God.  No luck; battery is dead; charger is kaput; not really God’s fault.  Carrie IMs suggestion: buy a car battery charger at Walmart.

Of course Vegas has a 24-hour Walmart.   And of course Carrie has solved the problem.*

Breakfast Saturday morning the girl at the next table has a head full of pink rollers.

Tim heads off to play poker; I find quiet corner of a lounge to read.**  Overhear a guy explaining the relationship of free will to Christianity.

On the way to manicure, learn the reason for pink hair rollers and over-decorated 8-year-olds: MGM is hosting a cheerleading competition.  Also, said 8-year-olds look like they could kick my ass.

Get a manicure.  Nail polish is called Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ.  Love the color but love the name more.

Join Tim at poker where he is playing Texas Hold Em at a table with Orel Hershiser.  First time I’ve seen a World Series ring in person.

Out to  dinner wearing 4 inch heels.***

Christmas carols in the casino are a weird combination with the slot machine sounds.  Also just weird.  Perhaps for the first time in my half[assed] Jewish life, I find myself asking WWJD.

Sunday Tim plays Hold Em with Hershiser for another six hours.  He takes off the World Series ring to let me get a closer look.  It’s incredibly cool and diamondy.  Hershiser is funny and a mensch, offering to help Tim with cards.

We decide it would be too weird to ask for a photo, so you’ll have to take our word for it.

An introvert strolls down the Strip:

Wow!  This is so cool!

Vegas is full of such diverse, interesting, weird people!


A pirate!

A, um, little person dressed like Elvis.  Cool?  Exploitative?  He has every right to make as big an ass of himself as anyone else in Vegas, right?

Fat Michael Jackson impersonator.  Same questions?

Awesome people-watching!

Diversity!  Let your freak flag fly!

Why do people bring toddlers to Vegas?

Funny t-shirts!

Funny sexist t-shirts.  OK, well, it’s Vegas.

Disgusting sexist t-shirts.  Yuk. Sigh.

Skinny Santa alone with his Christmas tree.

Geez there are a lot of people on the Strip.

No, I don’t want Girls Girls Girls!

And wouldn’t the Girls Girls Girls proprietors have better luck if they gave their sales reps clean Girls Girls Girls t-shirts?

Screw diversity and freak flags — what is the fastest way back to the hotel??

This is actually an example of the Introvert Curve:

Rinse.  Repeat.  The social interaction can be anything, really, from strolling down the Strip in Vegas to attending a cocktail party****.   And what’s great is:  I also have some sort of Introvert Amnesia that makes me forget this curve as I ascend the left side, my need to Get Outta There coming as a surprise each time.

Anyway, we headed home Monday having accomplished perhaps the most important variation on the Vegas cliche:  What happened outside of Vegas stayed outside of Vegas.  We really needed a break from litigation, worrying about litigation, and litigating the case in our heads at 3 a.m. … and we got it.

Now back to reality.


* She specializes in ass-kicking lawsuits on behalf of radically underserved groups and lifehacking.  Ask her to assemble your IKEA furniture; she’s really good at that too!

** What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

*** Sorry no footwear photos.  Images of age-inappropriate shoes worn in Vegas stay in Vegas.

****  This makes it sound like we attend sophisticated gatherings where people dress up and drink interesting mixed drinks.  Mostly, we play poker and order out for BBQ.