Sunday, March 22, 2009

Conversation with Eli

The iPod is playing over the speaker. I sing along:

Me: Imagine there's no heaven...

Eli: Daddy, stop singing, I want to listen to the other man singing.

Me: OK. That's John Lennon singing

Eli: John Lemmon is a nice man

Me: Yes, honey, he was

John Lennon: You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


This is the longest I've gone without posting since I started. I wonder what is up with that?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Levy Case

I'm glad they have charged someone for raping and murdering Chandra Levy.

They'll never get a conviction, though, not if they try the case in DC.

I've been a juror in a murder trial here. Prosecutors have three big hurdles in this case:

They have no physical evidence linking the suspect to the crime.

The evidence consists of alleged confessions made by the suspect to other criminals...credibility is a problem. Unless the suspect's partners in this crime come forward and serve as eyewitnesses to the murder, this is a problem.

But the even bigger issue and one that is not going away is that the African-American community in Washington has a deep distrust of the police. Did I say deep?

In the murder trial I served on there were eyewitnesses and there was physical evidence. The trial ended with a hung jury. Why? Some jurors -- mostly African-American women -- were not willing to believe the police. In the trial I served on, the defense attorney didn't even present a defense, he just nursed that doubt of the police and the witnesses (who were all drug users, therefore, he argued, not reliable eyewitnesses) during cross examination. That was enough.

In the Levey case, from what we've seen so far, the prosecution has to deal with a faulty police investigation that has been well documented by the Washington Post. Unless the atmosphere in the community has changed, I don't think they can do it.

I hope I'm wrong. I feel for Chandra's parents and all they've been through. Unfortunately, it's not over.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Big Rock Gives Earth a Close Call

An asteroid the size of the one that struck Siberia 100 years ago (and exploded with the force of 1,000 nukes) came within 50,000 miles of the planet yesterday. While that may sound far off, it's a near miss in astronomical terms...being only twice the distance from the surface as our satellites.

Which leads me to the question...if an asteroid was about to hit the Earth, who would you call:

Robert Duvall (Capt. "Fish" Tanner)


Bruce Willis (Harry Stamper)?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow Days

What is it with coworkers who use snow as an excuse for not coming to work? I don't know how much snow-induced absenteeism hurts the economy but it can't be good.

DC got about 5 inches last night and this morning. Yes, snow was thick and flying as fast as acrimony at a CPAC convention but if you drove slowly and kept your wits about you you could make it. I did.

And, two words: Public Transportation. If the buses and metro are running you can get to work. If you live walking distance from the office, two other words: Snow Boots. Yes, the snow and ice can make it tough but hey, we're descended from people who got on rickety, leaky boats and sailed across an unknown sea to an unknown land. And I don't think they were serving appletinis or lattes on the way over.

Okay, if you are a parent and you suddenly have day care issues I get that. But speaking of school closings...

DC schools opened two hours late. Normally, they would have closed like all the other schools in the area. But President Obama made fun of us DC types when schools closed for "a little ice." Not wanting another presidential ribbing (come on, if Obama hadn't said that, DC schools would have been as closed as a dittohead's mind) the Mayor kept em open...and you should hear the whining of the parents who called into a local radio station. "Oh, the mayor forced our kids out on the slippery streets...they had to walk on snow! And maybe ice!"

Okay, these are the same kids who, if they were off, would be out hurtling down hills on sleds or, once enough melting happened, would be making death-defying leaps down concrete steps on their skate boards. Acrobatics on concrete, okay, walking on snow, too dangerous.

We really do need to toughen up a bit, people.