Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
There's the golden rule and there may be an early-conditioned inclination to help a person in a bad situation. But, there has been the reluctance to "get involved." The considerations were loss of time, danger, messiness, risk - all of the implications of involvement. This has seemed selfish and unneighborly in the past. The Kitty Genovese case has come to be the paradigm for the uncaring big-city. Pro-bad-big city: (Kitty Genovese) Anti-bad-big-city: Kitty Genovese.
"Getting involved" has been taking on new dimensions in its ongoing encounter with a key portion of our tort law system: money compensation for injury caused by negligence. The basis of this concept is: you help another at the risk of losing a law suit for failing to help correctly.
States have enacted "Good Samaritan" laws which might be thought to protect the person who "helps" another. One notes a recent case defining this concept, Van Horn vs. Torti. A person who wants to be a legal Good Samaritan may well want to ask questions before stepping in. Is emergency medical care needed? Am I qualified under the law to render emergency medical care? What is my intention in stepping in - do I have "good faith" (whatever that is?) Will my action be considered selfishly motivated because I expect "others to do likewise to me?" The person needs aid but hasn't offered "compensation" for it, so I'm okay there. Since I can be sued (whether I qualify under the law as a true Good Samaritan or not) do I have insurance that will defend?
The impulse to help will probably continue to involve people in aid to others - but, if a person stops to think about it, the delay may be too long.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Doser has been trying to get a grip on the pornography issue. It seems that, to hear of a man prosecuted for privately-viewing pornography, smacks of unacceptable social engineering. There may be consenting adults, probably a tad exhibitionistic, who are well-paid to satisfy their interest in being viewed while performing sex acts. They are certainly not manipulated nor coerced unacceptably. Not The Doser's cup of tea, you understand, but it is theirs. There may be other adults who want to watch that published activity and do not act out some harmful conduct as a result. Just a person involved in private sex. Not The Doser's cup of tea but theirs. The Doser wonders if the anti-porn laws aren't legislating in a social milieu without making adequate distinctions.
Friday, December 19, 2008
and on the side of economizing........
The Venezuelan National Assembly has favored the abolition of term-limits on the office of President of Venezuela. Think of all the economies that would flow from having a President selected for life!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
and, on a much less troubling note ---
A group of Portland women have been cooperating to solve commonly-experienced household problems. It would take some capable management but many difficulties or redundancies could be solved this way.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Doser is also wondering if the US Senate has the power to refuse to seat a Senate appointee. The grounds would be the likelihood that Blagojevich withstood the siege on his office long enough to close the financial arrangements on the sale of the seat.
It was a big week for private crooks. There was the Blagojevich issue, of course, and the one about Bernard Madoff (spelled without the"e.") That one raises serious definitional issues: The Doser needs to get the exact elements of "Ponzi Scheme" in mind so that he will be able to spot the differences, if any, between Madoff's $50 Billion venture and the US government's $700 Billion bail-out conduct.
And, on the positive side ....
The (bush) administration has announced that farmers need no longer rat on their toxic cows. They need no longer tell the government about the odors rising from their cows' manure.
The vociferies in Portland, Oregon, have lined up on both sides of the pit-bull issue. Those on one side have reason to fear them; those on the other side have reason to love them. This issue will heat up before it it goes away.
O Costas Karamanlis, in Greece, is holding out valiantly, against weakness in his government both in numbers and record of ineptitude. He's not about to be forced to do the right thing by a bunch of roisterers in the streets.
And, another note on the positive side .....
The police in Beaverton, Oregon, captured the man who, while waiting for the jury to come in on a car theft charge against him, utilized the time to steal another vehicle. Is that chutzpah or what?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The US Justice Department is trying its Blackwater slayings case in the newspapers. The Doser sees that as another reason that the government's case must be weak. The first reason is that they charged the men with manslaughter for a case which would have brought a murder charge - if the government had the case it is touting to the press.
and. on a lighter note....
The fired Republic Windows and Doors workers, of Chicago, Illinois, are trying to revive a revered historic conduct that could constipate the down-sizing process. It is the worker sit-in! The Doser thinks it may be successful ..... but only if Republic wants to make windows and doors more than it wants to stiff its workers.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The "irresistibly overwhelming" has arrived when I know that I must hunker down now. The Oxford English Dictionary tells me how to do it: “....squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent, so as to bring the hams near the heels, and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet”. The advantage of this position is that we're not only crouched close to the ground, so presenting a small target for whatever the universe chooses to throw at us, but we're ready to move at a moment’s notice.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The Big-Three bail-out is expected but it begins to seem less like an enormous reward for bad business conduct.
(bush) sez the Mid-east has entered a "historic and new" period which shows it to be a "freer, more hopeful, and more promising place." The Doser thinks it, nevertheless, wise of (bush) to buy his expensive retirement house in Dallas, Texas, rather than in the Mid-east.
In a recent poll, reported in the December 6, 2008, issue of The Oregonian, those polled indicated that 23% are reducing their giving to their pets this year and 40% are reducing their giving to family and friends. Good to keep your priorities straight even in these difficult times, the Doser says.
Friday, December 5, 2008
and, on a note for the future .....
The Doser has been thinking of the people with ideas of which he disapproves. As a New Year's resolution he will resolve to try to think of them as honest, intelligent people, with opinions legitimately held and to which they are entitled. From this list, any right-thinking person can see that it is going to be a difficult resolution to frame. Some of the people with ideas of which The Doser disapproves are: creationists, anti-Semites, pit bull defenders, fundamentalists of any stripe, scientologists, National Rifle Associates, anti-abortionists, anti-gays, anti-birth controllers, anti-sex educationers, anti-intellectualists, anti-gay-marriagers, faith healers, anti-conservationists, anti-stem-cell-researchists, Ku Klux Klanners and members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. The Doser is sure that there are others - but this list is enough to stretch his tolerance at resolution time this year.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
and, on a happier note,.......
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted a survey which ranks Burlington, Vt. as the healthiest city in US. It ranks Huntington, W.VA as the least healthy. The survey was based on peoples' responses to the question: Are you in good health? Notes that Burlington is actually a healthier place - but that it also has a larger per capita income. Money, of course, doesn't cause happiness but it sure makes happiness more affordable.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
and, on a more or less hopeful note....
The President of the Bilial Mosque Association,Shahriar S. Ahmed, has excoriated the Mumbai marauders as having performed an unjustified "barbarity." He says that many Muslims agree with him and that "No good will come of it..." The Doser wonders if President Ahmed would be saying that if his mosque were located in Cairo or Damascus rather than Beaverton. (Report from OpEd The Oregonian, December 2, 2008.)
Monday, December 1, 2008
and on a note of mixed hopefulness.....
Wal-Mart's profits were up 10% in the last quarter; Nordstrom's were down 57%. At least some people seem to be doing their consumer's part to defeat deflation.