Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Animated_GIF_flags

Memorial Day is the US holiday when we remember our fallen service members.  It is different than Veterans Day when we honor all persons who have served in the armed forces.

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day - Should we mourn or celebrate?

Honor the Fallen

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Honor_The_Fallen_(14151572488).jpg



Monday, May 24, 2021

Twitter and the First Amendment

Here's a case from January 2021 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Here's a map of the circuits.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Court_of_Appeals_and_District_Court_map.svg
 

This case is called Campbell v Reisch and is an appeal of a case from the Western District of Missouri.

Mike Campbell is a citizen of Missouri in the 44th district.  Cheri Toalson Reisch campaigned to represent the 44th district, and was eventually elected.  While she campaigned, she established a Twitter account, and tweeted campaign-related messages, including where she stood on issues and requesting campaign donations.

After Reisch was elected, she continued to use the Twitter account, informing her followers of events in which she participated, how she was working toward meeting her campaign promises, photos of herself with other political persons, and other types of messages.  She invited responses by her constituents.  When Mike Campbell responded with criticism, she blocked him.  He sued, alleging that blocking him was a violation of his First Amendment rights, denying him the right to speak.

This case is interesting in that it includes discussion of the same issue with Trump's Twitter account.  In this case, the court found that this was a personal account of Reisch, rather than a public/government account.  Trump's Twitter account was a public account.  This case discusses how to determine the difference in the types of accounts.  The First Amendment does not apply to personal accounts, only "government action" which requires that the accounts be maintained in the person's official capacity as a government/elected official.

Do you agree with the court's conclusion that Reisch's Twitter account was personal rather than governmental?  Why or why not?


Monday, May 17, 2021

Title VII Discrimination

Here's a case from January 2021 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Here's a map of the circuits.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Court_of_Appeals_and_District_Court_map.svg
This case is called Lemon v Myers Bigel and is an appeal of a case from the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Shawna Lemon practiced patent law with Myers Bigel, first as an associate and later as an equity partner and equal owner of the firm.  About ten years after she made partner, she applied for a short-term leave, citing an unspecified medical condition.  This leave was denied, even though similar requests for leave were routinely granted to white partners.  She resigned and filed suit, alleging racial and gender discrimination.

The court ruled in favor of Myers Bigel, on the grounds that Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees, and Lemon was an owner and not an employee.  Additionally, because Lemon never disclosed any clarifying details or the exact medical condition for which she requested leave, the court could not determine whether the denial was based on her race or on another factor which was legally permissible.

Do you agree with the court's conclusion?  Why or why not?


 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Equal Pay

Here's a case from January 2021 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Here's a map of the circuits.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Court_of_Appeals_and_District_Court_map.svg
This case is called Lindsley v TRT Holdings and is an appeal of a case from the Northern District of Texas.

Sarah Lindsley worked for Omni Hotels for 16 years, starting as a server and working her way up to Food and Beverage Director.  She sued Omni on several claims, including that she was paid less than the previous three male persons in that same position.  The company did not dispute that salary difference.  The trial court ruled against her on all of her claims.

On appeal, the appellate court agreed with the trial court on her other claims, but did rule that all she needed for her case to proceed on her claim of discrimination based on her sex was the bare fact of the difference in pay.  The company then has the burden to provide evidence that the difference in pay was due to something other than her sex.

Do you agree with the court's conclusion?  Why or why not?


Monday, May 3, 2021

A-to-Z Challenge Reflections

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Wow!  Another April has come and gone.  Revisiting 2020 is complete, and we are now free to flush it down the toilet.  Goodbye and good riddance.  Here's hoping for a better 2021!  It's already May.  Time does fly..................

As usual, I didn't get to visit as many participating blogs as I wanted to, but the ones I visited were fun.  So many different and interesting themes!

I'm looking forward to April 2022.  As usual, I will make a resolution to visit more blogs during the Challenge.  Hopefully I can meet that goal.

Thanks for playing along with me.


Friday, April 30, 2021

Z is for Zoom

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to Z!  We're looking at – Zoom.

We already discussed remote learning/meeting under letter R.  Let's end our look back on 2020 with some of the mishaps!


Lawyer cat
The moral of this story is be sure you know how to use your technology!

Traffic trial while in surgery
I've been a temporary judge presiding over traffic trials.  This commissioner was 100% correct in rescheduling the hearing for another day.  OMG!


Here's a compilation of epic Zoom mishaps from a lawyer perspective.

Thanks for looking at 2020 with me.  Come back on Monday for A-to-Z Reflections!


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Y is for Year

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to Y!  We're looking at – Year.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Finish-SprintforSight-Large.jpg
Here we are, sprinting toward the finish line!

Yes, 2020 was definitely a year to remember.  Or conversely, one we'd all like to forget.  Let's not focus too much on the negative though.  Here's a list [okay, it's a short list] of the benefits we've learned and experienced in 2020:

1. People really can work from home and still be productive.
2. Zoom meetings are convenient and save so much travel time and expense.
3. Commutes in Los Angeles are much better when they're not 60+ minutes each way.

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter Z:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tel_Aviv_-_Hebrew_Wikipedia%27s_17th_Birthday_celebration_-_ZOOM_meeting_due_to_COVID-19_8.jpg

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

X is for Explosion

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to X!  We're looking at – Beirut Explosion.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Damages_after_2020_Beirut_explosions_1.jpg
On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion of ammonium nitrate occurred at the port in Beirut, Lebanon.  This is truly the largest explosion I've ever seen.  


The Guardian has a great set of before/after photos that show you the incredible scope of the devastation.

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter Y:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Finish-SprintforSight-Large.jpg




Tuesday, April 27, 2021

W is for Wildfires

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to W!  We're looking at – Wildfires.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woolsey_Fire_-_tree_ridge_in_flames_20181119-PB-008.jpg

Here in California, summer 2020 was one of the worst fire seasons in recorded history.  More than four million acres burned.  Here's a map.  Here's another map:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2020_California_wildfires.png
From late 2019 through early 2020, Australia experienced one of its worst fire seasons in recorded history.  More than 46 million acres burned.  There's even a separate Wikipedia article on it.

Interesting bit of trivia – in the US, these fires are called brushfires.  In Australia, they're called bushfires.

Have you ever been impacted by a wildfire?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter X:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Damages_after_2020_Beirut_explosions_1.jpg



Monday, April 26, 2021

V is for Vaccination

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to V!  We're looking at – Vaccination.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_vaccination_(2020)_B.jpg
Near the end of 2020, several vaccines were in trials.  As of now, there are three different COVID-19 vaccines available in the US for people age 16+.  We're definitely looking forward to a time when all these restrictions can go away and places are open again!

Have you been vaccinated?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter W:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woolsey_Fire_-_tree_ridge_in_flames_20181119-PB-008.jpg



Saturday, April 24, 2021

U is for UFO

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to U!  We're looking at – UFO [unidentified flying objects].

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PurportedUFO2.jpg
Did anyone have “increased UFO sightings” and “release of previous UFO sightings” on their 2020 scorecard?

Pentagon releases UFO videos
From CNN
From BBC

2020 UFO research and sightings
Research
Sightings

Have you ever seen a UFO?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter V:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_vaccination_(2020)_B.jpg




Friday, April 23, 2021

T is for Toilet Paper

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to T!  We're looking at – TOILET PAPER.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toilet_paper_orientation_over.jpg
If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you want to have with you?

Three things people would take to a desert island

Surviving on a desert island

As it turns out, if you're stranded in the comfort of your own home, the first thing on everyone's list is TOILET PAPER!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toilet_paper_shelves_empty_in_an_Australian_supermarket.jpg
What did you hoard during quarantine?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter U:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PurportedUFO2.jpg


 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

S is for Symptoms

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to S!  We're looking at – SYMPTOMS.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Symptoms_of_COVID-19_(English).pdf

2020 was the year when it really was okay to “stay home when you're sick”.  Back in our pre-pandemic life, many people, including me, would go to the office even when sick.  Not in 2020.  Even if you are considered an essential worker and your symptoms were standard cold symptoms and not COVID symptoms, you were usually not allowed to go to work.

Here are the typical COVID symptoms:
~Fever or chills
~Cough
~Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
~Fatigue
~Muscle or body aches
~Headache
~New loss of taste or smell
~Sore throat
~Congestion or runny nose
~Nausea or vomiting
~Diarrhea

In my family, one son had loss of smell but that's it.  The other son who still lives at home had a cough but that's it.  I had fatigue and cough.  My husband had fever, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea.  So even four separate people can all have the same virus but have wildly different symptoms.

Did you have COVID?  Were your symptoms similar to mine, or different?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter T:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toilet_paper_orientation_over.jpg


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

R is for Remote Working and Schooling

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to R!  We're looking at – REMOTE WORKING AND SCHOOLING.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Remote_Career_Move.jpg

In mid-March 2020, my state, California, basically shut down.  There were almost NO cars on the freeways for over a month!  My job is considered essential, so I still drove to the office, which previously had required 60 minutes but during March 2020 that time was reduced to 30 minutes!  Yay!  The best part of this pandemic.

My college kids fired up their computers and logged into classes from home.  They missed their friends but overall it worked okay for them.  Younger kids did not have such an easy transition, and many people believe students kindergarten through high school  lost an entire year of education, and it will be a struggle not only to catch up, but to re-connect with their social groups.

I worked from home for a month, while my family recovered from COVID.  But even while working from the office, I made court appearances by phone and video.  Definitely an interesting experience.  My advice - know how to use your computer!
 


How did your family handle remote work or school?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter S:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Symptoms_of_COVID-19_(English).pdf


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Q is for Quarantine

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to Q!  We're looking at – QUARANTINE [LOCKDOWNS].

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canadian_Covid-19_Protesters_3.jpg
In March 2020, we were all told to STAY HOME and we were SAFER AT HOME and “15 days to flatten the curve”.  The CDC is still saying that as of the date I'm writing this blog post, even though we have vaccines.  I don't know about you, but my definition of "15 days" is definitely different than the US government's definition.

Now I'm reading news of an obesity epidemic and an increased suicide rate, and a recent news article indicates that people are now actually dying because of inactivity.  There's also speculation that the recent increase in mass shootings is related.

One of my kids is significantly disabled.  It is essentially impossible for him to learn from a screen, so if he was still school-aged, we would have had a major problem.  But we found a few computer games that he likes to play and that teach him things, so he has that.  But - He had a therapist coming to our house three times a week.  He played basketball and baseball.  He was in Boy Scouts.  We took him camping, to theme parks, to other places so he had the chance of experiencing new things.  All of that stopped in March 2020.  A few of those things have re-opened now, but for an entire year he had nothing, and the hardest part for us is that he didn't understand why and we couldn't really explain it to him.

How did your family handle the quarantine?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter R:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Remote_Career_Move.jpg

Monday, April 19, 2021

P is for Protests

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to P!  We're looking at – PROTESTS.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_lives_matter_protest,_washington_DC.jpg
Beginning in late May 2020 when a Black man died because of the actions of a white police officer, people across the US have been protesting in favor of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality.  Many protests have been peaceful, but some have become violent, including looting and arson.

Were you involved in any protests?

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter Q:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canadian_Covid-19_Protesters_3.jpg


Saturday, April 17, 2021

O is for Olympics

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to O!  We're looking at – OLYMPICS.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:640p-Olympic_Rings_depicting_the_five_continents.png
The 2020 summer Olympic games had originally been planned to begin in Tokyo in July 2020.  Obviously that didn't happen.  They've been rescheduled for July 23 through August 8, 2021.  Japan will not permit international visitors, just the athletes and spectators from Japan.

I've seen several numbers, but it appears the 2020 Olympics will cost Tokyo a total of $12-15 billion.  The postponement is projected to add 20% to that number.  Not allowing international visitors will make it impossible to collect enough money to offset that amount.

Beijing is scheduled to host the 2022 winter Olympic games.  It's possible they won't have international visitors either.

Here's a teaser for Monday, letter P:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_lives_matter_protest,_washington_DC.jpg



Friday, April 16, 2021

N is for No Smell

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to N!  We're looking at – NO SMELL.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3D_Medical_Animation_Nose_Top_section.jpg

My husband had the misfortune of a positive COVID test in late September 2020.  Because my job is considered essential, I had been working in the office all during the pandemic.  But once we had a positive test in the family, my boss sent me home.  I worked from home for 2 weeks.  My COVID tests were always negative because I had COVID in March right when everything was shutting down.

After the two week period and a negative COVID test for me, I was scheduled to start back at the office the following Monday, mid-October.  On that Saturday, one of my kids [age 22] complained that he couldn't taste his dinner.  Yes he tested positive, so I worked from home for another 2 weeks, until the end of October.  Interestingly, that was his only symptom.  While the rest of my family had varying degrees of exhaustion and weakness, along with fever, coughing, headache, etc, my 22yo son had only this one symptom. While he was “sick”, he even used an axe to split wood in the backyard to prepare for the winter.

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter O:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:640p-Olympic_Rings_depicting_the_five_continents.png



Thursday, April 15, 2021

M is for Murder Hornets

This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].

Welcome to M!  We're looking at – MURDER HORNETS.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Asian_giant_hornet.png
My first idea for M was the dreaded and infamous face masks

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face_Masks_used_to_prevent_the_spread_of_COVID-19.jpg
But I decided that murder hornets would be more fun.  In late 2019 and early 2020, murder hornets were found on the northwest coast of North America, in British Columbia Canada and Washington US.

Otherwise known as Asian giant hornets, murder hornets are the world's largest hornets, with a body measuring 1-3/4 inches long and a windspan of 3 inches.  Yikes!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Evening_Star_ruler_-_3.jpg
I would NOT want to find a hornet that large anywhere within the same zipcode as me.  The stinger is about 1/4 inch long.  As a comparison, a honeybee stinger is 1/16 inch long.  Double yikes!  As reported by one victim, the stinger injects a venom that causes the affected area to feel like it was “stabbed with a hot nail”.  One sting won't kill a human unless the person is allergic, but several stings can be lethal.

Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter N:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3D_Medical_Animation_Nose_Top_section.jpg