Friday, September 30, 2005

Not a case, not a statute...not even a blawg.

Via Denise Howell, Howard Bashman reports the first use of the word "blawg" in a published judicial opinion:
Throughout these lengthy proceedings, the judge has offered nothing at all to justify his actions--not a case, not a statute, not a bankruptcy treatise, not a law review article, not a student note, not even a blawg.
This is from Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's dissenting opinion in In re Complaint of Judicial Misconduct (PDF).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lactose Intolerant

I only link to this commentary on breastfeeding because the author is a lawyer. But be sure not to miss Hawthor the Cow Goddess' response cartoon.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Update - Chandler, Arizona

The City of Chandler's Breastfeeding Task Force has met for the second time:
The sticking points among the seven appointees, and a vocal audience, centered around the city's inability to trump the state's indecent exposure statute and a business owner's right to ask its patrons to leave.
It's very interesting. As I reported in August, the City of Chandler initially passed an administrative directive which amounted to: "Mothers who breast-feed on Chandler city property must cover up, go to a private spot or leave if someone complains. Refuse and they could face criminal trespassing charges." Now, however, the Task Force is attempting to find a way around Arizona's indecency laws to ensure the right of public breastfeeding in their community.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Just got back from the grocery store. Nothing unusual.

Until we got to the beverage aisle. The shelves were bare. My first thought was, "they're resetting the store again?" Then I realized I was looking at the bottled water section.

There were several cases of sports water and some of the fruit-flavored variety. But I am talking about a whole half-aisle of nothing.

The store was not unusually busy for 5:00 pm on a Friday. Across the street, there were no lines at the gas stations. Gas prices here are well below three dollars a gallon. Mind you, earlier this week it was predicted that Rita was heading right for Dallas as a Cat. 1 hurricane at most, more likely a tropical storm. At this point, however, we will be lucky to get an inch of rain, which we desperately need.

We are 300 miles from the coast. But we have no water.

Plenty of beer, though.

** Update 9/24/05 1:55 a.m. **
Apparently, everyone stopped at the gas station on their way home from work, because my husband just went to five gas stations before he found one with gas.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Carnival Round-up

Blawg Review #24 at Jaybeas Corpus.

Grand Rounds #52 at

Carnival of the Capitalists at Willisms.

A couple highlights:

Kevin, M.D. writes, "Some doctors are refusing to give immunizations as insurers are reimbursing them at below-cost," however, the link to the article is broken (though it comes up on a Google news search).

Found a new blog, Doulicia, written by "a mother, a non-practicing lawyer, and a labor doula." Wow! She writes a two part series on Guests at the Birth (Part 1, Part 2) comparing last week's New York Times article to a previous Wall Street Journal article about Doulas.

The J-Walk Blog points to, a project of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Roberts Hearings Part III - Judicial Ethics

On why John Roberts appears, at times, not to be answering the questions put to him by the Judiciary Committee, see the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5A (3)(d)(ii), which states:
A candidate for a judicial office shall not make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court.
And the commentary:
Section 5A(3)(d) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that appear to commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate's duty to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal views. See also Section 3B(9), the general rule on public comment by judges. Section 5A(3)(d) does not prohibit a candidate from making pledges or promises respecting improvements in court administration. Nor does this Section prohibit an incumbent judge from making private statements to other judges or court personnel in the performance of judicial duties. This Section applies to any statement made in the process of securing judicial office, such as statements to commissions charged with judicial selection and tenure and legislative bodies confirming appointment. See also Rule 8.2 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Lawyers should know this. Journalists, apparently not.

Roberts Hearings Part II - Serious

From Day 1 of the hearings, Roberts' opening statement:
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.

The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.

And judges have to have the modesty to be open in the decisional process to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.

Mr. Chairman, when I worked in the Department of Justice, in the office of the solicitor general, it was my job to argue cases for the United States before the Supreme court.

I always found it very moving to stand before the justices and say, I speak for my country. But it was after I left the department and began arguing cases against the United States that I fully appreciated the importance of the Supreme Court and our constitutional system.

Here was the United States, the most powerful entity in the world, aligned against my client. And, yet, all I had to do was convince the court that I was right on the law and the government was wrong and all that power and might would recede in deference to the rule of law.

That is a remarkable thing.

It is what we mean when we say that we are a government of laws and not of men. It is that rule of law that protects the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is the envy of the world. Because without the rule of law, any rights are meaningless.
Powerful words.

Roberts Hearings Part I - Funny

From Day 1 of the hearing:

ROBERTS: My wife, Jane is right here, front and center, with our daughter, Josephine and our son, Jack. You'll see she has a very tight grasp on Jack.


SPECTER: Thank you very much, Judge Roberts. Judge Roberts had expressed his appreciation to have the introductions early. He said the maximum time of the children's staying power was five minutes. And that is certainly understandable.

For those of you who missed it, while President Bush was announcing Robert's nomination, Jack, age 4, was off to the side doing a little dance which Jane and Josephine completely ignored.

Friday, September 09, 2005

LEGO: Knights' Kingdom Chess Set, and Trademark Issues

My 4-year old loves the website which has some great games (check out Junkbot, Junkbot Undercover, Worldbuilder, and Brick Buster). Yesterday he found the Knights' Kingdom Chess Set. We were both awestruck.

If you accidently type in "", you will get a not-terribly-friendly message from the folks at Lego reminding you that they are "LEGO bricks or toys", not "LEGOS" and kindly refrain from diluting their trademark. Apparently, I am not the only one who has noticed this, as Melody Wirz of Phosita writes this week (Lego my Legos) (via The Trademark Blog).

Previous Mommy Blawg posts of interest:
Lego Land
How To Teach Your Four-year-old to Play Chess

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Relief and Babies

*** Scroll down for updates ***

As you no doubt are aware if you watch the evening news, there are a number of women affected by hurricane Katrina who are pregnant or have recently given birth, some even in the midst of the evacuation. Below are listed several efforts by the childbirth community to reach out to these women and their babies. If you know of any others, please email me so I can update the list.

The Barefoot Doctors Academy, a Hawaii-based non-profit, is focusing its recovery efforts on "arranging for medical assistance and relocation for families containing pregnant women, infants and small children". They are looking for volunteers who are doctors, midwives, childbirth educators, doulas, lactation consultants, and La Leche League leaders. In particular, they are wanting midwives to travel with relocating pregnant women to provide support, childbirth education, and emergency childbirth services en route if necessary.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives is activating their annual Blankets for Babies Campaign:
Distribution centers have been set up by nurse-midwives in Dallas-Fort Worth and Galveston, Texas. Thousands of families are being offered shelter and support in Texas, and many midwives will be providing health care services to these families. They have graciously agreed to accept and work with local relief efforts to distribute your donations.
Their website lists addresses where you can send donations of blankets and baby clothes. The ACNM has also set up an eMidwife list for KatrinaSupport information.

The Midwives' Alliance of North American (MANA) is offering to post notices of relief projects on their website. They also note that "many Texas state licensing boards and programs are providing expedited processes to assist refugees displaced by Hurricane Katrina who are seeking employment in Texas" and list contact numbers for the Texas CNM and LM/DEM licensing authorities.

There was talk in certain circles that CAPPA's Operation Special Delivery, (which provides volunteer Doula services to birthing women whose partners are on military deployment), might expand their efforts to reach those affected by Katrina. However, as of today there is nothing about it on OSD's or CAPPA's websites. Nevertheless, if you know of someone who is pregnant and could use a Doula, I would suggest contacting CAPPA or DONA and see if they can't locate a Doula in your area who would volunteer. I know there are many doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants who would be glad to help out evacuees free of charge.
**UPDATE 10/03/05** Operation Special Delivery has a new website with Katrina support information on the main page.

**UPDATE 9/15/05 **
The March of Dimes has announced several efforts to help babies and women affected by hurricane Katrina, including providing support parents of NICU babies and donating supplies, maternity and baby clothing.

**UPDATE 10/01/05 **
The African American Breastfeeding Alliance has teamed up with Mocha Moms and La Leche League to provide breastfeeding support and resources for families affected by Hurricane Katrina. "In addition to on-the-ground efforts in Texas, AABA is providing a support hotline where mothers can get breastfeeding information. The AABA Breastfeeding Support Hotline Number is 1-877-532-8535"
Press Release (PDF)

**UPDATE 11/27/05**
Project Breastfeeding Book Recovery - Pharmasoft Publishing and Crystal Stearns, IBCLC, have teamed up to help Lactation Consultants and La Leche League Leaders who may have lost breastfeeding reference materials in the hurricane. Donations accepted here. Additional lists of lactation-related relief efforts are posted by the La Leche Leage Alumni Association and the International Lactation Consultant Association.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Baby Blawg News

There's big news over on The Baby Blawg, and photos, too.

More Katrina

Over 3500 homeschooling families have offered to take in homeschooling Katrina evacuees - so many, in fact, that Operation Extended Family is having trouble locating displaced families to help.
Link: 3500 Homes Offered in "Operation Extended Family"

Tonight's Nightline featured residents of the Desire Street area of New Orleans (as I learned, inspiration for "A Streetcar Named Desire"). Yesterday, my husband came across a website for Desire Street Ministries, which has temporarily relocated its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia. DSM is accepting donations as well as runing a people locator database for members of their community.

I must say, I have never been more proud to be a native Texan.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Missing New Orleans

TulipGirl posts a recipe for her Maw Maw's Pralines as well as links to some of her memories of New Orleans.

The website for Cafe Du Monde (making no mention of Katrina) says:
The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans.
Sad thing is, my next reaction after "oh, those poor people who lost everything" (and before the horror of the lack of emergency relief was known) was "gee, I hope Cafe Du Monde is still standing." And all those historical buildings, too. I hear it's not under water. I haven't been to New Orleans in over ten years, and my husband has never been . Guess it will be a while before we go and, in a certain sense, you can never go back again. So maybe we'll just get us some beignet mix and some chicory coffee and call it good.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

The Truth Laid Bare has declared this Blog for Relief Weekend. So, just in case there's anyone out there who reads my blog and no other blogs, here are some links and some thoughts. If you donate, please go here to log your donation.

The Home School Foundation has set up a fund to help homeschoolers with emergency needs and curriculum replacment.

And since we are raising little cheeseheads, you might also consider the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. Mr. Favre, a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, hails from Kiln, Mississippi, where his childhood home and a great deal of the town was destroyed. His wife and family are fine, though.

The American Bar Association has set up a Katrina relief page. They are not accepting donations directly, but they are soliciting volunteer legal and professional services, and providing referals for persons needing legal help.

On a related note: while the 5th circuit webpage is up, I have not been able to pull up cases and the website is really buggy. Don't send them anything by mail, by the way.

News links. For first-hand updates on the situation, check out, MetroBlogging New Orleans, The Interdicter, and Ernie the Attorney, who rode out the hurricane in New Orleans but managed to get out. There are others, try Instapundit for lots of links.

Christine Hurt of The Conglomerate asks, "Where's Fred?" Fred Smith, that is.
Mr. Smith, no one seems to be able to figure out the logistics of moving supplies and people quickly, safely, and efficiently. Your company, FedEx, does this every day at lightning speed. You invented the concept of branding, and guarantee you that if CNN showed fleets of FedEx trucks and planes in New Orleans, that your social responsibility efforts would be applauded by shareholders and customers alike. I personally pledge to use FedEx exclusively for the rest of my life if you will get down there and do something.
I will tell you, FedEx can get supplies to the nearest airport, and by truck as far as there are roads, but they don't have boats, helicopters, or armed security. They are also asking employees from the affected areas to call in.

Deaf woman sues hospital

The San Jose Mercury News reports that a deaf woman is suing a hospital for not providing an interpreter during childbirth.
The absence of a sign language interpreter made Webb's Caesarean section and subsequent stay at the hospital in December 2003 a fearful and frustrating experience because she did not understand what was happening to her or her newborn daughter, according to the law center.
Although the woman notified the hospital in advance of the labor that she was deaf and would need and interpreter, the hospital provided her with an interpreter for 15 minutes prior to her surgery but not during the operation or for the following three days.

Link: Deaf woman sues hospital for not providing interpreter