Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum

October 26, 2011

By Jay Wolman

As the newest Satyriconista, with a practice of civil litigation and employment law in Boston, I thought I’d begin my first post with something high-brow.  Everything sounds better in Latin.  This was St. Augustine’s way of saying “Hate the player, not the game”.  Fast forward 1500 years and the message remains relevant.

David Madden, the now former mayor of Weymouth, Massachusetts, a small town about a half hour south of Boston, is the player.  The public sector pension system is the game.  He is getting a lot of flack for manipulating the system to his benefit.  Unlike most private sector pensions (union pensions excluded), public sector pension benefits in many jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, are not determined solely by how much the worker contributes to the system (defined contribution), but rather include benefits based on status or job classification (defined benefit).  [Yes, pensions are far more complicated than that, but nuance does not matter for this discussion.]  It seems that Mayor Madden would make an extra $30k per year by retiring as Fire Chief rather than Mayor.  So, Mayor Madden did some nifty maneuvering with the help of his pals:  He takes leave from the position of Mayor at the end of his second term, appointing his buddy, the Town Solicitor (i.e. the top lawyer) as interim Mayor.  The incumbent Fire Chief takes a voluntary demotion and the Solicitor (now Mayor) appoints Mayor Madden as Fire Chief.  Two days later, without showing up to work, Fire Chief Madden retires and puts in for the higher pension.  And the Town approves it (the State is fighting it, but has lost in Court so far).

Now, not every Mayor can get away with this–Mr. Madden actually was the Fire Chief before becoming Mayor.  He technically took a leave of absence, meaning he had this in the works for eight years.  And his buddies go along with it.  Sure, it looks bad, but this is the system that was set up and no laws appear to have been broken.  I actually feel bad for Mayor Madden; he has to pay legal fees to defend what the law allowed him to do (although I am a lawyer, it is a personal pet peeve that “loser pays” is not the American Rule.)  If my fellow Massachusetts residents don’t like what he did, they shouldn’t take it out against Mayor Madden, they should change the rules.  Hard to do when the legislators also game the system, but not impossible.

Here’s a thought for my first post as a Satyriconista:  eliminate pensions.  I’m not saying we renege on current promises, but I’ve wondered why we even have this complicated mess. (I know, they are the result of WWII wage freezes.)  As we are no longer at war with the Axis powers, I don’t know anyone who really thinks “Hey, boss, I know I’m doing all this hard work for you now, but I don’t want you to pay me for all of it now.  I think it would be great if you held on to a portion so you could give it to me in thirty years.  I trust you to handle it more than I trust myself.  And I know you’ll pay every penny.

 


Wanted: Satyriconista

October 20, 2011

If we had the time to make an audiovisual ad for this position, it would look something like this:

Since we don’t, you’ll need to settle for this written post.

We are seeking a new contributor. The editor prefers that it be a law student, because to date, two law students who were Satyriconistas eventually became associates at the editor’s law firm. This is not going to be some dead end, if the right person steps forward.

The winner will be able to quickly and coherently organize research presented to him or her, and write an interesting blog post on short notice – often within 3 hours.  A treatise is not necessary, and a few hundred words of lucid thoughts, with maybe a youtube video sprinkled in, will suffice… and probably be better than tl;dr egghead analysis.

You should be internet fluent. Know your memes. Don’t be a flake. If we assign you a post, do the goddamned thing. You should know basic HTML. By “basic” I mean the absolute basics.

HOW TO APPLY:

Send the following items to SatyriconApps AT gmail DOT com:

  • A current resume, ONE PAGE ONLY.  Remove your GPA.
  • A link to a blog you write, or a sample of prior blogging/journalistic writing.  If it is a blog you write pseudononymously, think of a way to prove your identity to us; we’ll agree to confidentiality. DO NOT send your 1L LRW assignment.
  • An email telling us, in 200 words or less, why you should be a Satyriconista
  • If you’re attractive, a recent photo. If you are not attractive, send a photo of someone attractive and lie to us and tell us that it is you.

Due to proximity concerns, we have a preference for law students at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. This is merely a preference; getting the right candidate is more important than regularly taking him or her out to see how much wine our new blogger can drink in one sitting. Although, if you are local to Las Vegas, you will likely be subjected to such experiments.

We have a very strong preference for law students from almost anywhere with backgrounds or degrees in journalism, public relations, or English.

I’ve enjoyed being the proprietor of this blog for several years.  Here’s what DeVoy had to say about his experience:

Blogging has focused my writing.  When restricted to a few hundred words on an area where I might not have any familiarity with the law, blogging helps cut to the heart of the matter and quickly research issues.

Fischer, on the other hand just said:

I blogged. I did it well. It led to a job. Nuff said.

So there you have it.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis (i.e., they will be reviewed as they are submitted) until November 15, 2011.

We do not accept applications from law students or graduates of the following institutions:

  1. Cooley Law (any law school that files a SLAPP suit, especially a FTT, soils the chances of all that put its name on their resume)
  2. University of St. Thomas School of Law, because it has no balls. No balls at all. Seriously, fuck that place and its spineless administration, selling out the First Amendment like whimpering mewling cowards. No school with such a weak spine could ever produce a decent lawyer.

NOTE: We reserve the right to have Scott Greenfield vet any applications, and for him to mock them if he sees fit. The weak need not apply. They will be eaten.


Welcome a New Satyriconista

October 1, 2011

We got together in the lab and decided to cook up a new Satyriconista. A few grave-robbed parts here, a brain from a mental patient, stole a little swagger from Chuck Norris, applied a little radiation and 1.21 Gigawatts of power, and BAM!

Please welcome Beth Hutchens.

Beth Hutchens is a Phoenix-based Intellectual Property attorney with a penchant for good Scrabble® words. She is licensed to practice in Arizona and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and would have touted her g33k status, but Fisher had seniority. She eats, sleeps, and breathes all things IP with a special place in her heart for antitrust suits. Beth frequently consults her Magic 8 Ball for guidance.

Don’t be an asshat. Comment here welcoming her to the law blog inglorious basterds that are the Satyriconistas.


Too Sexy for Crisp Skin?

September 30, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Too sexy for some head?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thinks this chicken is just too sexy for anyone to see, “downright offensive” in fact. 

“When I saw it I just couldn’t believe that an editor of The New York Times would find it acceptable,” PETA’s founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told The Atlantic Wire. “It’s downright offensive, not just to people who care about animals but almost to everyone. It’s a plucked, beheaded, young chicken in a young pose,” she said. (source)

Newkirk went on to call it “necrophilia.” I think PETA needs a sense of humor.  This is brilliant from every angle!   


Do you know who Ruth Orkin is?

August 19, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Ruth Orkin's "American Girl in Italy"

Recognize this photo?

Ruth Orkin photographed it in the early 50’s after meeting another young woman, Ninalee Craig (the model) in Italy while traveling solo.  Together they attempted to capture the experience of traveling alone in Italy. 

Some have claimed this photo is a symbol of harassment.  While Craig claims it’s a symbol of having a “wonderful time”  (source), I think it’s more a symbol of the kind of power feminine beauty has in Italy – and not much has changed in 60 years.  In Germany guys don’t make gestures, in America construction worker comments have killed the romantic potential but in Italy and in France, there still exists a “romance-worship” to the female.  With that comes a level of sexualization, sure, but when placed into the correct context, it’s a turn on rather than any symbol of harassment.  This photograph is a compliment.

By default of existing we are looked at.  Where some see judgment other see compliment.  If more men weren’t afraid of being accused of sexual harassment when none was intended more women might enjoy the compliment of a whistle or two.  Attention isn’t always comfortable but no attention for too long makes for an old, bitter maid.


Well wrap me up in semen and diamonds and lick me

June 1, 2011

by Tatiana von Tauber

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is insulted at being compared to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss chocolate as in this ad. She’s considering legal action at its racist tone.

If Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss were white chocolate and compared to a white supermodel, I wonder if racism would come into the interpretation zone. Sexism might as who doesn’t love to lick chocolate and we could interpret that white chocolate subtly refers to creamy semen giving a whole new meaning to “milk bliss”. Interpretations are something interesting aren’t they?


Tribute to motherhood

May 8, 2011

by Tatiana von Tauber

I’ve been a mother for 13 years now and I’ve changed my mind about it. I used to fear it until I got the hang of it and then somehow I liked it. Of course, in the absence of thought during the like stage I decided to have another baby in my mid 30s. Yes, good ‘ol sex got in the way. I love my children and the meaning of family; however, motherhood is extremely exhausting and with 2 teens and a 5 year old I’m finding challenge in the once manageable balancing act of career and motherhood.

I’ve been thinking about it recently because I lost that balance by moving back abroad. The rhythm was good until it spun too quickly and I fell off. I’ve gotten back up but I see feminism from primarily a “mommy” perspective.

Being a mother changes the deepest set views of what it means to be a woman and to want a career. I’m deeply grateful to what women have done for our freedom to express our womanhood – femininity – and capability but the older and wiser I get the more I love the fact that my husband works and I’m the artistic “trailing” wife (in the expat world) and mother.

Often we don’t give enough credit to mothers. Our society bangs us with the idea that we want children and family but when we have them it’s not always the roses promised but no one usually gives the hardliner truth. Parenting is damn hard and don’t judge it until you have a crack at it. I learned that while I’m thankful for the choice of having babies, it’s a full time job in the sense of constant awareness. My brain hurts. It’s reality we often sweep under the magic carpet.

The energy to create is not equal to the energy to clean up

It’s possible to balance it all but keeping that balance takes a lot of energy and eventually something gives. Women have proven they can have their cake and eat it too but I’ve found that it resembles more of the cake in your face scenario. American mothers too often forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. Like marriage, family is a “for better for worse commitment”. The most common challenge women face is a loss of identity.

My biggest wish this Mother’s Day is for women still searching for that “me” under the “mom” title is to find themselves this year by exploring who they are as women, the dreamers who had visions of self-experience without diapers, teen attitudes and parental responsibility. Redefining that through the transformation of motherhood is the best reward motherhood has offered me. I’ve grown beyond my expectations because I had to. It was part of maternal survival.

Happy Mother’s Day.


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