Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

Mr. Lincoln's words about the value of lawyers as peacemakers are no less valid today. Mr. Lincoln was speaking of cases and controversies arising in the courts in which he practiced. Still, it may be that his advice can be readily adapted to the circumstances of another Illinois lawyer now preparing to follow Mr. Lincoln to the White House.

Dona nobis pacem.

This "Peace Globe" is one of literally hundreds that are being posted today in the Blogosphere. You can read more about Peace Globes here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Resources for voters in Tuesday's judicial races

One-stop shopping for those looking to decide how to vote on the lengthy judicial retention ballot in Cook County:

From this link you can navigate to the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Council of Lawyers links set out below as well as to the recommendations of the Suburban Bar Coalition and a sample ballot, with ballot numbers, on which you can list your own conclusions.

From this link you can navigate to the CBA's 2008 General Election Green Guide to Judicial Candidates in Cook County (in Adobe PDF format) and Vote Smart Pocket Guide (Adobe PDF).

From this link you can navigate to the Council's evaluations of all retention candidates and candidates in contested elections (Adobe PDF).

From this link you can navigate to a statement submitted on behalf of each and every Cook County retention candidate.

Alliance of Bar Associations grid

You can see a table summarizing the recommendations made by the Alliance of of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening by clicking back to this link on Page One. The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is comprised of the Asian American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hellenic Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois working collaboratively to improve the process of screening judicial candidates in Cook County, Illinois.

Newspaper links

This link will take you into the Chicago Tribune editorial urging a "no" vote for four Circuit Court retention candidates. The Sun-Times has also urged a "no" vote on four judges. That link will take you to Sun-Times' October 27 editorial.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Artist left the law... for Lego

An article by Christine Y. Chen on profiles one-time New York corporate lawyer Nathan Sawaya.

Sawaya graduated from NYU Law School in 1989. He became "a Wall Street attorney, earning a comfortable six-figure salary—and working in a high-stress environment." Seeking a way to unwind, Sawaya began working on art projects in his spare time, working in clay at first, "then moving into more whimsical media, like candy."

And then he moved into Lego.

Sawaya won a 2004 Lego-sponsored competition to find the best builder in the U.S. He quit his day job -- and started working for $13 an hour creating sculptures for a Lego theme park in San Diego.

But he's done better since. In fact, Chen's article notes, although he's working longer hours than he did as a lawyer, he's also making more money than he ever did as a lawyer.

And he's playing with Lego.

You can see more of Sawaya's work at his own site, "The Art of The Brick." Be sure to click on the Gallery page. Sawaya explains some of his Lego creations in this interview on

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lawyers in space!

The Flying McCoys, from Sunday July 6, this image lifted from Yahoo! Comics. Click to enlarge.

Although I know some lawyers will be offended by this, I find it funny. I just wish there was some way to keep doctors from seeing stuff like this....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The perils of lawyers at home -- part 2,578

From a comic called F Minus, obtained at Yahoo! Comics.
Click to enlarge.

This was the last time Uncle Bill was invited to dine with the family.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More photos from yesterday's Norwood Park Memorial Day Parade

Original post on page one.

This is Parade Grand Marshal Raymond Gurga. According to the Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce & Industry website, Mr. Gurga served as a photographer for Allied bombing missions over German industrial targets. The Chamber site says he was stationed in Great Britain from 1942 to 1945. It specifically mentions Mr. Gurga's service in the 493d Bombardment Group.

Here's State Representative Michael P. McAuliffe (R-20). Forty-first Ward Alderman Doherty was at the parade also, working his way back along the route from Taft back toward Onahan School, where the parade stepped off. Doherty had a van with his banner on it at nearly the very end of the parade. The only other politician who participated this year was Water Reclamation District Commissioner Frank Avila.

And here are some other marchers....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What housing slump?

In a March 16, 2008 story, the Times of London reported the sale of a "flat in St James’s Square, equidistant from 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace."

The sales price? Well, the exact figure was not disclosed... but it was reportedly somewhere between £115,000,000 and £120,000,000 -- that's roughly between $228,000,000 and $238,000,000 in our poor, weak currency.

The identity of the buyer was also not disclosed... but I'd guess it's an oil company executive. (Actually, the building is to be divided into six apartments... so it's probably six oil company executives who'll wind up living there....)

Not really binding authority

Obtained from the Houston Chronicle website, but I saw this today in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This explains my reservations about Facebook

English humor, and over the top in terms of language.

But very funny.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Adding insult to injury

(Real Life Adventures comic obtained from this site, but I saw this today in the Chicago Sun-Times.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lawyer cartoons even an uptight lawyer might like

(Bliss comic obtained from this site.)

(Also a Bliss comic; obtained here.)

It's interesting that lawyers fare fairly well in this cartoon universe -- because the Bliss comic generally has an edge to it, as this example illustrates.

(Comic obtained here.)

Lawyers aren't the only creatures that are treated fairly gently in this cartoon, however -- so are dogs. But if we start looking for equivalence here, we'll undermine entirely the point of this little essay.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Office humor:

Discovered while taking a break from updating time sheets. (Click to enlarge.)

I hesitate to provide the link -- well, OK, you can find it here -- because I am afraid someone might actually think this was serious. Hopefully, this will constitute a complete disclaimer of any and all liability....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tobacco saves lives?

That was the headline that came to me reading this AP story in yesterday's Sun-Times. (Don't blame the newspaper for this; it had a different headline.)

And I had plenty of time to read the paper yesterday morning, thanks to the CTA.

Anyway, the story is that Ruth Wright, a cashier at a Des Moines, Iowa Cigarette Outlet, "snuffed out" a robbery attempt on Friday, April 11 by hurling two cans of tobacco at the knife-wielding, masked robber. One of the cans hit the would-be robber in the face, distracting him long enough for a customer to tackle him.

The customer may have become short of breath before he could subdue the felon; in any event, the masked man broke free and ran away.

But -- in this case -- and with tongue firmly in cheek (and, I suppose, with just a pinch between the teeth and gum) -- it may apparently be said that tobacco saved lives.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

WGN to salute 60 years with the Cubbies

WGN-TV is promoting an April 20 special commemorating 60 years of televising Chicago Cubs baseball games.

There is a legal hook to this special: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will be one of those interviewed on the show, according to this entry on Len & Bob's baseball blog.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way....

Every child in Chicago knows it's been 100 years since the Cubs have won the World Series. Many theories have been advanced for this century of futility -- the Billy Goat Curse being the most popular -- but, after 1908, the Cubs won the National League Pennant in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945. That's not exactly a dismal record. But then, in 1948, WGN began broadcasting Cub games... and they've never won a pennant since.

I salute the 60th Anniversary of the relationship between the Cubs and WGN and I hope the relationship continues long after Sam Zell sells either or both to new owners. On the other hand, I've always been a White Sox fan.

Photo of Justice Stevens obtained from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Facebook update -- are there really angry pitbulls?

Rob Manker's March 26, 2008 article on the Tribune website, "Flushing common sense down the Facebook toilet," serves as a kind of humorous reinforcement of the story I ran on Page One on March 25, "Another Facebook security breach."

Manker recounts how, with management's urging, he joined Facebook. (Apparently, the newspapers have finally figured out that this Internet thing may not just be a fad after all. And, sad but true, a Facebook presence gives professional reporters immediate access when tragedy strikes -- for example -- on a college campus.)

Anyway, having joined Facebook, Manker writes, he felt compelled to participate. He "made friends, joined groups, built a photo gallery, drank virtual beers and became a vampire. The standard stuff. I even logged in a few times a day to update what I was doing...."

Here was where he ran into trouble. He posted -- for all the world to see -- that he'd be on vacation. Manker said he felt "so compelled to keep everyone abreast of my every move that I flushed common sense down the cyber-toilet."

He tried to rectify things with additional announcements: "Rob is on vacation, or is he? ...Rob is an expert marksman.... Rob is hoarding angry pit bulls."

It may or may not have been necessary for him to make these declarations -- but apparently no one burgled his home while he and his family vacationed.

Several comments posted to the article scoff at Mr. Manker's old-fashioned (if belated) caution, citing Facebook's privacy settings and so forth, but I applaud it. He says, in an entertaining way, what I've tried to say a couple of times at least: Anything you put onto the Internet can be seen. Maybe it won't be seen... but maybe it will burble up and wound you at just the wrong time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Chicago blog honored as a Blog of Note

Blogger has plucked a gardening blog, Sweet Home and Garden Chicago out of the swirling vortex of the Blogosphere and recognized it as one of the Blogs of Note for March 27, 2008. The author is Carolyn Choi, an artist and garden designer. Originally from Northern Alabama, she now resides in Chicago.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Text of Order in Robinson v. Morgan Stanley

This is the text of the Order issued March 14, 2008 by the Seventh Circuit in the Robinson case, a case discussed in this post on Page One.

To be cited only in accordance with
Fed. R. App. P. 32.1





WILLIAM J. BAUER, Circuit Judge
DANIEL A. MANION, Circuit Judge
MICHAEL S. KANNE, Circuit Judge


Beverly Robinson claims that her former employer, Discover Financial Services, discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate her allergy to perfumes and fragrances. See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a), (b)(5)(A). The district court granted summary judgment to Discover. We affirm the judgment because Robinson does not have a disability as defined by the ADA.

We recount the evidence in the light most favorable to Robinson. See Steen v. Myers, 486 F.3d 1017, 1018 (7th Cir. 2007). Robinson suffers from a sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances. In the past she has experienced migraines, congestion, heart palpitations, a sore throat, and hives that she attributes to exposure. She also reports that exposure can hinder her concentration, her memory, and, sometimes, her ability to walk, see, and talk. The symptoms can last for as little as a few minutes or as much as a week, depending on the degree of exposure.

While working at Discover, Robinson experienced several episodes severe enough to make her fear that she would stop breathing, but each time she was able to swallow a Benedryl to alleviate the symptoms. Robinson is healthy except for this condition. If she walks away from the irritant after exposure, she can mitigate the severity of the symptoms. By her account, however, Robinson cannot fully control her sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances unless she remains home at all times and lives “in a bubble.”

Robinson’s treating physician, Lisa Abrams, has never diagnosed Robinson as allergic to perfumes and fragrances. And because she is not an allergist, neither has Dr. Abrams performed
any tests to verify that Robinson actually is sensitive to perfumes and fragrances. Indeed, in the last ten years, no doctor has tested Robinson for allergies to perfumes and fragrances. Dr. Abrams’s knowledge of Robinson’s condition is based entirely on their conversations. Dr. Abrams has treated Robinson’s symptoms with antihistamines, nasal steroids, and decongestants, but never with allergy shots. According to Dr. Abrams, an allergic reaction would restrict Robinson’s ability to breath through her nose but not her mouth, and typically would not increase her heart rate. And while theoretically a reaction could close her throat, “it hasn’t been demonstrated.” Dr. Abrams believes that an allergy could cause Robinson to suffer migraines and lose focus but would not immobilize her. And, says Dr. Abrams, it would take four to six hours of consistent exposure to incapacitate Robinson for a day or more. Only if a reaction precipitated a sinus infection would Robinson be incapacitated for three days or more.

From October 2000 until her termination in August 2004, Robinson was an internal auditor for Discover, which during Robinson’s employment was a unit of Morgan Stanley. When she started her job, Robinson informally told her supervisor that a previous employer had accommodated her sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances. The supervisor said that she could not prohibit other employees from wearing perfumes and fragrances. But when Robinson’s work area was refurbished in 2002, she was seated in a location that minimized her exposure to perfumes and fragrances. Robinson also was allowed to use an alternate rental-car service that provided fragrance-free vehicles. These changes improved the situation for a time.

Not until August 2003 did Robinson first inform Human Resources of her condition. An HR employee, Tony Cavaliero, requested that Robinson get her doctor to complete a medical certification, which Dr. Abrams did. Dr. Abrams conveyed that Robinson has an “extremely high sensitivity to perfume and other fragrances” but did not suffer from a serious medical condition as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act. See 29 U.S.C.A. § 2611(11); 29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2). Dr. Abrams did not answer questions asking when the “disability” had been diagnosed, or what regimen of continuing medical treatment Robinson required. Dr. Abrams certified that Robinson could perform any kind of work and did not require a reduced or intermittent schedule. Dr. Abrams did not respond to a question asking if Robinson was under any work restriction, but according to Robinson that is because Cavaliero told her that Dr. Abrams could skip that question since she would be contacted directly by a doctor hired by Discover. That physician, Dr. Miller, was told by Dr. Abrams in September 2003 that Robinson should avoid perfumes and fragrances. But Dr. Abrams also told Miller that her opinion had not been substantiated by any clinical tests, and that only an allergist could clarify the source of Robinson’s symptoms.

After that Robinson continued to complain to Cavaliero about exposure, mostly from perfumes and colognes worn by coworkers. Robinson singled out one employee whose cologne she did not like, and he was told by management to stop wearing it. In October 2003 Cavaliero told Robinson to solicit ideas from Dr. Abrams about how Discover might alleviate her symptoms. Robinson did not do so. In December 2003 Cavaliero asked her to provide an updated medical certification. Robinson did not do that either. She had no further contact with HR until after February 2004, when she wrote a memorandum to management saying she had uncovered irregularities in the auditing department. An investigation ensued, and the company ultimately concluded that no action was warranted. The following month when Robinson mentioned her alleged condition to members of the investigative team, the vice president for HR, Kerry Piercy, sent Robinson an e-mail with an attached medical certification form. Robinson did not return it. In May, though, she complained to HR that her manager, Vesela Zlateva, was wearing perfume to retaliate for the February memorandum. Piercy asked Zlateva to refrain from wearing perfume.

On August 6, 2004, Zlateva sent Robinson a memorandum outlining the numerous steps Discover had taken since February 2002 to address her inability to meet deadlines, deliver audit
results, interact with coworkers, and accept feedback from supervisors, and warned her of the possibility of a prompt termination. Five days later Robinson again complained to Piercy about exposure to perfumes and fragrances. Piercy responded by e-mail on August 13 reminding Robinson that in March she had asked for but never received an updated medical certification, which Robinson needed to supply. After meeting with Robinson in person, Piercy sent Robinson a follow-up e-mail on August 18 informing her of the steps she could take to reduce her exposure to irritants while Discover awaited the return of her updated medical certification. Still Robinson did not return the form. Meanwhile, one of Robinson’s supervisors sent an e-mail to all employees in her department requesting consideration for employees with sensitivities to perfumes.

Robinson was fired on August 24. When informed of that decision, she produced a second medical certification that Dr. Abrams had signed on August 17. This time Dr. Abrams said that Robinson was experiencing severe “allergic” reactions to perfumes and fragrances and that her condition constituted a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA. Dr. Abrams related that Robinson needed to avoid perfumes and fragrances, and could not work if an allergic reaction occurred. But Dr. Abrams also stated that Robinson did not require an intermittent or reduced work schedule. Dr. Abrams later explained during this litigation that Robinson had suffered from sinus infections with increasing frequency after the first medical certification, and that is why on the second form the doctor had characterized her as having a serious health condition. But Dr. Abrams also acknowledged that she could not say whether Robinson’s sinus infections had resulted from exposure to perfumes and fragrances.

At summary judgment the district court assumed that Robinson is impaired by a sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances. But the court also concluded that Robinson could not establish that this sensitivity constitutes a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA, or that Discover thought it was. The court added that, in any event, because Discover provided special seating assignments and a fragrance-free rental car, informed specific employees to cease wearing perfumes and fragrances, and sent an e-mail to Robinson’s department requesting consideration for her sensitivities, it had done what it could to accommodate her impairment. We review these conclusions de novo. See Squibb v. Mem’l Med. Ctr., 497 F.3d 775, 780 (7th Cir. 2007). To survive summary judgment, Robinson had to produce evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that Discover failed to accommodate an actual or assumed disability. See EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 417 F.3d 789, 797 (7th Cir. 2005); Nese v. Julian Nordic Constr. Co., 405 F.3d 638, 641 (7th Cir. 2005). Summary judgment was appropriate in this case because Robinson produced no evidence that her symptoms actually stem from exposure to perfumes and fragrances, or that her alleged condition is or was regarded by Discover as a disability within the meaning of the ADA.

The ADA defines a disability as an impairment that prevents or significantly restricts an individual from performing a major life activity that the average person can perform. See 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2); Williams v. Excel Foundry & Mach., Inc., 489 F.3d 309, 311 (7th Cir. 2007). This standard was designed to be demanding. See Toyota Motor Mfg., Ky., Inc., v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184, 197 (2002). A permanent condition is not disabling simply because infrequent flareups may produce severe symptoms; the question is whether the condition, not the occasional flare-up, is disabling. See Moore v. J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc., 221 F.3d 944, 952 (7th Cir. 2000); EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 440 n.4 (7th Cir. 2000). We are less likely to find an individual disabled if she can easily take medicine to ameliorate the condition. See Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc., 527 U.S. 471, 482 (1999); Moore, 221 F.3d at 952 n.4.

Here we have virtually no medical evidence with which to assess Robinson’s alleged condition. Dr. Abrams’s opinions were based entirely on her conversations with Robinson, and though Dr. Abrams told Robinson that she needed to consult an allergist, Robinson never obtained an evaluation. Thus, all this record shows is that Robinson has experienced symptoms she attributes to an allergy or sensitivity that apparently no doctor has tried to substantiate. See Stein v. Ashcroft, 284 F.3d 721, 726 (7th Cir. 2002) (holding that summary judgment for defendant was properly granted where plaintiff claiming violation of Rehabilitation Act had failed to produce medical records or evaluations to substantiate her belief that previously diagnosed impairment was causing specific physical symptoms).

Even if Robinson does have an allergy or severe sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances, she cannot establish that her impairment is a disability under the ADA definition. Robinson admitted that she functions normally when she is not exposed to perfume. And the typical exposure leads only to symptoms that resemble those of an uncomfortable cold, which does not substantially impair a major life activity. Even Robinson’s most severe attacks have not impaired a major life activity. Robinson insists that her condition interferes with breathing, which is a major life activity. See Squibb, 497 F.3d at 781 n.3. But Dr. Abrams testified that Robinson can always breath through her mouth, even when her nasal passages become congested, and a jury could not reasonably conclude that the resulting discomfort qualifies as a substantial limitation on her ability to breath. See Ammons-Lewis v. Metro. Water Reclamation Dist. Of Greater Chi., 2004 WL 2453835, at 3 (N.D. Ill. 2004). Robinson, moreover, acknowledged that she can take medication to alleviate her worst symptoms, and the worst attacks—“several” during her four years’ employment at Discover—were too infrequent to have elevated her condition to a disability. See Moore, 221 F.3d at 952. Other circuits that have considered similar issues have held that a peanut allergy does not substantially impair the breathing of an otherwise healthy person, see Land v. Baptist Med. Ctr., 164 F.3d 423, 424-25 (8th Cir. 1999), and that a condition which reduced a plaintiff’s lung capacity by 50% was not evidence of a substantial impairment, see Robinson v. Global Marine Drilling Co. 101 F.3d 35, 37 n.2 (5th Cir. 1996). Cf. Albert v. Smith’s Food & Drug Ctrs., Inc., 356 F.3d 1242, 1250-51 (10th Cir. 2004) (denying summary judgment where plaintiff’s asthma was triggered by cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, dust, pets, paint, perfumes, certain foods, chemicals, cold air, or stress, and restricted her breathing all the time).

Finally, a jury could not reasonably find that Discover “regarded” Robinson as disabled even if she is not. See 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2); Nese, 405 F.3d at 641. Robinson points out that she told management of her condition, and that Dr. Abrams told Dr. Miller that she should avoid perfumes and fragrances. But the company’s awareness of her complaints does not mean that Discover considered her disabled. Discover did not even receive confirmation that Robinson suffers from an allergy or sensitivity to perfumes and fragrances; Miller asked for confirmation and was told by Dr. Abrams that she could not give it because she had not tested—and was not qualified to test—Robinson. See Rooney v. Koch Air, L.L.C., 410 F.3d 376, 381 (2005). Discover repeatedly asked Robinson for medical clarification of her condition. What Discover knew is that, at most, Dr. Abrams had represented without objective testing that Robinson was extremely sensitive to perfumes and fragrances and should avoid them. Dr. Abrams had never tried to verify her “diagnosis” or to pin down the specific irritants causing Robinson’s symptoms. Nor had Dr. Abrams offered any opinion concerning the extent to which Robinson needed to be isolated “in a bubble” from her coworkers. Indeed, Robinson’s failure to provide medical documentation to Discover would be fatal to her claim even if she was disabled; if a disabled employee’s condition is unclear, the employee must provide medical clarification of the accommodations required in response to the employer’s request. Sears, 417 F.3d at 804; Steffes v. Stepan Co., 144 F.3d 1070, 1072-73 (7th Cir. 1998).

We have examined Robinson’s other objections to the grant of summary judgment, and none has merit. Accordingly, the judgment is AFFIRMED.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bill Cameron interviewed at Chicagoist

Here's a link to the Cameron interview. It was a sin and a shame when he was let go by WLS a couple of weeks back. His evening show with Larry Langford on the late WMAQ was one of the more entertaining and informative local radio shows in recent years.

I'm sure he'll land on his feet soon. I would have predicted that WGN Radio would be in touch... but they may be Zell-ously watching their pennies these days.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cougars start 5-0 on Arizona Spring Training Trip

The Concordia University Chicago Baseball Cougars have started their 2008 campaign by winning their first five games.

Playing in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Concordia has so far taken four games from two Pennsylvania schools, Gwynedd-Mercy College and Waynesburg University, and a fifth game from the University of Dubuque.

Junior shortstop Jack Walker is leading the Cougar offense with a .526 batting average, with 10 hits, including a triple. Senior catcher J.D. Rotzoll is hitting .458 and leads the team with 11 hits, including three doubles and two triples and 8 RBI. Sophomore Brandon Isaac also has 8 RBI.

Junior Matt Kudlik, sophomore Tommy Meyers and seniors Ryan Hantel and Carl Petersen have each notched wins for the Cougars during this streak. Peterson struck out 10 of the 28 batters he faced in Sunday's game against Gwynedd Mercy. Senior Ted Gernand has appeared four times so far, with four scoreless innings pitched. Junior lefty Joe Leyhane has the other Concordia win during this streak. Leyhane threw six scoreless innings in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against Waynesburg, giving up two hits, striking out four and walking two.

The Cougars have games Thursday, Friday and Saturday before leaving Arizona. Concordia opens its home season on March 26 against Wheaton College.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A sign of Spring: The Return of Palehose

Pitchers and catchers reported to Tuscon and then the full squad and Cactus League games will begin soon.

But Arizona is far, far away. And that's not Spring I was shoveling in the driveway just now -- but here's a sign of Spring that's a close as your computer, Carl Skanberg's Palehose 8:

(Click to enlarge.)

There's a link to the Palehose 8 site in the Sidebar on Page One.

And, for archival purposes only, here's the link to last year's Palehose 7. Someday, perhaps, we can laugh about last season.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

An email from the FBI?

This is Robert Mueller, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Imagine my surprise to find an email from him this evening:

Email: federalbureauofinvestigation@[redacted]


We believe this notification meets you in a very good present state of mind and health. We the Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with some other relevant Investigation Agencies here in the United states of America have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a transaction going on with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) as regards to your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly. It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine and hitch free from all facet and of which you have the lawful right to claim your fund without any further delay.

Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Central Bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring all their services with you as well as your correspondence at all level. In addendum, also be informed that we recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the person of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Mr. Kingsley Agwor along with some of the top officials of the Ministry regarding your case
and they made us to understand that your file has been held in abase depending on when you personally come for the claim. They also told us that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating the Executive Governor and the Central Bank office.

We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from OHIO has already contacted them and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your contract fund valued at about US$10,000,000.00 (Ten million united states dollars), but the Central Bank office did the wise thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before the go ahead on wiring your fund to the Bank informations which was forwarded to them by the above named Lady so that was the main reason why they contacted us so as to assist them in making the investigations.

They further informed us that we should warn our dear citizens who must have been informed of the contract payment which was awarded to them from the Central Bank of Nigeria, to be very careful prior to this irregularities so that they don't fall victim to this ugly circumstance. And should in case you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are further advised to STOP further contact with them in your best interest
and then contact immediately the real office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) only with the below informations accordingly:

OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of
Nigeria, Central Business District,
Cad astral Zone,federal capital
Territory, Nigeria.
TEL: [redacted]
E-MAIL: profcharles-governorsoffice@[redacted]


In your best interest, any message that doesn't come from the above official email address and phone numbers should not be replied to and should be disregarded accordingly for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the Central Bank office immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to you payment file as directed so as to enable you receive your contract fund accordingly.

Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedures as regards to the transfer of your fund to you as designated. Also have in mind that the Central Bank of Nigeria equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms, so delay could be very dangerous. Once again, we will advise that you contact them with the above email address and make sure you forward to them all the necessary informations which they may require from you prior to the release of your fund to you accordingly.

All modalities has already been worked out even before you were contacted and note that we will be monitoring all your dealings with them as you proceed so you don't have anything to worry about. All we require from you henceforth is an update so as to enable us be on track with you and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Without wasting much time, will want you to contact them immediately with the above email address so as to enable them attend to your case accordingly without any further delay as time is already running out.

Should in case you need any more informations in regards to this notification, feel free to get back to us so that we can brief you more as we are here to guide you during and after this project has been completely perfected and you have received your contract fund as stated.Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.

Best Regards,

Robert S. Mueller III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.
[Email address redacted]

And, just to show the whole thing's on the level, there's an also an email this evening from Professor Solud. Only, in that email the professor's name is rendered as "Soludo."

I don't know, though -- something about this just doesn't seem entirely legitimate....

Gosh. I hope this isn't a case of identity theft. Does Director Mueller know his identity has been appropriated?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Start here for links to "In Their Own Words" posts

Choose the race in which you are interested:

Countywide races
Subcircuit races
There are two vacancies posted in the 14th Subcircuit as well. However, only James N. O'Hara filed for the Henry vacancy and only Edward A. Arce filed for the Reyna vacancy.

Disko vacancy

77 -- Lauretta Higgins Wolfson

78 -- Dennis J. Burke

Disko vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Glowacki vacancy

81 -- Jesse G. Reyes

82 -- Terry MacCarthy

Glowacki vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Healy Vacancy

84 -- Maureen Ward Kirby

85 -- Peter John Curielli

Healy vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Keehan vacancy

86 -- Marilyn F. Johnson

87 -- Joseph Robert Papavero

Keehan vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Lott vacancy

89 -- Joanne Marie "Jody" Rogers

90 -- Thomas J. Byrne

Lott vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Montelione vacancy

91 -- Debra B. Walker

92 -- Thaddeus L. Wilson

93 -- Thomas A. Doran

Montelione vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Murphy vacancy

94 -- Kristyna Colleen Ryan

95 -- Paula M. Lingo

96 -- Frank James Ryan

Murphy vacancy: Organizing the data

Back to top.

Nowicki vacancy

97 -- Brian Terrence Sexton

98 -- Kim R. Kardas

99 -- John J. "Jack" Murphy

100 -- Michael B. Hyman

Nowicki vacancy: Organzing the data

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Thomas vacancy

103 -- E. Madeline O'Neill

104 -- Joan Powell

105 -- David John Mulvihill

106 -- Patrick Dennis Riley

Thomas vacancy: Organizing the data

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1st Subcircuit -- Turkington vacancy

107 -- Donna L. Cooper

108 -- LaGuina Clay-Clark

109 -- Zedrick T. Braden III

1st Subcircuit -- Turkington vacancy: Organizing the data

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4th Subcircuit -- Shultz vacancy


107 -- William Edward Gomolinski

108 -- Pat Rogers

109 -- John M. Allegretti

110 -- Deirdre Ann McGuire

111 -- Carmen Kathleen Aguilar


72 -- Maureen H. Masterson-Pulia

74 -- Mauro Glorioso

4th Subcircuit -- Shultz vacancy: Organizing the data

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5th Subcircuit -- Bush vacancy

107 -- Jackie Marie Portman

108 -- Furmin D. Sessoms

109 -- Nkrumah Lumumba Hopkins

5th Subcircuit -- Bush vacancy: Organizing the data

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5th Subcircuit -- A vacancy

110 -- Stephen Stern

111 -- Dominique C. Ross

5th Subcircuit -- 'A' vacancy: Organizing the data

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6th Subcircuit -- Figueroa vacancy

107 -- Mary Katherine M. Moore

108 -- Stuart M. Brody

109 -- Laura Bertucci Smith

110 -- Nancy Hallihan Horodecki

111 -- Mauricio Araujo

6th Subcircuit -- Figueroa vacancy: Organizing the data

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7th Subcircuit -- Young vacancy

107 -- Anita Rivkin-Carothers

108 -- Melanie Rose Nuby

109 -- Kevin Kenneth Pechous

110 -- David H. Latham

111 -- T. Lee Boyd Jr.

7th Subcircuit -- Young vacancy: Organizing the data

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8th Subcircuit -- Sheehan vacancy

107 -- Ann Collins Dole

108 -- James A. Shapiro

109 -- Debra Kramer Marcus

111 -- Daniel Thomas Gillespie

112 -- James Byrne

113 -- Aaron J. Weiss

114 -- Gideon Abraham Baum

8th Subcircuit -- Sheehan vacancy: Organizing the data

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10th Subcircuit -- Kowalski vacancy

107 -- James Edward Snyder

108 -- Ursula Walowski

109 -- Gerald Patrick Cleary

110 -- Stephen F. Sidlowski

10th Subcircuit -- Kowalski vacancy: Organizing the data

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10th Subcircuit -- Morrissey vacancy

111 -- Diana L. Kenworthy

112 -- John G. Mulroe

113 -- Rosaire Marie Hall

10th Subcircuit -- Morrissey vacancy: Organizing the data

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10th Subcircuit -- Pucinski vacancy

114 -- John Garrett Maher

115 -- Eileen O'Neill Burke

116 -- Joan Ellen Smuda

117 -- Kenneth L. Fletcher

118 -- Thomas Francis Biesty

10th Subcircuit -- Pucinski vacancy: Organizing the data

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12th Subcircuit -- Devlin vacancy


107 -- Thomas R. Mulroy

108 -- Michael John Halloran

109 -- Pamela Elizabeth Loza

110 -- Thomas Flannigan


72 -- Laura J. Morask

73 -- Michaela Nolan Ryan

12th Subcircuit -- Devlin vacancy: Organizing the data

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13th Subcircuit -- Ryan vacancy


107 -- Joe Gump

108 -- Ann Catherine Brady


72 -- Annie O'Donnell

73 -- James E. Babcock, Jr.

74 -- Paul S. Pavlus

75 -- Guy M. Karm

13th Subcircuit -- Ryan vacancy: Organizing the data

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13th Subcircuit -- Tobin vacancy


109 -- Carol L. Barnes

110 -- Gary G. Stanton


76 -- Margarita Kulys Hoffman

77 -- George L. Straton

78 -- Cary J. Collins

13th Subcircuit -- Tobin vacancy: Organizing the data

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15th Subcircuit -- A vacancy


107 -- Thomas R. Mahoney

108 -- Thomas "TJ" Somer

109 -- Mary Louise Ryan Norwell

110 -- Anna Helen Demacopoulos

111 -- Michael Emmett McGinnis

112 -- Carl Evans, Jr.

113 -- Martin D. Coghlan

114 -- William Joseph McGann

115 -- Scott E. Lipinski


72 -- Donald Theodore Lyman

73 -- Peter Fera

15th Subcircuit -- 'A' vacancy: Organizing the data

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