Thursday, April 28, 2005

Crap Crap Crap

What about "I need 24 hours notice" does the realty industry not understand? I've got a dog. She does not appreciate strangers in the house, at least not when I'm not around. I need to remove her before a showing. I also need to straighten up. Of course, today would be the day I woke up late and decided that since no one else ever comes over, I could leave the bed unmade and the curling iron on the counter and my dishes in the sink . . . . etc., etc., etc.

Must make 45 minute drive home, clean house, remove dog before 3:00, not forget costume for Maddie for the scene on Saturday. Oh, and my costume. And I didn't get Jeff the bio yet. Bills I needed to mail. Like, yesterday. What else?

Crap, crap, crap.

Fresh Caselaw

The latest Iowa Court of Appeals opinions are up.

More Roundup

In technology, it seems the French have banned DRM copy protection on DVDs. Homercles was commenting on related issues earlier, referring to an article here. Big brother is becoming a reality, but I think it's turning out to be a run-off for the position between the government and the MPAA.

According to Instapundit, Amazon is letting you be the judge in their online film festival. In the "phone a friend" category, he also discusses students IMing each other answers in class. Where was that technology when I was a first year?

A cautionary tale:
"A girlfriend of mine suffered a sex-tech tragedy earlier this year: Her portable hard drive was stolen from her bag when an airline lost her luggage for three days. The external drive contained pictures, e-mails and IM logs saved from the start of her relationship with a lover -- everything they sent to each other over the course of a year.

For some couples, that might not be such a big deal, especially if you live together like this couple usually does. But for the past six months, work has sent my friends in opposite directions. With approximately 2,984.8 miles between them (according to Yahoo maps), they've had to find creative ways to nurture their intimacy between monthly conjugal visits. That includes virtual sex, video e-mail and whatever else they think of doing along the way."


Slashdot says they've made an optic computer from frozen light. Subtext for the article: now they need to work on sabers. I'd make some comment about how amazing science is these days, but it's apparently also taken them this long to solve the mystery of unpopped pop corn. Allrighty then.


In the legal arena, it appears there's been an attempt made to copyright yoga sequences. I wonder if anyone's signed up to copyright the push-up yet? Money to be made, people. Just make sure you cover all the variations: women's, one-handed. You don't want any infringements.

At least in Idaho, giving your strip-club patrons sketch pads does not turn the show into an art piece. You've got to admire the attitude though. Besides, they should've given them paint brushes. Duh.

The Des Moines Register had an article out this week on the new Iowa ethics rules, and an opinion piece on how more major criminal cases should be tried and not pled. I don't know about that one. On the one hand, it would produce stiffer sentences when convictions are obtained. On the other, it would force more emotionally vulnerable victims - I'm thinking particularly kids - through the trial process, and not all of them are able to stand up to that stress. I think the government and the victims/families should work closely to determine the best option for each case.

And in the navel-gazing department, I've noticed lots of bloggers blogging about blogs and blogging. The best of them:

Blogging and the Blogger-Reader Relationship

Blogger, know thyself; Reader, find something better to do

"On the Elitism of Blawgs"

Bloggers: The light at the end of the newspaper's tunnel (Okay, that's an online article, not a blog. But still.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Just had this forwarded to me

it's just mean. Thanks, Jeff.


I saw on the Yin Blog that there's a new Iowa City blogger, Iowa Matters.

Law #1 of interpersonal relationships is posted on Side Notes and Detours.

I'm a little sorry I was out of town and missed Riverfest last weekend:
One 100-pound llama made for a wild time at RiverFest on April 23 as 30 fest-goers feverishly chased the four-legged animal named Brownie through Hubbard Park after he escaped from his petting-zoo cage. The escape even caught the attention of "Unyted Naytionz," a hip-hop group performing in the Battle of the Bands, whose leader shouted out to Brownie after he was safely returned to his cage.


Sounds like the Hitchhiker's Guide movie may be a dud. Crap.

ICCT is going to play the Englert next year. My only comment: despite the reduced rate - pray for funding. Real hard.

From Dave Barry:

A bra that makes your boobs look like implants.

Remote-control flies. I can think of lots of uses for these. No practical reasons. All of them evil. But lots of uses.

Speaking of useful things, he also links to this great timewaster: Name that Gizmo. For example, I learned that this is a fish counter.

Blawg Review #3 is up. Many, many good posts there.

Wired has an article about all the Blogger glitches.

But I saw something even better linked on Law, Life and Libido - I think this says it all.

From Iowa Geek, I learn I'm living in the wrong place:

American Cities That Best Fit You:

60% Austin

55% San Diego

50% Denver

50% San Francisco

45% Miami


From the Blawg Review, I also found this blog readability testing page, using the standard readability scales. My rating:

Readability Results for

Readability Results Summary Value
Total sentences 2,441
Total words 24,605
Average words per Sentence 10.08
Words with 1 Syllable 16,075
Words with 2 Syllables 5,131
Words with 3 Syllables 2,425
Words with 4 or more Syllables 974
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 13.81%
Average Syllables per Word 1.52
Gunning Fog Index 9.56
Flesch Reading Ease 67.64
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 6.33

Interpreting the Results
Philip Chalmers of Benefit from IT provided the following typical Fog Index scores, to help ascertain the readability of documents.

Typical Fog Index Scores Fog Index Resources
6 TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
8 Reader's Digest
8 - 10 Most popular novels
10 Time, Newsweek
11 Wall Street Journal
14 The Times, The Guardian
15 - 20 Academic papers
Over 20 Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30 The government is covering something up

Looks like I fall somewhere between a novel and Newsweek. But is "readable" to some extent a back-handed compliment? After all, a first grader uses very easy words.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Okay, here goes. . .

I promised Not the Moonbat I'd overcome my inherent prejudice against the Junior League, at least long enough to give her a pitch for her project: "Expand and Improve Educational and Interactive Opportunities." Yep, the acronym is EIEIO. Nope, I'm not kidding.

But seriously, it does look like a cool project, they've renovated the Old McDonald Farm in Bever Park in Cedar Rapids, and are planning even more:
With the assistance of OPN Architects, a site plan is in place to expand the existing Old MacDonald's Farm area to encompass almost a quarter of a mile stretch. The new layout will stretch from the Bever Park pool to the existing Schuknecht Waterfowl Exhibit to create one continuous attraction.

Site Features

• Innovative welcome area with play farm and sand dig
• Child-sized story book farm house for pretend play and story time
• New ADA accessible restrooms
• Natural amphitheater seating 75-100 for special events, demonstrations, and lectures
• Permanent display dedicated to preserving the history of Bever Park
• Intermittent benches for rest and relaxation
• Aesthetically enhanced prairie dog habitat featuring a large wall mural
• New enlarged barn for enhanced animal observation
• Opportunities within the new barn structure for group educational and interactive activities
• Farmyard with expanded plantings and improved services
• Interactive north walkway with flexible space for exhibits and fixed displays highlighting the natural environment
• Three silo-styled corn cribs featuring a variety of educational information
• Picnic pasture
• Expanded plantings to attract butterflies within the Schuknecht Waterfowl Exhibit
• New signage throughout to unify the entire site
• Space to hold community and family events

Also, according to her email: "We are having a Barnyard Bash on May 21st from 10-2 at Bever Park in Cedar Rapids. It is free!! There will be great children's opportunities (hayrack ride, face painting, scavenger hunt) You will also get to see the project that I have spent my life on the past 2 years."

Sounds like a really cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon, particularly if you have kids.

Okay, now that's over with. And to anyone who got here googling for "junior league" - just move along.

Sex and the Law

I've noticed a certain trend in the legal news lately:

This feature article on "Top Gun LA Lawyer Moonlights as Porn Star" via How Appealing.
"Criminal defense attorney Ronald Miller has a second passion in life: Acting. But you may not have heard of some of his best work. As Miller told us, "Some of the movies I starred in -- personal favorites -- are the 'Justice Your Ass' series, 'The Jerry ****-her Show,' '*****bus.'" That's right. Instead of seeing him at a Cineplex, most people bring Ron's movies home -- in a brown paper bag."

According to Howard Bashman his adult web site "features enough disclaimers to make most any California lawyer proud."

Scott at LLL notes: "Finally, someone who can actually make good use of all of the dirty movie titles we came up with in law school."

Of course, this lawyer had slightly less favorable press: An Olympia lawyer appeared in court Monday on allegations that he sent nude pictures of himself to a teenage girl he was hired to represent. BTW - check out his photo. (No, not that one, you perv. The stock courtroom news photo). Looks like a cross between Mr. Clean and Biker Billy. He also managed to compound the felony:
"The attorney also is accused of tampering with a witness related to his case. Prosecutors allege that he asked a former girlfriend to tell police she was the one who sent the pictures of him to the 17-year-old. In exchange, Hunter allegedly said, he would buy his former girlfriend a new car and pay her college tuition, according to documents from the prosecutor's office."


Meanwhile, Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy notes that this lawyer is arrested for having sex with his girlfriend. . . . In a pickup truck. . . . . In Alabama.

(I thought sex in a pickup truck was a required skill on Alabama's citizenship test?)

So, let's distinguish: 1) Adults only, 2) Go pro, 3) Keep it indoors.

On a semi-related note: Overlawyered links to a Seattle attorney who filmed a commercial using "prom-dressed legal assistants called "Gallagher's Gals" to attract clients. One would imagine that the family lawyer isn't worried about alienating half of his potential clientele since he's also the author of "She's Not Your Friend - A Man's Guide To Understanding Women." See the video of the legal assistants here.

Now, not that I'm a sh*t or anything, but I happened to notice that on his about me page you can email him a legal question "for a small fee". I wonder how he'd feel about getting some feminist spam? Not that I'm saying it's worth the fee.

FKA hypothesizes that e-shaming does work to curb lawyer misconduct.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Must Resist

NOTE TO SELF: I have more backlog than expected. Should work over lunch. Can't take the time to fisk this stupid editorial from the Register in favor of throwing another $20 million at the proposed fake rainforest in Coralville, Iowa. . Must resist. Arrrgh. Can't do it. Go here for the result.

Back to Iowa

On the upside, they do have some very nice places to eat in Kansas City, and I got quite a bit accomplished. On the downside, I'm now two days behind on my regular stuff. It's fine when it's a "punishment" for taking an awesome vacation, but this??

On tech: I've rigged my yahoo email to work with my cell phone. Now I can obsessively check all personal message outlets any time of the day or night. Or open those directional emails people send me that I really should've printed out before I left instead of trying to memorize it, and cut about half an hour off my lateness factor.

On theater: I got this in my inbox -

Something Funny is going on at the Old Capitol Town Center Dreamwell Theatre to Open its Doors May 20

Something Sedaris-ly funny is happening at Old Capitol Town Center… and you’re invited!

To celebrate the grand opening of our new space in the Old Capitol Town Center, we’ve decided to bring back Amy and David Sedaris’ The Book of Liz, which played to sold out crowds last year. Ruby Nancy of the Quad City Times called the show a “comic odyssey ... well worth seeing.” Performances will be one weekend only - May 20 and 21 at 8 pm.

Witness the hilarious adventures of Sister Elizabeth Donderstock, a member of the Amish-like "Squeamish" sect, who feels unappreciated when a newcomer takes over her role in the small community of Clusterhaven. Trying her luck in the outside world, Sister Liz encounters Mr. Peanut, Ukrainian immigrants with Cockney accents, and a restaurant full of recovering alcoholics and other 12-steppers.

Join us May 20 after the show for food and drink as we celebrate our entry into the downtown Iowa City cultural landscape with door prizes, laughs, and maybe a toast or two. Tickets ($12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $8 Students) can be reserved at or by calling 319-541-0140. The Dreamwell Theatre Space is located on the second floor of the Old Capitol Town Center at 201 S. Clinton Street.

The Book of Liz
By Amy and David Sedaris

Jeff Shields

Elizabeth Donderstock - Chris Hunt
Rev Tollhouse and more - Kevin Burford
Sister Butterworth and more - Madonna Smith
Brother Nathaniel Brightbee and more - Josh Sazon


The rest'll have to wait until I get breathing space.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Weird Side Question

Why is it that when you post, you sometimes can't see the new stuff if you access your site with the www in the address as versus without? Or vice versa? Today it so happens if I want to see how today's stuff looks, I can't use my usual, I have to use Of course, by the time you read this the one may have caught up to the other. I still think it's weird. Never mind.

More Light Blogging

I'm going to be in meetings all day, so the last few posts are probably the most I can manage. See the sidebar for bloggy goodness.

More Fake Rainforest Stuff

I don't have time to critique the new articles posted yesterday in the Register and Press-Citizen. But my gut reaction: OMG, are they serious? They applied for more government money without showing any progress on the private donor front? And they expect us stupid Iowans just to look the other way? Yet, I shouldn't be surprised. They've been condescending at best from the beginning. I'll try to put something up on it later, though it will probably be on the PorkForest site.

Another Blogger News Story

I was emailed by Erin Crawford of the Des Moines Register looking for a quote on blogging. If you're an Iowa Blogger who wants to participate, I can forward her contact information. OTOH, as pointed out here, she did write this "Is Jeff Gannon really Johnny Gosch?" story that pretty much equated bloggers with crazed militia conspiracy theorists. And, of course, the Register also recently published this Ken Fuson article slamming bloggers, which I commented on earlier. So I don't know how the article will slant, but given recent history, out of the two most prevelant themes I'd bet more on it doing the "all bloggers are loonies with tinfoil hats who are out to replace mainstream media with chaos" than the more benign "blogging is fun but you have to watch yourself so you don't get fired."


This is too funny. State 29 has fun with Google map searches.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Light Blogging

I'm going to Kansas City for depos today and tomorrow. Nothing new to see here, folks. Check out the sidebar, or scroll down for the old stuff.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Assorted Stuff

I'd wondered what Salam Pax was up to these days. More details in the BBC report here. Raed now blogs here, and has a site about Iraqi war casualties here. For anyone who wonders what the heck I'm talking about, here's the old website for Where is Raed? It's been defunct for a while, but it's a new experience, the way the 'net now allows modern day warblogs to be shared across boundaries. Random thought: What impact could it have made if war writings such as Anne Frank's diary had been in the form of daily postings read by people across the world as the events occurred?

The blogosphere/MSM wars are apparently not universal:
Some journalists are unperturbed. CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield likes many blogs and doesn't much worry about "the baked-potato brains who say you're a media whore. . . . On the whole, I'm real happy to know there are a lot of people watching with the capacity to check me. I don't think that's chilling. It's just another incentive to get your facts right."

As for "smear artists" on the Internet, Greenfield says, "The freedom that it gives anonymous twerps to spew out invective -- that they don't like the way you look or think you're an idiot or a child abuser -- that's just part of the process."

(Washington Post registration required: randommentality/password)


Hat tip: Instapundit (not that he needs the link).

State 29 reports that the proposed fake rainforest in Coralville, Iowa, has indicated it's got a lead on $20 million in additional funding. Nope, it's not those ethereal "private investors". They're going to ask the state for more money. Why not just ask for the whole $180 million from the local, state and federal governments? get it over with? You've only got $70 million of it left, they might as well pick up the rest of the tab. Or are you angling on that approach already?

Talk about stupid. And take a look at the artist's specs. Is that thing ugly or what?

I saw this article on Iowa City in the Register this weekend: "Iowa City Drowns in Booze Culture, Arrests and Surveys Show." I'm not so sure about this. On the one hand, the ped mall at 2:00 am on a Friday night is a zoo. On the other hand, the city's enforcement of PAULA, Public Intox, and OWI laws is legendary. It's an old joke that it is safer to open a brothel than to urinate in an alley. My point? There are two things that effect arrest levels for a crime: how often people engage in that behavior, and how likely they are to get caught and prosecuted for doing so. The article implies the disparity in ticket rates is entirely due to the level of drinking. I think it's both.

General information:

With all the recent child abuse cases in the news, I thought I'd post links to some of the online definitions used in child abuse or neglect cases.

First of all, the definition of "Child Abuse" in Iowa:

2. "Child abuse" or "abuse" means:
a. Any nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of it, suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child.
b. Any mental injury to a child's intellectual or psychological capacity as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the child's normal range of performance and behavior as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child, if the impairment is diagnosed and confirmed by a licensed physician or qualified mental health professional as defined in section 622.10 .
c. The commission of a sexual offense with or to a child pursuant to chapter 709 , section 726.2 , or section 728.12 , subsection 1, as a result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child. Notwithstanding section 702.5 , the commission of a sexual offense under this paragraph includes any sexual offense referred to in this paragraph with or to a person under the age of eighteen years.
d. The failure on the part of a person responsible for the care of a child to provide for the adequate food, shelter, clothing or other care necessary for the child's health and welfare when financially able to do so or when offered financial or other reasonable means to do so. A parent or guardian legitimately practicing religious beliefs who does not provide specified medical treatment for a child for that reason alone shall not be considered abusing the child, however this provision shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical service be provided to the child where the child's health requires it.
e. The acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of a child which allow, permit, or encourage the child to engage in acts prohibited pursuant to section 725.1 . Notwithstanding section 702.5 , acts or omissions under this paragraph include an act or omission referred to in this paragraph with or to a person under the age of eighteen years.
f. An illegal drug is present in a child's body as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.
g. The person responsible for the care of a child has, in the presence of the child, as defined in section 232.2 , subsection 6, paragraph "p" , manufactured a dangerous substance, as defined in section 232.2 , subsection 6, paragraph "p" , or in the presence of the child possesses a product containing ephedrine, its salts, optical isomers, salts of optical isomers, or pseudoephedrine, its salts, optical isomers, salts of optical isomers, with the intent to use the product as a precursor or an intermediary to a dangerous substance.
h. The commission of bestiality in the presence of a minor under section 717C.1 by a person who resides in a home with a child, as a result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child.

Secondly, what grounds the State has to show for immediate temporary removal from the home:

232.78 Temporary custody of a child pursuant to ex parte court order.
1. The juvenile court may enter an ex parte order directing a peace officer or a juvenile court officer to take custody of a child before or after the filing of a petition under this chapter provided all of the following apply:
a. The person responsible for the care of the child is absent, or though present, was asked and refused to consent to the removal of the child and was informed of an intent to apply for an order under this section, or there is reasonable cause to believe that a request for consent would further endanger the child, or there is reasonable cause to believe that a request for consent will cause the parent, guardian, or legal custodian to take flight with the child.
b. It appears that the child's immediate removal is necessary to avoid imminent danger to the child's life or health. The circumstances or conditions indicating the presence of such imminent danger shall include but are not limited to any of the following:
(1) The refusal or failure of the person responsible for the care of the child to comply with the request of a peace officer, juvenile court officer, or child protection worker for such person to obtain and provide to the requester the results of a physical or mental examination of the child. The request for a physical examination of the child may specify the performance of a medically relevant test.
(2) The refusal or failure of the person responsible for the care of the child or a person present in the person's home to comply with a request of a peace officer, juvenile court officer, or child protection worker for such a person to submit to and provide to the requester the results of a medically relevant test of the person.
c. There is not enough time to file a petition and hold a hearing under section 232.95 .
d. The application for the order includes a statement of the facts to support the findings specified in paragraphs "a" , "b" , and "c" .
2. The person making the application for an order shall assert facts showing there is reasonable cause to believe that the child cannot either be returned to the place where the child was residing or placed with the parent who does not have physical care of the child.
3. Except for good cause shown or unless the child is sooner returned to the place where the child was residing or permitted to return to the child care facility, a petition shall be filed under this chapter within three days of the issuance of the order.
4. The juvenile court may enter an order authorizing a physician or hospital to provide emergency medical or surgical procedures before the filing of a petition under this chapter provided:
a. Such procedures are necessary to safeguard the life and health of the child; and
b. There is not enough time to file a petition under this chapter and hold a hearing as provided in section 232.95 .
5. The juvenile court, before or after the filing of a petition under this chapter, may enter an ex parte order authorizing a physician or hospital to conduct an outpatient physical examination or authorizing a physician, a psychologist certified under section 154B.7 , or a community mental health center accredited pursuant to chapter 230A to conduct an outpatient mental examination of a child if necessary to identify the nature, extent, and cause of injuries to the child as required by section 232.71B , provided all of the following apply:
a. The parent, guardian, or legal custodian is absent, or though present, was asked and refused to provide written consent to the examination.
b. The juvenile court has entered an ex parte order directing the removal of the child from the child's home or a child care facility under this section.
c. There is not enough time to file a petition and to hold a hearing as provided in section 232.98 .

Third, what the State has to show in order to prove a child is a "child in need of assistance" such that the Court should have jurisdiction over where the child lives, what services are provided, etc., on a more prolonged basis:

6. "Child in need of assistance" means an unmarried child:
a. Whose parent, guardian or other custodian has abandoned or deserted the child.
b. Whose parent, guardian, other custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides has physically abused or neglected the child, or is imminently likely to abuse or neglect the child.
c. Who has suffered or is imminently likely to suffer harmful effects as a result of either of the following:
(1) Mental injury caused by the acts of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
(2) The failure of the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides to exercise a reasonable degree of care in supervising the child.
d. Who has been, or is imminently likely to be, sexually abused by the child's parent, guardian, custodian or other member of the household in which the child resides.
e. Who is in need of medical treatment to cure, alleviate, or prevent serious physical injury or illness and whose parent, guardian or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.
f. Who is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate serious mental illness or disorder, or emotional damage as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others and whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.
g. Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails to exercise a minimal degree of care in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing or shelter and refuses other means made available to provide such essentials.
h. Who has committed a delinquent act as a result of pressure, guidance, or approval from a parent, guardian, custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides.
i. Who has been the subject of or a party to sexual activities for hire or who poses for live display or for photographic or other means of pictorial reproduction or display which is designed to appeal to the prurient interest and is patently offensive; and taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, scientific, political or artistic value.
j. Who is without a parent, guardian or other custodian.
k. Whose parent, guardian, or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of the child's care and custody.
l. Who for good cause desires to have the child's parents relieved of the child's care and custody.
m. Who is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate chemical dependency and whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.
n. Whose parent's or guardian's mental capacity or condition, imprisonment, or drug or alcohol abuse results in the child not receiving adequate care.
o. In whose body there is an illegal drug present as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. The presence of the drug shall be determined in accordance with a medically relevant test as defined in section 232.73 .
p. Whose parent, guardian, or custodian does any of the following: unlawfully manufactures a dangerous substance in the presence of a child, knowingly allows such manufacture by another person in the presence of a child, or in the presence of a child possesses a product containing ephedrine, its salts, optical isomers, salts of optical isomers, or pseudoephedrine, its salts, optical isomers, salts of optical isomers, with the intent to use the product as a precursor or an intermediary to a dangerous substance.
(1) For the purposes of this paragraph, "in the presence of a child" means the physical presence of a child during the manufacture or possession, the manufacture or possession occurred in a child's home, on the premises, or in a motor vehicle located on the premises, or the manufacture or possession occurred under other circumstances in which a reasonably prudent person would know that the manufacture or possession may be seen, smelled, or heard by a child.
(2) For the purposes of this paragraph, "dangerous substance" means any of the following:
(a) Amphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers.
(b) Methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers.
(c) A chemical or combination of chemicals that poses a reasonable risk of causing an explosion, fire, or other danger to the life or health of persons who are in the vicinity while the chemical or combination of chemicals is used or is intended to be used in any of the following:
(i) The process of manufacturing an illegal or controlled substance.
(ii) As a precursor in the manufacturing of an illegal or controlled substance.
(iii) As an intermediary in the manufacturing of an illegal or controlled substance.
q. Who is a newborn infant whose parent has voluntarily released custody of the child in accordance with chapter 233.

Basically, filing a complaint with the Department of Human Services - either anonymously or otherwise - starts the investigation process. If there's sufficient grounds for temporary immediate removal, the State can request it. Hearings must be held to determine if it lasts longer. Even if temporary removal isn't warranted, the State can still file a petition alleging the child is 'in need of assistance.' The State must prove the child fits the definition outlined by statute. (Sometimes problems arise when somebody's found out a unique, innovative way to put a kid in danger. You need to figure out how to make it fit into the definition). If after a hearing the Court finds the evidence supports that, the Department of Human Services will oversee the family and provide services. The key will be showing what's in the 'best interest of the child.' The eventual goal is to reunify a healthy family when possible. If not, to look at termination and placement of the child with an adoptive family. Usually foster care is an intermediate step, with goals and conditions set for the parent to gain custody back.

NOTE: It's occurred to me that some people may be more interested in this information, and not just as a ruler to gauge how current events will fit into the law. Given that, not only do I stand by my disclaimer in the sidebar, but I'm strengthening and reiterating it here. Each case is radically different, because it's tailored to the individual family and child. I can't answer questions on what to do in a specific case, 'cause I don't have the file. I won't take the file, 'cause I'm not in private practice and I don't have the facilities for it. If your kids are in the system and you have a burning question about it, you need to talk to your lawyer. There's lots more stuff under Chapter 232 of the code, all about procedures and hearings and timing and burden of proof, and it all needs to be looked at, not just pieces and definitions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Not Above the Law

but I don't know that this is right, either. Denver Dillard just sentenced former Judge Weaver to two years in treatment on a second offense OWI. This is the maximum on an aggravated misdemeanor - which is what OWI II is. The article discusses the sentence in terms of "up to" two years, which generally signals an indeterminate sentence, (note to laypeople: in misdemeanor jail time, you generally have to serve the time straight up - 180 days is 180 days. In indeterminate sentencing, "good time" credits generally mean that you technically serve two days for each day inside, effectively cutting your sentence in half), but still. I've never seen anything more than six months absent someone getting hurt or killed or something. Usually, it's seven days. I mean, I could see it if it were suspended to ensure he complies with treatment or something. But d*mn, do we really mean to be this disproportionate between members of the legal profession and others? I know we're held to a higher standard on licensing, but should we have this exponentially higher criminal sentences on a non-violent crime?



Last weekend I played the psychologist in a scene called "Honeypot" from "A My Name is Alice":

The unexamined taboo of female lust is explored in "Honeypot," with a Billie Holiday-like blues singer wail[ing] that her "coffee is on the shelf/ And I'm gone half to grind it myself." Meanwhile, a literal-minded psychologist demands that she explain what her figurative language means. Even though there's not much ambiguity about his big "monkey wrench" and her "jellyroll," the blues singer is mortified and tongue-tied to acknowledge the clinical language for what she's yearning for, as if that were "health."

The punchline: When I finally get her to spring off into an operetta filled with clinically correct terms ("I'd like to experience sexual release concurrently with you, I'd prefer multiple orgasm, but the other kind will do . . . ") I tell her she's made wonderful progress and within five years should have the sex life of an average American woman. This sends her right back into the bluesonyms for a finale.

The show was good on Thursday, better on Friday, but completely over the top on Saturday. It degenerated from an arts event to a kind of upper-class frat party. For example: on Thursday and Friday the nude models emerged from the dressing room already painted - genetalia and nipples basically covered with paint, at least. On Saturday, they called for volunteers to strip and have the audience paint them. I walked by just when the emcee was asking a nearby female to paint a guy's balls. Okay, too much even for me. Later, they brought out the Mardi Gras beads. After a lot more wine had been consumed. You do the math.

As far as the rest of the exhibits - there were the good, the bad and the ugly. I may be a philistine, but I do not believe that the human body is beautiful no matter what. There are limits. And there are some things I just wish hadn't been put into the memory bank.

Personal Asides

This is the flip side, more like personal post-its from my brain that don't belong on a serious blog. . . .

I mean the normal blog. . . .

Well, my usual blog. . . .


And another thing . . .

I forgot Dweeze's post on the problems local theaters are having.


I've got four new suits and mind-bending memos on Missouri UM and subrogation to finish today. Not good for blogging. Must conserve brain cells. So here's my best lunchtime effort on a roundup:

Randy Barnett at the Volokh Conspiracy illustrates why I will never be considered a highly successful attorney:

"One of the things I really enjoy about a pool-side vacation is how much work I am able to get done."

In case you didn't see it: Tusk and Talon posted on proposed national ceiling fan standards.

Yay! Dreamwell's got a fun new home!!! Centrally located and everything. I highly recommend seeing Book of Liz. Funniest thing I saw all year.

State 29 has a ton of new stuff up:
First, it sounds like we've all got the official government approval to go 70 on the interstate.

Second, he's got this very detailed expose on the financial backing for the proposed racetrack in Newton. It's a must-read.

Third, he's been linked by Michelle Malkin for noting the talking points sent to members in order to have them plaster the 'letters to the editor' page. To be fair, I've seen these tactics used by Republicans, too.

Finally, don't think I missed the passing suggestions I consider running for governor here and here. I'd like to preemptively decline any further suggestions: I think I effectively squelched any gubanatorial chances I may ever have by even participating in Unzipped, though as State indicates here, I did not reveal anything. By Saturday, I'll admit it was suggested I model some body paint. I declined, but that's kind of like making the "I didn't inhale" argument, so I think my political career is over.

(ED: H*ll, who am I kidding? It was over by the time I graduated high school, guys. Just ask Not the Moonbat (who should only reply by vague assurances - remember, my dad reads this . . . )

Seen Waiter Rant lately? It's still hilarious. via Shallow Thoughts from Iowa.

Omigod, this is so sad. And yet wonderful at the same time.

I see what happens when I miss the weekly poker game. Foaffers are let in, and chaos ensues. Geez. What mental age is he, two? Most of us learned how to lose in, oh, grade school?

To me, this just sounds like a challenge. (NY Times again, randommentality/password).

Just for Mathman: Dave Barry issues an important warning to single guys contemplating marriage. Don't say you were never warned.

Oh, and Dan Hogberg links to the first video I've seen of tarping. Yeah, it kinda seems like fun. But I've got one word for you: rollerblades.

UPDATE: More on Unzipped here.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Monday Quiz II: Why Not?

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

20% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

0% Dixie

0% Yankee

Monday Quiz

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||| 53%
Stability |||||||||||||||| 66%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 53%
Empathy |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||||| 56%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 63%
Mystical |||| 16%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Religious |||||||||||||| 56%
Hedonism |||||||||||||| 56%
Materialism |||||||||||| 50%
Narcissism |||||||||| 36%
Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Work ethic |||||||||| 36%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 50%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||| 56%
Romantic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Wealth |||||| 30%
Dependency |||||||||| 36%
Change averse |||||||||||| 50%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Individuality |||||||||||||||| 70%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||||||| 36%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Food indulgent |||||| 23%
Histrionic |||||||||||| 50%
Paranoia |||||||||||||| 56%
Vanity |||||||||||| 43%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||| 70%
Female cliche |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Stability results were moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were medium which suggests you are moderately organized, hard working, and reliable while still remaining flexible, efficient, and fun.

Extraversion results were medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting.

Trait Snapshot
rarely irritated, positive, tough, non phobic, fearless, likes the unknown, self reliant, high self control, confident, trusting, strong instincts, prudent, optimistic, willful, likes parties, prefers a specialized career, takes charge, altruistic, strong, high self concept, adventurous, practical, thoughtful.

via On the Stage.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Theater Blogging

Thought I'd plug some upcoming stuff:


Music by Lucy Simon
Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Directed by Jonathon Thull
April 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 May 1

· Friday and Saturday performances are at: 8pm
· Sunday performances are at: 2:30pm
· Ticket prices: $14 for adults, $12 for students, $6 senior/children

ICCT closes our 49th season with a musical for the whole family. Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Tony-award winning The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox, a lonely little girl who is sent to live with her uncle Archibald in Yorkshire after being orphaned by a cholera epidemic in India. Still grieving over the loss of his beloved wife Lily who died ten years earlier during childbirth and distraught over the condition of his bedridden son, Archibald casts a dark shadow over the manor until Mary discovers a secret garden that had once belonged to Lily. By nursing this garden back to life, Mary somehow restores life to her grieving uncle and his sick son. The Secret Garden opened at the St. James Theater on April 25, 1991 with a cast that featured Daisy Eagan (Mary), Rebecca Luker (Lily), and Mandy Patinkin (Archibald). Composer Marsha Norman won a Tony for “Best Book of a Musical” and Daisy Eagan became the youngest actress ever to win a Tony for her portrayal of Mary.

I know a bunch of the cast, and it should be really cool.

I can't go, I'm going to be out at Chait Galleries doing a scene for Unzipped.

Fresh Opinions

from the Iowa Supreme Court.

If you want to know what the typical domestic abuse trial looks like, read this case. Sometimes it can be entertaining to see the convoluted stories people come up with to recant. Particularly in cases when the police witnessed the assault. It's amusing in a very sad way. This dynamic also causes problems in the off case when a false report really was made: the prosecutor will never believe it if the person tries to come forward with the truth.

UPDATE: Contrast that with civil work, though, and I miss it a little. It's generally more exciting - at least you get to do the courtroom stuff, the last-minute, spontaneous, "by the way, co-employee called in sick: you've got a trial in ten minutes" type of stuff. But then, in my line of work you can always get files like this:
In far-famed Madison County, Ill., 40-year-old Rhonda Nichols is suing the Lowe's Home Center in Alton, saying she was seriously injured when a bird flew into her head at the outside gardening area. She wants more than $50,000:

According to the suit, filed by the St. Louis firm of Anderson & Associates, the store "allowed wild birds to enter the Gardening area in which customers travel ... (and) that said wild birds created a dangerous condition."

Nichols claims the bird caused injuries to her head, brain, neck, muscles, bones, nerves, discs, ligaments, as well leading to the loss of neurological functions and cognitive skills.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

More Weird Stuff

A Pope thong?

Every time people ask why I don't have kids, I will refer them to this story (scroll down to description).

Garfield the pervert.

(the above via Who Would Buy That?)

Random Philosophical Question

In an article about the death of Andrea Dworkin (don't stop reading, guys, it's not that bad) I ran across this rather outrageous book claiming men were “born to rape”:
"A Natural History of Rape: The Biological Basis of Sexual Coercion" sets out a strictly Darwinian view. Writing recently in the Sciences, the authors, biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig Palmer, state their position bluntly: "We fervently believe that, just as the leopard's spots and the giraffe's elongated neck are the results of aeons of past Darwinian selection, so is rape." Elsewhere they proclaim: "There is no doubt that rape has evolutionary -- and hence genetic -- origins."

Why? Because rape "is a built-in adaption that has evolved naturally because it confers a reproductive advantage on the men who do it."

Obviously this is an outrageous claim to make, very anti-male and very offensive. But then it occurred to me: isn’t the recently fashionable theory that male infidelity is a natural result of evolutionary competition to spread your genes essentially the same argument, only soft-pedaled?

And for men who support the whole "I can't be monogomous, it isn't natural" claim, can you basically cherry-pick these studies to legitimize the argument against monogamy, without simultaneously supporting the idea of an innate propensity for rape? Or do you need to take the good with the bad?

Just stray thoughts.

Miscellaneous Trivia

Note to legal types - things not to do:

1) Ask a Supreme Court justice if he's ever sodomized his wife.

2) Party with these guys.

3) Develop a split personality.

4) Take the Wendy's chili case without a substantial retainer and hourly billing scheme. Especially now there's leopards involved.

5) Let French people edit your brief.


In other semi-legal stuff:

Will Work for Favorable Dicta has the new online Professional Responsibility Exam. Just when you thought it would be a no-brainer . . .

Salieri has also stumbled across this site entirely devoted to tracking the career of Henry Earl aka James Brown, a guy who's been arrested over 900 times for alcohol-related offenses:
Well, Henry has earned something of a cult following. . . . Henry's exactly the right balance between extremely pitiful and incredibly amusing. You feel bad for him on one hand, but then the guy looks so strangely happy in (most of) his mugshots. And if you read the stories about him, you'll see that he's got an awful lot of personality. Certainly more than your basic town drunk. Henry is an icon, a work of performance art. He's like an Otis Campbell for the 21st century. He's our schadenfreudic touchstone of intoxication.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

More Legal Sh*t

Okay, so I have an attitude today. The new Iowa Court of Appeals opinions are up. A couple of criminal cases caught my attention:

State v. Burgoyne hinges on the definition of burglary:
Any person, having the intent to commit a felony, assault or theft therein, who, having no right, license or privilege to do so, enters an occupied structure . . . not being open to the public . . . commits burglary.

Burgoyne testified that he'd arrived at his former employer's office building very early on April 1, intending to ask for his job back. He found the back door unlocked, and testified that he assumed someone must be inside. No one was, so he waited. Burgoyne admitted that after a while he grew impatient and angry, and broke out an office door window and took $200.00 as well as some other items of nominal value. At the end of the evidence, the Court instructed the jury on the law. Instruction #12 provided:
The State need only prove the defendant formed the intent to commit a theft at some time while he was unlawfully on the premises.

Not so much. As the Court of Appeals pointed out, they needed to find he'd had the intent when he entered the building.

State v. Gaston reiterates the idea that the plea colloquy is not a collection of magic words, but rather an explanation of the concepts of fundamental rights to the defendant in order to ensure the defendant understands what rights are being waived. The defendant requested her conviction and sentence be vacated because the trial court allegedly failed to advise her she was waiving her right to confront witnesses against her. A review of the record indicated that the words "confront" and "confrontation" were never used, but the Court found it sufficient that the colloquy advised her that she was giving up her right, through her attorney, “to cross-examine witnesses” and “to object to potential exhibits.”

I didn't think that was possible, but

the Becker-Posner blog has managed to make sex reeaalllly boring:
I emphasize that this has been an essay in positive rather than normative moral theory. My concern is not with whether the changes in sexual mores that I have been discussing are right or wrong, but with trying to explain what has brought about the changes. I believe they can largely be explained in economic terms.

Even gay sex:
It may seem paradoxical to suggest that marriage and homosexuality are somehow linked; but they are. In societies like that of ancient Greece, in which men are expected to marry in order to procreate but are not expected to establish an intimate emotional connection with their wife (for example, in ancient Greece husband and wife did not eat together, and the wife rarely was even permitted outside the house), it is not difficult for homosexual men to marry. But when companionate marriage becomes the norm—when men are still expected to marry but marriage connotes much more than occasional intercourse—homosexual men become anomalous; the institution of companionate, as distinct from patriarchal, marriage tends to extrude them from a fundamental social institution. Companionate marriage is still the marriage norm, but fewer people are married, so unmarried men are less conspicuous.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Just Curious

Who stopped by on the search "why faegre and benson suck". Did you get an answer? Could you share it with the class?

On a Side Note

Moira Breen points out this pitch to save "Beg the Question." Not the blog, the expression. Though the blog's cool, too.

Blawg Review

In case you missed it, the first issue of the Blawg Review was posted at Notes from the (Legal) Underground on Sunday.

While We're at It

Let's add this idea from Florida to the new 70 MPH bill:

As Dave Barry says:
Finally, somebody is doing something about drivers who drive in the left, or "passing," lane, despite the fact that they are not passing anybody, and, in some cases, have never passed anybody in their entire motoring lives. This is a good start, but it is only a start. Now we need to do something about drivers who are stopped in front of you at a red light and are stunned -- stunned -- when the light turns green, as if this is the LAST thing they expected a red light to do, so they have to sit there for 30 or 40 seconds absorbing the stunningness of it, and trying to figure out what the HECK they should do now.

Interesting Lunchtime Reads

For forensics/archeology fans: DNA undercuts verdict in infamous Iowa case and Deeper Into the Donners:Descendants of the pioneers who perished that terrible winter look to archeologists for fresh clues. Still missing: hard proof of cannibalism.

But It's For a Good Cause

Paula's asked me to do a scene for Unzipped. FYI - No bra scenes this time, at least not for me, I play a fully clothed psychiatrist who is counseling a blues singer about her sex life. Hey, it's art.


Now this is an interesting idea. If only chocolate didn't melt so.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Iowa Blogging

As Matt pointed out, UI Law Professor Nicholas Johnson's penned an excelled op-ed on the proposed fake rainforest in Coralville, Iowa, for the Press-Citizen.

Theresa's mom won her Wisconsin mayoral election.

Brett at Beat Canvas points out a new Iowa Blogger, Shoe Girl.

Greenman has his Sin City review up, as does Homercles. I also saw it opening weekend. I know nothing about graphic novel genre. Not even X-men. Geez, am I unhip or what? But I do know Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and other old "hard boiled" novelists that seem to speak exactly the same language, only without quite so many squishy body parts flying around.

All said: I'm probably not going to become a big fan, given I spent a third of the movie closing my eyes. I can't take too much grossness. And I had to laugh - did any of those women own a single piece of clothing that wasn't from the sale rack of a fetish sex shop? Not even walk-ons were clothed. But I found a lot to like: the interlacing storyline vignettes were interesting, well-woven and while they kept squarely within the boundaries of the genre, were not always predictable. The cinematography was awesome, of course - black and white shot through with splashes of color perfectly capture the grainy, gritty themes and add layers of symbolism.

On a side note, though, I have to agree with Centinel that Elijah Wood's canibalistic "Kevin" character looked weirdly like Harry Potter.

Speaking of theater, the Press-Citizen has an editorial up about the financial problems of community theater. It blames the economy. State 29 disagrees. My take: there's a problem. It could be the economy, but other areas of the market that State points to don't seem to have that problem. It could be the marketing, but if all three theaters are struggling, that cuts against that argument. It could also be that there are too many theater options available, diluting an already dwindling audience, though the article does try to point out that the theaters fill different niches. Regardless, it does exist, though in the end the market will have the final say.

A Helpful Service

from the federal government: a website that's supposed to make it easy to have "the talk" with your kids.

The conversation starters alone are priceless:
Your jeans are looking a little short! How much taller do you think you've grown since last year? More changes are going to happen. Do you know what some of those changes are?

I heard that there was a wild party last weekend after the game. Have your friends been talking about it? Did you know that alcohol and drugs really increase the chances of having sex and geting a disease?

Some guys go out for a good time over the weekend, and end up with thousands of dollars taken out of their paychecks for the next 18 years. Do you know how that could happen?

But they also include valuable information for you to pass along:
Physical Intimacy

In most dating relationships there is a natural progression of physical intimacy. If no barriers are put into place, this progression generally leads to sexual intercourse. Most experts agree that once couples move beyond hugging and light kissing, hormones encourage further physical contact. With this in mind, parents should encourage their adolescent to determine physical boundaries before beginning a dating relationship and clearly communicate those boundaries in the early stages of a dating relationship.

Progression of physical intimacy

Holding hands
Holding each other around the waist or shoulder (hugs)
Kissing on the lips
"French" (open mouth) kissing
Touching breasts
Touching sexual organs
Sexual intercourse

Just in case you'd forgotten the old "base" system.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Light Blogging

I'm here. Really I am. I'm just a little swamped at work, so blogging will be light this week - unless I just can't take it anymore and have to throw a few hundred words into the stratosphere for my own amusement. In the meantime, read the linked blogs. See my April Fool's joke from the last post - I worked very hard on that, dammit. Or start a side pool on how long it will be before I break down. . .

Friday, April 01, 2005


The inside scoop from a MSM perspective: Why Blogs Don't Suck.

More Legal Blogging

The latest Iowa Supreme Court decisions are up. Being Friday, I'm going to focus on State v. Moorehead, which Justice Streit seemed to have more than a little fun drafting. Forgive the extensive quotes, but I find it too funny to excerpt:

"In the wee hours of April 20, 2003, a Cerro Gordo County deputy sheriff clocked a car speeding on a highway in Mason City. The deputy gave chase but the car did not immediately stop. The car swerved over the center line twice before eventually coming to a halt on the wrong side of an adjacent residential street.

The deputy spoke to the driver, Joshua Paul Moorehead. Moorehead was eighteen years old, living at home with his parents, and driving his mother’s car. The deputy smelled alcohol and noticed Moorehead’s speech was slurred. Moorehead’s eyes were glazed but not bloodshot. Moorehead initially denied having anything to drink, but later admitted he had drunk one beer.

The deputy administered three field sobriety tests for drunkenness. Moorehead failed them all. While taking one of these tests, Moorehead said he did not know if he could pass the test “if I was sober.” The deputy also asked Moorehead to take a preliminary breath test, and Moorehead complied. Based upon his observations, the deputy placed Moorehead in the deputy’s vehicle.

While Moorehead was sitting in the back of the police car, the deputy and Moorehead had the following videotaped conversation:
DEPUTY: Well, Josh, you’ve been drinking a lot more than one beer tonight. By all the tests that I’ve done, you’re definitely over the legal limit. . . . I’m going to have to take you with me [to the police station] to do one more test.

MOOREHEAD: That’s fine, sir.

DEPUTY: What do you want done with the car?

MOOREHEAD: Um . . . .

DEPUTY: Do you [have] some parents that can get it or anything? That can come get you after awhile?

(In an inaudible portion of the tape, at this point Moorehead presumably indicates the deputy should contact his mother.)

MOOREHEAD: Would it be possible for me to talk to my Mom when you call her to come pick it up?

DEPUTY: Not right now, because I just have to call my dispatcher and have her call her.

MOOREHEAD: All right, that’s fine . . . .

DEPUTY: I’ll probably have to wait here until she comes anyway . . . .

MOOREHEAD: Yeah, that’s fine.

The deputy contacted his dispatcher. The dispatcher called Moorehead’s parents.

Moorehead’s parents arrived at the scene of their son’s detention. Moorehead’s mother asked the deputy if she could speak with her son. The deputy told her he had to take Moorehead to the police station first and the dispatcher would call her when she could pick him up.

By all accounts, however, Moorehead’s mother did have a brief encounter with her son at the scene through the window of the patrol car. (It is unclear from the record whether the window was up or down.) For approximately thirty seconds to one minute, Moorehead’s mother yelled at her son. She told Moorehead he was grounded, and would remain grounded for a long period of time. Moorehead’s father said his wife “wasn’t very happy” and “kind of chewed on him a little bit.” Moorehead testified his exchange with his mother was not a “conversation,” just his mom yelling at him through a closed window. Moorehead did not get in a word. Moorehead’s parents took the car home and waited for a call from the police.

The deputy took Moorehead to the police station. The deputy read Moorehead the Miranda warnings and the implied consent advisory. Moorehead asked the deputy whether he should take the breath test. The deputy replied it was entirely Moorehead’s decision to make. Moorehead never asked to call his mother again, or, for that matter, anyone else. Moorehead testified he still wanted to speak to his mother but did not ask to do so again because he had already asked and therefore assumed the deputy would tell him when he could do so. Moorehead took the breath test and blew a .182.

After the test, the deputy gave Moorehead a list of written questions. On the questionnaire Moorehead admitted he had drunk not one, but three cans of Busch Light—“the only kind of beer I touch.” Bizarrely, he also indicated he wished he had a glass eye and diabetes.

While filling out the questionnaire Moorehead stood up. The deputy asked Moorehead if he was okay. Moorehead replied “I’m drunk as hell.”

So, of course, the first thought on reading this: "Dude, you are so totally busted." Not only that, but he got cussed out by his mom while sitting in the squad car. And grounded. I guess he won't ge getting that glass eye for his birthday (WTF is up with that?). But, as it turns out, it's a bit more complicated.

"Mother knows best. While detained in the back of a patrol car on suspicion of drunk driving, a young man asked the police if he could talk to his mother about his predicament. He now asks us to overturn his conviction because the police did not comply with his request."

Okay, he's a legal adult. And he didn't exactly ask to talk to his mother "about his predicament," he wanted to ask her to get the car. And, actually, he did get to talk to her. If he got a word in edgewise. But . . . Iowa statutes include the right to speak to a relative in the same law as the right to speak to an attorney:
Iowa Code § 804.20: Any peace officer . . . having custody of any person arrested or restrained of the person’s liberty for any reason whatever, shall permit that person, without unnecessary delay after arrival at the place of detention, to call, consult, and see a member of the person’s family or an attorney of the person’s choice, or both. . . . If such person is intoxicated, or a person under eighteen years of age, the call may be made by the person having custody . . . . A violation of this section shall constitute a simple misdemeanor.

"We conclude Moorehead’s request was properly timed. Moorehead was “restrained of [his] liberty” as he sat in the back of the patrol car. . . .

The State argued . . . Moorehead’s request to talk to his mother was not an unequivocal request to ask his mother for advice about his predicament, but instead an inquiry about what to do with the car. Lacking a clear request to seek advice, the State submitted Moorehead needed to ask for his mother again at the police station if he wanted to invoke the statute. . . . In analyzing the sufficiency of Moorehead’s request, we apply “an objective consideration of the statements and conduct of the arrestee and peace officer, as well as the surrounding circumstances.” . . . Although Moorehead’s request to talk to his mother arose in the context of a discussion about the disposition of his mother’s car, Moorehead specifically, separately, and unequivocally requested to talk to his mother. Moorehead’s request was sufficient to invoke the statute. As a consequence, the police were obligated to honor Moorehead’s request “without unnecessary delay after arrival at the place of detention,” in this case the police station. Iowa Code § 804.20. Because the police did not do so, they violated Moorehead’s statutory right to contact a family member."

As far as his mom yelling at him qualifying as "contact", the Court noted in a footnote:

"We are not asked to decide whether the yelling incident preempted law enforcement’s obligation to permit Moorehead to talk with his mother after arriving at the police station. We note, however, that this is not a case where the police undertook measures to put the defendant in contact with a family member only to have the family member yell, hang up, or otherwise refuse to give advice and comfort."

It doesn't stop there. Remember the admission the defendant made - "I'm drunk as hell?" It is potentially excluded. The Court quotes another case in applying the exclusionary rule to family phone calls:

"'We believe the right, given by section 804.20, to communicate with a family member is neither more nor less qualified than the right given to communicate with an attorney. We know of no reason why the exclusionary rule should be applied to a violation of one right and not to that of the other. The trial court was right in suppressing the evidence.' . . . the State argues suppression of Moorehead’s incriminating statement is not appropriate in this case because the deputy read Moorehead his Miranda rights before he confessed he was “drunk as hell” and argues these warnings should rectify any concerns about the voluntariness of his statement. Miranda warnings, however, do not address the right to contact a family member. We reiterate the right to contact a family member under section 804.20 is neither more nor less qualified than the right to contact an attorney."

The only shot the State has of getting it in?

"On remand, the district court shall decide whether the “I’m drunk as hell” statement was spontaneous. If the court finds it was spontaneous, the statement should be admitted into evidence because the exclusion of such statements is not implicated by a violation of Iowa Code section 804.20. If the court finds it was not spontaneous, the statement should be suppressed because it was obtained after “unnecessary delay”—in this case after a breath test was administered."

Ooookay. Of course, the State still has all the stuff before he asked to call his mom, and can use it on a retrial. Including the statement he couldn't pass one of the field sobriety tests (let me guess, the 30-second one-leg stand?) "if he was sober."

There was a dissent in the case, joined by Justices Ternus and Carter:

"I concur in the decision to suppress the results of defendant’s breath test . . . I dissent from that portion of the opinion that extends the suppression remedy applied to chemical test results . . . to matters of custodial interrogation. The constitutional protections afforded to persons in police custody provide an adequate safeguard against improper police interrogation. Consequently, the circumstances do not warrant the additional remedy that the court now derives from Iowa statutory law in the absence of a clear indication that the legislature intended that result."

They provide further clarification in a footnote:

"The majority of the court is incorrect in suggesting that it would be inconsistent to provide a suppression-of-evidence remedy for violations of the statute when chemical testing is involved and failing to provide such a remedy with respect to interrogation. There would be no inconsistency in doing that. Although the constitutional protections, including Miranda warnings, give adequate protection against unwarranted police interrogation, those safeguards are of little assistance to an arrested party with regard to the decision that must be made with respect to chemical testing. Denial of the statutory right to outside assistance in making the latter decision may only be vindicated by suppression of the test results."

My two cents: On first blush at least, I agree with the majority, based on their review of the history of the statute:
"By its terms, Iowa Code section 804.20 does not include an exclusionary rule. Instead, violation of the statute is a simple misdemeanor. Iowa Code § 804.20. In an early case interpreting section 804.20, we simply read the statute as written and declined to create an exclusionary rule in the absence of a legislative directive to do so. See State v. Heisdorffer, 164 N.W.2d 173, 177 (Iowa 1969). . . Our decision in that early case is consistent with the general rule, recognized in our cases, that application of an exclusionary rule is ordinarily only warranted if explicitly expressed in the statute. . . . Iowa Code section 804.20 was enacted in 1959 and thus predates much of the modern federal exclusionary rule jurisprudence. More than twenty-five years ago we changed course and overruled Heisdorffer . . . In State v. Vietor Our holding in Vietor may be reconciled with the general presumption against implied statutory exclusionary rules on the theory that an exclusionary rule is warranted for violations of those statutes, including section 804.20, which involve fundamental rights or have constitutional overtones."

Okay, and the legislature's had 25 years to correct them if that was the wrong tactic to take. Based on the deafening silence from that branch of our government, I'd say that an exclusionary rule can be inferred. I don't see the point in having a bifurcated exclusionary rule that disallows chemical test results but allows in-custody interrogative statements if contact with a family member has been withheld. If it's a violation of a fundamental right, evidence obtained from it is excluded as fruit of the poisonous tree. No exceptions. I understand the facts of the case and the Miranda warning given seemed to the dissent to "give adequate protection against unwarranted police interrogation" to this particular defendant. But I think the primary purpose of the exclusionary rule is to be harsh enough as to ensure that officers have zero incentive to violate fundamental rights, period. If they want to fix the procedure, they could put a phrase into the Iowa Mirandas that adds "or a family member" to the right to contact an attorney. Since the right's been around for that many years, I'm not sure why they haven't done so already.