J’ai rejoint l’Alliance Française   Leave a comment

There are a few reasons for this. The main one is to take the DELF examination.  The DELF or Diplôme d’études en langue français  (which literally means Diploma in French Studies in English) is an official certification given by France’s National Ministry of Education to non-native French speakers after completing a set of proficiency tests. It is valid for life and is recognized anywhere in the world.

OK, why would someone who is fluent in French want to take this test? First off, France (and Canada) requires one show proficiency for citizenship. That should make a lot of immigration hawks ears perk up since they would like people to speak English. Of course, being able to speak the main language SHOULD be a requirement for citizenship. I say that because nationhood is somewhat based on shared culture.  Even if the shared culture is a mixture of other cultures.

Secondly, it proves that I can indeed speak French. Not that having lived in Belgium and spending time in other francophone countries doesn’t show that.  On the other hand, Brexit has made the search for EU citizenship a priority.  Even though I probably would have no issue with German citizenship, there are a few negatives to that one as a possibility.  The Poles says I am not ethnically Polish (Remember the map of Europe’s Borders? I come out as being British, French/Belgian, Czech/German, Polish/German, and just plain German (Rhineland Pfalz). Although, the Czech/German is more German (Saxony) than Czech.

Anyway, the Alliance Française seems to be the way to go.  It’s also probably something I should have done a while back, but my French language skills never needed to be certified until Brexit.

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Be careful what you wish for

I make no bones about it: I hate cars.

I far prefer public transport to cars, but I currently live between two homes (the secret to a happy marriage–live separately).  I have too much crap to take on the train: toss in they are now getting crowded. Loads of other whining.

Likewise, public transportation has the same problem: especially with two dogs. Even when they in bags since you take up way more space than is acceptable. Slightly more acceptable with that much crap on a train, but not when the train is packed out.

I’m happy as heck that driving is being discouraged, but there are now too many issues to car ownership to make it worthwhile (I’ve taken up leasing the past few years for a bunch of reasons).  There’s congestion tax, parking, traffic, etc.

I live in a city which was not designed for automobile traffic and it shows. The average speed over a century ago was about 8 mph.  My new car tells me my average speed and it’s 12 mph in the city! Of course, that’s due to traffic and traffic controls.  Not to mention streets which were meant for horses, not cars.

Seriously, a trip of about 16 miles takes me an hour!

Anyway, I am currently mulling over getting rid of the car (again) for Zipcar since that takes care of most of the issues other than slow speed.

I should be happy that car ownership is being discouraged. Not to mention I’ve done pretty everything I can to reduce my carbon footprint.

But I’m not for the time being.

I’m shocked! Shocked!

People are posting the video of Trump’s judicial nominees being questioned and sounding like idiots.

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Laci and Philadelphia ADA outside a Court Room in City Hall

That’s why my blog was named after Laci. Patrick Artur made the comment that Laci had been in more court rooms than Harriet Miers (she had! And I have the proof!). You would be surprised how many judicial candidates have never seen the inside of a court room.

The best story is when I was on conference with the judge and Laci was in the bag under the table in the courtroom!

Another one where the judge saw me running Laci in the park across the street. He knew I had a dog with me, but he wasn’t going to ask where she was.

Anyway. this is more of an indictment of US law schools and the legal practise. One of the deans of my US law school actually would say that they didn’t have to teach the law: that was the job of the bar review courses! Most of the Judicial candidates I saw were more party loyalists or large donors: most of whom never went into a courtroom in their life.

I know that I don’t stand a chance of ever being a judicial candidate, but I have tried jury trials, bench trials, argued motions, etc. I have done these not only in US State and Federal courts, but I have worked in other legal systems.

The problem is that the US legal profession hires the people who graduate top in their class, but that isn’t going to provide for the best candidates.  Toss in most people who do get hired find they are worked their asses off in the hope of being made a partner (no longer being an associate).  But US law firms chew people up and spit them out.

I like the system other countries have where someone serves their apprenticeship and then is set out into the workplace.  But that is not how the US legal practise works.  People pass the bar and then go forth to practise law.

Don’t take my word for it: there is somebody out there called the Rodent who will pretty much confirm what I am saying. http://www.emplawyernet.com/info/index.cfm

Dog eating your mail?

Door cageI finally got  really annoyed with my dog attacking my mail and bought one of these.  Well, actually, I had one of these lying around the house  and finally put it on the door.

This is the picture from the seller’s website since it doesn’t show up very well on my black door.

Anyway, the thing works like a charm and keeps the dogs from attaching the mail when it comes.

I’m sorry I procrastinated so long in putting it up!

Seriously, the thing is brilliant at keeping the dogs from attacking and eating the mail.  The mail comes through and the only bark instead of snapping at the slot.

Pour mon ami du Narnia

This is the ocean where I live, to the north (maybe Northwest) is an actual kingdom! Seriously and verifiably. OK, maybe I am not in England, but probably also not in the US.

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C’est l’océan où je vis, au nord (peut-être nord-ouest) est un royaume réel! Sérieusement et vérifiable. OK, peut-être que je ne suis pas en Angleterre, mais probablement pas aux États-Unis.

Dit is de oceaan waar ik woon, naar het noorden (misschien noordwest) is een echt koninkrijk! Serieus en verifieerbaar. OK, misschien ben ik niet in Engeland, maar waarschijnlijk ook niet in de VS.

Hau bizi dudan ozeanoa da, Iparraldean (agian Ipar mendebaldea) benetako erresuma da! Ados, agian ez naiz Ingalaterran, baina ziurrenik ez da AEBetan ere. (No Breizh, Euskadi will have to do.)

(I forgot to mention that a battle was fought less than 1/2 a KM from where this was picture was taken.)

Sorry, but Laci is no longer taking new cases.

From the Washington Post:

A suspect in an interrogation told detectives to “just give me a lawyer dog,” the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a “lawyer dog,” and not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. It’s not clear how many lawyer dogs there are in Louisiana, and whether any would have been available to represent the human suspect in this case, other than to give the standard admonition in such circumstances to simply stop talking.

While Laci strongly believes in the Constitutional Right to Counsel, she is no longer taking cases.  Even if she were willing to take this case on, she is not licensed to practise in Louisiana.

Too bad the PD was unaware of this blog, since he could have used Laci as a quite willing Canine counsel for his client in cases of judges with acute robeitis.

Canadian WWII era passport for travel to US.

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