Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, April 20, 2015

Every Patriots' Day I like to take a moment to think about Katherine Switzer. She wasn't the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (Bobbi Gibb ran it without a number in 1966 and in '67, the year that "K.V. Switzer" officially entered), but she gets credit for being such a visible leader, and she deserves it. I can never decide if social change occurs slowly or all at once-- it was 1970 before the Road Runners Club of America held the first women’s marathon championship (won by Sara Mae Berman), and Boston didn't allow women entrants until two years after that.I suppose what that really means is that attaining equality is a marathon, not a sprint. Here is newsreel footage, which I'd never seen before: Switzer is described as "a leggy lady" which is nearly as telling as Jock Semple's assault. (I'm glad they ended as friends-- it shows that we can evolve as individuals as well as a society. I'm also glad that running attire has evolved-- 26.2 in the rain in a grey cotton sweatsuit must have been rough.) When I think about sports this is what I like to think about: how sports is something that anyone who is determined to do can do, and how sport demonstrates our fundamental humanity. Race and sex and sexual identity and nationality and all of the other things that manage to divide people fall away when we step on the course or the pitch or the diamond, and what remains is what is important. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015 Driven from bed by pain in his toe one October night, Ben Franklin imagined a parley with his tormentor:
FRANKLIN. Eh! Oh! eh! What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?
GOUT. Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.
FRANKLIN. Who is it that accuses me?
GOUT. It is I, even I, the Gout.

(Futility Closet.)

I'm in the clear at the moment, which is just as well-- nobody sympathizes with sufferers of the gout.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

These are cool: Marvel Unveils Beautiful NYC-Themed Covers in the Wake of DC Moving to California.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I feel as though I should brag a little about this: My dad, who is deep enough into his eighties for that to be understating his age a bit, has sustained his second sports related injury of 2015, this time on the tennis court. He's okay-- hip and ego bruised, so a little quiet applause as he walks off the field under his own power seems in order.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The news of Gunther Grass' death got me thinking about post WWII German writers, a group I cannot claim to have a great deal of experience with. I've read The Tin Drum, but that's it for Grass. The other guy I have some passing familiarity with is Heinrich Böll, who was more to my taste back when reading modern European literature was a thing that I did. (That's Grass on the right, Böll on the left, and John Dos Passos in the middle in the lighter colored jacket.) If you have a few minutes sometime, and you are in a library, look up "Murke's Collected Silences", which is pretty funny as stories by German Catholic existentialists go. If I could read German I might have another go at Grass-- it must have been a complicated thing to have lived and written the way that he did, having been what he was. Unfortunately, one of the things that I concluded when reading modern European literature was a thing that I did was that German seems to translate into English really badly. Since I can't read it the way he wrote it I'm going to give The Flounder a pass.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Outside Counsel finds it notable that HRC seems to be running as a foreign policy mavin. Indeed, I cannot recall a Democrat leaning this heavily on foreign policy credibility since Scoop Jackson-- whose hawkishness was similar to Secretary Clinton's.

(An aside. One of the highlights of the State University of New York's Washington Semester Program was sherry at the home of Avril Harriman. Harriman liked to be addressed as "Governor", and we were painstakingly instructed on this point: he favored that title over Secretary because Governor was the highest elected office he had held.)

The Republican field is, I think, running against a chimera: the Barrack Obama that they think of as the Kenyan Usurper. Eight years ago the world economy was in pieces on the ground, and now the various Republican candidates are saying that they want to restore the country. Obviously they really hate black people, and poor people and gay people and just about everyone else that isn't a white rich guy, but that's really not much of a coalition, is it? Bush is a Bush. That should be the end of it. Rand Paul is busily pissing off women, apparently in order to show that Mittens was a piker for only writing of 47% of the population. His base is that kid in your Intro to American Politics class who carried around a copy of The Fountainhead. Cruz is the worst Canadian in history. It is certainly true that the filed is wide open, but crazy, hateful or incompetent isn't a very appealing set of options. And there's more to come!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Stones are just about the only act I would even consider seeing at a football stadium, and I did consider it, but then I thought better of it. A substantial factor was cost: a half yard is a lot of kale. In the end though it wasn't so much that as it was the idea that I would be able to see them better on dvd, hear them better on CD or vinyl, and do either in greater comfort in my house, with my choice of beer and my choice of things to eat. In a way this makes me sad, like catching a look at myself in a mirror and wondering who that old guy is before realizing it's me. I don't want to see Fleetwood Mac at a hockey arena. I don't want to be any further away from Bob Dylan than I was the last time-- roughly 25 feet away is my outer limit. I love live music, but I will be confining my future excursions to the smaller venues from now on. Mick and Keef and Charlie and Ronnie can't rock me at a show when I'm three blocks away.

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