Saturday, January 21, 2012

Last Week's free CLE Newsletter...

I'm a little behind on posting this stuff, so the webinars have passed. Blame the snow LOL! The newsletter itself went out to subscribers on the date shown, and I'll have the new one up here Monday-ish.
BTW that "Driver Distraction" program is well worth listening to, even if you're uninterested in the law; it's full of useful things about driving that are new within the past 10 years. Avoiding that moment of inattention that could kill you would make the program worth it!
4freeCLE: The Free CLE Newsletter!Jan 16, 2012
Get Continuing Legal Education for Free!
In most cases, you may be able to get credit in states other than those listed, via reciprocity or by applying to your state's credit-granting authority.
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The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program 

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provides training free of charge to attorneys who agree to represent a veteran/VA claimant or family member before the Veterans Court.
In 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims had a large pro se caseload and asked Congress to reallocate part of its own budget to secure representation for needy claimants. Now a  consortium of four organizations (The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, National Veterans Legal Services Program, and Paralyzed Veterans of America) receive a grant to operate the Pro Bono Program. After the day-long training, attorneys who participate are assigned
  • A case that has been screened for merit
  • A screening memo outlining the issues in the case
  • A mentor (a practicing veterans' law lawyer or practitioner) to give advice and share sample pleadings
  • A Veterans Benefits Manual (VBM) and other resource materials.   
The main benefit of volunteering to represent a veteran in an appeals case is that the veteran will receive the help he or she needs to prove entitlement to VA benefits. The Program also offers other advantages:
  • The Program provides one of the few opportunities to obtain appellate litigation experience while performing pro bono service. Most cases involve appellate brief writing and some cases may involve oral argument.
  • Representation before the Court can provide an opportunity to make new law since the Court is still relatively new and cases may present issues of first impression.
  • The Program provides significant support and training to ensure that your time is used effectively. Cases are prescreened for merit in advance of assignment; volunteer attorneys are quickly oriented to the case with a memorandum describing the facts and legal issues; further assistance is available from the assigned mentor; volunteer attorneys participate in an in-depth full-day training seminar by experts and receive a detailed practice manual.
  • Malpractice insurance is provided.
  • CLE credits are available.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast!

I did this last year, and it was a fun challenge. I'll likely try again this year:
From the New England Regional Environmental Ministries:Sign up now to participate in the 2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast!
Thank you for your participation in the 2011 Ecumentical Lenten Carbon Fast.  We hope you found it engaging, informative and transformational.  We're writing to invite you to renew your commitment to reducing your carbon footprint by joining us again in the 2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast.

Similar to last year, participants like you will receive daily email messages from Ash Wednesday through Easter with carbon reducing suggestions for you and your church or community group.  There are many new suggestions- often the result of your feedback- as well as updated links and information in those suggestions which have been carried forward from 2011.

Participating last year does not automatically sign you up to participate this year.  To join the 2012 fast, please click on the link below.  (If you've already signed up through our Facebook page, you don't need to sign up again.)

We will not sell or share your email address or other information with anyone else or use it for any purpose except the 2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast.

We hope you'll join us again

The 2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast is a project of NEREM (New England Regional Environmental Ministries).

Count me in friends!

The Seamstress And The Talking Frog

Once upon a time, a seamstress was taking a break by a pond, and a frog hopped up in her lap.
"Kiss me!" said the frog, "For I am a handsome prince under a spell. Your kiss will break the enchantment, and I shall marry you, and we shall live together in a beautiful palace with a hundred servants and storerooms full of jewels!"
The seamstress popped him into her basket and started home.
"Hey!" said the frog, "What's up? Why no kiss? I really am a handsome prince, with servants, jewels and et cetera!"
The seamstress snickered.
"Princes are pretty thick on the ground around here," she replied. "But a talking frog? None of my friends have one of those!"

MORAL OF THE STORY:
The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Emotionally Intelligent Ways To Go #Green Without Getting The Blues

If you're like me, you find some resistance in yourself or in others to adopting environmentally appropriate changes in your life. This resistance is understandable when the changes involve cost and inconvenience, but it can persist even when the changes have side benefits such as saving money.
Why is this?
Change can be easier when the problem is lack of knowledge or a lack of resources because then we know what to do: learn more or earn more. But when I know what to do and am able to do it, but just can get it done, the question may be emotional in nature, and that's not really susceptible to easy solution.
I've found that deploying the "Emotional Intelligence" techniques can help:
  1. Reduce stress. It is not helpful to stress out over saving the planet. I am not a bad, bad person if I forget to recycle a piece of paper; I may be a bit of a dumbsh1t, but mostly I just missed a chance to score a few points in the game of life. There will be other chances coming soon and I'll spot them better if I'm not worrying.
  2. Recognize and manage emotions. Feelings are not always convenient, but they can't be ignored.  For example, when I cut back on unnecessary servings of meat or prepared foods, sometimes it reminds me of the bad old days when I was poor. I associate certain savings with poverty and so avoid them. OK, this is irrational but so what? You can't wish feelings away; you have to take steps.  "I am prosperous. I am not cutting back here because I am poor; I am choosing to save because it's what I choose to do. It is a sign of my power!"  This may sound all New-Age-y and whoo-whoo, but if it works, why not?
  3. Connect with others using nonverbal communication. Smiles are cheap and effective. When someone recycles, turns off an unnecessary light, or chooses to walk rather than to drive, smile! You can make a bigger thing of it if you want, but at the very least, make your body language as green as your intentions so that people feel happy doing what you are hoping they'll do.
  4. Use humor and play to deal with challenges. Mary Poppins was right!
    Fun works! Making environmentally responsible actions into a game or a challenge means you're more likely actually to do them.
  5. Resolve conflicts positively and with confidence. It's really easy for me to try hectoring people, including myself, into virtuous behavior; it's also very annoying and not very helpful. It's not even helpful to hector myself into not hectoring myself! Instead, I'm looking ahead to the goal and feeling good about moving toward it stronger - now I find myself doing it!
My goal for this first quarter of 2012 is to use the above techniques to improve my environmental responsibility in the area of food waste. This is a subject about which I have all the facts I need and all the resources I need, so the problem is probably just one of attitude or emotion.
Wish me luck! 
    ---------
    I got thinking about the above as I pondered this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:

    This week, please share road blocks to green living. For example, perhaps you'd really like to compost but don't. We'd like to know why. Maybe you don't recycle ... let us know why. We're looking for all the reasons for NOT adopting a green activity. If you're not struggling with any road blocks at this time, then please share ones which you've heard from others. For example, one of the most common reasons is that it's too expensive.

    Then ...

    Take a look at the road blocks shared and offer solutions. For example, to people who say green living is too expensive, we might share examples of how green living is actually frugal. The idea of this challenge is to help us all find solutions and "bust" all excuses for not living green.

    WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!
    I like this challenge, because it's lead me to consider what is probably my biggest roadblock: myself. Fortunately, it's the roadblock over which I have the most control as well!

    Going Black On A White-Out Day

    Today I am snowed in, thanks to the weather, and working more-or-less normally, thanks to the internet.
    Part of the internet is "going black" today, to remind us of the dangers of the current form of 
    SOPA and PIPA, two proposals in Congress to screw-up the web in the name of protecting intellectual property rights.
    There are critics of these bills, and mostly they are people who know and understand the internet's potential for increasing human knowledge and freedom.
    There are supporters of these bills, and mostly they are people in public office who are dependent on campaign contributions from people with lots of money.

    There's a lot of money involved and, as we have learned from our corrupt Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, Money Talks.
    Personally, I'll stick with the internet folks; I don't have a lot of money and I see no reason to trust those who do over those who are trying to empower me.
    Without a free internet, I'd be shoveling snow today, instead of making money.

    For more information ... the following links may be illegal under SOPA/PIPA since they may link to material that is under copyright. How would I know?
    Wikipedia's articles on SOPA and PIPA
    As of 6AM PT, January 18, Google has more than 4,600 articles about the blackout. Here are a few:

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    MLK Weekend Snow

    Snow days are Nature's way of telling us to slow down and think about stuff. Let us celebrate the great America Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by staying the heck off the icy roads today!

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Tebown'd ....


    "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
    Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."
    -- Matthew 6:5

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