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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 20, 2005

possession with intent to repair

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 2:55 pm

Schenectady (NY) County Judge Karen Drago knows “farfetched” when she

sees it — and defendant Frank Darmody is grateful. Judge Drago dismissed

a grand jury felony charge against Darmody on one count of “attempted criminal

possession of a weapon.” (Schenectady Daily Gazette, “Charge tied to weapon

dismissed,” Nov. 19, 2005, $ubscpt)




During a traffic stop on various violations, Darmody had told an officer that

there was a gun on the back seat of his vehicle, but it didn’t work and he was

repairing it for a friend. Tests showed that the gun was inoperable, and thus

could not be the basis for a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. However,

the innovative Assistant Schenectady County District Attorney, Martin Burke,

decided to seek an indictment based on Darmody’s intent to repair the weapon

and thus make it operable. Burke has admitted that he’s been unable to find

any case law on this issue.


Judge Drago therefore made a little caselaw of her own, in People v Darmody

(Oct. 28, 2005), stating:

“The People’s argument that the charge should stand because

he intended to repair the weapon and once operable he would

be in possession of the weapon is farfetched at best.”

Seems to me that the grand jury should have laughed A.D.A. Burke right out

of their hearing room. Of course, if Darmody had been caught in the very

act of repairing the gun, Judge Drago might have reached a different conclusion.

Would you? Any criminal law experts out there with an opinion?

tiny check You’ve got to wonder what ADA Burke might decide to do “bombfuse”

to anybody in possession of the book The Boy Mechanic

a 1913 compilation by Popular Mechanics, available free

from Project Gutenberg, with the following cautionary

disclarimer (via RyeBlog and Blawg Review‘s Anonymous Ed) :

“These projects involve items such as gunpowder,

acetylene, hydrogen, lead, mercury, sulfuric acid,

nitric acid, cadmium, potassium sulfate, potassium

cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, copper sulfate,

and hydrochloric acid. Several involve the construction

of hazardous electrical devices. Please view these as

snapshots of culture and attitude, not as suggestions

for contemporary activity.”




country stop sign–
the pink glow of sunset
through .22 holes

midday heat

the staccato staccato

of a nail gun




against the rumbling
of the thunderhead:
his toy gun



Lee Gurga

from Fresh Scent (Brooks Books, 1998)




hunting season

i read the inscription

inside my wedding band





lonely road
a policeman listens
as i recite the alphabet

hunting season
i lower my shotgun
to watch the pheasants

ed markowski




smells like Thanksgiving —

two dads smoke cigars

behind the garage



[Nov. 20, 2005]




words and a logo for the Florida Supreme Court

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:13 pm

The St. Petersburg Times has a very good editorial, in response to the

Florida Supreme Court’s decision banning a law firm’s Pit Bull logo, in

Here are some excerpts from “Snarf. Growl. Meow?,” (Nov. 20, 2005):

After very long thought and utterly serious deliberation, the Florida

Supreme Court has unanimously pronounced pit bulls to be very

bad dogs. Much too bad, you see, to symbolize a lawyer’s services.


We are not making this up, but we wish we were.


The reason why the court scoured law books and the Internet for  dog neg

precedents, having none of its own, had nothing to do with injury to

a person or another animal. The harm in question was only to the

dignity of the legal profession, which obviously takes itself much too



The real harm, however, was to the First Amendment . . .


. . . But the court is kidding only itself if it thinks that censoring the

profession’s advertising will make lawyers look like pussycats to the

people who have felt their claws.

In case the Florida Supreme Court needs a new symbol/logo for its

homepage, the f/k/a Gang, after at least as much deliberation as the

Court over Pit Bulls, suggests this fellow:



                                                                            Or, perhaps, this version: bullN


Just watch your step in their ethics pasture.


lightning flash–
only the dog’s face
is innocent






town dump

two magpies jabber

on an old brass bed





in the old elm’s shade

the black cat opens one eye

sunspot on its tail





as I wait

for the phone to ring    the beagle

worries a bone




putting holes

in my argument

the woodpecker


George Swede from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000) 


update (Nov. 23, 2005): see ” pit bull ” as compliment .





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