Monday, August 23, 2010

Loaded language

This tree in Dorchester, MA was tired of being pissed on. I know how you feel tree.

What certain word mean legally varies so much. Some examples from my life:
  • Prudent as in a prudent investment. In Michigan, this is interpreted county by county. There is a Michigan Uniform Probate Law but how it it is enforced really varies. For example funds of 'protected persons' such as my mom with Alzheimer's Disease need to invested 'prudently' with much oversight from the courts. In Washtenaw county, prudent investments must be  FDIC insured. Even then, one can only use 'approved banks.' Never mind the going interest rate was less than 1%. If ones medical needs exceed 50K/year, one needs a higher interest rate. In my book, putting money in a bank would not be prudent. Fortunately my mother didn't live in Washtenaw County so I could get the  higher interest rate that was needed.Still investment advisers would hit me over the head with this 'prudent' word saying that certain investments of my father were not prudent. But I suspected self-interest in many cases. No money for them unless I sell.
  • Reasonable as in reasonable compensation. Nowhere but nowhere is this spelled out. I finally took a probate class to see whatever that means and got a very vague answer as in somewhere between $10-$20/hour. Later I found someone getting $80/hour for estate work as that is what he'd be paid doing his normal work. The courts accepted that. We will see how Napoleonic Law interprets this phrase. (the law followed in Quebec)
  • Obviousness. While working, I had to regularly justify my activity as in I made C because A and B were active and C has the best features of A and B. It is obvious.The first time (and last time) I said something to that effect, much loud criticism was directed my way. Obvious compounds can NOT be patented; only novel ones can. I was to make no more obvious compounds even though that is what I did. I just had to call it something else.
  • Deemed disposition. Never heard of this until I tried to interpret Quebec probate law. I won't even begin to explain this but trust me, it is going to be one of  the banes of my existence.
  • Animal cruelty. Somehow not immediately agreeing to a $2000+ surgery for something that isn't causing any pain for an animal that isn't even mine is lumped together with animal torture such as burning it alive. Never mind that that the dog seemed to get better everyday so it was assumed to be a sprain even by the vet who later filed a complaint.There is only black and white similar to the sexual offender law, which fortunately is not part of my life. In Michigan, if convicted of a sexual offense, you are put on a list forever limiting your employment or where you can live. An 18  year old having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend is lumped together with a 60 year priest abusing altar boys. Someone pointed out to me that there is someone down the street from me on this list. These lists give names, ages and addresses; not what the offense was.
  • Deadly. Poor prognosis. Even professional journals routinely use these words to describe TNBC making the newly diagnosed gasp. What is deadly?Kills 1%, 50%?OMG! Am I going to die?!?
  • Significant. A new drug that extends the life of a metastatic patient 1 month beyond the usual 5 months may be statistically significant but...
Sorry for the  boring post. I wanted to post more pictures but am waiting on Naomi. She meanwhile had a visit from the public health nurse, who is finally healthy herself. She approved of all that Naomi is doing and was impressed that she continues to breastfeed. We did have nice weather today and I ran for a long time.

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