Monday, September 24, 2012

Real Man, Real Genius

So I was rewriting my List of Necessary Attributes in a Man, as you do when you suffer from POMS,* and I realized that all these years, I've left out one very necessary attribute: The ability to quote the movie Real Genius at appropriate moments. If the following conversation occurs, then I've finally met The One:

He: If there's ever anything I can do for you, or more to the point, to you, just let me know.
Me: Can you hammer a nail through a six-inch board with your penis?
He: Not right now.
Me: A girl's gotta have her standards.

You see, a man who can go through that entire scene with the right attitude - well, that right there is what we Texas girls call A Keeper.

*Permanent Old Maid Syndrome. POMS is an all-too-common condition that strikes a woman who has reached the age of 35 without ever being married. It consists of three or more of the following symptoms:

- A plenitude of cats;
- A lack of a social life ("social life" here defined as three or more non-work-related outings with other human beings per week and/or at least two romantic outings per week);
- Thorough knowledge of Doctor Who, the works of Jane Austen, and/or the works of Charlotte Bronte;
- Virginity, whether actual or technical;
- An inability to compromise social or moral standards for the sake of marital status;
- An inability to disguise or abandon intellect for the sake of marital status; and
- The ability to establish and maintain self-identity without the approval of others.

POMS can only be self-diagnosed. It can never be diagnosed for another woman, and it never occurs prior to the age of 35, but its onset can be later in life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I will be so glad when this election is over.

The last few weeks have been a nightmare of screeching from all sides. Mudflinging, name-calling, “yo mama!,” and hate just flooding my Tumblr dash and my Facebook page. I’m so tired of it all.
Yes, I get that there are important issues at stake. Yes, I get that the rest of the world cares deeply about who our President is. Yes, I get it. I get it all.
But why do people have to be so strident about it? I feel like I’m surrounded by car dealers yelling and blowing horns and flashing strobe lights and those flailing  creepy-ass tube-people things trying to get my attention. And you know what? I don’t buy cars from those people, so that approach is not going to get my vote, either.
At this point, people have mostly made up their minds how their vote is going to be cast. This final push before Election Day is not going to accomplish much except to alienate Americans from each other and from their friends living in other parts of the world.
I’m sick of politics. I don’t believe any of the candidates, and I don’t think any of them have the best interests of the American people at heart. Once again, I will be voting against the one I perceive to present the biggest danger to my country and my people, and then will just get through the next four years until the next circus comes to town. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Business Law 101 or: Why a Corporation is a Person

There has been a lot of outcry in the social media lately about whether a corporation is or isn’t a person. It seems to me that someone has taken something out of context and used it to lash people who do not know the law into a frenzy. So here’s the scoop, folks. And why should you believe what I say? Because I am a business law attorney. This is what I do, and have done for more than 10 years.

OK, so. Let’s talk about forms of business. When a natural person starts a business, it’s usually a sole proprietorship, which simply means a business with one individual owner. Under the law, there is no difference between the business owner’s personal life and their business life. The owner’s business assets can be seized to pay the owner’s personal debts, and more importantly, the owner’s personal assets can be seized to pay the business’s debts.

So how does an individual protect his personal assets (i.e., his house, his car, his children’s toys, and the cash he uses to feed his children) from business liabilities? He (or she) forms a corporation. The corporation is what we lawyer-types call a legal fiction – it is an entity separate from its owner. It pays its own taxes, nearly always at a higher marginal rate than the owner’s personal rate. It buys and sells property in its own name. It can sue and be sued in its own name. Why? Because the legal definition of “person” includes corporations.  If a corporation was not a “person” under the law, there could be no way to protect the business owner’s personal assets from something horrible that happened in his business.

Let’s take a common occurrence as an illustration. A decides that she has a product that the world desperately needs. Her market research shows a need, so she starts making and marketing the product. A million units later, the manufacturing process hiccups and a single unit explodes, injuring Customer’s child. Customer sues A for damages done to the child.

If A is a sole proprietor, depending on the state where she lives, she could lose EVERYTHING. She could lose her house, her car, her business (remember, this is how she supports her family). Her family could be homeless, and now her children don’t have a place to live.

If, however, A formed a corporation, Customer would sue the corporation. A’s personal property would be protected and her children would be OK. The corporation may be out of business, but A and her family are still on her feet.

Do you begin to see why it is important that a corporation be a “person” under the law? It all has to do with protecting the owner.

Besides all that, who is a corporation, really? It’s people. The shareholders are people. The directors and officers are people. Corporations aren’t faceless. They are operated by people. Those people are generally decent, just like you. Sure, there are a few bad apples. There are in ANY group – of people.

So don’t buy in to the falsehood that corporations shouldn’t be people under the law. If we did away with that very basic point of American law, many more individuals would be bankrupt and out on the streets. Corporations are the backbone of American business – I’m not talking about megacorporations; I’m talking about the small Mom & Pop corporations that are formed every day. Be aware. Be informed. And for all our sakes, don’t just fall into lockstep with any political party’s agenda.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

National Tragedy

Eleven years ago today, I watched the World Trade Center collapse in the only act of war committed on American home soil in my lifetime. I remember the sick horror of realizing how many people were dying as I watched. I remember that it seemed almost unreal, and the tears streaming down my face and the horror in my stomach were the only cues that I was witnessing actual events. I remember that most of the NYFD and many of the NYPD died doing their jobs that day. I remember the acts of heroism on United 93. I remember the silence while the planes were grounded. I remember all of it. Justice for those who died was a long time coming, but the mastermind behind it all has now paid for his act of war.

But I also remember my countrymen cowering at home and begging President Bush to keep us safe from further attacks, not realizing that you can be free or you can be safe, but it is impossible to be both. I remember the same people pilloried President Bush for doing exactly what we begged him to do in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

So for me, the real tragedy of 9/11/01 is not that so many people lost their lives. It's that the American people chose safety over freedom out of fear, which means that the terrorists have already won.