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Comments by myshortpencil

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Posted on October 10 at 12:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice, mkg314. Too bad it's not the right date. The event happened on the 30th. August 1st is the paper I needed, and it's not available on Google.

From: Lawyers need to get tech savvy

Posted on October 7 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't care whether lawyers can cut and paste or search through discovery. They get paid way too much to do these tasks, which can competently be done by secretaries (can I still use that word?) and paralegals.

What lawyers have to be capable of is knowing the law, knowing the interactions among the laws, foreseeing problems and complications, and taking actions to minimize risk or optimize outcomes. It's their knowledge and creativity that justifies their salaries, not their technical skills.

My wife, a librarian, and I, a lawyer, used to play a game. Whenever we had a factual question, I would run to the computer and she would run to a book to find the answer. Each time she found the answer first, she beamed. Even today, most past knowledge is available only in print. If you want to know what the Gazette published on July 31, 1977, you have to go to a physical paper or a microfilm. (Actually, that's a trick hypothetical, because July 31, 1977 was a Sunday and there was no Sunday Gazette back then. I know because just this week I needed to know what the Gazette reported about a gathering on the day before.)

People who use books, and who learned from them, can get to exactly what they want within seconds. Computer searches can give scores to thousands of results that take time to narrow. The implied assumption that clients pay more for book searches than computer searches, and that they get better answers from computers is just plain ignorant. Moreover, computer searches are expensive. Depending on the matter at stake, a book search can produce a sound outcome at lower costs. People tend to pay lawyers to know these things, not Gazette editors.

I'm in favor of technology. I had my own computer in the Ohio Public Defender's office in 1988. I typed my own briefs. When Westlaw and Lexus became available on personal computers in the 1990s, I used them. Also, in 1990, I installed one of the first computer systems in a prosecuting attorney's office in Ohio -- 4 secretaries using one Lenux computer tied to one HP laser jet printer, which I personally confiscated during a search of a check-kiting suspect's apartment, and which the suspect forfeited to the office, where I was an assistant prosecuting attorney. I like technology. It has many advantages. However, I'm unconvinced that it makes better lawyers, or better thinkers, or cheaper legal services. We have lots of technology today, but who can afford a lawyer?

Finally, some of my medical doctors use or have used hunt and peck typing. The mandate to digitize medical data hasn't made my doctors less valuable or less capable. They still produce sound outcomes. I won't be asking them to change their professions, and the same goes for similarly situated lawyers.

From: Lawyers need to get tech savvy

Posted on September 16 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks, Gazette. How can you write a story about the group (of which I am not a member), and even refer to its website, but not give its address? It's This project is a complete waste of money, as Jerry Moore proves at

Moreover, this issue is absolutely political. Politics is how we get the best results possible for the community. Tom Tiberio and Maria Peterson, Republican candidates for Scotia Trustees, need to rub their opponents noses into this $14 million boondoggle. It is completely unethical to use $14 million to solve a tiff between two mayors who can't agree on a fair price for sewage treatment. The problem here is political, not a shortage of wastewater treatment capacity. You don't spend $14 million to build a risky plant that costs more to run than Schenectady's plant just because politicians can't get along.

From: Scotia group meets about potential wastewater plant

Posted on September 11 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

May I ask how many of you have had tractor axles broken by groundhog holes?

From: Fire officers who killed woodchuck

Posted on September 11 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My apologies. And condolences to the groundhog's family.

From: Fire officers who killed woodchuck

Posted on September 11 at 11:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Groundhogs are pests. It's perfectly acceptable to shoot them on sight in rural areas, and the people who live in these areas generally agree with that. They aren't harmless and they certainly aren't defenseless. If I had a large enough database over a long enough time, I'm sure that I could prove that people who write editorials against shooting groundhogs are equally cruel against people and have no business running newspapers.

From: Fire officers who killed woodchuck

Posted on September 5 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm saving all the glowing endorsements of Tedisco to compare to his actual accomplishments, if he wins. He is, in my opinion, the consummate establishment candidate who fiddled while corruption surrounded him.

From: Tedisco’s experience an asset in Senate

Posted on September 5 at 9:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Adventure Park is a perfect match with the land and community. (I have no affiliation with the park, its owner or any employees). Any disruption of the rural ambiance is far less than that caused by the relatively new homes that were built there.

From: Tedisco’s experience an asset in Senate

Posted on September 1 at 12:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

While I'm thinking about it, the Schenectady School District scores at or near the bottom of almost every academic achievement measure used in the state for the past 20 years. If equity and excellence are consistent goals, this school district certainly hasn't proved it.

From: Schenectady teachers 'guardians of equity' at orientation

Posted on August 31 at 10:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ideologies have consequences, schdyres1. Equity never produces excellence.

From: Schenectady teachers 'guardians of equity' at orientation

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