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Funny Moments in the Courtroom
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now
Published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s twenty, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And the best for last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Now Thats Funny!!!!
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At 2.46 pm Japan time, an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck at a depth of 24.4 km below the ocean’s surface, 130 km (80 miles) from the coastal city of Honshu and 373 km (231 miles) from Tokyo
— The resulting tsunami, with waves in excess of 10 meters in height, struck the port of Sendai and devastated a large part of North East Japan
— This is reported to be the worst earthquake in 140 years
— All public transport, rail, air, port and mobile services were shut down. Schools are providing shelter to stranded commuters
— Nuclear power emergency declared. Five plants shut down. A fire broke out at Oganawa nuclear plant in NE Japan and has since been extinguished
— The Yen dropped, Nikkei closed at a five-week low and all other world markets are trading lower than usual.
— Honda has suspended operations at its assembly plant in Saitama, near Tokyo
— As many as 80 buildings, many of them in Tokyo, burst into flames as a result of the quake
— 4 million households have been deprived of electricity
— Tsunami alert along the Pacific Coast; Hawaii experiences a 4.9 magnitude quake; Taiwan, Russia, Chile still on high alert
–Hawaii, Russia and Taiwan have evacuated people from the danger areas
—US, Britain and India have offered to help the Japanese
government. The Indian embassy has also assured that 25,000 Indians in Japan are safe
–The official toll stands at 59; true figures are expected only once communications are restored
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Did you know that Japan take the tsunami threat so seriously that one university even has a specialist engineering faculty to study the natural effect?
Did you know that there is also a Tsunami Warning Service, established in 1952, and run by the Japan Meteorological Society (JMA)?
Did you know that six regional centres connected up to 300 sensors located across Japan’s islands, including around 80 water-borne sensors, monitor seismic activity round the clock?
Did you know that if an earthquake looks as if it has the potential to trigger a tsunami, the JMA issues an alert within three minutes of it being identified?
Did you know that the alerts are broadcast on all radio and TV channels, and if necessary an evacuation warning is also given?
Did you know that the JMA aims to give people in the path of the wave at least 10 minutes’ warning to evacuate the area?
Did you know that local authorities, central government and disaster relief organisations also get warnings via special channels so they can respond to a disaster swiftly?
Did you know that the JMA’s network is so sophisticated that it can predict the height, speed, destination and arrival time of any tsunami destined for Japanese shores?
Did you know thatTsunami waves can attain speeds of up to 1000km/h in the open seas?
Did you know that one of the more prominent countries which have implemented tsunami walls is Japan? Japan has extensively built tsunami walls of height 4.5 metres in some high density coastal areas. Other features accompanying the tsunami walls are floodgates and channel to redirect water in the event of a tsunami.
Did you know that Mangrove trees planted along the coasts can significantly help to reduce the destruction caused by tsunami waves as the mangrove trees can act as a barrier and reduce the force of the oncoming waves.
In addition, environmentalists believe that the removal of coastal mangrove trees could have intensified the effect of the tsunami in some locations.
Did you know that it is important to install sirens on the beaches in tsunami prone areas in order to warn the local population of an incoming tsunami? Having sirens is effective because it is loud in delivering the warning.
Did you know that warning signs are relatively important as they inform people, especially foreigners of the local dangers and appropriate action to take in case of a tsunami?
Did you know that even with all these precautions and warning systems, Japan still remains at risk?
Now if you didn’t know, now you know…
Regardless of how much closer Obama’s budget brings our economy into a balance of payments not seen since 2001, we will continue to run deficits for the next decade, and the national debt will keep growing every year that happens.
While most of the country’s $14 trillion debt is held by private banks in the U.S., the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board estimate that, as of December, about $4.4 trillion of it was held by foreign governments
that purchase our treasury securities much as an investor buys shares in a company and comes to own his or her little chunk of the organization.
Looking at the list of our top international creditors, a few overall characteristics show some interesting trends: Three of the top 10 spots are held by China and its constituent parts, and while two of our biggest creditors are fellow English-speaking democracies, a considerable share of our debt is held by oil exporters that tend to be decidedly less friendly in other areas of international relations.
Here we break down the top 10 foreign holders of U.S. debt, comparing each creditor’s holdings with the equivalent chunk of the United States they “own,” represented by the latest (2009) state gross domestic product data
released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Obviously, these creditors won’t actually take states from us as payment on our debts, but it’s fun to imagine what states and national monuments they could assert a claim to.
1. Mainland China
Amount of U.S. debt: $891.6 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 20.4%
Building on the holdings of its associated territories, China is the undisputed largest holder of U.S. foreign debt in the world. Accounting for 20.4% of the total, mainland China’s $891.6 billion in U.S. treasury securities is almost equal to the combined 2009 GDP of Illinois ($630.4 billion) and Indiana ($262.6 billion) in 2009, a shade higher at a combined $893 billion. As President Obama — who is from Chicago — wrangles over his proposed budget with Congress he may be wise to remember that his home city may be at stake in the deal.
Amount of U.S. debt: $883.6 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 20.2%
The runner-up on the list of our most significant international creditors goes to Japan, which accounts for over a fifth of our foreign debt holdings with $883.6 billion in U.S. treasury securities. That astronomical number is just shy of the combined GDP of a significant chunk of the lower 48: Minnesota ($260.7 billion), Wisconsin ($244.4 billion), Iowa ($142.3 billion) and Missouri ($239.8 billion) produced a combined output of $887.2 billion in 2009.
3. United Kingdom
Amount of U.S. debt: $541.3 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 12.4%
At number three on the list is perhaps our closest ally on the world stage, the United Kingdom (which includes the British provinces of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). The U.K. holds $541.3 billion in U.S. foreign debt, which is 12.4% of our total external debt. That amount is equivalent to the combined GDP of two East Coast manufacturing hubs, Delaware ($60.6 billion) and New Jersey ($483 billion) — which was named, yes, after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. The two states’ combined output in 2009 came to $543.6 billion.
4. Oil Exporters
Amount of U.S. debt: $218 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 5%
Another grouped entry, the oil exporters form another international bloc with money to burn. The group includes 15 countries as diverse as the regions they represent: Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria. As a group they hold 5% of all American foreign debt, with a combined $218 billion of U.S. treasury securities in their own treasuries. That’s roughly equivalent to the combined 2009 GDP of Nebraska ($86.4 billion) and Kansas ($124.9 billion), which seems to be an equal trade: The two states produce a bunch of grain for export, which many of the arid oil producers tend to trade for oil.
©MS Illustration/Public Domain
Amount of U.S. debt: $180.8 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 4.1%
Rounding out the top five is the largest economy in South America, Brazil. The country known for its beaches, Carnaval and the unbridled hedonism that goes along with both has made a big investment in the U.S., buying up $180.8 billion in American debt up to December. That’s almost equal to the $180.5 billion combined GDP of Idaho ($54 billion) and Nevada ($126.5 billion), a state that is no stranger to hedonism itself.
6. Caribbean Banking Centers
Amount of U.S. debt: $155.6 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 3.6%
You have to have cash on hand to buy up U.S. government debt, and offshore banking has given six countries the combined capital needed to make the Caribbean Banking Centers our sixth-largest foreign creditor. The Treasury Department counts the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles, Panama and the British Virgin Islands in this designation, which as a group holds $155.6 billion in U.S. treasury securities. That’s equivalent to the GDP of landlocked Kentucky ($156.6 billion), whose residents may not actually mind if they were ever to become an extension of some Caribbean island paradise.
7. Hong Kong
Amount of U.S. debt: $138.2 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 3.2%
At No. 7 on the list of our foreign creditors is Hong Kong, a formerly British part of China that maintains a separate government and economic ties than the communist mainland. With $138.2 billion in U.S. treasury securities, the capitalist enclave could lay claim to Yellowstone Park and our nation’s capital: The combined GDP of Wyoming ($37.5 billion) and Washington D.C. ($99.1 billion) totaled $136.6 billion in 2009.
©MS Illustration/Public Domain
Amount of U.S. debt: $134.6 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 3.1%
They say that a friend in need is a friend indeed, and our neighbor to the north has proven to be a kind and generous creditor in our time of financial need. Canada holds about 3.1% of our foreign debt, or $134.6 billion. If friend were to become enemy and Canada were looking to annex some U.S. land to cover the debt though, the country would have an easy time of it. The combined GDP of Maine ($51.3 billion), New Hampshire ($59.4 billion) and Vermont ($25.4 billion) comes close to Canada’s debt holdings at $136.1 billion.
Residents of the three states in our extreme northeast corner should start practicing their French: They might become Québécois one of these days.
Amount of U.S. debt: $131.9 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 3.0%
Taiwan, an island barely 100 miles off the coast of China, is claimed by the People’s Republic of China, despite having its own government and economic relations with the outside world. Part of those economic relations includes the island’s holding of $131.9 billion of U.S. debt, roughly equivalent to the combined GDP of West Virginia ($63.3 billion) and Hawaii ($66.4 billion), which totals $129.7 billion.
Unless we get our spending in check, we risk losing some of our most visually stunning territory (West Virginia, obviously) to our friendly neighbors on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Amount of U.S. debt: $106.2 billion
Share of total foreign debt: 2.4%
Starting off the list of our major foreign creditors is Russia, which holds about 2.4% of the U.S. debt pie that sits on the international dinner table. Its $106.2 billion in treasury securities is equivalent to the 2009 GDP of our sparsely populated North: The combined output of North Dakota ($31.9 billion), South Dakota ($38.3 billion) and Montana ($36 billion) matches up nicely with the Russian holdings, at $106.2 billion.
Let’s hope Russian president Dmitry Medvedev doesn’t come to collect.
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