Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A to Z Challenge: N is for No Exceptions

In Judge Raymond Voet's Michigan courtroom, the ubiquitous cell phone is not welcome.  He makes no exceptions.

This is understandable.  Yes, if you have left children with a babysitter or have a loved one in the hospital, you might need to leave your phone on.  You can, though, put it on vibrate and discreetly leave the proceedings or go out to talk on the phone later.

The Judge makes no exceptions, though, for "electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions."  That includes his own phone.

The other day, he surmises that he accidentally bumped his smart phone.  Whether that's what happened or not, his phone began prompting him to give it a voice command during a critical part of a proceeding.  He immediately shut it down, and was probably quite embarrassed.

During the next interim, he showed that he does not favor himself over others.  Since he allows no exceptions, he found himself in contempt of his own court, fined himself $25, the standard amount, and paid up right away.  He noted that if he can't obey the rules, he has no business enforcing them.

Kathe W's post yesterday discussed Diogenes' question, "Where can you find an honest man."

The answer, it would seem, is in Judge Voet's courtroom, right there behind the bench.

No exceptions. 

Today is

Bunsui Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu --  Tsubame, Niigata, Japan (through the 23rd, when there is a traditional costume Courtesan Parade)

Day of Mushroom Encouragement -- Fairy Calendar

Dronningens fodselsdag -- Denmark (Birthday of Queen Margrethe II)

Eighty-Niner Days Celebration -- Guthrie, OK, US (commemoration of the Oklahoma Territory Land Run of April 22, 1889, celebrating their heritage with chuck wagon feeds, "gunfights", a parade and carnival; through Saturday)

Emancipation Day -- Washington, D.C., US

Holiday of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Jim Thorpe Day -- US (by Presidential Proclamation in 1973)

National CPA's Goof Off Day -- US, the day after tax day because they deserve it!

National Eggs Benedict Day

National Library Workers Day -- US (always the Tuesday of National Library Week)

National Stress Awareness Day -- sponsored by the Health Resource Network (appropriate for the day after paying taxes)

Offering to Demeter Khloe -- Ancient Greek Calendar (honoring Demeter as goddess of green shoots; date approximate)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes' Day (Patron of people ridiculed for their piety, poor people, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people; Lourdes, France; against bodily ills, poverty, sickness)

St. Padarn's Day (Celtic peoples traditionally begin weeding crops on this saint's day)

Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day -- US (the day after you pay your taxes, bring the comforts of home to the office; sponsored by PajamaGram)

World Entrepreneurship Day

Yom HaAtzmaut -- Israel (Independence Day; began sunset yesterday, through sunset today)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Queensland, 1910

Birthdays Today:

Lilliana Mumy, 1994
Selena Quintanilla, 1971
Martin Lawrence, 1965
Ellen Barkin, 1955
Kareem Adbud-Jabbar, 1947
Dusty Springfield, 1939
Bobby Vinton, 1935
Herbie Mann, 1930
Edie Adams, 1929
Pope Benedict XVI, 1927
Henry Mancini, 1924
Peter Ustinov, 1921
Barry Nelson, 1920
Merce Cunningham, 1919
Charlie Chaplin, 1889
Wilbur Wright, 1867
Anatole France, 1844

Today in History:

Calculated date of the return of Odysseus from the Trojan War, BC1178
The Jewish fortress of Masada falls to the Roman Army, ending the Jewish revolt, 73
Martin Luther is called before the Diet of Worms, 1521
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina, 1582
The United States Senate ratified the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada, 1880
The first passenger rail opens in India, 1853
Ebenezer Bassett, the first African-American diplomat, begins his service in Haiti, 1869
US Marshal Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle, in Dodge City, 1881
Harriet Quimby becomes the first female pilot to cross the English Channel, 1912
Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British, 1919
Annie Oakley shoots a record 100 clay targets in a row, 1922
Dr. Albert Hofmann first ingests LSD, thus discovering its effects, 1943
Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, 1947
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation, 1963
The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique and 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean, 1992
The Queen Mary II embarks on her first transatlantic voyage, 2004
President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo declares the First Ivorian Civil War to be over, 2007


  1. A most honourable judge. You must do what you preach!

  2. Seems he's worthy of the title "Your Honour."

  3. Glad to hear not all judges are hypocrites. I'll do my part to encourage as many mushrooms as I can today,too :)

  4. Love that he applied the rule to himself! Must have made for an amusing day in court. I'd dread jury duty less if more judges went around fining themselves.

  5. Good for Judge Voet, a man who practices what he preaches.

  6. We need that kinda man the White House!
    So, I'm trying to wrap my head around Day of Mushroom Encouragement. I keep mulling it over, but I just don't get it. Those darn fairies....

  7. Paul and Hilary, i agree on both counts.

    Shell, you can even get an edible mushroom growing kit at Whole (Paycheck)Foods. Although i'm not sure that's the kind of mushrooms the fairies have in mind.

    Crabby, i think that's true of all of us!

    Tim, i'd love to clone him, or at least his sense of duty and honor.

    Josie, i couldn't agree more about needing this kind of person in all levels of government. And the fairies need those mushrooms for something, so i wouldn't mess with it -- they can get cranky when we humans muddle stuff up.

  8. I was quite impressed when I read this.

  9. He is someone i would truly like and respect. :) He's definitely not a 'do as i say.. not as i do.. person.