This is part of a series entitled “Lemon Law: 5 Things You Should Know.” It is written by Sergei Lemberg, who is an attorney who specializes in lemon law. His site, Lemon Justice, offers detailed information about lemon laws, as well as an interactive Lemon Meter for consumers who want to see if their vehicle qualifies as a lemon.

With the federal government bailing out Wall Street, it’s natural for people to be frustrated and angry about the impact that this “rescue package” will – or will not – have on the financial struggles they’re facing. What many people don’t realize is that there are existing laws can help ease their economic burden.

For example, if you bought a car in the past year or two, it may be tough to find the money to make payments. If that car turns out to be defective, you’re faced with a double whammy – car payments and repair bills. Thankfully, every state in the U.S. has what’s called a “lemon law,” designed to protect consumers who have unknowingly purchased defective vehicles. But pursuing your lemon rights does mean actively engaging in conflict.

Although every state law is different, common themes run through them. New cars are always covered (though the definition of “new” varies), and motorcycles, RVs, and used cars are sometimes covered. There’s also a timeframe involved (for example, the defects have to occur within the first two years or 24,000 miles), and a required number of repair attempts (three times for the same problem, for example).

If you think that your vehicle may qualify as a lemon under your state’s law, it’s important to know your rights and meet conflict head on. When you do, you could qualify for a refund, a replacement vehicle, or a financial settlement. Consulting a lemon law attorney shouldn’t cost you a penny, since most states require that the automaker pay for consumers’ legal costs.

If you did not see it at the time, it is well worth viewing Randy Pausch’s “last lecture”. He died last Friday, July 25, 2008.

I thought I had posted about it at the time, when the YouTube film circulated, but I do not find it in the Engaging Conflicts archives. I think I have “technical difficulties” about embedding YouTube videos, and never got around to fixing the problem.
Here’s the link to the YouTube, which is introduced this way:

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation …

Here’s a link to the article announcing his death [New York Times (free subscription might be required)]; and here’s a Flickr site set up by his friends.
To give you a small sense of the man — I laughed out loud several times during the talk at his humor — here are some quotes from his lecture:

“My dad said, if there’s an elephant in the room, introduce him!” [about the fact that he was recently diagnosed with fast-killing pancreatic cancer]

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt; just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed and morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you!”

Truly, it was and is an inspiring talk about living, about attaining and helping others to attain childhood dreams, and about what’s important in life.

My condolences to his family and friends; my gratitude to have benefited some small piece from his personal generosity and courage.

santa tree decoration

This from

Winter Solstice celebrations: a.k.a. Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night, etc.


Religious folk worldwide observe many seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. Most are religious holy days, and are linked in some way to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. On that day, due to the earth’s tilt on its axis, the daytime hours are at a minimum in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a maximum. (In the southern hemisphere, the summer solstice is celebrated in December, when the night time is at a minimum and the daytime is at a maximum. We will assume that the reader lives in the Northern hemisphere for the rest of this essay.)

People view other religions in various ways, and thus treat the celebrations of other faiths differently [Go to their site for the link…]

This from Thinking Ethics on an ethical Christmas:

Surfing around for tips on ethical Christmas turns up lots of gift ideas. But the best advice is from Ekklesia with five steps towards a more ethical Christmas. [Go to their site for the link…]