Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stamp Act

I like to watch the CBS This Morning show because it's the best way to start off the day with a little bit of Charlie Rose and his down-home grits-and-gravy sensibility...such as the way he introduces the "Eye-Opener" as "Your world in naaaahhhnty sehcons..."

And you get the News As Oprah Would See It delivered by Her Best Friend Gayle King, and the stunning Norah O'Donnell, whose laugh can cheer the mirthless, whose smile can heal the lame and halt, and who can control the weather by her very whim and caprice.

I learned something there the other morning.  There was a report about what's happening in New Jersey.  It seems that when you get a traffic ticket in the Garden State, attorneys comb the public record and send you letters offering to represent you in court.  Some lawyers spend their days routinely asking for the name and address of any and all people who receive citations so as to send them letters, thereby profiting from the public record.

As we all know, anyone can go online and find out how many arrests and tickets their neighbor, boss, or ne'er-do-well brother in law have racked up, as well as the addresses, birthdates and legal status of all involved.  This, to me, is a part of our democratic system that involves a risky tightrope walk between people being kept in the dark about information that they ought to have and people knowing too doggone much about stuff, but greater minds than mine (of which there are billions) will have to solve that.  I'm busy.

But, my favorite part of the report was when a reporter went to the office of one of these ambulance chasers to ask how it's right to send these letters to some guy who got a ticket on the New Jersey Turnpike for an unsafe lane change and failure to bring Chris Christie a Caramel Nut Roll from Dairy Queen. The attorney got this "excuuuuuuuuuuse me?" look all up in there and said, "After all, I have 46¢ invested in this!"

There you have it.  If he punched you in the mouth, he would then sue you hurting his knuckle. I mean, really.

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