A View From the Cheap Seats

September 24, 2008

News to Amuse

Bettie probably never spent I dime on attorneys, I'm thinkin'

Bettie probably never spent I dime on attorneys, I'm thinkin'


By Rich Trzupek

-With financial markets imploding, it more important than ever to save a buck. According to published reports, DeKalb attorney Scott Robert Erwin saved himself the trouble of tucking numerous dollar bills into G-strings by using his law degree in a way that would have made John Marshall – or at least Hugh Hefner – proud.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission suspended Erwin for 15 months, saying that accepting nude dances in lieu of cash wasn’t an example of sterling legal ethics, or words to that effect.

So much for America, land of “opportunity”.

The story goes that Erwin befriended an exotic dancer working at a strip club in 2001. The attorney agreed to represent her, and they also agreed that she would perform nude dances for him in his office in lieu of reduced bills.

The lass eventually ran up bills totaling $7,000, and Erwin reported credited her for only $534 for her dancing, which suggests that either: a) she was in the Hillary Clinton class as far as lookers go, or b) Erwin is pretty tight with a buck.

In any case, the dancer eventually complained to the authorities and the authorities eventually nailed Erwin. Ah well, when you strip this story down to the bare essentials, the naked truth is that you ultimately get what you play for, bottoms up.

-The long awaited first debate is almost upon us and it represents the one, big chance for McCain to pull this out. Palin vs. Biden doesn’t worry me, despite the mainstream media spin on Alaska’s governor. Biden is a non-entity and that’s not going to change.

Barack Obama Who Is Not A Muslim, on the other hand has been particularly awful when called upon to speak off the cuff, saying “uh – uh – uh” almost as often as he parrots “change” and “hope”, and displaying a sullen arrogance that is remarkable in a political figure. Should McCain manage to press the right button, much as Reagan did against Carter with “there you go again” in 1980, he could stand a chance.

It is still Obama’s race to lose, no doubt about it. However, Barry might be just the guy to do it.

Here’s hoping.

-According to an AP report, at least 86 workers at a Grand Island, Nebraska meat packing plant lost their jobs for leaving work outside of their regular hours. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t raise any eyebrows, anywhere.
However, the workers in question were Muslim and they had an excuse for leaving early: God demanded it. This is representative of the collisions between western culture and traditions and a religion that demands unquestioning obedience.

This episode reminded me of my time working at an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia. “Saudiazation” was all the rage in the kingdom back then. This was the concept that all of the foreigners – Americans, Brits, Indians and Filipinos for the most part – who did the bulk of the work would be dispelled from the Kingdom, to be replaced by native Saudis.

It was a noble idea, to a point, and that point was prayer time. Being devout Sunni Muslims, Saudis were required to stop work, go to the mosque and pray, five times each day. Being Arab Saudis, they really didn’t have any choices in the areas of “devout”, “Sunni” or “Muslim”.

Oil refineries, and a host of other industries, can’t really take five breaks a day, without things blowing up and people getting maimed and/or killed. It just doesn’t work that way. Exhibiting a true international spirit, all of us – Yanks, Brits, Indians and Filipinos would get together and laugh at the thought of “Saudiazation”. Five minutes after “Saudization” began, the Kingdom would grind to a halt.

The American tradition of freedom of religion demands that people should be able to worship as they please, so long as worship remains within the bounds of the law. The American tradition of free enterprise demands that people should also be able to run their businesses as they please, with the same caveat. This case, and many more to come, pits these two principles against each other.

Personally, I don’t have any problem picking a side. If you think that our free enterprise principles detract from your ability to worship the god of your choice, you are more than welcome to find someplace else to live.

-And finally, at Casa Trzupek, the haunting of the dishwasher continues. Based on conversations with other parents, this is not an isolated incident. Kids, it seems, are convinced that dishwashers are haunted, a la Poldergeist, likely to swallow them in should they dare to rinse a used plate and insert it into the appliance.

Maybe they’ve got something here, along the lines of the “if I take the garbage out, then the garbage fairies who normally do this will be annoyed and do terrible things to me in my sleep” theory. It’s possible, one supposes, but probably unlikely.

As is the rest of the news.

Yet, it’s all true.


1 Comment »

  1. Barter? I hardly know ‘er!

    Comment by Mike Pajeau — September 24, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

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