On the one hand, CSI is ensuring that one does not get away with murder while other programs find a way to get criminals off scott-free.
David E. Kelly is one of my favorite TV writers. He wrote “L.A. Law,” “The Practice,” “Boston Legal,” (Denny Crain) and now writes Harry’s Law (Tommy Jefferson).
On his shows, often someone commits a crime, sometimes for a good reason, and Kelly’s lawyers find a way to beat the odds and come out on top.
In real life, however, do the crime, do the time, or pay the fine.
It doesn’t matter that a man deserved it — that he won’t take out the trash, leaves dishes in the sink, has beers with his buddies on Wednesday night and, yes, snores — there were consequences.
Or are there? Is it possible to get away with breaking the law?
For example, if my telephone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a company faces a $16,000 fine for calling me at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
The National Do Not Call Registry is a list of phone numbers from consumers who have indicated their preference to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. The registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency. It is enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and state officials.
But, for a politician, my phone number is fair game. The politician, like Congressman Tim Huelskamp, for example, doesn’t even have to be running for office to call me at 9 p.m. One day I will call Rep. Huelskamp.
“Tim. Tim. Since my number is on your speed-dial we must be good friends. We should do lunch.”
I would tell our representative that he needs to start serving all constituents.
For starters, he needs to work on a measure to tweak No Child Left Behind rules. Everyone knows that the regulations are meant to have schools fail. A collapse of public education will not benefit the students in this district.
Next, he could support resolution 1351 which will give the United States Postal Service access to $21 billion dollars Congress has forced it to lay aside to pay future pension benefits.
Maybe some members of Congress want the mail system privatized but I don’t think the majority in Kansas want that. They want a local post office and they want mail delivered in a reasonable time. (Well, maybe not so much for the electric bill this month.)
By now every smoker in the state of Kansas knows that lighting up in a public building is a no-no.
Yet, I have a friend who drinks beer and smokes in a public building all the time. He pulls a Camel from his pack and lights it with a Harley-Davidson lighter. How does he do that? He smokes while gambling away the rent and the kid’s education. Well he doesn’t have kids, but you get the drift. Kansas law allows smoking at casinos. So does that mean that secondhand smoke has less impact if one is playing penny slots or shooting craps? Maybe eating fattening food at the casino does not cause weight gain?
I would say the politicians in our state just have a strange sense of justice.
Now we all know that a train can’t block a roadway for no more than 10 minutes or the railroad faces a small fine. But actually it can, as long as it moves back and forth, back and forth.
If I park my Jeep in the middle of the street to go to the Reflector-Chronicle office to buy a newspaper (hint), I would get a ticket for double parking. However, if my vehicle is, say, brown, and I deliver packages, I can park there as long as I want.
Generally, downtown Abilene has a two-hour parking limit, except in the lot behind the newspaper office where vehicles will stay for days and sometimes a week without being moved.
Getting away with a crime? It happens all the time.