The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NEBRASKA VS. GOD (2008): You can’t, much as you may want to, sue God, something I am sure the Lord in His infinite wisdom is almighty glad to hear. This bit of Good News comes to us all courtesy of a Nebraska judge, who tossed out said bit of legal silliness filed by an Omaha legislator who wanted God to pay up for all the trouble, terror, and other not nice things done either by Him directly or by others in His name. The judge, obviously a man of Solomonic wisdom, dismissed the case with prejudice, stating that since God had no address, the court could not serve Him with the papers necessary to inform Him that someone had filed suit against Him. Friends of the legislator, who must have a very safe seat or has decided to end his political career in spectacular if very silly fashion, countered the court’s legal reasoning, calling it specious in the extreme, pointing out that as the Lord is both ubiquitous and omniscient He has no need for a fixed address and already knows about the lawsuit without needing a process server to inform Him of that fact. Nevertheless, the wheels of justice, being essentially bureaucratic in their nature, dictate that the process server must serve the defendant, whether that defendant is the dumbass who ran his car straight into your garage door after a St. Patrick’s Day party or the Supreme Being. The state, after all, is paying the process server to serve legal paper and the state expects the process server to do something for the money, unlike, for example, the state’s expectations for the people at the department of motor vehicles, which is the bureaucratic equivalent of the island of lost souls and from whom nothing is expected except a prolonged case of agita,

Still, an appeal seems likely at this point as trial lawyers and insurance companies begin to square off for what promises to be the steel cage legal death match of the eternity. The financial stakes for the insurance companies could not be higher. For as long as there has been an insurance industry, there have been those events that we all know as acts of God, events so rare and so unlikely that that no one in their right mind, a classification that immediately eliminates most lawyers and all Red Sox fans, would expect an insurance company to write a policy on. Everyone understands that no insurance company has ever calculated your chances of having your pancreas ripped from your body and eaten raw by a gray-bearded schlirchher bird-fungus from the planet Grokklesnorp as you head off to your nearest Dunkin Donuts for your morning cup of coffee. This is just something that does not appear on any actuarial chart that I am aware of and, as far as the insurance company is concerned, not an event that they can assign a dollar amount to. Should this admittedly unlikely event occur to you or to someone you love, it would be one of those acts traditionally ascribed to the Almighty, like earthquakes, avalanches, and that little old lady who doesn’t bother to check for oncoming traffic as she makes a left turn onto a major highway, which I know is definitely an act of God from the way I screamed, Jesus Christ! I am sure if you are not a Christian you would have used the name of your conception of the Divine in vain as well. If God suddenly becomes liable for the acts traditionally ascribed to Him and the workings of His Divine Will, many insurance companies will go through the legal boilerplate on all of their contracts to make sure that none of these acts require them to part with so much as a red cent. Worse even than this, insurance industry lobbyists are already hard at work in Washington, trying to make sure that Congress does not pass legislation requiring the Almighty to take out some insurance if He wishes to continue going about His mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Wonders are all very well and good for your average insurance company, so long as they are not on the hook for the damages.

Trial lawyers, by contrast, regard the Lord and all His works as the biggest potential payday since the invention of asbestos, an event that any good lawyer will have no trouble connecting with the Almighty. Indeed, there will scarcely be a major or minor disaster anywhere in the world that the trial lawyers will not try to pin on the Lord. And given that the Lord is eternal, the number of billable hours a smart lawyer can generate will be truly astounding. Had the option been available to them, the wrongful death class action suit for the citizens of Pompeii killed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. would still be winding its way through the courts, with the descendants of the original lawyers still getting rich off the case. Yes indeed, there’s nothing like a volcanically active planet with no written warning sign stating that living on this planet might be hazardous to your health to set any personal injury lawyer’s eyes aglow with a selfless desire to help the insulted and injured of this earth, and, of course, to make out like a bandit without any of the attendant risks.

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