Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Judge not lest ye be overpaid for judging

Most important, happy birthday to Tamar

Tamar C. Spoerri is 7 years old today. Happy birthday to her. 

Let me tell you a little about this young lady. First, obviously, she's cute. You can see that. Oh, did I tell you that she's our granddaughter...but I'll bet you figured that out yourselves.

She's also very, very smart. She is an instigator at her school, trying to get the teachers to do as she wants, not necessarily as they do. She also takes care of her two younger brothers when her mom, Malka, needs to focus her attention on other things. 

So, happy birthday to Tamar, who will be the guest of honor at a birthday party in her honor in the very near future. 

Oh, and did I say she's cute?

Page 2

Some time ago, last summer in fact, I did a rant about the state of justice in this nation and took television judges to task for it. Oh, it's tough being a pioneer.

In next month's Reason magazine, or right now in its Web edition, Greg Beato talks about some of the judges I ranted about, including Judge Judy, Judge Mathis and others.

I didn't know, for example, that Judge Judy, otherwise known as Judith Sheindlin, makes $38 million a year being snippy to those who enter her courtroom to get arbitration. She accuses them of wasting her time, being too liberal with their affections and having too many children they cannot afford or care for.

I'm not saying Beato copied me...I'm sure he never heard of me. It's never easy being a pioneer.

One of the judges he mentions, and about whom I have to chuckle every time I look in, is Judge Jeanine Pirro. 

Ms. Pirro is the former district attorney in Westchester County New York. A smart, determined woman, she ran for New York Attorney General and lost. She also considered a run for the U.S. Senate seat eventually won by Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

The problem is she kept tripping over her husband, Albert, who seemed to get arrested for something or other about the time his wife was starting a bid for an office.

Al Pirro is a force in Westchester politics and real estate, but was convicted of federal tax charges, fathered a child out of wedlock, was reputed to have mob ties. Read all about it in this New York Daily News story about her finally, finally kicking him out after refusing to do so because, as she put it, her son needs a father. 

So, it's kind of funny that Jeanine sits behind a fake bench in a fake courtroom and dispenses advice to those who come before her about their relationships with husbands, wives, girl and boyfriends and the like. 

I guess she knows what not to do, so she can pull advice out of a deep, deep well of personal experience. Like Greg Mathis, who tells of a history of gangs, jail and second chances, Jeanine knows of what she speaks. 

Page 3

The local chamber of commerce had a forecast breakfast Wednesday morning. It was held too early for me to attend, but the New Haven Independent has a link where you can download the PowerPoint charts the speakers used. 

There wasn't really anything surprising. We're in a recession, a bad one, and whoever doesn't know that may want to remove their head from the hole in the ground where it has been residing. 

We have been through downturns before, perhaps not as bad as this. For people of my age group, people who were born during World War II, the timing could not have been worse. A lifetime's worth of savings is diminished, at least temporarily. You have to be a lot more careful in your spending than you thought you would.

But, prices are starting to come down, at least on some of the things we all need. If you are careful, and didn't buy the Bimmer with the equity on your house, or didn't get into a mortgage the village idiot could have told you that you couldn't afford, you should be OK. 

It's not fair to lose a good portion of your life's savings because of the mistakes and greed of others, but who said life was fair? 

Until next time...

No comments: