Can We Stop Talking About His Pants Now?

It’s over. The DC judge who attempted to sue a family owned dry cleaning and alterations company for the ungodly amount of $54 million dollars will get nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. In fact, he may end up paying a considerable sum in court fees and such as a result of the frivolous law suit.

So can we stop talking about it now?

The situation was humorous enough. Judge meets drycleaning shop, judge takes pants to drycleaning shop, drycleaning shop temporarily loses pants, and attempts to satisfy judge by offering increasingly larger dollar amounts, which he refuses.

The pants are personal. He wanted 54 million dollars (one can almost imagine the Dr. Evil-esque grin… pinky and all). Originally, it was over sixty mill, but hey, what’s a few million dollars when you get that high up.

And the climax, the coup de grace, the very pinnacle of the whole circus extravaganza; the judge breaking down and crying over his pants on the stand.

The whole time, you have an immigrant family from Korea that carved out a niche in America, and worked hard as many immigrants do. Imagine that horror, for just a moment. And this is one of the problems that I’ve had. We’ve made no end of jokes about the judge, but who’s really stopped to take a look from the perspective of the Korean family who are doing it, they’re working the “American Dream” and all of a sudden this man who represents in many ways the United States Government, and the LAW, and Authority, here he comes threatening a crippling fifty four million dollar price tag on them.

It has to be terrifying, and I’m relieved on their behalf that it is over. My own in-laws being immigrants, I sympathize with the situation. You come to the country, you work hard, you want to work hard, but there are also barriers that natural born citizens don’t have to contend with, language and cultural barriers. And you still make it work, and to this day, that is, for me, what the American dream really is.

But there’s another reason this needs to go away. What has angered me greatly was that there’s no time for this. Not in a time when class action law suits are under assault by the Administration and the Corpor-o-crats who are trying to turn private businesses into law.

With Conservatives going after “trial lawyers” and “frivolous lawsuits” we find a basic tool that we as citizens can use to protect ourselves under assault. We have Bush going around the country talking about OBGYN’s not able to practice their “love” with women patients, and Republican legislators bemoaning the evils of ambulance chasers.

But there are times when lawsuits are necessary. Ask former House majority leader Tom Delay. When his father built a home made tram that, due to a failed coupling, lost control and resulted in Charles Delay winding up in a comatose state, he and his family sued the company that made the coupling, and they were right to do so.

Conservatives don’t believe in government (perhaps because they aren’t very good at it), but instead believe corporations should own and govern everything. The free market fixes all. If someone does something wrong in the free market, they will be punished with low profits until they ship up or go under. This is, in their mind, infallible.

But of course, it is very fallible. Business practices, particularly in as highly populated and dispersed country as America, can be hidden, tucked away, etc. That’s why we have class action law suits, civil suits, “frivolous law suits.” It is our tool to force the corporations to behave themselves, particularly in a time when the government seems ill-disposed to do so.

And this judge, this mo-ron, just gave the vapid wingnut hot air machine (blust-o-matic 3000) yet another little card to pull out any time anyone wants to argue over the value of law suits in our country.

Thanks a lot buddy.

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