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The Truly Great Issues Confronting Us
© Jerry Buchmeyer, 1981

Nonexistent Laws, Timeless Cliches & The National Geografic Doomsday Machine

Thoughts, random or otherwise about the Truly Great Issues confronting the legal profession today:

Nonexistent Laws? Was it ever The Law elsewhere, as it was in East Texas: that contracts made on Sunday were totally invalid...that it was against the law to hit someone wearing glasses...and that "if they failed when they tried to execute someone, they couldn't try again, and had to let him go free"? Moreover: Is it really illegal to remove the label shouting "Do Not Remove This Tag Under Penalty of Law"? Does the First Amendment protect your right to shout fire in a crowded theater if the theater is really burning? And why, in view of all the government truth-in-labeling regulations, is "Large" the smallest size of toothpaste sold?

Conflicting Authorities? Why is nothing so well established-even by White Horse Cases On All Fours By Big Name Judges - that conflicting authorities cannot be found? Why can't our cases/statutes/laws be as clear, direct, and uncontradicted as the wisdom of our timeless proverbs:

Haste makes waste. But he who hesitates is lost.
But act in haste, repent at leisure.

There is no point in beating a dead horse. But if at
first you don't succeed, try, try again.

It's never too late to learn. But you can't teach an
old dog new tricks.

Out of sight, out of mind. But absence makes the
heart grow fonder.

Timeless clichés? Everyone knows that a lawyer's time is his/her "stock in trade." But why is time money, and never credit? Why does one have the time of one's life, but never of one's day or week? And why shouldn't time try one's body, instead of one's soul ... hang light on one's feet, instead of heavy on one's hands ... or be the great sickener of all things? [And, incidentally, is it really true that one-tenth of the law is Not Having Possession?]

Reduction of Auto Accidents, Trial Lawyers and Judges?
Why waste time with "no-fault"? Statistics show that 75 percent of all automobile accidents occur within 40 miles of home. Therefore, the further one is from home, the smaller the chance of an accident. Everyone could register their cars at "homes" over 500 miles away and never go there - and, obviously, if no one ever drives within 40 miles of "home," auto accidents will be reduced 75 percent.(1)

Answers to Everyday Problems? Elevators in the state and federal courthouses sometimes travel horizontally, crossing over from one shaft to another, so as to elude you. Cars breed madly in wet weather, and wire coat hangers breed shamelessly in dark closets, while paper clips and wooden coat hangers are sterile. Your socks disappear with alarming frequency and regularity because inside of your washing machine is the Bermuda Triangle.(2)

... And Other Concerns? Why does more news always happen on Saturday (to be printed on Sunday's paper) than any other day? Why does all of the news that happens everyday always fit within a 30 minute TV report (less commercials)? How does anyone really know that no two snowflakes are identical?

And will anyone — anyone, at all — save our country from the National Geographic Doomsday Machine?(3)

"More than 6,869,797 issues of the National Geographic are published monthly. No copy has ever been thrown away since the magazine began over 140 years ago. Millions, if not billions, of copies have been innocently yet relentlessly accumulating in basements, attics, garages, libraries, etc. - and the accumulated weight is a figure that boggles the mind, but is imminently approaching the disaster point, when the geologic substructure of the country can no longer support the incredible load. The continent is in the gravest danger of following legendary Atlantis to the bottom of the sea, and publication of the National Geographic must be immediately stopped at all costs."


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