Punxsutawney Phil can go back to unencumbered sleep for another eleven months. That's assuming he actually woke up to read that indictment against him which emenated from neighboring Ohio. Butler County, Ohio, DA Mike Gmoser has dismissed the indictment against Phil for deliberately mis-forecasting spring, saying Phil has a defense--someone else is taking the rap. That someone would be Phil's buddy, Bill Deeley, who says he misread Phil's weather predictions. I maintain Phil made no predictions, and if he did, he didn't mean them, and if he did mean them, no one should have taken them seriously, and if someone did take them seriously, that is that person's choice. Move along, move along, nothing to see here.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the prosecuting attorney of Butler County, tired of bad weather, wants to indict Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby (yup, the magic groundhog), for "purposely, and with prior calculation and design" misleading people about the date that spring would start. And he wants Phil done away with. Permanently. Here's a link to a copy of the indictment.
Now, first of all, Mr. Gmoser, the DA in this story here, has clout in Ohio, I admit, but I hasten to point out that Phil lives in Pennsylvania. Extradition is a problem. Will a Pa. judge okay shipping a groundhog across the border for maliciousness (and Mr. Gmoser will have to make a case for faulty forecasting and pernicious prediction by the grumbly groundhog)? Do human laws apply to marmots?
Second, is Mr. Gmoser suggesting that a whistle pig is not protected by the First Amendment? That Phil's expressive speech of recognizing his shadow, and thus "predicting spring" is not protected by the First Amendment? Check out cases such as Rushman v. City of Milwaukee (959 F. Supp. 1040, 1997) (false statements fraudulent only if the speaker has knowledge that the statement cannot come true).
I cry fowl! Couldn't Mr. Sowerby argue that whatever humans interpret from his conduct is our problem? After all, human beings force him through this event on the 2 of February to see if he sees his shadow or not. It isn't really his idea. Who decided to engage the furry Mr. Sowerby in this venture? Did he ever ask anybody to believe his predictions, such as they are? Aren't those beliefs and assumptions about whether a groundhog can predict the coming of spring by seeing his shadow or not, amusing as they are, really quite inane? Well, then, why blame the groundhog?
There are probably some criminal defenses available, but it's Friday and I'm tired.
Fourth, how much gmoser could a woodchuck chuck?
Yes, the indictment is a joke. At least, I think it is. But I hope no one goes sciurid hunting, hoping for a bounty. That would make a tragedy out of what is Mr. Gmoser's attempt at humor.
Thirteen reasons to adopt a black cat, including their sartorial elegance (well, that accounts for a number of the reasons) and the fact that, on the other hand, their color puts people off. At adoption time, black cats are often the last felines to find homes. Poor kitties. Black cats have also traditionally been associated with the black arts, with witchcraft, and with evil doings. Snopes.com delves into the question of whether black cats (and other animals) actually disappear with more frequency around Hallowe'en but notes that many animal shelters cut back on allowing feline, especially black cat, adoptions in October.
I had never considered that any similarities between vampires and business organizations existed. Vampires and lawyers, yes. Many unkind comments there, including remarks about the undead, bloodsucking, and working at night when nobody can see you. Thomas E. Rutledge sees an analogy between Dracula's kin and business organizations, however, and makes his case in a new article.
The law of business organizations has much in common with vampires; there are numerous characteristics that may or may not be embodied in a particular form, each of which should be understood to be a construct.