Bambi in Distress

If you get off on a technicality, shouldn’t you leave well enough alone?

That may seem sensible but we now live in a world in which your neighbors will report you to the authorities for housing a deer.

Sensibleness is not the hallmark of present-day U. S society.

Allow me to explain: A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has issued a ruling on whether an officer should have immunity for serving a perhaps-invalid warrant aimed at finding an illegal pet deer.

Why would someone serve a warrant for illegal deer keeping?

Well, according to the ruling, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission opened an investigation “after receiving an anonymous tip that Katy was in possession of a small, live deer.”

Let’s parse the full weirdness of this.

First off, some civic-minded, law-loving citizen actually felt the need to call the cops to report a pet deer.

This same solid citizen, apparently fearful of retaliation by the local gang of deer feeders, also felt compelled to keep his or her identity secret.

And, to round out the strangeness, the subjects of the investigation actually did have a deer in their house.

The only possible rationale I can see for this police action is the theory that deer keeping could be a gateway to further criminal compulsions.

Sure enough, when the deer jailers’ home was searched, the cops also found illegal drugs and weapons.

All charges against the defendants, however, were dropped after a judge found the search warrant invalid. You’d think the defendants would be happy about this and maybe try to stay off law enforcement radar.

Instead, they sued, alleging an illegal search. I’m having a little trouble computing the potential damages after getting away with possessing contraband weapons, drugs and deer.

Maybe the loss of drug profits?

Emotional injury to Bambi?

I have no answer for these questions, but if you live in Arkansas, I’d advise keeping your curtains drawn.

You don’t know who’s going to rat on your pets.

Where’s my praise? I know there’s way too much outrage over almost everything these days and I try to remain calm. Really, I do.


The U.S. Supreme issues a boring, unanimous decision on debt-collection regulation and this headline appears: “Gorsuch starts his first Supreme Court opinion with alliterative opening line.”


That’s news?

I write something extremely clever on this website every week and nobody issues a bulletin.

Is it man bites dog? Are we supposed to be amazed that a guy on the Supreme Court can string a few words together?

The ABA Journal report even included this: “Fox News says the opinion showed Gorsuch’s ‘famed flair’ while USA Today describes the opinion as ‘lively.’ The National Law Journal points to Gorsuch’s opening line, which the publication describes as ‘accessible, alliterative and jargon-free.’”

This is national news!

If you haven’t read the ruling, you’re probably wondering what brought on this avalanche of praise. So here’s that remarkable opening sentence:

“Disruptive dinnertime calls, downright deceit, and more besides drew Congress’s eye to the debt collection industry.”

Six words out of 16 start with d – and two of those ds are isolated. And they’re calling that alliteration!

Why do you write “more besides” when you can just say “more?” What could this mysterious “more besides” be?

Yes, I’m being picky, but I’m not the one considering this a topic for national conversation.

This only makes sense as news if we were surprised that a Supreme Court justice could put together a coherent sentence. The bar isn’t that low for the court.

Now if the president had written that….

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