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May 2, 2022

There's a simple tried-and-true solution to climate change. Also, a camera is not the same as a house.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Sometimes solutions to seemingly intractable problems pop up in unexpected places.

I was reading a New Yorker article on energy storage last week when, toward the end of the piece, this quote appeared: “The politicization of climate and energy policy comes from fossil-fuel companies that give enormous amounts to the Republican Party.”

Aha! Of course!

I’ve often wondered why any politician would be against saving the planet they live on. If not for themselves, at least for their children. Apparently, money is a factor.

So now we know how to save the planet — offer Republicans more money than the anti-planet people.

I know you’re thinking this is not possible — but it is. We don’t have to offer a mountain of money to the entire Republican Party. The U.S. Senate is equally divided. We just need enough money to buy a couple of votes.

Throwing some cash at Joe Manchin alone could make a huge difference.

Yes, I know some of you think this sounds like bribery. That’s because it is bribery. Let’s not quibble about a tried-and-true solution.

Is corruption that saves the planet really corruption?

Photo op.  I have one for your collection of legal precedents you didn’t know we needed: a camera aperture is not part of a house.

This may seem intuitively obvious, but the Minnesota Supreme Court had to weigh in on the issue last week and overrule a lower court. The lower court, apparently, couldn’t tell the difference between a house and a camera.

This dispute came about because a guy who used his cellphone to video-record a naked woman without her consent in her bedroom withdrew a guilty plea to a Minnesota law barring recording “through the window or any other aperture of a house or place of dwelling.”

The prosecution insisted that, since the cellphone camera had an aperture, the defendant violated the statute.

This, I have to note, is not the most entertaining part of this ruling. It turns out that the defendant and a woman “went on a first date,” ended up in her apartment, and stayed the night. There’s no description of what went on during this night or how the “first date” came about. Use your imagination.

At some point, the defendant recorded his date nude — so we know at least one of them got naked. The defendant said he “tried not to make her aware of it because she would have fussed at me.”

She fussed anyway when she found out and called the cops.

I’m guessing there wasn’t a second date. Romance isn’t what it used to be.

Rudeness. Be kind to your judges. Remember, they have feelings too.

There was yet another reminder of this the other day in a New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruling in a domestic dispute where we learned that “the court abruptly awarded sole legal custody of both children to the mother in response to the father stating that the court’s decision was ‘ridiculous’ and ‘demanding we go to trial.’”

Makes sense. If Dad is going to call a judge names, imagine what he must be like with children.

In case you’re wondering, the appellate panel reversed the ruling and sent the case to a different judge. Everybody needs to play nice.

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