Investigative Journalism

     Sometimes I think investigative journalism isn’t what it used to be.
     This past week the Los Angeles Times ran an article with this headline: “Welfare funds withdrawn from ATMs at strip clubs.”
     A scandal uncovered (so to speak)?
     Well, not exactly. It turns out that a grand total of $12,000 of welfare money was withdrawn from strip club ATMs over a two-year period.
     For all we know, most of that money could have been withdrawn by poverty-stricken strippers to feed their families.
     There wasn’t anything to tell us who was doing the withdrawing and what was being done with the money. There weren’t any statistics on how many people were withdrawing welfare funds from the bank ATM down the street and bringing them to the strip clubs.
     And even if the money is being passed on to strippers, isn’t that an economic stimulus? Or some kind of stimulus?
     But the crusading Times did manage to get the state’s Department of Social Services to announce that it had “taken steps” to deactivate strip club welfare ATM access.
     Whew! I’m so relieved.
     Or am I?
     After all, is a strip club really so much worse than a bank?
     Make a checklist and compare.
     Which makes you happier – bank or strip club?
     Which provides better customer service?
     Which can be trusted with your money?
     Which will better assess your creditworthiness?
     Which will offer you a loan you can’t afford?
     Which provides more interest?
     Which is a den of iniquity and sin?
     Someone please contact the Department of Social Services.
     By the way, the story – if you read it to just about the end on the inside pages – notes that $4.4 million in welfare money was withdrawn from ATMs in Indian casinos and, apparently, no one is putting a stop to that.
     We must have our priorities.

     MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. Sometimes I think that law schools should be required to offer classes in damage mitigation. Lawyers are always filing lawsuits instead of helping clients take advantage of their situations.
     A recent example: the owner of a building in Venice, California has sued the producers of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker for allegedly using footage of the building without permission and giving the false impression that the matchmaking service on the show has its office there.
     There are some interesting notions in the suit. E.g.: “Simply stated, ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’ is a trashy show with a trashy premise. Stanger matches women with men simply because the men have a lot of money.”
     And that’s a bad thing?
     We also learn that “gawkers come by at all hours of the day and night to try to meet Patti Stanger or get a job on the show. People come by, take pictures of the building and ask to meet Stanger. People have literally walked right into their living room claiming to have an appointment with Patti Stanger.”
     And they’re not charging admission?
     They’re not getting dates?
     You’ve got to think about mitigation.

     MORE HARASSMENT. And now another excerpt from a restraining order petition:
     How do you know the person: She called saying she was my husbands Lover. she had come to harras me outside my house. that’s how I found out who she was.
     I think hubby is in a bit of trouble.

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