Nondenominational Chicken

Before we get to our regularly scheduled column, I have a question for you. Let’s see how well you’re keeping up with the news. What follows is my favorite quote from a news story of the past week. Can you identify the speaker? “It’s crazy how one moment can overshadow 15 years of work.”

The answer is at the bottom of this column. Don’t peek.

 

Judicial quote of the week: This shocking statement comes from a federal court ruling in Illinois last week: “Advertisements often contain truthful statements …”

Who knew?

The revelation – which I’m having a hard time believing – came in a dispute over whether the KFC Corporation (i.e., the Kentucky Fried Chicken people) had a right to prevent a franchisee from making a lot of money.

OK, it wasn’t exactly phrased that way, but that was the upshot. It seems that an Illinois franchisee was bringing in an extra million a year in gross revenue by selling customers Halal chicken. It was a serious moneymaker in areas with Muslim populations.

You’d think a corporate overlord would appreciate this. Instead, after the franchisee had done this for almost 14 years, KFC decided to insist that that he could no longer sell Halal products.

Some of you out there may be thinking this was some sort of racist, discriminatory decision but, according to the court ruling, KFC said it was just the opposite. The company was suddenly trying to protect its Muslim — and Jewish — customers by not catering to them.

“The policy explains that KFC restaurants cannot offer Halal or Kosher foods for two reasons: (1) people have different interpretations of what satisfies the corresponding processing requirements; and (2) Defendant cannot certify that restaurant preparation and cooking processes would not lead to cross-contamination between the Halal and non-Halal (or Kosher and non-Kosher) foods.”

The company just wanted to protect its religious customers by not offering them anything.

Hmm.

Well, court pleadings often contain truthful statements …

 

Higher court? My favorite headline of the week is from the Statesman of Austin, Texas: “Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty.”

What a great idea! Think of all the time and money that could be saved if we had God pass judgment on everyone.

You wouldn’t need a trial or lawyers or testimony. Just put a prophet on the bench, ask for a ruling and go on to the next case.

Appeals would be pointless — but you could consult a priest, imam, or rabbi for sentencing pleas.

 

Cultural note. I always admire a person or institution that backs up its claims.

Recent example: the description on the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law Twitter page that claims the school “prepares students for the people-oriented practice of law by integrating theory and practice.”

The school has now proven this claim with its Jan. 24 tweet: “Every year, in this time-honored yet highly questionable UM tradition, the college of forestry dean challenges the law school dean to a true test of wits — the cowpie toss.”

If that’s not real-world experience, I don’t know what is.

 

The answer. The answer is porn star/auteur Stormy Daniels. Now go read The Washington Post story and then try to imagine what it must have been like to be the journalist assigned to write it.

I want to see this guy’s expense account.

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