They've all conquered France.
The French Government faces punishment for failing to look after its hamsters.
The European Commission has brought a case in the European Court for allowing the great hamster of Alsace, the only wild hamster in Western Europe, to decline to the point of extinction.
If found guilty, the French Government faces fines of up to €17 million ($37 million) or €68,000 for each of the 250 animals still thought to be living in the fields around the city of Strasbourg in the east of the country.
If this follows the lead of American class actions, the lawyers will get $36.999 million and the hamsters will each get a coupon good for 10% off of a box of Hamster Chow, redeemable in a store operated by feral cats.
Hamsters face indifferent Frenchmen, hostile farmers, hungry predators, and cruelly inventive six-year-olds with remote-control trucks. But hamsters — and all of God's creatures — should know that there are people out there who are never going to give them up, never going to let them down — even at great personal cost. Take Cass Sunstein, President Obama's nominee for "regulation czar." Sunstein's nomination has been held up because he has suggested that animals ought to be able to sue, with a little help from their human pals. (Via.)
Indeed, in his 2004 book, Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions, Sunstein wrote: “I will suggest that animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law.”
More specifically, he wrote: “Laws designed to protect animals against cruelty and abuse should be amended or interpreted to give a private cause of action against those who violate them, so as to allow private people to supplement the efforts of public prosecutors.”
This could not fail to be simply awesome for lawyers. Animals are similar to people in this respect: lawyers claiming to act on their behalf, without their specific informed consent, may actually not be. Were they Uplifted, animals might indeed throw off their chains and their ugly little knitted-by-old-women sweaters and demand that we stop eating them and stuff. But they might also say "Waitaminute. You say you're going to sue for me, but you're getting all the money? Bullshit, man, bullshit. C'mon, Trigger, we're going home." For that matter, it's difficult to imagine an animal who is not a reincarnation of Andy Kaufman wanting to have their litigation strategy dictated by PETA.
Moreover, there are only so many animals, but there is a virtually inexhaustible supply of hungry lawyers. Sooner or later the lawyers will move on. Hmmm . . . has the ficus retained anyone yet? Can you get me a meeting?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017