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The Secret Box of Kittens
Tales From the Trailer
Hello, friends! I am looking forward to the warmer weather. Summer brings me back to my most fond memories on the L.A.W. Truck, where I’d park outside shopping malls and help whoever wandered into my trailer. It didn’t matter what kind of legal concern they had — and often, people brought in dilemmas that weren’t related to law at all. As you can imagine, I have a lot of great stories to tell from working with the L.A.W. Truck, and this one is one of my favorites. One day, a woman came in with a box of kittens and she looked very distressed. “I’m getting evicted, and I have nowhere to go to help these kittens,” she says, “Will you help me?” She looked very stressed and I’m an animal lover, so, without stopping to think much further, I agreed. The problem was that I had no idea what to do next. I looked into the box, and there were eight kittens, one of which was a runt and had a closed eye. I started by calling local animal shelters, but nobody could take a same-day appointment. And I couldn’t just show up at home with a box of kittens and make my wife worry! Then, I quickly realized another problem: I was supposed to attend a funeral with my father and needed to pick him up. I couldn’t leave the kittens in the trailer, so I took them with me. I should explain to you that these situations aren’t unusual for me. In a stereotypical “hero’s journey,” the hero refuses the call at least once or twice. Well, that’s not me. I love saying “yes.” It’s earned me quite a reputation in my family — “shenanigans” is practically my middle name. But trust me, even with my tendencies, I don’t like making people worry.
That’s why, after picking him up, I didn’t tell my dad about the box of eight kittens in the back seat. It was easy to hide at first. The kittens were asleep for the entire half-hour drive. Then, after we arrived, I cracked open the windows. After the short memorial service, we got to my car and I realized that they were awake. As I began to drive, I went between talking with my dad or turning up the radio just enough to drown out the sounds of their meows. Then, to my dismay, we got stuck in 5 p.m. traffic. I continued to talk with my dad or turn the radio louder and louder to obscure their meowing. To this day, my dad has no idea I had kittens in the car that day. (He’ll probably find out by reading this!) After I dropped off my dad, I still had no idea what to do with the kittens. I decided to call a vet I knew and asked if there was anything that they could do to help these kittens. The vet, graciously, said that I could bring in the kittens and pick them up the next day to take them to a shelter. I took the kittens there and had all eight of them examined, but I didn’t expect them to force me to stay for the entire examination. Now that it was getting late, my wife started calling me, and I was in trouble for being late for dinner. Then, the vet gave me a bill for $400. Now I was calculating how to explain to my wife that I paid a $400 bill for kittens we weren’t keeping! Luckily, the vet allowed me to pay the next day. The next day, I called the vet and asked if I could pick up the kittens after work. Again, they graciously said yes but to my surprise, also asked, “Hey, do you mind if we tried to adopt the kittens while they’re here?”
Before I knew it, text messages were coming to me every 15–20 minutes about adopting the kittens. By the end of the day, they were all adopted, even the runt with the bad eye. I was pretty overjoyed about this and paid them over the phone. As I packed my bags in my office and was about to leave, suddenly, the same woman knocked on my door. “You’re not here with more kittens are you?” I said, half joking. “No, no!” she laughed. “I just wanted to thank you for what you did.” She was tremendously grateful and brought some news: After she left me with the kittens, she used some money to by a lottery ticket. Lo and behold, she won some money and wanted to pay me back in any way she could. I insisted that she didn’t owe me anything, but I did have a $400 bill from the vet that she could help pay. And she did! At the end of the day, I’m not sure how much credit I deserve. Sometime ago, a client gave me a gift for my desk. It was a paperweight that read, “No good deed, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” You never know what good you can set into motion when you do something for someone. And, really, who could say no to a box of kittens?
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Bring Spring Indoors
The Most Beautiful May Flowers for Your Home or Office
The April showers came and went, so now we get to enjoy May flowers! You might not buy flowers for yourself often, but it’s totally worth treating yourself and your visitors, all while supporting your local florist! To start off, anemones are the most mythological May plant around because of two famous Greek myths surrounding these jewel-toned flowers. Anemones are said to have sprung from blood shed by the death of Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis. The ancient Greeks also believed that the god of the west wind favored anemones — hence their second name, the windflower. Attach them as pops of color to any bouquet for a classic, romantic, or modern arrangement, or mix them with roses and trailing greenery for a more boho look. Carnations are also fantastic flowers to display in May. Some people may see carnations as a cheap flower, but, when used en masse, they can have a truly breathtaking effect in a room. Try using natural- colored carnations to create a fresh, contemporary space. You can also freshen up the room with sweet peas , which have a wonderfully mild perfume. They come with an enormous range of colors — one of the biggest ranges in the flora kingdom, in fact!
Delicate, ruffled, and feminine, sweet peas are sure to delight anyone who sees them.
Lastly, although tulips or orchids would be classic choices for your arrangement, consider surprising your visitors with lilies of the valley . These beautiful, peaceful little blooms only grow in white, which is often seen as the color of renewal and innocence, and they wear it well! Their adorable little bell-like flowers will be sure to put a smile on your face. We hope you will consider these gorgeous flowers for your space this year. A small purchase at your local small businesses can make a big difference, just like how a few flowers can make a big difference in your home!
The 3 Strangest Celebrity Lawsuits
Internet conspiracy theory results in a court case against Beyoncé. The internet is a wild place, and conspiracy theories are often born on its digital channels. One such theory was that Beyoncé and her husband, Jay-Z, hired a surrogate to give birth to their daughter, Blue Ivy, in 2012. Internet trolls who saw her pregnant belly roll as she sat down for an interview fanned the flames of this theory, and soon, a lawsuit emerged. A woman claimed she was the true biological mother of Blue Ivy, and she asked for compensation and DNA testing to prove it. Previously, the same woman claimed to be the birth mother of North West, the daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but the court threw out the case. Mila Kunis ruffles some feathers. Actress Mila Kunis was sued for $5,000 by her childhood friend, Kristina Karo, in 2015 because Kunis allegedly stole a chicken from Karo when they were still children in Ukraine. Karo, an aspiring singer, claimed the theft resulted in extreme emotional distress and prevented her from pursuing the American dream. According to Kunis, the theft occurred when she was 7 years old and Karo was just 1 month old. Kunis and her husband, actor Ashton Kutcher, speculated that the case was all a publicity stunt to promote Karo’s upcoming music video, and the case was eventually dropped.
Stories about celebrities can be enjoyable or awkward, but no matter what happens, they usually create great material for Buzzfeed or Reddit users. This also includes celebrity stories involving the law, which bring on a lot of head-scratching and legal action — like these three strange cases. Simon Cowell pays for a chef’s disappearing shoes. Known for his unrelenting critiques and setting the stage for some of the world’s biggest names in show business, Simon Cowell has amassed enough wealth to afford a private chef. When one such chef came by his house for a job interview, she was asked to remove
her shoes, but according to court documents, she never received her shoes back. The chef claims to have tried multiple times to retrieve the shoes — which were outfitted with $500 orthopedic insoles — but never succeeded. She sued
Cowell for the shoes and gas money, and the
“America’s Got Talent” star shelled out.
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TAKE A BREAK
Millions of families in Europe have relied heavily on government aid for survival, but that’s becoming a concern for the younger generation. European debt hasn’t been so high since World War II, and it’s even outpacing national economies. In France alone, the national debt has risen to 2.7 trillion euros ($3.2 trillion) and will soon exceed 120% of the national economy. While the International Monetary Fund expects growth to bounce back this year to 5.1% in the United States, Europe will likely lag with a rebound of 4.2%. WILL EUROPE BE ABLE TO PAY ITS $3.2T PANDEMIC DEBT?
Yet, as debts skyrocket, economists wonder if it’s possible for Europe to get a “free lunch.”
In the current zero-interest era, strange things are happening. Although the amount of debt companies have taken has grown, the amount that governments pay hasn’t. Countries can now roll over their debt at low interest rates, which is akin to refinancing a mortgage. Banks are also buying government debt, effectively lending around 1.3 trillion euros during the first six months of the pandemic. This makes the debt affordable — for now. Government debt may never have to be fully paid back if central banks keep buying it up. According to the Institut Montaigne, an independent think tank in Paris, public debt could rise to 4 trillion by the end of 2023. Some economists are worried about the risks. What if inflation and interest rates help revive growth too rapidly, forcing central banks to put a complete stop to their easy-money policies? Weaker countries may fall into a debt trap and struggle to pay. Simon Tilford, director of a strategic planning firm in London, told The New York Times, “If inflation starts to return but there’s no growth, then the situation gets a lot trickier.”
THAI MINCED PORK SALAD
Inspired by EatingThaiFood.com
• 5 tbsp uncooked Thai sticky rice • 1 lb ground pork • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes • 1/8 tsp sugar • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
• Juice of 1–2 limes, to taste • 4 small shallots, thinly sliced • 4 green onions, thinly sliced • Cilantro leaves, to taste • Mint leaves, to taste
1. First, make toasted rice powder: In a frying pan over low heat, dry- roast the rice, stirring continuously until it turns golden brown and smells fragrant, about 15 minutes. 2. Let toasted rice cool, then grind into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor. Set aside. 3. In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, fry pork, breaking it into small pieces as you go, until fully cooked. 4. Remove from heat and add 1 heaping tbsp of toasted rice powder along with all other ingredients. Stir to combine. 5. Taste and adjust, adding more lime juice and herbs to suit your palate. Serve with rice.
When the next recession rolls around, it may be tough to stimulate their economy with this amount of debt on their hands. This worries the younger generation of Europeans, but at least for now, those troubles seem far away in the eyes of those steering European economies through the pandemic.
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410-321-6200 www.SpectorLawGroup.com PO Box 1101 Cockeyville, MD 21030 THIS ISSUE INSIDE
Follow Us on Social Media & Download THE L.A.W. TRUCK® App
L.A.W. Truck Tales: The Secret Box of Kittens
Brighten Up Your Space With These May Flowers! Mila Kunis Got Sued for That!? (And 2 Other Weird Celebrity Legal Cases)
Thai Minced Pork Salad Will Europe Be Able to Pay Its $3.2T Pandemic Debt?
Influencer in Florida Commits Voter Fraud
Influencer in Florida Accused of Voter Fraud
A February 2016 analysis by MIT Media Lab revealed that Twitter account “Ricky Vaughn” was the 107th most important influencer in the then-upcoming election. That’s a higher ranking than many other groups and individuals like NBC News (114), Stephen Colbert (119), and Newt Gingrich (141). Everyone had one question: Who in the world is Ricky Vaughn? As it turns out, the Florida man was really stepping up his game. Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, is based in West Palm Beach and gained an audience on Twitter with over 58,000 followers by 2016. Many would describe him as an internet troll, or someone who posts hurtful comments for his own amusement. He’s posted anti-Semitic memes in the past, but those offenses were hardly illegal. That changed when Mackey allegedly went too far.
Using hashtags like #go[candidate], Mackey posted false, edited campaign images to convince people to “vote” by text instead of going to the polls or using the mail-in ballot. In one instance, he posted an image depicting an African American woman holding a sign, reading “African Americans for [candidate].” The images would then include instructions on how to vote by texting a specific number. Mackey and his associates also created images with Spanish instructions, obviously targeting minorities as well. Of course, voting by text is not a legitimate way to cast a ballot, yet the deceptive campaign duped over 4,900 unique phone numbers. William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, reported in their press release, “Protecting every American citizen’s right to cast a legitimate vote is a key to the success of our republic. What Mackey allegedly did to interfere with this process — by soliciting voters to cast their ballots via text — amounted to nothing short of vote theft.” It’s certainly fascinating and terrifying to see just how influential social media can be on an election and even go as far as to lure people into wasting their vote. We’re glad, however, to see these types of cases being brought to court — Mackey was recently arrested on federal charges of election interference for this 2016 voter disinformation campaign. Some influencers are taking their title much too seriously!
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