Remy Taborga of New York City writes, "Many victims in psychic scams are people who are in emotional distress and in their desperation turn to someone who exploits their circumstances to steal from them. This was a rare victory in which a psychic was held accountable for her despicable acts." But clergy, televangelists and organizations such as the Salvation Army may pressure people for donations in cash or via will, and some of those pressured may have come toward religion because they are in "emotional distress."
Taborga continues with his killer point: "Most important, fortune telling is illegal in New York state. Persons are not allowed to claim to have real powers, and most disclose that the reading is for entertainment only. The convicted psychic did not do this. New York law reads, 'A person is guilty of fortune telling when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as [possessing] occult powers.'"
Whether fortune-telling ought to be a crime can be argued; since it is a crime, New York police and prosecutors must pursue those who break this law. Apparently the psychic in this case was warned she was breaking the law, and told to desist. When she didn't, she made her own fate -- which she did not foresee.
TMQ's Christmas List: Each year, I highlight holiday gifts of questionable merit. Given the recent anniversary of the death of John Kennedy, perhaps you should look under your tree and find a scale model of the car he was riding in when he was shot. Or give that special someone in your life a travel pillow that causes a person to look like a cartoon space alien.
Disclaimers of the Week: Fuze has a TV commercial in which a dog rides a surf board. The tiny-type crawl says "Do not attempt." Are the dogs in the audience supposed to read that?
Your columnist is happily motoring in a new Acura with a stick shift -- there's a big item on car tech upcoming in TMQ. Recently I received a postcard from the dealer not offering any discount, just urging me to schedule a maintenance visit. The ad declared, "No one knows your Acura like we do." Below that statement, in tiny type: "Expires 1/15/14."
The Football Gods Chortled: Overtime had become sudden death in the Chicago at Minnesota contest. The Vikings lined up for the winning kick on third-and-10 from the Bears 21. The kick was true, and the home stadium stage crew launched fireworks. But: facemask against the Vikings. Now it's repeat third down; Leslie Frazier sends the offense back out onto the field, and Adrian Peterson loses 3 yards. The 57-yard attempt on fourth-and-28 is no good.
Given good field position by the long miss, Chicago moves to second-and-7 on the Minnesota 29. Disdaining distance, Marc Trestman sends the kicking unit in on second down: and Chicago missed, too. Why settle for a 47-yard attempt on second down, advance the ball!