Tag Archives: politics

are you scared of underwear?

Over at the Smoking Gun, they have reported on an MTV interview with Barack Obama about the new ordinance in Riviera Beach, FL banning the “sagging” of pants, a style popular amongst the youth, the skate/surf crowd, and of course, the cause of all of the world’s problems: the hip hop culture.

 

The big questions for me: is the law against wearing your pants/shorts below what the government determines is your waist, or is the law against the exposure of underwear? If it’s all about the waist, who gets to decide where a 2008 American waistline should be? What if you were wearing gym shorts under your underwear, and just the shorts were seen or exposed? Are underwear really that offensive? Are seeing exposed, multi-colored boxers any different than seeing someone at the beach in board shorts? Don’t we see advertisements with people in their underwear on tv, magazines, billboards, newspapers, and in the mail everyday?

 

What if you were wearing shorts with extra big and long pockets that could be worn at the waist but are baggy enough they appear you are wearing them 3 inches below the waist? Is seeing underwear worse than seeing someone without a shirt on? What if you were trying to be a good citizen and your belt broke, and you were on your way to the store to purchase a new one? Would you get leniency? I’m not sure of their motives, but I’ve seen women’s attire be far more borderline indecent; I’ve seen people wearing bandanas look far more menacing; and I’ve seen t-shirts with words and sentiments are far more obscene. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t I allowed to wear a shirt that says “F*ck You”?

 

I’m curious how the statute reads. As a rule, all vague laws should be deemed unconstitutional. As a part of our due process in this country derived from the 5th and 14th Amendments:

If a person of ordinary intelligence cannot determine what persons are regulated, what conduct is prohibited, or what punishment may be imposed under a particular law, then the law will be deemed unconstitutionally vague. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that no one may be required at peril of life, liberty, or property to speculate as to the meaning of a penal law. Everyone is entitled to know what the government commands or forbids.

It’s fairly easy to pinpoint laws created to attack particular groups of people whether it’s the youth or black people. I feel everyone has the right to be comfortable in how they dress and choose their own appearance, as long as it isn’t causing harm to another citizen, or violates rules of private businesses or certain places because of the distracting nature (i.e. school, church, etc.) I remember when I was in high school, our administration actually voted and placed a ban on any t-shirts soliciting any association, promotion, or related imagery with Marilyn Manson. At the time, I remember thinking how ridiculous and insane that seemed to me, even as a 16-year old kid who knew very little about life and discrimination – but not caring because it wasn’t an injustice directed towards me. This was also around the same time when my mind started developing realizations that adults were not superheroes – they were just older versions of myself, capable of making the same stupid mistakes, having the same poor judgment, but clouded by preconceived perceptions, outside influences, and how their “neighbors” thought about them.

 

It’s not the president’s responsibility though to enter in and intervene in municipal politics. That’s what local politicians are for. Those people who oppose such gross misuses of power and government resources should be using their local voice to influence local politicians. Politicians that want to stay in office, do what the people nag them for – and if they know that the spectrum of people who decide if they get re-elected has ballooned, and more people are a part of the political process, then they will be more likely to cater to those groups. I hope people of all color and age, take their involvement in getting Barack Obama elected as a sign that we need to be more involved with politics on every level of government across the whole country.

 

Hopefully, people will see that for the most part, the things they did to support the presidential election and candidate, were not all that complicated or time-consuming. I’m glad that this election motivated and inspired people to register and join the political process, no matter what they’re reasons for doing so. More voices = more opinions = more chances of finding solutions. If you feel that strongly about it, the great thing about our country is that you can travel down to Riviera Beach, FL and do something about it.

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change can happen.


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classic halloween scary moments.

Mike Tyson & Bobby Brown sing the “Monster Mash” on The Jimmy Kimmel Show.

The “how many” on Halloween 2008 won’t be in regards to the amount of candy, but the amount of Obama/McCain/Palin/Joe the Plumber costumes I will have to come across. Happy Halloween, everyone.

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american culture vs. john mccain

John McCain caught me off-guard with one statement he made tonite:

It’s time to change the American culture.

Should the president, who is only one man in a nation of millions, have the right to shape American culture how he sees fit? Isn’t he there to serve the people? Shouldn’t Americans shape American culture? The president is merely supposed to be the figurehead guide for the political process. If the American people decide as an overwhelming collective that we want to celebrate and integrate into our American culture that October 16th will be “National Wear-Your-Underwear-on-Your-Head Day” – doesn’t the president have a duty to serve our interests and not his opinion of our interests?

Related Links: Find out which presidential candidate represents your beliefs the best.

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is it ‘opposite day’ in sarah palin’s world?

For those of you who have been in a decontamination center: Sarah Palin apparently got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. With the swell of information regarding the 2008 elections, Obama being a “terrorist”, John McCain hating “gooks”, and the economy vaporizing – someone easily could have missed the scandal that the McCain-Palin ticket has worked hard to bury.

Basically, Sarah Palin’s sister married the wrong guy and her governor sister came to her aid when things seemed to spiral beyond her sister’s control. Being the arrogant maverick that she is – she fought back, and basically wanted to show her brother-in-law, who was a State Trooper, who had the most swagger in the state of Alaska. Palin attempted to impose “impermissible pressure…on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda” and used her role as governor to cast unethical influence on others to push for the termination of the in-law, and ultimately to fire the subordinates who resisted. And she got caught, and has proceeded to intervene and disrupt the investigation in any way possible – often referring to the legitimate investigation into her as a “circus.

So what is Sarah Palin’s response to the investigation’s findings which showed she was unethical and abused her powers?

“Sometimes the most important thing you need to know about a politician is the frequency and enthusiasm and skill with which they lie to you.” [Note: It’s no longer if they lie, it’s how well they do it.]

The easiest way to verbalize what Mrs. Palin showed us in her responses – is to say – she thinks it is “Opposite Day.” Remember that great childhood game when if you wanted someone to do something, you asked them not to – and if you wanted them to not do something, you begged them for it. What if the politicians involved in Watergate simply said “Finally, the investigation shows we are innocent!”? I’m not sure of the actual power the investigating committee has, but it seems from Palin’s comments that she is playing semantics. Her emphasis in both comments of being cleared of any legal wrongdoing is probably how she justifies with herself that it is in fact NOT lying – but merely pointing out the lack of authority of the committee, who cannot find her legally guilty of anything.

In honor of this great display of undeniable support for the spirit of “Opposite Day” – Sarah Palin, we love you.

Related article: Son of Troopergate, Sarah Palin files an ethics complaint against herself?

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sons of anarchy break down barriers, not jaws?

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The new series on FX, Sons of Anarchy, is a fitting project to take up the reigns when Vic Mackey and “The Shield” get two to the back of the head after this season. I’m not sure if some of the revered talent formerly at other masterpiece-script shows wandered over after the writing strike, but each episode plays out like a mini-movie (something I applaud FX for) with another disaster diverted in the name of the “the club.” I think a simple theme of what I’ve seen so far is that: problems beget problems, lies require more lies, chaos brings chaos. In just a few episodes, the show already has already put on an immense display of characterization, as the backdrops to the stories of the main figures began to unravel each moments plays more and more notes of the soundtrack to their lives.

I think if people took a devoted look at the lead character, Jax (played by Charlie Hunnan) they’d see bits and pieces of themselves, scattered all through out – similar to most great, conflicted lead characters. He comes off as humble, smart, charming (coincidentally, also the name of the town the drama is set in) – and just so happens to co-lead a historic bike gang he embraced due to nepotism (Source: See dead father, mother, and current club president/stepfather) that pre-determined his fate. Do bad things, but be conflicted about the price you’re willing to pay to achieve goals – and then return to charming, but misguided youth the next day. Some might call that a psychopath. I just call it depth. And reality.

The other characters (Peggy from ‘Married with Childen, Hellboy, and the white guy who gets paralyzed in Remember The Titans) make up what seems to be an FX theme….large, stellar casts of semi-forgotten/semi-successful actors or maybe just those due for a comeback. But, the tug o’ war between the open-road warrior and the open-minded explorer is the real eye of the storm. Struggling for identity, struggling for the grasp of his father’s true aspirations and inner ideals, struggling to fill shoes, struggling to keep blood off his hands – and off his heart (and away from the hands of karma). I think we can all relate to that struggle between good and bad – and can all relate to the ability to justify any bad when you’ve yet to truly open your mind, and accept change.

Thankfully in 2008, the minds of Americans are beginning to waken up somewhat – and it’s not that unconventional to suggest that the majority of what we think when growing up is pre-programmed from outside sources. What is dictated by the school, what is dictated by the television, what is dictated by our parents with their own beliefs based on their pre-conditioning, images in music, commercials, the consumer market – you name it. Growing up, as a kid, what were you taught about anarchy? They hated the government, they draw bloody red, overextended A’s, and they could quite possibly be murderers, violent lunatics, and drugged-up outkasts from society turned revolutionists? Isn’t that along the same scope as Hitler teaching young Germans that the Nazi way of life was the only way of life?

When I first saw advertisements for the show, I thought – oh my, will there be any backlash? After watching the first several episodes, other than the words SONS OF ANARCHY embossed on their black leather jackets, as well as tattooed on their entire backs – I was wondering when the show would began touching on anarchy.

During the close of one episode, his father speaks to Jax through his unpublished memoirs: “The quote was painted on a wall…in red. When I saw those words, it was like someone ripped them from the inside of my head:

Anarchism, stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and the restraint of government. It stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals…” (from Emma Goldman)

This sort of makes me think of those Windows commercials where they passed off Windows Vista as a product called “Mojave” to test subject to combat their perceived “bad representation” of their product before people had even experienced it. What if someone expressed these ideas as a central theme in their new approach to life that they called, soularchy*? What if the societal indoctrination was removed and someone looked at the ideology and not the negative connotation of the umbrella term under which the ideas and people are cast? What if the Black Panthers were called the Rights Restoration Committee? Would more people have supported their cause just because they were branded differently?

It’s all semantics. None of the above commentary was meant to expound my beliefs on the ideas of anarchy and the Black Panther party, although I respect their rights to have their chosen set of beliefs. I just hope that everyone realizes they consciously love/hate, judge/overlook, & accept/reject ideas based on their own opinions, formed under their own due diligence with an open and honest mind. I do know, however, that if I wanted to affect an entire country’s future generation of youth, I would start with their textbooks.

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why so quiet on $612 billion bill that nearly equals bail-out proposal?

The Real News Network reported on October 4th about the most recent landmark spending budget passed by Congress that nearly rivals the $700 billion bail-out proposal, but comes no where near as close in regards to media coverage:

While debate over the Paulson bailout package dominated the headlines, the US Congress quietly passed a landmark $615 billion defense spending bill.  One of the few people to comment on the measure was Chalmers Johnson, in his article “We have the money.”  Chalmers explains to Real News Network’s Senior Editor Paul Jay how the military-industrial complex is a driving force behind the current financial crisis and a determinant of much of what happens in Washington.  He also criticizes the omission of the military-industrial complex from the political discourse determined by the two major parties and the media.

It’s clear that the US media has absolutely no respect for their profession and what it is supposed to represent in society.  With the uprising of information and ideas shared across the world wide web, it’s time we drown out those giant media conglomerates on the internet.  Let them have the TV and radio, and let’s all tune out.

Related article: America’s next president will inherit more than a financial catastrophe when he assumes office.

Update: AIG execs spend $500K at luxury spa weekend after receiving government bail out sums of $85 billion

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