Tag Archives: semantics

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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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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read the economic bail-out proposal.

Download the US Government Economic Bail-Out Proprosal (pdf)

With reports that George W. Bush and Ron Paulson’s initial plan was only 3 pages in length, I suppose this 451 page monstrosity is a bit of an upgrade, or maybe just a bunch of legal jargon meant to hide the hidden gems.

Either way, SOMEONE (other than just our congressman’s least favorite assistant) has to read it…I’m not saying it’s going to be me. I say we get 451 people together and each read a page, then we discuss it amongst ourselves.

I call dibs on page 227.

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lunary vs. lunacy – language loopholes.

Language is the blood of the soul, into which thoughts run and out of which they grow. –Oliver Wendell Holmes

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. –George Orwell

Lunacy – insanity; intermittent madness; foolish acts.

Lunary – of, and relating to the moon; a name for an herb also known as honesty; it is said because gravity has linked the earth and moon together, they share a divine honesty with one another; the moon is the basis for modern time-keeping, and we accept what it tells us without hesitation [now, that’s trust].

Languages and their internal links to one another never cease to amaze me. The ways the slightest change in letters, positioning, emphasis, etc. can alter meanings and mix messages. One can only marvel at the genius behind the evolution of language from one culture to the next throughout time.

In the case of the above example, their letter-by-letter spelling is almost identical – yet, one brings about thoughts of derangement, while the other is linked to honesty and the connection of our moon. The only difference, just from looks, seems to be the C and the R. The c and the r. The see and the are. See and are.

So, it could be said: the only difference between insanity and honesty, is embracing what you see and what you are. If you accept what you C, lunacy. If you accept what you really r, lunary.

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