Category Archives: First Amendment

The Concert Suit

As much as as I hate buying clothes generally, I REALLY hate buying suits. All that measuring, especially when the body trends poorly compared with the previous time I bought a suit, which it did. The harsh lights and the three-sided, full-length mirrors don’t help.

The other bad thing about buying a suit is that I end up spending too much. I’ve gotten myself to the place, and I’m buying one (expensive) suit; why not two, especially when the second is free, except for the alterations? And while I’m at it, how about some new shirts, which are buy one, get one at 50% off? Oh, and new ties to go along with them? And I DO need a better coat for winter. At the end of the excursion, I experience massive sticker shock and don’t buy any suits, or much of anything else clothing-wise for the next two or three years.

The initiation of this shopping spree is this event:

We received information about the dress code for the performance a week ago Sunday. And I own ZERO black suits, and only one white shirt that’s probably too tight. So this past Saturday evening, the wife, the daughter and I went shopping.

And I’ve felt lousy ever since.

Initially, I thought it was just exhaustion that sent me to bed at 8:30 Saturday night, but now I’m thinking it’s some sort of sinusitis and/or allergies flaring up. But what caused the truly horrific insomnia I got Sunday night, so much so that my eyes burned on Monday morning? Probably consuming the cheese and crackers I ate after the Sunday night rehearsal.

But more basically, I think it was a week without riding the bicycle or playing racquetball. When I got to do both on Monday, I got surges of energy that I’d been lacking lately, though I was more stuffed up yesterday.

So no, I can’t blame any of it on shopping for suits, unfortunately.
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Monday night, I did go to the marriage equality rally. The State Senate was supposed to take up the legislation the next day. So the chant was, “What do we want?” “Marriage equality!” “When do we want it?” “Tomorrow!” Tomorrow? I mean, yes, literally, the next day when the vote was due, but “tomorrow” has such lousy scansion; having been to lots of rallies, I’m a big fan of “NOW!”

In any case, the state legislature didn’t vote on much of anything Tuesday, and they won’t be meeting again until next week. I DO think that the position of at least Republican state senator I saw on TV Tuesday night – that the government can’t deal with ANYTHING else until it deals with the budget deficit – is totally bogus. Truth is, balancing the budget will be a long, arduous process that may take weeks; gay marriage can be achieved with one vote in one house, as the State Assembly has already passed a bill. Twice.

Speaking of which: Via Mark Evanier – Shelly Goldstein on stupid, callous, homophobic hateful legislation. Julie Andrews couldn’t do any better.
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I found out in Hispanic Business, of all places, that Glenn Beck Lost His Lawsuit Over A Controversial Domain Name
Fox TV host Glenn Beck has lost a suit he filed against the creator of a satirical Web site spreading a rumor that even the site itself admitted was false: Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990. Although he lost the case, Beck still received the domain name he sought, but not because the arbitrator awarded it to him. Rather, the man who established the site gave it to Beck himself — but not without getting in a good parting shot. And the REAL kicker is that the guy has kept the CONTENT of the site up at http://gb1990.com/. That’s GB, as in Glenn Beck, 1990 (dot) com.

It’s a nasty little site, but then again, Glenn Beck is a nasty little man. It is also one of those First Amendment issues people love to hate. My reactions is a mix of mild discomfort with a whole lot of schadenfreude.
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Chances Are Profanity Was Intentionally Encoded in Text of Schwarzenegger’s Veto. As though you had any doubt.

ROG

You say you'll change the constitution


I happened to be flicking through the channels this past weekend. C-SPAN 3 was showing a 1958 interview of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for the ABC show Mike Wallace Interviews. Wallace asked Douglas, who was very strong on First Amendment rights, where he stood on the classic case of a man yelling fire in a crowded theater. Douglas didn’t take the interviewer’s bait. He stated that it would be an incitement to riot, that it was illegal and should be illegal. That example is one often used to show that there are restrictions, even on things as fundamental to the American experience as the Bill of Rights.

As a recipient of a lot of right-wing material, you would think that the Second Amendment was imperiled. This is just a taste:

Dear Concerned American,

The great pay-back has begun, and it’s going to be ugly.

Liberals in Congress are paying back the anti-gun extremists who put them in office, and Barack Obama’s H.R. 45 is the first step…

…and it’s a big step….

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that gun registration is the first step on the road toward totalitarian confiscation of all firearms by a federal power.

In fact, the most brutal dictators of the last century were famous for their gun registration and confiscation schemes.

It was easy work for Hitler’s brown-shirt Gestapo to confiscate the firearms of German citizens because years earlier, well-meaning liberals had forced all guns to be registered with the government … all in the name of safety.

When Hitler came to take their guns, he had a list of who owned every gun and where they lived!

Ah, the Hitler comparison. Again.

If a two-day waiting period, a written exam and a gun tax aren’t infringing our rights, I don’t know what is!

This harangue despite a major victory in the Supreme Court last session.

Here’s the thing: the Second Amendment rights aren’t without limits either. We restrict guns to minors, to convicted felons (boy, I wish that actually worked better) and certain other groups of people.

Which brings me to those folks who somehow believe that packing heat when the President comes to town should be protected. Here’s, of all people, “Morning Joe” Scarborough on the August 23, 2009 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:

And, and it seems to me that leaders on both parties, Democrats and Republicans alike, have a–have an affirmative responsibility to step forward and speak out against this hate speech and speak out against people carrying guns to rallies…As a guy with a 100 percent lifetime rating with the NRA, I can tell you that not only hurts those of us who believe in Second Amendment rights, it makes the job of the Secret Service so much harder and our law enforcement personnel so much harder.

Joe is, of course, right. I think it’s insane for antagonistic people to be packing heat around the President. Think of the history of this country: four Presidents assassinated, all by the gun; at least five attempts on Presidents using firearms. Not to mention two prominent candidates in my lifetime shot four years apart: Bobby Kennedy in 1968 (assassinated) and George Wallace in 1972 (paralyzed).

My great fear ids that either the President will get shot at (or worse), or the Secret Service will end up shooting a guy with a gun when he makes what they perceive to be a threatening move; the brouhaha after THAT debacle would make the summer town meetings look like a picnic.

I’d rather the Secret Service restrict the use of firearms around POTUS rather than have him risk his life trying to prove that he isn’t going to take away their guns; they already believe he’s stripping them of their weapons regardless.

ROG