Archive for » April, 2009 «

April 21st, 2009 | Author:

Last night on one of the local news shows, the call-in topic was Miss California.

Did she lose her chance at Miss USA when she said that she thought marriage was for a man and a woman only?

During the show, callers leave voicemails with their answers, and those are are aired at pre-determined times.

It would seem that most people agreed that Miss California lost her chance at the crown by letting her true feelings be known.  One lady was totally indignant when she asserted that “Of course that is why she lost the crown.  This country has forgotten what freedom of speech is about.”

Although I was only vaguely paying attention – it was late and I was involved in a hot and heavy battle with Bejeweled Blitz – that really caught my attention.

You see, over the years, I have seen a lot of this indignation over freedom of speech.  I’ve mentioned that I own some message boards.  One, in particular, is fairly heavily moderated.  We learned the hard way what a good balance is between the exchange of ideas and maintaining the feeling of safety that we actively promote.  In the interim, we have been accused of  trampling on the rights of God-fearing Americans, especially freedom of speech.

Let’s explore this concept:

Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy, such as racism, are generally permitted. There are exceptions to the general protection of speech, however, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Other limitations on free speech often balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as property rights for authors and inventors (copyright), interests in “fair” political campaigns (Campaign finance laws), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on Hate speech or fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). Distinctions are often made between speech and other acts which may have symbolic significance. Efforts have been made to ban flag desecration, for example, though currently that act remains protected speech. (Wikipedia)

So.  People interpret Freedom of Speech as the ability to say what you want, when you want, and there should be no consequences.  Isn’t that what the lady who called in said?  She implied that Miss California having a controversial opinion about gay marriage should not have cost her the crown.

But that isn’t what freedom of speech is about.  Freedom of speech is about the ability to say what you want without reprisal from the government.  (Even though the pageant is called Miss USA, I am 99.999% certain that it is not government-sponsored.)

And even that has its limitations.  You can disagree with the President, you can call him names, you can insult his heritage.  But you can’t threaten his life – should you be heard by the right (wrong?) person, the Secret Service will want to have a talk with you.  It is generally illegal to yell “Fire!” in a crowded venue when there is no fire.  You can be sued if what you say or write about a person isn’t true.  You can’t take someone else’s words and claim them as your own.

For the purposes of my board, freedom of speech doesn’t apply to private ventures no matter how much the insulted ones cry foul.

But most importantly, nowhere does it say that there will be no consequences at all.  It only says that the government won’t come after you for your stance on gay marriage, throwing you in jail for your words until you recant and perhaps marry a lesbian in apology.  It doesn’t mean that the openly gay gossip columnist who sits on the judge’s panel for a privately-held, privately-run beauty pageant won’t give you low marks for the interview portion of the pageant if you insult his sexuality – even if you say “no offense intended”  – which in turn means that you don’t win that pageant.  You had the freedom to speak, your opinion was not stifled.  He used his freedom of speech to cast his vote with much lower numbers than it would have been had you been more supportive of gay marriage.

It also doesn’t mean that your words won’t be dissected all over the internet the next day.

So to the ignorant caller on Fox News Edge last night – yes, I suppose this country has forgotten what freedom of speech is all about.   We’ve replaced the true definition with the one that belongs with the term entitlement.

Peace out, y’all.

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April 17th, 2009 | Author:

At least it seems that way.

We are in the midst of moving.

Work goes crazy.

We have to make a trip to FL to pick up furniture.

We come back without a kid, which means we have to get her back somehow this weekend.

This weekend is a trip to the beach for K and M’s wedding.

That means a total of 7 hours in the car on Sunday.  Ouch.

In the midst of all of this, DaHubby’s boss died.  DIED, people.  How often do you hear that?  You hear – moved, retired, got promoted, got laid off, got fired …. but DIED??  DaHubby wished him a Happy Easter on Good Friday, and never saw the man again because he had a LITERAL four-chamber blowout the next day.   Sadly, his wife found him unconscious in the garden.  He was in a coma for a couple of days and on Tuesday he passed away.  Very sad.  Very mind-boggling.  He was only 54.

*moment of silence*

I can’t dwell on that for too long because I am going to the beach!!  Must pack, get nails done, and find a cardigan because it will be chilly :)

Have a good weekend, y’all and I will be back on a normal schedule next week.

I hope.

I pray.

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April 07th, 2009 | Author:

There will be no cohesion in this post; I am simply incapable of it this week.

  •  To Tre:  Teasing someone with Krispy Kremes is just wrong.  It takes wrong to whole new levels.
  • We closed on our house.  
    • Now we  gotta move all our crap.
      • We moved half of it this past weekend, so now I have half a house of crap, in each house.
        • And company coming this weekend.  Kind of.   Visitors, but we won’t be here.
    • And buy rugs.
    • And buy furniture for TheKidlet’s room.
    • And paint TheKidlet’s room.
      • I bet DaHubby has forgotten about that.
        • I am not going to be the one to remind him.
  • My nephew joined the National Guard.
    • I’m very proud of him.
    • And terrified for him.
  • I have been sad lately that my aloof kitty is aloof.
    • I just looked over and caught her grooming her ass.
      • I’m not so sad anymore.
  • According to my kid, you suffocate when you’re picked up by a tornado because when the wind hits your nose at that speed, you can’t breathe.
    • I guess it’s better than being dropped 20 miles away after being twirled around and around and hitting cows and things …. ALIVE.
    • My brain just completely emptied of all the random thoughts that I have been having for the past day.  
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    April 04th, 2009 | Author:

    And I am not only awake at this horrible hour but TheKidlet has already had her soccer pictures taken and has a game in 20 minutes. Please remind me of this when I sign her up for the fall season – I knew what I was getting into.

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    April 01st, 2009 | Author:

    Is there a federal agency of some sort that you should call?

    I ask because a few weeks ago, I remarked to DaHubby that his allergy meds must be working because he didn’t seem to choking in his sleep as much.

    You see, before his discharge from the USN, DaHubby finally gave in to all of my harping and worrying, and went for a sleep test to check for sleep apnea.  The tech told him that they wouldn’t bother him, they would just monitor him and the doctor would call within a couple of days with the results.

    It took less than an hour for her to wake him up and put a mask on his face.  Seriously – it’s that bad.

    So I mention this to DaHubby, pleased that I was observant enough to notice that something had changed.

    I found this out tonight when I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his CPAP machine.  He said he didn’t think he needed it anymore – hadn’t I said that very thing just a couple of weeks ago?

    A couple of things here:  no, that isn’t what I said; and in fifteen years of marriage, THIS is the first thing he chooses to listen to me about?  Seriously?

    I can only surmise that DaHubby has been abducted by aliens, and his real personality is in a spaceship somewhere, screaming at this impostor DaHubby who is apparently listening to the silly wife and agreeing with things she says.

    I can’t decide if I should call someone, or just let invading aliens stay.

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