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The First Amendment Is Offensive

23 Jan

The problem with believing firmly in the First Amendment is the company it keeps. There is a blogger in jail in Alabama. I’m not going to name him, because his personal situation isn’t what I want to talk about. From everything I have read he is a raving twit who makes hysterical accusations against anyone he dislikes. He has been sued for that. Further, he has been uncooperative with the Judicial process, to the extent of not showing up for a hearing or hearings. Nevertheless, as matters stand he should not be in jail.

He was jailed because he defied an injunction ordering him to cease blogging about the plaintiff in the suit against him. Mind you, the trial has not taken place. When it does I have scant reason to doubt that this pillock will lose, and will have behaved badly enough that a jail sentence is a real possibility. But the trial has not yet taken place. The Injunction he is in jail for defying is attempting to prevent his from publishing what has not YET been ruled to be defamatory and actionable. The Injunction is clearly a violation for his First Amendment rights.

It’s tempting to just dismiss this. The blogger in question is a poisonous little twerp. The content that the fuss is over seems unlikely to be true, and likely to be found outside of the umbrella of opinion. The dweeble deserves to be in jail or fined. He’s in jail. What’s the problem?

The problem is that prior restraint of free speech does not just keep dweebles from posting fake stories about infidelities they fantasize that their enemies commit. It keeps perfectly decent people from exposing government wrongdoing, before the exposure of a trial. And if you wait until the people whose First Amendment rights you are defending are perfectly decent people, you will be behind the curve and wrestling against a weight of case law put in place to “get” dweebles, and other offensive jerks. A First Amendment that does not protect offensive speech is worthless, if only because it is almost always possible to find somebody who is offended at anything.

So we who care about Freedom of Speech end up defending jerks like Larry Flint, the KKK, The American Nazi Party (can you imagine the door prizes?), and this blogger from Alabama. And washing afterwards.

 

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The Crank answers the pressing questions of the day….#3

16 Jan

“Why haven’t there been public inquiries into the banking collapse, to properly fix the blame?”

Because, since the Government started the whole mess by telling banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay it back, the Government is deathly afraid that if it holds public hearings on who is at fault, it is likely to get told….in public.

Geezerhood

26 Dec

One of the aspects of being a Crank is what I shall term Early Onset Geezerhood (I have no idea what the female equivalent is, though I know it exists). EOG means that a Crank finds himself reacting in a way that might be expected of somebody well into their “Golden Years”, while still too young to retire.

Examples;

If you find that you no longer have much patience with pretentious pop-band names, and think of, for example, Depeche Mode as Depressed Melba, you might have EOG.

If you are in a mall, watching the female teenie-boppers ripple past and your mind reacts to your hormonal interest by saying “Yes, but they’d want to TALK afterwards, and they have nothing to say.”, you might have EOG.

Teen Music

19 Dec

Each generation has its own popular singers who warble, in an adenoidal whine, about the angst of being young. This is as inevitable as the pain of childbirth or the decay of the grave.

No generation has much patience with the whine of any other generation. This is as it should be.

No generation pays the slightest attention to the criticism of its whines by any other generation. This is also as it should be.

No, I am not going to go into detail about which particular whine of which generation it was that set me off. It doesn’t matter.

Pharmacies

12 Dec

My Lady has a number of prescriptions. At least six, and maybe as many as a dozen (I don’t keep track of them beyond a certain point). I have seven. No doctor I have ever met seems to be willing to write prescriptions one to a sheet unless he’s only writing one. Prescriptions, even those that were all written at the same time, do not naturally run in sync. So, inevitably, one ends up bringing in multiple prescriptions on the same sheet, asking for one, and leaving the rest “on file”.

My personal experience has been that chain drugstores cannot find prescriptions that have been left “on file”. Since the ability to find things in a filing system is a basic skill, not part of a pharmacist’s specialized training, I can only conclude that chain drugstores, as a matter of policy, hire the bewildered.

My personal experience has also been that chain drugstores are incapable of taking your information, calling the doctor involved, and straightening the matter out while you do your other shopping. You have to stand in the center of their counter, throwing a tantrum, and interfering with their sales or they lose track of what they are doing for you.

I thought that this was universal for pharmacies. For years the only drug stores I had available (that I knew of, anyway) were chain stores. Then, in 1998, I moved into a rural area where the nearest drugstore was a small, locally owned operation. And they could file things without losing them, and be trusted to do what they said they would do without immediate oversight. It was WONDERFUL. Since then I have move again, and go to another small, locally owned pharmacy. And they are the same. HEAVEN!

If you only get occasional prescriptions, this doesn’t matter. Even the worst CVS is capable of filling one written prescription while you wait. But as we get older (and the lucky ones will) the old Dupont slogan “better living through chemistry” becomes more and more of a fact of life.

Local Pharmacies are a little more expensive than the big chains. But, let me assure you, anything extra you spend you will certainly save on ulcer medication.

A Short Rant About Turn Signals

5 Dec

The point of turn signals is that they tell other drivers what you intend to do, so that they have a good chance to NOT RUN INTO YOU.  I understand that there are places where using them marks you as weak, such as Manhattan, but in most places in the United States they will make you safer if you use them.  Starting to signal after you have started to turn is next to useless.

And don’t get me started on all the cars designed with turn signals so lost in the rest of the car’s lights that they can’t be seen.

A Short Rant About Roofs

24 Oct

There is so much wrong with “Modern Architecture” that it would take a book to even begin to cover the subject. That book is FROM BAUHAUS TO OUR HOUSE by Tom Wolfe, and I strongly recommend it. Today, however, I am going to limit myself to the plague of flat roofs. One of the Progressive Intellectual idiots who birthed the Modern movement (I could look up which one, but who cares?) decided that peaked roofs were a crypto fascist symbol for the monarch’s crown. The rest of the Modern movement was so brain dead that they went along with this. As a consequence, a large proportion of the buildings built since, say, 1935, have flat roofs. Which have standing water on them.  And leak.  And rot faster than they should.  And require more maintenance…….

This is what happens when delusional dogma is allowed to override common sense.