This is how a society erodes respect for the rule of law. It is a good way to pander to political correctness and social justice warrior jerks, though.
At the height of the mad fervor to tear down Confederate hero memorials and statues over the summer, Takiyah Thompson, 22, Dante Strobino, 35, Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, and Peter Gilbert, 39. pulled down a century-old statue of a generic Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina. This was done in front in front of news cameras and during the day.
Thompson is a student at North Carolina Central University, a black institution. The three men belong to the Workers World Party, which organized a Durham protest to piggy-back onto the Charlottesville, Virginia protests around the removal of a Statue of general Lee.
Notably, police spotted Tran at the court hearing for Thompson when a deputy asked him to help identify two people . Tran refused and he was arrested.
Tran explained the justification for the vandalism thusly: “Monday night hundreds of people gathered in front of the statue, and it was the will of everyone there that that statue come down knowing that in the state of North Carolina there is no legal route for removing Confederate statues.”
Of course there is a legal route for removing statues. Continue reading
My answer to the first question? Absolutely not.( My answer to the second is, “I have no idea.” ) If a driver can put a sign in his rear view mirror or a bumper sticker on her bumper without state sanctions, then a driver should be able to have whatever he or she chooses on a vanity plate.
Utah, for examples, bans vanity plates with profanity, “derogatory language,” drug references, sex talk, references to bodily functions, “hate speech,” targeting a particular group, or advocating violence advocates, as well as alcohol references and the number combo “69.” Ethics verdict: None of their business. These are words and numbers, and the state is declaring content and intent impermissible. When I see a car with an obnoxious vanity plate, I’m grateful. This is useful information. Racist or vulgar plates translate into “I am an asshole, and want you to know it!”
Thank you, sir! I appreciate the heads up.
Below are the plates banned by Utah over the past five years. Most of them fly right over my head. If you have to be a cryptographer to figure out why a plate is offensive, then it’s not offensive.
The less our governments interfere with freedom of expression, the safer we are.
Here’s the list (the pointer marks indicate spaces): Continue reading
There was a lively and contentious debate on Megachurch Pastor Andy Savage’s 20-year-old encounter with a 17-year-old girl. There were several extensive comments, and I may yet post one from the pro-Andy camp to balance this one, by johnburger2013.
Here is his Comment of the Day on The Pastor’s Confession
There are at least 3 creeps in this story:
A. Megachurch minister Andy Savage. This incident as revealed by Jules Woodson clearly demonstrates that Savage knew what he had done to Woodson was, at the very least wrong and immoral. He has a crisis of conscience and seeks absolution from the Lord God Almighty. Good for him. I suspect that God would have said, “Hey, jerk. Apologize to her, make it right, and never, ever use my name in vain. Go away.” He told her not to discuss it with anyone. Nice guy, that. Nothing in the story reveals that he tried to make amends to her; on the contrary, everything points to him trying to cover up what he did to her.
I would not even rate his statement as an apology, though. Note the buzz words:
1. “As a college student”: Hey! I was young and impetuous, and my hormones got the best of me.
2. “On staff at a church in Texas”: I was nobody important at the church, just a young buck hauling stuff for the church way over there in Texas.
3. “More than 20 years ago” : It was a long time ago. The winds of history have clouded my memory. Don’t judge my sexual assault of a 17 year old girl by today’s standards; things were different back then! Come on!
4. “I regretfully had a sexual incident”: I forgave myself, and you know what the Good Book says about sin, repentance and forgiveness. The Lord has forgiven me, so you should, too.
5. “With a female high school senior in the church.” She was a senior and not some under-aged school girl. Besides, she was like an adult.
6. “Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules”? Unfinished business? What does that mean? Unrequited love? A bad date you need to make right? Does the good pastor mean, “I thought we forgave and forgot; I guess not.”
7. “Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago.” There he goes with the 20 years ago stuff again. Why don’t we just move on. Remember: he did not say this to her on the phone or in person but on a NATIONALLY televised prayer/worship service. He tried to pull a Jimmy Swaggart or a James and Tammy Baker. (Que: Sound of bombs dropping and whistling right before detonation.) So, let me get this straight. He assaults a 17 year old, tells her to keep it quiet, and then 20 years later, he further humiliates her on national television about some unfinished business. What a jerk. Continue reading