Showing 1 - 10 of 29 posts found matching keyword: laws
Sunday 12 June 2022
After years of pandemic-driven disruption, the 44th annual Metropolis, Illinois Superman Celebration returned to its traditional calendar slot this weekend. The highlight of this year's event was last night, when Smallville Superman (Tom Welling) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) reunited to re-enact scenes from their television show on stage.
As it happens, the 2022 Celebration is marking the 50th anniversary of Metropolis being the "Home of Superman," a title they gave themselves. While 1972 was inarguably a significant milestone for Metropolis in several aspects, not the least of which is the agreement with National Periodicals to license Superman's name and likeness, many websites, including Wikipedia, mark the start of Metropolis' official relationship to Superman with the June 9, 1972, passage of State of Illinois General Assembly House Resolution 572, which reads:
Whereas, Metropolis is, as everyone knows, the base of operations of SUPERMAN, the Man of Steel, battler for Truth, Justice, and the American Way; leaper of tall buildings in single bounds; overpowerer of powerful locomotives; outspeeder of speeding bullets; changer of the course of might rivers; and performer of other important functions of not inconsiderable civic utility; and
Whereas, the civic leaders of Metropolis, Illinois, have finally decided that their illustrious citizen is, in fact, neither a bird nor a plane but a resource of not inconsiderable civic utility; and
Whereas, the familiar red and blue caped Superman uniform has been seen of late draped on other prominent citizens of Metropolis on important civic occasions (giving one pause to reflect that Clark Kent must have been considerably embarrassed when he last dashed into a telephone booth to strip for action and found that his Superman uniform had mysteriously disappeared);
now therefore be it Resolved By The House of Representatives in the seventy-seventh Session of the General Assembly, that we do hereby commend and congratulate Mr. Robert Westerfield, Mayor J.P. Williams, and Mr. C. Harold Mescher of Metropolis, Illinois, for conceiving and organizing ‘Project Superman’ by which outstanding citizens are honored as recipients of the Superman Award for their contributions to the civic welfare of Metropolis; and we extend the thanks of the civic leaders to Mr. Carmine Infantino of National Periodical Publications, Inc., for his kind permission to use the Superman format and for supplying the original uniform of the television Superman to use in the promotion of Project Superman; and finally we congratulate the Reverend Charles Chandler on his selection as the first recipient of the Superman Award and find it wholly appropriate that a man of his calling be so chosen;
and be it further Resolved, that a suitable copy of this preamble and resolution be forwarded to Mr. Robert Westerfield for acceptance by him on behalf of the Project Superman Screening Committee.
Personally, I'm not particularly confident about that June 9 date or whether the Illinois Senate ever had anything to do with this particular resolution. The actual online records of the 77th Illinois Senate meeting that day do not remark on that specific piece of legislation. Admittedly, that does not necessarily mean the date is incorrect, as the online records themselves warn of their incompleteness. The text above is taken directly from the Illinois House record for April 25, 1972, the date the resolution was introduced and passed the House.
And while we're on that topic, I should mention that House Resolution 572 was just one of many non-binding resolutions passed that day. Resolution 569 congratulated a congressman for staying married to the same woman for 19 years. Resolution 571 gave Chicago Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton a pat on the back for throwing a no-hitter, and Resolution 573 pledged undying loyalty to the Chicago Black Hawks "no matter what."
But the real kicker is House Resolution 575, congratulating Illinois native Gene Hackman for receiving the Oscar for Best Actor (in The French Connection). Though Superman: The Movie would be six years in their future, the Illinois House of Representatives still managed to praise both Superman and Lex Luthor in the very same meeting!
That's congress for you.
Tuesday 6 April 2021
Coca-Cola's response to Georgia's passage of the Election Integrity Act of 2021 ("Statement from James Quincey [Chairman and CEO] on Georgia Voting Legislation," April 1, 2021) opened with this sugar-free, caramel-coloring deficient statement:
"We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation."
Georgia Republican House Caucus response to Coca-Cola's response to their new law (excerpt from "House of Representatives letter to Coca-Cola Company," April 3, 2021):
"Given Coke's choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately."
1. Nothing says you're taking a stand against "out of control cancel culture" like canceling something that you disagreed with.
2. Why would anyone expect Coca-Cola to be happy about the new law when it expressly makes it illegal to give someone a Coke and/or a smile?
(Election Integrity Act of 2121, Section 33: Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (e) of Code Section 21-2-414, relating to restrictions on campaign activities and public opinion polling within the vicinity of a polling place, cellular phone use prohibited, prohibition of candidates from entering certain polling places, and penalty, as follows: (a) No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast: (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.)
3. Enjoy your Pepsi, boys. You've earned it.
Thursday 14 February 2019
In honor of Valentine's Day, today's blog post is about abortion.
There's been talk here in Georgia that the state legislature has been working on a new resolution to finally pass the long languishing Equal Rights Amendment. The local paper reported that one of the resolution's sponsors recently withdrew his support after talking with "people I know and people I trust" (who are, presumably two separate groups of people).
Before we go any further, to refresh your memory, this is the whole text of that very controversial proposed amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
That's simple enough. Why would someone want to go on record as being against that? To answer that question, I did a little Googling. You may be surprised to know that the Internet is full of opinions on the topic.
Some people say that the ERA isn't necessary because it duplicates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which promises "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." If that were true, women wouldn't have needed the 19th Amendment to cast votes.
Some people say that the ERA would prevent women from receiving favorable bias in paternity cases. They say it could also force women into the draft. Are either of these such a problem? I would hope that women would have to prove their fitness to be a parent in court. If a war is so damn important that we have to force our citizens into the armed forces, it seems to me that women should serve their country just as men do. (If the thought of your daughter going to war makes you think twice about the need for warfare, all the better.) And God forbid that anyone should have to use a uni-sex bathroom.
Some people say that the ERA is bad because it is just another example of the federal government stealing rights from the states. That's true. Granted, the "right" it would be stealing is the states' ability to treat women like second class citizens, but it's the principle of the thing!
However, the "people" who talked our representative out of supporting the ERA didn't use any of those arguments. No, the persuasive argument against guaranteeing women and men equal rights was — you guessed it — abortion. They said that if we give men and women true equality, they can no longer tell women what to do with their bodies. Horror of horrors!
Frankly, that strikes me as a bullshit reason to deny or abridge equal rights for women. I'm no girl or priest, and I'm generally pretty good at "keeping it in my pants," so I try to have no opinion on the subject, but the logic seems simple. If abortion is murder as the bumper stickers tell me, it should be illegal whether a man or woman is carrying a child. If it's not, then what difference does it make what gender does it? Neither case should have any bearing on whether women should have the same rights as men.
But what do I know? I try not to have an opinion, remember.
If you ask me, the best argument against the ERA is the existence of Valentine's Day itself. If women and men are so damn equal, someone should be buying *me* chocolates today, dammit.
Sunday 6 May 2018
One week ago today, a small wildfire approached my father's house in Fountain, Florida. (It's an ironic name in hindsight.) The fire ignited several bales of hay he had just that morning stored in his pole barn. The barn stood no more than 20 yards from his house and no more than 100 yards from the entrance to his cattle pen. Naturally, Dad called the fire department then jumped into action with a garden hose.
How's that for the start of a dramatic story? I'll go ahead and tell you up front that the fire department put out the fire, and the house was saved. That's not what this blog post is about.
I wasn't there at the time, but as I hear it, armed agents of the Bay County Emergency Department arrived before the fire trucks did. And the officers, rather than jump in and help, ordered Dad to put down his hose and let the fire burn. I'll give them the benefit of doubt and assume that they wanted to "protect" Dad, not "serve" the fire. Dad didn't see it that way. He had called for help to extinguish the flames not for a group of spectators to the destruction of his property. So he refused to comply.
You can see where this is going now, can't you?
When father, who moved to middle-of-nowhere Florida to get away from authority figures, said he wouldn't put his hose down until the firemen arrived, the police attempted to arrest him. Note the use of the word "attempted" in the previous sentence. Dad didn't make it easy for them. For what it's worth, I'm led to believe no actual punches were thrown, but there was certainly something of a scuffle as the police tried to drag a 72-year-old man away from a fire.
Personally, I think Dad's reaction was understandable. After all, he believed his property and his livelihood was being threatened. Understandable, I say, but also unwise. Sometimes your best option is to let the world burn.
When the Bay County fire department finally arrived, Dad was unable to see it. He was sitting far away, handcuffed, in the back of a police cruiser. And he stayed in the back of that police cruiser for the five or so hours it took them to put the fire out. (I should say put it *mostly* out. It would flare up again the next day on the neighbor's property and the fire department would be called back to complete the job.)
As I already said, the house was fine. The animals were fine. And Dad was released from the police car eventually and allowed to go home where he was now, presumably, safe. An inconvenience, sure, but at least a happy ending. Right? Wrong.
Four days later, the Bay County Sheriff's Department returned and served a warrant their fellow officer had sworn out against my father for the crimes of Preventing or Obstructing Extinguishment of Fire (Florida Code Chapter 806.10) and Resisting Arrest with Violence (843.01), both Third Degree Felonies. They served the warrant one hour after court closed for the day, ensuring he would spend at least one night in jail until bond could be set the next afternoon. What nice guys, I say sarcastically.
Dad is now home — again — after paying a non-refundable 10% of the $6,500 bond to a bail bondsman. He's facing considerably more in lawyers fees to argue against a 10 year prison sentence. All because he panicked when the cops he didn't call demanded that he not try to save his own house from a wildfire.
If there's a lesson here, it's don't ask for help in Bay County, Florida. Either way, you're going to get burned.
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Saturday 28 April 2018
Legal humor website LoweringtheBar.com has reviewed the list of Official Georgia State things (specifically, "Georgia Code Title 50 Chapter 3 Article 3: Other State Symbols") and given our list of stuff the respect it deserves. (By which I mean "none.")
Of course, I had previously decried that as of 2015, the state mammal is officially the White-Tailed Deer. (You fools!) But seeing it again in print made me do a little more research.
Somehow I had missed this 2016 AJC article in which State Representative Carolyn Hugley of Columbus assured her concerned colleagues that the new amendment to the Georgia Code wouldn't "prevent anyone from eating the animal." Hooray! Venison jerky for everyone!
It's a good thing that being an Official State thing doesn't prevent consumption of that thing. Otherwise, the Vidalia Onions (State Vegetable), peanuts (State Crop), and grits (State Prepared Food) industries would be in trouble. That's not such good news for the Southern Appalachian brook trout (State Cold Water Game Fish), green tree frog (State Amphibian), or Pogo (State 'Possom — yes, the apostrophe is written into § 50-3-68 of the Georgia Code).
Naturally, this made me curious if there was any law on the books in Georgia that barred someone from eating something. I couldn't find one. There are lots of things you can't buy or sell, including substandard pecans (§ 2-14-63), unpasteurized milk (§ 26-2-242), and unregistered pacific white shrimp (§ 2-15-5), but nothing you're barred from actually chewing and swallowing. It seems even cannibalism is legal in Georgia. That's Southern hospitality for you! Eat up, ya'll.
Saturday 3 June 2017
On May 16, House Bill 135 was reported to the Ohio House of Representatives State and Local Government Committee. House Bill 135 seeks to amend section 5.49 of the state's Revised Code to read:
Sec. 5.49. The twelfth day of June is designated as "Superman Day" to recognize the Ohio birthplace of one of the creators of the superhero who stood for "truth, justice, and the American way." For on this day, let it be known that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!
Now that's good government!
Sadly, as of this date, the bill remains only a House Bill, having not yet passed the House much less the state Senate, where it hasn't even been introduced yet. Therefore, it doesn't look like Superman Day will be June 12, 2017. Fortunately, there are plenty of other dates on the calendar for the Man of Tomorrow.
Way back in 2013, DC Comics declared June 12 "Man of Steel" Day in advance of the movie of the same title, and some people have celebrated the day ever since. (Americans love their stupid, corporate-manufactured holidays.) I'm not sure why June 12 was selected. The movie opened on June 14. To be fair, Action Comics was cover-dated June, 1938, though it was actually most likely released April 18.
Since this bill specifically references Superman's creators, it's worth noting that the birthday of Cleveland-born Jerry Siegel, Superman's co-creator, is in October — 10/17/1914, to be specific. Comparatively, Siegel's partner, Joe Shuster, was born in Canada in July. And, of course, Superman's birthday has (almost) always been February 29. (At least since 1976.)
So June 12 is as good a date as anything, I guess.
In any event, I'll be perfectly willing to celebrate Superman Day whenever Ohio gets around to approving it. Just don't wait too long, guys. Superman might not age, but we're not all so lucky.
Monday 21 April 2014
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Saturday 27 April 2013
It is not uncommon for me to drive through Atlanta late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. When I do, I always listen to Handel on the Law on WSB AM 750 (or preferably on FM 95.5, which typically gives me a more widely-dispersed signal). Bill Handel spends three hours a week yelling at people for getting into legal predicaments that are generally pretty avoidable. It's a great show, and I give it my highest recommendation.
I've known a few lawyers in my life, some of them pretty well. From them I've learned several specific lessons which I will now share with you, dear reader.
- Lawyers think they know more than you do about everything. This may or not be true, but that has no impact on whether the lawyer thinks it.
- A lawyer's life is just as messed up as yours, but probably moreso. Therefore, never take advice from a lawyer about anything other than the law.
- And most importantly, never, ever support a girlfriend/boyfriend through law school. They will eventually leave you. I personally know of no cases where this is not true.
Why am I not a lawyer? Sure, I'm argumentative, prone to obsessing over pedantic trivia, and I know more than everyone else about everything. But I'd really like to do something with my life other than be a total douchebag.
Sunday 27 January 2013
Remember New York City's proposed law forbidding the sale of giant sugary beverages? Turns out that law isn't just silly, as many people have claimed. It's also racist.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Hispanic Federation have joined forces to oppose the new law. They argue that the ban will "arbitrarily discriminate against citizens and small business owners in African-American and Hispanic communities." Their position, in a nutshell, is that a disproportionate amount of the revenue generated by minority businesses comes from sales of Big Gulps.
How, exactly, does the NAACP or the Hispanic Institute think that they are helping by wading into the dispute over this law? If it is true that the 64-oz beverage is the true economic engine of the minority business in New York City, shouldn't they be working to solve that problem instead of perpetuating it?
I don't recall the NAACP standing up for the cigarette companies as governments worked to eliminate them as a health menace. I doubt that the Hispanic Federation stood up for the use of lead paint. So why now, why giant cups of soda? If the only thing that the law's Big Beverage opponents can do is call it a racially-motivated attack by The Man, there must not be a lot that they can do to stop it.
Once super-sized sodas are outlawed, maybe then there will be an underground criminal empire built around delivering jugs of black-market soda. Since crime disproportionately affects minorities in this country, at least that would give the NAACP and Hispanic Federation something to protest.
Friday 29 June 2012
Just in time to send Superman and Advertising Month out with a bang, I received an advertising flyer in the mail this week for fireworks. Specifically, this ad promotes Phantom Fireworks, which has been advertising very aggressively this season. In addition to stuffing my mailbox, they have billboards on Interstate 85 in Atlanta and even commercials on local cable television. Too bad that the products they are promoting are illegal to possess here in Georgia.
It's not uncommon to see ads in Atlanta for casinos and dog-racing tracks in nearby Alabama and North Carolina. However, the sinful activities taking place within those locations don't extend beyond their own boundaries. Phantom doesn't explicitly tell us to take our fireworks across state lines, but their advertising slyly points out how their stores are just over the state line, wink, wink. I suspect that they would be irritated if I tried to shoot my new fireworks in their parking lot.
Georgia legalized fireworks about 6 years ago. Specifically, Georgia legalized sparklers and noisemakers, but not rockets of any sort. That means that despite Phantom's fantastic "Buy One Get One Free!" offer, I can't really buy anything. No 6-shot Mighty Mite's Mortars, no 12-shot Def-Con Alerts, no 30-shot Blue Brocade Barrages, and certainly no 100-shot Saturn Batteries.
No, no Phantom Fireworks for us here in Georgia. Thanks to the Georgia legislature, we're stuck with only Wolf Pack Snaps and Morning Glory Sparklers sold in the seasonal, appropriately-named Acme Fireworks tents. Because even children know that if there's any place to buy explosives of any sort, it's not from a company named Acme!