Friday, February 18, 2005

Feeling Randy in Atlanta? Don't Call Your Wife to Tell Her!

CNB presumes the state of Georgia to be a fine state (even with its unfortunate history with regard to race relations -- that Lester Maddox wasn't what folks would call "inclusive"). However, it continues to maintain a law that criminalizes "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent" suggestions made by telephone.

CNB notes that there are many nonsensical laws that remain in effect all over the U.S., and does not fault the nice people of Georgia (although that term might not apply to Zell Miller) for failing to remove the law. However, for some reason, Forsyth County assistant solicitor Inez Grant defendend law before the Georgia Supreme Court on, of all days, Valentine's Day.

A bit of background: the state prosecuted a then-17-year old boy who placed five collect telephone calls to a 14-year-old girl, who accepted the calls. The calls were recorded on the detention center’s pay phone system, and had sexual content. The girl’s mother complained to the 17-year-old's probation officer, and the boy was charged with five counts of making harassing and obscene phone calls. After being found guilty, he was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Sounds reasonable -- protecting our minors, right? Here's the problem: it applies to ALL telephone conversations, not just those with minors or meant to harass (as the oft-amended federal law reads). In fact, the Forsyth County assistant solicitor took the position that the telephone is off limits for all X-rated talk, even to one's spouse, because "the state can regulate its public utilities," including telephone lines. Georgia Supreme Court Justice Carol W. Hunstein responded to the argument with the only reasoned response: "What?"

Monday, February 14, 2005

Foreign Policy Under the Bush Administration, as Translated by CNB

Policy: It is important that our leaders find common ground.
Translation: We got rid of Powell -- anyone else have a smart mouth??

Policy: You must unequivocally inform potential foes of the consequences of their actions.
Translation: We have to keep up the vague tough-guy threats with Iran, because that's all we can do right now anyway -- the troops are spread too thin for us to do anything else, and Europe is still pissed at us.

Policy: Free elections are crucial to liberty worldwide, and America will support them wherever they occur.
Translation: Fortunately, Americans understand the "American Idol" voting process more than they do the Iraqi elections (we hardly even know what a "transitional national assembly" is). Hell, they think we had something to do with the elections in the Ukraine -- we should keep using that reference every time we mention Iraq. We just need to keep things muddled before anyone realizes that the Shi'ites won (but we did only congratulate "those who will take office once the results are certified" -- heh, heh), or that we will never impose "free elections" upon Pakistan or Saudi Arabia (as long as they play ball).

Policy: Strategic negotiations can be as effective as military force.
Translation: Stupid North Korea -- they KNOW we can't go in there! They called our bluff! Maybe no one will notice that they actually DO have missiles capable of reaching American soil, and then wonder why we saw Iraq as a "grave and gathering" threat, but not North Korea.

Policy: The 2004 Presidential election was a validation of U.S. foreign policy.
Translation: Who cares what anyone thinks? We won the election and can do what we want -- it was our moment of accountability, remember? If we're wrong, we just blame them for electing us!!