Prosecutor Asks That She Not Be Called 'the Government' Because the Term Is 'Derogatory'

Marvel ComicsMarvel ComicsLast month a Tennessee judge overseeing a burglary case rejected a pretrial motion in which the prosecution requested that it not be referred to as "the Government" because that term is "derogatory." In the May 22 motion, Assistant District Attorney General Tammy J. Rettig noted with alarm that "it has become commonplace during trials for attorneys for defendants, and especially Mr. [Drew] Justice [the defendant's lawyer], to refer to State's attorneys as 'the Government' repeatedly during trial." Rettig worried that "such a reference is used in a derogatory way and is meant to make the State's attorneys seem oppressive and to inflame the jury." She added that "attempts to make the jury dislike the State's attorney have no place in the courtroom." She therefore urged Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley to bar Justice from using the g-word during the trial and instead refer to her as "General Rettig, the Assistant District Attorney General, Mrs. Rettig, or simply the State of Tennessee."

In his response, Justice argued that such an order would violate the First Amendment. Should Judge Binkley nevertheless see fit to comply with Rettig's request, Justice said, he also should consider a few other speech limits in the interest of avoiding prejudicial terminology:

First, the Defendant no longer wants to be called "the Defendant." This rather archaic term of art, obviously has a fairly negative connotation. It unfairly demeans, and dehumanizes Mr. Donald Powell. The word "defendant" should be banned. At trial, Mr. Powell hereby demands be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title "Mister." Alternatively, he may be called simply "the Citizen Accused." This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal "Defendant." The designation "That innocent man" would also be acceptable.

Moreover, defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a "lawyer," or a "defense attorney." Those terms are substantially more prejudicial than probative....Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the "Defender of the Innocent." This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent. Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation "Guardian of the Realm." Further, the Citizen Accused humbly requests an appropriate military title for his own representative, to match that of the opposing counsel. Whenever addressed by name, the name "Captain Justice" will be appropriate. While less impressive than "General," still, the more humble term seems suitable. After all, the Captain represents only a Citizen Accused, whereas the General represents an entire State.

Along these same lines, even the term "defense" does not sound very likeable. The whole idea of being defensive, comes across to most people as suspicious. So to prevent the jury from being unfairly misled by this ancient English terminology, the opposition to the Plaintiff hereby names itself "the Resistance." Obviously, this terminology need only extend throughout the duration of the trial—not to any pre-trial motions. During its heroic struggle against the State, the Resistance goes on the attack, not just the defense.

The good news is not only that Justice triumphed but that even the Government concedes "the Government" has a negative connotation.

[Thanks to Allen St. Pierre for the tip.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hyperion||

    We're not the government, and we're here to help!

  • CE||

    Alternatively, he may be called simply "the Citizen Accused." This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal "Defendant."

    "The Citizen Accused" has a nice ring to it. No one wants to be accused of something bad.

    ...counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the "Defender of the Innocent." This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent.

    Good point.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    That's some fine trolling there, Lou.

  • SIV||

    This story is two weeks old.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually, it's a month old:

    Last month a Tennessee judge overseeing a burglary case rejected a pretrial motion in which the prosecution requested that it not be referred to as "the Government" because that term is "derogatory."

    Hope that helps.

  • SIV||

    I should say almost the entire legal, conservative, and libertarian internet (excluding Reason) covered it two weeks ago.

  • SweatingGin||

    It took that long to find an appropriate comic book image for the article.

  • Carolynp||

    Seriously dude, we've been so busy laughing about Obamacare that this is probably the first moment to suitably add on. Give 'em some credit for not engaging in pile on that might dull some of our appetite...

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    More amazing, Williamson County is one of the more highfalutin', snooty, Prias/Range Rover drivin' counties in the State.

  • PACW||

    I missed it. Better late. . . .

  • CE||

    This was on Lew Rockwell a long time ago.

  • CatoTheElder||

    It's an obscure and fucking great story, though, and it bears repeating now that the judge has ruled in Captain Justice's favor.

    Heck, I'd be happy if this case were reported two years from now!

  • Sevo||

    "She added that "attempts to make the jury dislike the State's attorney have no place in the courtroom.""

    Of course the government would never attempt to influence the jury as regards the defendant or the defendant's lawyer.

  • Brett L||

    So did the States Attorney just request that she not be allowed in the court room?

  • ||

    She's right, we should call her a cunt instead.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So is it Cunterment or governcunt?

  • anon||

    Yes.

  • playa manhattan||

    Maybe something more unisex. Or not.

  • All-Seeing Monocle||

    Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

  • Carolynp||

    Is that true?

  • nipplemancer||

    yes, this man has no dick

  • Carolynp||

    Oh, I was SO hoping someone else would end that. And all the millenials are scratching their heads...

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I had it typed in and was about to hit submit, but decided to reload first. nm beat me by a minute...

    ...bastard!

  • ||

    Can they call her the Grand Inquisitor instead?

  • croaker||

    What title did Gobbels have?

  • CatoTheElder||

    Propaganda minister.

  • Batgirl||

    "Guardian of the Realm."
    Yes, I want to be referred to is is all future legal proceedings.

  • anon||

    "At trial, Mr. Powell hereby demands be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title "Mister," Justice wrote. He also suggested the prosecutor could use the alternative title "that innocent man," since Powell is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    And he asked that the defense be referred to as "the resistance," concluding his response with, "WHEREFORE, Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance, primarily asks that the Court deny the State's motion, as lacking legal basis."

    This lawyer is awwwwright.

  • anon||

    Also, I dunno about Tennessee, but their neighbors over here in NC definitely consider the word "Government" derogatory.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    anon, were you commenting at CNN this AM?

  • anon||

    Nah, don't really have much time to comment lately. Just worked my ass through a decent backlog of shit though, so I should be more available in the future.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Someone stole your handle.

  • anon||

    le gasp!

    I would have never guessed someone would steal such a ubiquitous handle!

    /tony

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I didn't think it was you, as we usually agree.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Do you need to share your issues with constipation?

  • playa manhattan||

    Why? What had happened?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I was arguing with some prog about extinction and someone with the same handle as anon was commenting.

  • anon||

    Ok, I must know: What argument is there to be had about extinction?

    Were you two fighting over whether dinos ever actually existed?

  • Irish||

    Ok, I must know: What argument is there to be had about extinction?

    The prog may have been arguing in favor of voluntary human extinction.

    I have actually seen them make this argument, and it is terrifying.

  • anon||

    Holy shit. I didn't know what that meant, so I googled it.

    Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.

    The shit they're smoking is way too strong for me.

  • playa manhattan||

    I wholeheartedly encourage people who believe this to voluntarily cease to breed.

  • playa manhattan||

    Disclaimer: I don't actually believe they want it to be voluntary.

  • anon||

    The ultimate irony being they're voluntarily eliminating the most scarce of resources.

  • Jose Chung||

    Well, "voluntary" like the Income Tax is "voluntary".

  • Irish||

    Best part of the voluntary human extinction movement?

    Its Rational Wiki page is more positive than the one for libertarians.

    I don't know how anyone can post on Rational Wiki given the sentence I just posted without laughing at the fact that they call themselves 'rational.'

  • anon||

    So far, there is no indication that the movement is going to be very successful.[2]

    I laughed.

  • Irish||

    The best part is the caption of the picture off to the side with the cows. The article was obviously written by someone being very evenhanded about the movement, but some sarcastic asshole wrote this as a caption to the picture:

    The VHEM wants to get rid of humans to allow other species the chance to evolve to sentience and fuck things up in their own unique way.

    I have found the only person on Rational Wiki with a sense of humor.

  • Calidissident||

    I feel like people who hold that view are, whether they admit (or even realize) it or not, believers in a cult where the Earth is a conscious and sacred being. Like the Na'vi god in Avatar.

  • anon||

    I think you're about right on that. Once they use the word "Gaea" or "Gaia" or however they choose to spell it at the time, I pretty much just think "ok whackjob."

  • SweatingGin||

    "I feel like people who hold that view are, whether they admit (or even realize) it or not, believers in a cult where the Earth is a conscious and sacred being. Like the Na'vi god in Avatar."

    FTFY

  • Jose Chung||

    They'll go the way of The Shakers before too long.

  • Coeus||

    Holy shit. The second-hand smoke article is actually reasonable. They even link to the Straight Dope article. Though there should also be OSHA on the "not harmful" side

  • Carolynp||

    I think you should encourage it. No mini me's coming out of that household.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Apparently for them too.

  • croaker||

    People like this need a 72-hour Thorazine vacation, if you know what I mean.

  • playa manhattan||

    +5150

  • Jimbo BTR||

    There is no hope of people like this ever becoming less dense. They should take a more direct approach to the problem and kill themselves immediately.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The prog may have been arguing in favor of voluntary human extinction.

    A couple of teenagers in Chicago were going to try the involuntary version in 1972. Well, nit an extinction since they wanted to create a "master race" of environmentally minded superior stock, they were called "Right Wing" in later studies.

  • Irish||

    A couple of teenagers in Chicago were going to try the involuntary version in 1972. Well, nit an extinction since they wanted to create a "master race" of environmentally minded superior stock, they were called "Right Wing" in later studies.

    Link? Because that's hilarious.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Look for "R.I.S.E." and I think Michael Minor of the Chicago Sun Times revisited them a couple years ago. There are quite a few links out there for these guys.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    She was arguing that humans causing an extinction was somehow unnatural and therefore not evolution.

    part a

    part b

  • anon||

    I would've turned that argument around a different way: How do you know those fuckers that just went extinct didn't give us cancer to start with?

    But yeah, there's no way I'd be on the other side of the coin regarding extinction. I am by far the most valuable thing in my life; so, by extension, humans are far more valuable (in general) than whatever shit eating animal happens to die off whether I'm the cause or not.

  • anon||

    Also, what good is there in having cows if there aren't humans to eat their delicious meat?

  • playa manhattan||

    They truly are magical. They turn grass into beef.

  • Sevo||

    anon|11.13.13 @ 8:08PM|#
    "Also, what good is there in having cows if there aren't humans to eat their delicious meat?"
    They die and the vultures get to chow down on the rotting remains.

  • Carolynp||

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    That was awesome!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Also, what good is there in having cows if there aren't humans to eat their delicious meat?

    We wouldn't even have cows if it were not for humans. Does the predecessor even exist anymore?

  • playa manhattan||

    "We are killing off species faster than any other time in modern evolutionary history. "

    Modern evolutionary history????? What the fuck does that even mean?

  • anon||

    Modern evolutionary history????? What the fuck does that even mean?

    There are several questions to be had before we even start to deal with the retarded grammar:

    1: Who's "we?" What proof do you have that humans are killing (literally) -any- species? Fuck, we seek & destroy cockroaches and ants, and those fuckers just keep on coming.

    2: "faster" ... than what? How do you know how "fast" we're killing species? How do you know the species is extinct/etc?

    3: "modern evolutionary history" ... I don't know what the fuck that means.

  • playa manhattan||

    It was obviously worded to avoid the Permian Extinction, which is when almost all existing species died in a (geologically) short period of time.

  • Sevo||

    "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense."

    This is s religious statement on the face of it: Absent humans, who is to decide on "good" or "improve" besides some imagined god or gods?

  • anon||

    resource shortages will improve as we become less dense."

    Still makes me laugh, every time.

    "Sure, less people will mean more resources for those left over!"

    Oh, except the part where there's nobody available to actually utilize the existing resources.

    Because you destroyed Labor, the most scarce of all resources.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    In a billion years give or take solar output will have risen enough that terrestrial life will no longer be possible on Earth. The only options will be to modify our sacred environment to keep it operating within tolerable limits, or to leave the planet and go somewhere else. How many of the unintelligent creatures post humanity will be capable of that? I include progs in that list.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I was going to ask him if that included the last mass extinction, but it was Jen I was targeting.

  • anon||

    Well, at least humans aren't as bad as random shit that collides with us at very high speeds from space frequently enough to wipe earth out a few times already.

  • playa manhattan||

    The destruction may have come from within:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Traps

  • CE||

    No, it was definitely meteors. Not the Deccan traps either.

  • Irish||

    "We are killing off species faster than any other time in modern evolutionary history. "

    Modern evolutionary history????? What the fuck does that even mean?

    How can they possibly know this? There have been massive cataclysms in the period of time humans have been on Earth. Are you really telling me that massive volcanic eruptions wiped out fewer species than modern humanity?

    I don't buy it.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    you first this time Josephus

  • playa manhattan||

    At CNN, I hope you were trolling.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Yeah, I troll.

    I try to present rational libertarian arguments without emotion. Every once in a while you can make a rational commenter question their beliefs. This one wasn't one of them.

    I got a guy to read Atlas Shrugged once.

  • playa manhattan||

    I honestly haven't read it, or any other Ayn Rand book.

    I just start the debate with "When is it OK to lock Human Beings in cages?". It's very effective.

  • SweatingGin||

    From Moon, I also like "when is it moral for the group to do what it would not be moral for an individual to do?"

  • GILMORE||

    ""I just start the debate with "When is it OK to lock Human Beings in cages?".

    Kink.com?

  • Carolynp||

    Dude, I love to troll. It's mean, but especially now it's hilarious to watch libs twist themselves in knots to defend socialized healthcare.

  • mr lizard||

    So that cracking noise I heard from the north was actually someone's bitch slapping.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, well, let's get some good news:

    "Calif. health exchange enrolls fraction of target"
    "California's new health insurance exchange tentatively enrolled 35,000 people during its first month of operation,"
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art.....980957.php

    I'm gonna guess "tentatively enrolled" means they clicked on some part of the site, and the "enrolled" number is a hell of a lot fewer.

  • anon||

    You missed the story that said "tentatively enrolled" means completed the process of putting a policy in a shopping cart but didn't actually buy nor commit to buy it.

  • playa manhattan||

    It's the law of the land. I'm still waiting for the underwater scooter from my amazon cart, though.

  • anon||

    Yeah, I'm still waiting for my airboat. I put it in the cart but they won't fucking send it to me!

  • playa manhattan||

    But you agreed that you were planning on buying it! You agreed!

  • anon||

    I'm going to sue Amazon for breaching their implied contract with me for not delivering my airboat I never paid for!

    Ok, I threw up a little in my mouth.

  • playa manhattan||

    "You don't necessarily buy a car on the first trip to the lot."

    You do when there's a gun to your head. Covered CA's website worked from the get-go. If people ain't buying in the first month, they ain't buying, period.

  • ||

    Eh, disagree. There really is nothing to be gained by buying now. The way I understand it is that the prices can't be increased so there is no upside to buying now.

  • playa manhattan||

    I was told that there were millions of people dying of cancer that were waiting for coverage of pre-existing conditions.

  • Agammamon||

    Look, those people are just going to have to be patient - I mean its not like the weren't going to die anyway and if we save just one through this scheme that's a net win.

    And the people with cancer who *had* coverage and will lose access to treatment will just have to be patient and die.

    For the greater good.

  • ||

    Coverage doesn't begin until Jan 1st. One need only sign up by Dec 15th to get this.

  • Irish||

    First, the Defendant no longer wants to be called "the Defendant." This rather archaic term of art, obviously has a fairly negative connotation. It unfairly demeans, and dehumanizes Mr. Donald Powell. The word "defendant" should be banned. At trial, Mr. Powell hereby demands be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title "Mister." Alternatively, he may be called simply "the Citizen Accused." This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal "Defendant." The designation "That innocent man" would also be acceptable.

    This is the greatest human being of all time.

  • playa manhattan||

    I've been telling my wife this for years: sarcasm gets results!!!

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    If I ever get arrested, I want Captain Justice defending me.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I was arguing with a prog over his insistence that government-run healthcare be called "single-payer". I pointed out that what he's calling for is exactly government-run, and his retort was that the word "government" had a bad rep because of those evul Republicans and evul Fox News propaganda about how government can do nothing right, so he's justified in using a euphemism to keep the word out of the conversation. Heh.

  • SweatingGin||

    "Voluntary incarceration for possession of a substance deemed harmful by the community"

  • Anonymous Coward||

    That's the progressive M.O. They abandoned the term for 70 odd years once the backlash of eugenics and social engineering got a little too hot. They then stole the term "liberal" and have worn that out like a 2-dollar hooker and are back to "progressive."

    What they do doesn't matter. All that matters is that they have good intentions.

  • anon||

    Yeah, word gets bad connotations, change the language, proceed to do the same shit on a different day.

    They're pretty good at it though. We could learn something from this.

  • Irish||

    Instead of libertarian, I think I'll start calling myself a Freedom Master.

    Who could disagree with a Freedom Master?

  • crazyfingers||

    I make a point of always calling it "government school" instead of "public school".

  • ||

    You and Neal Boortz

  • CE||

    And me. And "school" is a little too polite. More like "government youth indoctrination institutions".

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Because the Term Is 'Derogatory'

    Why, yes it is!
    Though I'm surprised they admitted to noticing so.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    What Would Jesus Drink?

    -Despite his devotion to dinner time prayers and Christian values, "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson has been axed from speaking at a benefit in Bristol, Tenn. for the faith and bible-driven organization, Family Ministries.

    Why?

    Wine.

    The famous family announced its latest business venture last week: Duck Commander Wines. In conjunction with the winemakers of Trinchero Family Estates in Napa, the Robertsons' own line of Red, Moscato and Chardonnay is slated to hit stores next month. According to the Ministries, Duck Commander Wines goes against the organization's core values.

    http://www.foxnews.com/enterta.....wine-deal/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yeshua ben Yosef miBethchelem once turned water into wine at a wedding he and his mother were once invited to. Is he banned from speaking at Family Ministries as well?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *Bethlechem

  • ||

    Dude that was like totally grape juice or something.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Well, there's also the fact that this particular ministry has a program to help adolescents with drug and alcohol issues, and they think they would be sending mixed messages.

    And the audience would apparently have a lot of teens, including those in the substance abuse program.

    And there's no attempt to invoke the law against the speaker; it's the decision of a private organization.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Well, there's also the fact that this particular ministry has a program to help adolescents with drug and alcohol issues, and they think they would be sending mixed messages.

    By inviting a guy who, among many other things, has a business that sells wines?

    It is not like he was planning on chugging wine at the function.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Really, there's no coercion involved. A lot of Protestants encourage teetotalism, certainly among teens.

    And imagine that they'd hosted the guy's speech. Maybe we'd see headlines like "Social Conservative hypocrisy!!1 Wine-selling TV star invited to fundraising event for supposedly anti-alcohol ministry! Mammon trumps 'deeply-held values.'"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Not all silly things involve government coercion, Eduard.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They know the kids they're treating, we don't. Maybe the kids *would* get mixed messsages if the guy spoke. Or if the ministry actually turned down a chance to make money (as it seems they're doing) out of principle, that might potentially give them a more favorable view of the ministry people.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Sorry, I do not see how un-inviting a guy because he happens to sell wine makes sense for a faith whose deity's first miracle was transforming gallons of water into wine.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If we're going to get all Biblical, there's always 1 Cor 8:7-13, about avoiding even innocent behavior if it causes a weak brother to stumble.

    And there's this fun passage from Prov 23:29-35 - I'm not saying it has to have a teetotal spin, but it's the kind of thing they probably want to inculcate in the teenage substance abusers:

    Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
    Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?

    Those who linger long over wine,
    Those who go to taste mixed wine.

    Do not look on the wine when it is red,
    When it sparkles in the cup,
    When it goes down smoothly;

    At the last it bites like a serpent
    And stings like a viper.

    Your eyes will see strange things
    And your mind will utter perverse things.

    And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
    Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.

    “They struck me, but I did not become ill;
    They beat me, but I did not know it.
    When shall I awake?
    I will seek another drink.”
    (NAB)

  • CE||

    Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
    Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?

    Pretty much every liberal commenter on every website?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Sorry, I do not see how un-inviting a guy because he happens to sell wine makes sense for a faith whose deity's first miracle was transforming gallons of water into wine.

    Well, see, it's like this. He was young, It was His first miracle, and He evidently didn't get It quite right. His Father grounded Him for some time over It.

  • Acosmist||

    Some Christians are against the demom rum. GOOD DISCOVERY, BLUE TULPA

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A Constitution Christmas

    -In fact, Christmas itself is in the Constitution.

    This is not even a matter for debate, for the Framers themselves dated this document, one of the two most important political documents in human history (along with the Declaration of Independence) from the very first Christmas. You could look it up.

    In fact, I'll look it up for you. Here's how the Framers concluded:

    "...done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names..." (Emphasis mine.)

    By dating the foundational document of the greatest nation in history to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Founders essentially celebrated Christmas as they signed their names. Since the Declaration was also dated from the first Christmas, you can even say that the two most important political documents in history are in the nature of Christmas cards from the Founders to us.

    http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogP.....2147541088

  • Sevo||

    "By dating the foundational document of the greatest nation in history to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Founders essentially celebrated Christmas as they signed their names."

    Those straws are pretty hard to grasp, aren't they?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So, OK then, you've convinced me, "the year of our Lord" has no religious meaning.

    Can we go back to using this neutral, secular term in scholarly papers, rather than the insipid "common era"?

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|11.13.13 @ 9:54PM|#
    "So, OK then, you've convinced me, "the year of our Lord" has no religious meaning.
    Can we go back to using this neutral, secular term in scholarly papers, rather than the insipid "common era"?"

    The straws didn't get any thicker with that post.
    Please keep your superstition to yourself.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    All right, then, sevo, does "the year of our Lord" have religious meaning, and would you use the term yourself? If not, why not?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I'd use it as its common meaning...a secular way to measure time.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, as I said, you've convinced me. So can we drop the term "common era" and go back to using "the year of our Lord" when describing the year, rather than "Common Era"?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You can use whatever the fuck you want. There are often many words/terms for the same thing. Just because time was once associated with a religious figure doesnt mean the phrase has any religious meaning for those who use it.

    I celebrate Christmas because I dig Santa Claus, Christmas trees and holiday cheer. I even enjoy the religious Christmas stories. Doesn't make me a bleever.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I never meant to call you a believer or to discourage your holiday cheer in any way whatsoever. My point was about the term "year of our Lord" and whether it's meaningless or meaningful. Sometimes it seems that people can't make up their minds on this issue.

    I simply note that many secular-minded people are trying to replace the term "year of our Lord" with "common era," because the former term is offensive to non-Christians.

    Then at the same time we hear that the use of that term in the Constitution is irrelevant and the Constitution is still (as one scholar put it) "Godless."

    I'm not saying which interpretation is accurate, simply that one can't hold both views at once.

  • playa manhattan||

    +1 Christmas Prime Rib

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|11.13.13 @ 10:07PM|#
    "All right, then, sevo, does "the year of our Lord" have religious meaning, and would you use the term yourself? If not, why not?"

    BTW, did you know they call part of the Parliament the House of Lords?! Does that mean they are all gods?! Do we have to celebrate their birthdays?!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I didn't say anything about having to celebrate anyone's birthday.

    Would you be as willing to use the term "year of our Lord" as your are to use the term "House of Lords?" Because that's what you seem to imply.

  • Sevo||

    Eduard,
    I don't give a shit. It's all questions based on some stupid superstition.
    Call it what you please and keep your superstition to yourself.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Have a nice day! :)

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|11.13.13 @ 10:21PM|#
    "Have a nice day! :)"
    Passive-agressive does well when you get caught slinging bullshit.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, fine, have whatever kind of day you please

    Explain again what was wrong with my remarks.

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|11.13.13 @ 10:33PM|#
    "Explain again what was wrong with my remarks."

    They are sophomoric at best.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Nuh-uh!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Eduard, it is not that the term has no religious meaning at all, it is just that if that is the best example of religious devotion that could be found in the Constitution, that is mighty thin.

    The next thing you will be telling me is that when my girlfriend yells out 'oh God' she is expressing her religious devotion.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I didn't say "religious devotion."

    Again, if the term is religiously meaningless, we should still use it today - even the non-Christians among us. If the "Common Era" people are right, the term is offensive and religious, and should be scrubbed. There are good arguments for these positions, but you can't argue both at once.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I did not argue it was 'religiously meaningless,' but that it has little religious valence in that context.

    When my girlfriend says 'oh God, oh God' it has some de minimis 'religious meaning.' But someone grasping at that to show her religious devotion would be silly.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Again, I'm not taking sides in the debate of it's-significant versus it's-a-minor-matter at beast.

    If you're right, however, the conclusion follows that all the "common era" people are making a mountain out of a mole hill, especially when (as a Google search confirms) they say that "year of our Lord" and "Anno Domini" are offensive to non-Christians, arrogant, fundamentalist, etc.

    So one or the other can be true, but not both. If it's a big enough deal to replace with "common era," you can't say it's minor. If it's minor, you can't say we should switch to "common era."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Oh, I agree the 'common era' folks are uncommonly silly.

  • CE||

    I hate "Common Era". And my initials are CE.

  • Pro Libertate||

    So, does this mean government is now legally obscene?

  • JidaKida||

    lol, it is what it is man, I mean like seriously.

    www.Privacy-Web.tk

  • Sevo||

    So it looks like Obo gave that hag Pelosi a boot in the ass:
    " House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, is trying to restrain nervous Democrats from backing a measure that could knock the foundations from under the law - even as erstwhile Democratic allies Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and former President Bill Clinton endorse similar changes.
    [...]
    Experts said that even more than the website meltdown, halting the cancellations of old policies would undermine the structural integrity of the entire law."
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics.....981710.php

  • Sevo||

    More from the linked story:
    ""The American people want to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not undermine it," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said."
    So, did this guy apprentice to Obo?

  • SweatingGin||

    Someone suggested earlier that it should be PelosiCare, not ObamaCare. Apparently he had given up on it, and she said "yea, we'll do reconciliation"

    Meeting if Senate dems to me means that shit is going to get real with it.

  • Sevo||

    SweatingGin|11.13.13 @ 10:03PM|#
    "Someone suggested earlier that it should be PelosiCare, not ObamaCare. Apparently he had given up on it, and she said "yea, we'll do reconciliation""

    Could be; she doesn't lack for chutzpa. Regardless, they both deserve to have it hung around their necks. And I doubt the hag is going to have a lot of effect on (the Alpha Female) DiFi or Slick Willy.
    They both knew they were going to get pressure and neither one is famous for walk-backs.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Could the Republicans actually be doing something intelligent here? Bring up a bill that they no won't get enough Democrat support so that they can not only force the D's to own the law, but also force them to vote down "fixes"?

  • Sevo||

    I'd be careful of being 'too clever by half' if it were me. The Dems are beginning to dig holes for each other; don't offer to take the shovel away.

  • LynchPin1477||

    That is the problem with making such a big deal about repealing it. If Democrats are willing to make changes that are popular and address some of the criticisms Republicans have, then R's potentially postpone or lessen the pain. And they give D's an excuse to blame some of it on them. Pain is probably the best long term medicine right now.

  • Sevo||

    ..."If Democrats are willing to make changes that are popular and address some of the criticisms Republicans have, then R's potentially postpone or lessen the pain."...

    I'm not sure this is possible. From the first link:
    "Experts said that even more than the website meltdown, halting the cancellations of old policies would undermine the structural integrity of the entire law."
    The Dems are going to have to delay some portions, courtesy of the web-site melt down and I don't think Obo's gonna get away with a Friday afternoon email on that.
    And then a hint (which we've got) that the old policies are going to live again means millions of others aren't going to sign up.
    Those "changes" are going to stretch into the spring and be very contentious, given the popular mood; it may not be possible.

  • LynchPin1477||

    ^know...wow, that was a bad one.

  • playa manhattan||

    Never forget: Nancy Pelosi was second in line for the presidency. The worst San Francisco has to offer could have been in charge. Nice work, Democrats!

  • Sevo||

    It might get interesting on the Presidio Wall over the next several months; DiFi and that hag live pretty close to each other.

  • playa manhattan||

    You could have just said "Those hags".

  • ||

    She's actually from Baltimore, daughter of one of Baltimore's most corrupt mayors, sister of easily the most incompetent mayor.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    The Prosecutor =/= The People.
    What else is there?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A new group, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe, (EPC-Europe), is (duh!) trying to reverse the drift to euthanasia in that troubled continent.

    "EPC-Europe will also warn that Belgium is currently considering extending euthanasia to children. ‘We all know that euthanasia is already practised on children,’ said the head of the intensive care unit of Fabiola Hospital in Brussels.

    "In the Netherlands disabled new-born babies are euthanised under the Groningen Protocol, on grounds of ‘their perceived future suffering, or that of their parents’. This includes neonates with spina bifida.

    "As Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, of the British House of Lords said:‘If that had existed in the UK when I was born there is a possibility that I would not be alive now. I would never have been allowed to experience life and my daughter might never have been born.’"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    While it is certainly a matter of consent, I would personally rather be euthanised than to live a miserable existence.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How miserable are we talking about?

    "The group will highlight cases of euthanasia in Belgium including those of Mark and Eddy Verbessem, the 45-year-old deaf identical twins, who were euthanised by the Belgian state, after their eyesight began to fail; and the case of Nathan/Nancy Verhelst, whose life was ended in front of TV cameras, after a series of botched sex-change operations. His mother said she hated girls, found her child ‘so ugly’ at birth and did not mourn his death. And the case of Ann G, who had anorexia and who opted to have her life ended after being sexually abused by the psychiatrist who was supposed to be treating her for the life-threatening condition."

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think it is awful that people might voluntarily choose suicide, but it is a choice they have a right to make. But any time the state, or anyone else for that matter, is making that choice, it isn't euthanasia, it is murder, pure and simple. In addition to that, it is disgusting that anyone would presume to know what an acceptable level of suffering is and to weigh that against the potential future value of someone else's life.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -But any time the state, or anyone else for that matter, is making that choice, it isn't euthanasia

    Were any of these cases examples of that?

  • LynchPin1477||

    The group will highlight cases of euthanasia in Belgium including those of Mark and Eddy Verbessem, the 45-year-old deaf identical twins, who were euthanised by the Belgian state

    At least one was.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Not quite.

    -Two Belgian brothers who were born deaf and were slowly going blind chose to end their lives the way they began them: together. The dual deaths of the identical twins last month marked the first reported double euthanasia of twins worldwide.

    Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45, were inseparable during their lives, the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reports. Suffering from an incurable illness, the pair shared a room in their parental home before studying shoe repair and moving in together in a small apartment.

    But when Marc and Eddy learned they were slowly going blind in addition to already being deaf, the twins feared losing all possible means of communicating with one another.

    -Belgian law permits euthanasia when a patient declares the assisted suicide to be his or her own wish and doctors agree the patient is in unbearable physical or psychological pain.

    Dirk Verbassem, the brothers' older sibling, told the Telegraph that Marc and Eddy's life had become insufferable. "Many will wonder why my brothers have opted for euthanasia because there are plenty of deaf and blind that have a 'normal' life," he said. "But my brothers trudged from one disease to another. They were really worn out."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....72320.html

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So basically lifenews lied or grossly misrepresented what went on there.

    Surprise, surprise.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Mark and Eddy Verbessem, the 45-year-old deaf identical twins, who were euthanised by the Belgian state, after their eyesight began to fail"

    is a lie because...?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oops, they were euthanized at Brussels University Hospital in Jette

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....fused.html

    which going by Wikipedia seems to be private.

    PS, the Telegraph article says the brothers' "local hospital refused to end their lives by lethal injection because doctors there did not accept that the twins were suffering unbearable pain, the criteria for legal euthanasia under Belgian law."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So the 'euthanized by the state' thing was false.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, false, they should have said "euthanized according to Belgian law...or not"

  • ||

    So wait, would you be in favor of a law that said a person has no right to end their own life? Because I am kind of confused as to what you out are opposing...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Here's what I said at 10:58:

    "Although you're right that I wouldn't give the imprimatur of the state even to provably voluntary adult suicide."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Their lives belong to society, or you I guess.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There's this, which I'll repeat:

    "‘We all know that euthanasia is already practised on children,’ said the head of the intensive care unit of Fabiola Hospital in Brussels.

    "In the Netherlands disabled new-born babies are euthanised under the Groningen Protocol,"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    When a child is born with a horrific defect I guess society, rather than the parents, should make these decisions, eh?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So parents have the right to terminate a child's life at any point up to their majority as long as they have an "horrific" defect? I like how you think. How are you at scheduling trains?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So you prefer the child suffer? Very compassionate.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, 'society' should use their coercive power to make these decisions!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Deaf AND blind? Yep.

    Sexless? Yep.

    Sounds like Ann G made her own decision. Anyone of consenting age should be able to end their own lives for any reason they choose.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    From some of these summaries, it seems that if they'd had a bit more social support, instead of parents not caring if they died, they would not have been so quick to off themselves.

    And the fact that it's slid so quickly into killing babies and children shows that maybe these countries aren't as insistent on voluntarism as the brochures may indicate.

  • playa manhattan||

    "it seems that if they'd had a bit more social support, instead of parents not caring if they died, they would not have been so quick to off themselves."

    They didn't.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -it seems that if they'd had a bit more social support

    It is the nature of paternalism to always second guess what seems to be the voluntary choice of others.

    This is all beside the point though, right, since you have admitted you would oppose someone with 'adequate' social support getting assistance in ending their life, right?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The euthanasists seem to be already dropping their "consenting adult" mask and going straight for killing babies and children (and the elderly). When they reach the bottom of the slippery slope that fast, you gotta wonder how "libertarian" this movement really is.

    Although you're right that I wouldn't give the imprimatur of the state even to provably voluntary adult suicide.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, it is nice you do not even feign the mask.

    The children issue is not cut and dry for a libertarian. Choosing euthanasia for a child in horrible suffering, when done by the parents, can be consistent with libertarianism I think.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    When libertarian goes to that kind of place, I admit I'm not a libertarian.

    But for those operating on libertarian premises, I say - watch Europe and see how quickly this policy departs from the whole "consenting adults" thing. Even if your only exception would be loving parents with their horribly deformed children, the exceptions will, IMHO, broaden and broaden until it's nothing any libertarian would support.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you are willing to place your argument on slippery slopes I do not mind :).

  • lap83||

    "When libertarian goes to that kind of place, I admit I'm not a libertarian."
    I'm with you. I don't know exactly where I'd draw the line, I just know I'd be very conservative because the risk of abuse is very great.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, this is the standard progressive argument for paternalistic measures.

    'that fellow did not really want to work for the minimum wage, he was just desparately poor!'

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There was a conference last month on drug-policy reform - did I miss the Reason article?

    Among other tactics, they discussed jury nullification.

    http://blog.tenthamendmentcent.....oQ97yf9ypo

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Pea coat and jeans /= hooker attire.

    NY judge acquits woman accused of loitering for purposes of prostitution. She has a long arrest record for that crime, but the judge found a key element of the case against her in this instance unconvincing.

    In addition to her conversing with passers-by on the street, the cops found that the defendant wore “black pea coat, skinny jeans and platform shoes” - the jeans "outlined" the defendant's legs for prurient purposes, said the officer.

    "“Any current issue of a fashion magazine would display plenty of women similarly dressed,” wrote Judge Felicia Mennin in her Oct. 15 decision slamming cops for their sartorial arrest rationale. “However, the choice of such outfit hardly demonstrates the wearer’s proclivity to engage in prostitution.”"

    http://nypost.com/2013/11/10/t.....er-outfit/

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Insert fashion police joke here

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Post is way ahead of you - they started the article with "Call the fashion police!"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    SoCon Paternalism and Social Engineering: We Know What is Best For Your Relationships

    -We propose that states require pre-filing education for divorcing parents. These sessions would combine parent education with a module on the option of marital reconciliation. States could simultaneously establish a waiting period for divorce of at least one year (currently in some states the waiting periods are as short as ninety days), while providing a voluntary early notification letter that spouses can use to let their spouse know their intentions without necessarily filing for divorce. The extended waiting period would help to slow down the highway that speeds couples to divorce, giving them a chance to consider and explore the reconciliation option if they wish to, or at least to go into divorce better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We also propose to create state-level centers of excellence that would develop the capacity of professionals and communities to help couples in the brink of divorce. These centers could work through innovative means—such as by using a new approach called “discernment counseling”—and by connecting troubled couples to sources of support in their communities. States can combine these mutually reinforcing reforms into one piece of legislation that we call the Second Chances Act.

    http://www.centerforpublicconv.....011-07.pdf

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You're trying to push *all* my buttons, aren't you?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Whew. Thank God we have a tax code and welfare system that actively discourages marriage for low earners even though statistically marriage is one of the best ways to escape long term poverty. That way they can experience the true freedom that only the Left can provide (and I am forced to fund) and can balance out this extremist socon nonsense.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Yes Skippy, the tax code should surely punish non-marital behavior. That way lies freedom!

  • Carolynp||

    Mmmm...there is a body of evidence to suggest that marriage is an overall plus to society. Clearly encouraging or discouraging is not the job of government, but if we had to choose I'd probably choose based on cold hard cash...

  • PACW||

    I agree. I have no desire to judge another person's romantic choices but also no desire to finance the results.

  • JParker||

    I suggest that as an alternative, Ms. Rettig and her collegues be referred to as "the alleged government".

  • JParker||

    Whoops! Make that "colleagues", not "collegues".

  • JidaKida||

    Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    www.Privacy-Web.tk

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement