Archive | January, 2017

The Ought To Be A Law

23 Jan

It never fails.  It’s happened in every business law class that I’ve taught.  It always occurs at the beginning of the term.  It’s the first topic of discussion:

  • What is law?
  • What are the four types of law?

All is well until statutes are mentioned.  Then the question is posed: “Why are there such stupid laws?”

silly-laws

Then, for a brief moment, the class spins off talking about

  • cornflakes[1],
  • saggy pants[2],
  • bikini clad women require an armed escort[3],
  • lollipops[4],
  • red shoes[5],
  • fishing for whales on Sunday[6],
  • patent leather shoes[7],
  • getting fish intoxicated[8],
  • no civil arrests on Sundays[9],
  • slot machines in outhouses[10],
  • absent pet tiger[11].

Frankly, it’s a good question.

Frequently, these movements succeed on the city or county level, but there are many instances wherein individuals made a difference and have changed the law on the state or national level.

  • Look at Carrie Nation and the Temperance Movement (PBS, n.d.).
  • Look at Candace Lightner and the campaign against drunk and drugged driving (MADD, 2015).
  • Look at Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt and the women’s suffrage movement (History.com Staff, n.d.).

off-limits

Too often “there ought to be law” becomes the mantra for people who see something they don’t like and believe their personal perspective ought to be THE universal standard.   After all, eating peanuts in church could be disruptive to other worshipers (Buzzfeed, Inc., 2017).  It could be hazardous to other pedestrians to eat your ice cream while standing on the sidewalk or your donut or doughnut while walking backwards (Buzzfeed, Inc., 2017).  Can’t you imagine the complaints from these activities?  Sadly, frequently these people want these laws to apply to others but not them such as a friend’s spouse, who employed this mantra regularly and was found wandering the beach at Naval Station Norfolk beyond the sign declaring the beach “off limits” by order of the Commander, Naval Station Norfolk.

With sufficient influence, even pecuniary interests can be furthered.

  • Was the manufacturer of the polycarbonate sheets[12] behind the Ohio law “prevent[ing] banks from using plywood[13] on properties vacant and abandoned properties in foreclosure” (The Columbus Dispatch, 2017, para. 1)?
  • Were the owners and operators of rock climbing walls behind Ohio SB235 shielding them from civil liability for injury even if the equipment failed (Siegel, 2016)?

Perhaps there ought to be law ….

Just think about it!

References

AliExpress.com. (2016). Girls Patent Leather Shoes. Retrieved from AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/af/girls-patent-leather-shoes.html?aff_platform=aaf&cpt=1485173043090&sk=ey76EUj&aff_trace_key=8f36ddb40d464e6c9079e18b554be7d7-1485173043090-04712-ey76EUj

Allard, S. (2013, June 18). 12 Dumbest Laws Still on the Books in Ohio. Retrieved from Scene: http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2013/06/18/12-dumbest-laws-still-on-the-books-in-ohio

Buzzfeed, Inc. (2017). 10 Weird Food Laws (That Should Be Resisted). Retrieved from Community on BuzzFeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/radicaleater/10-weird-food-laws-that-should-be-resisted

Cakespy. (n.d.). Cranberry Sauce Jelly Donut Recipe. Retrieved from Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/11/pantry-essentials-canned-cranberry-sauce.html

CandyWarehouse.com. (2017). Lollipops and Suckers. Retrieved from Candy Warehouse: http://www.candywarehouse.com/candy-type/lollipops-and-suckers/

History.com Staff. (n.d.). The Fight for Women’s Suffrage. Retrieved from History: http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/the-fight-for-womens-suffrage

Kellogg’s. (2016). Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Retrieved from Kellogg’s: http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20161227/ohios-new-laws-are-you-affected

KimDara.com. (n.d.). Off Limits. Retrieved from KimDara.com: http://www.kimdara.com/photochron/

Krause, S. (2005). Stupid Law. Retrieved from S. Krause: http://www.skrause.org/humor/stupidlaws.shtml

MADD. (2015). FAQs. Retrieved from MADD – No More Victims: http://www.madd.org/about-us/faqs/

Ocala Post. (2014, July 17). Pull’em up, pay up, or go to jail: No more saggy pants, it’s the law. Retrieved from Ocala Post: http://www.ocalapost.com/pullem-up-pay-up-or-go-to-jail-no-more-saggy-pants-its-the-law/

PBS. (n.d.). Carrie Nation. Retrieved from American Experience: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/1900/peopleevents/pande4.html

Seuling, B. (1975). You Can’t Eat Peanuts in Church and Other Little-Known Laws. New York: Doubleday.

Shockley, J. (2015, July 1). These 15 Crazy Laws in Kentucky Will Leave You Scratching Your Head in Wonder. Retrieved from OnlyInYourState: http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/kentucky/these-15-crazy-laws-ky/

Siegel, J. of the Columbus Dispatch. (2016, December 27). Ohio’s new laws: Are you affected? Retrieved from CantonRep.com: http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20161227/ohios-new-laws-are-you-affected

The Columbus Dispatch. (2017, January 6). Ohio law now prevents banks from using plywood on vacant, abandoned properties. Retrieved from The Columbus Dispatch: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2017/01/06/state-law-prevents-banks-from-using_plywood-vacant-properties.html

The Dumb Network, LLC. (2016). Dumb Laws in Ohio. Retrieved from Big Government. Small Brains. Dumb Laws: http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/ohio

World Casino Index. (2016). Las Vagas Scams. Retrieved from World Casino Index: http://www.worldcasinoindex.com/guide/las-vegas-scams/

[1] Columbus, Ohio (Allard, 2013).

[2] Collinsville, Illinois (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[3] Commonwealth of Kentucky (Shockley, 2015)

[4] State of Washington (Krause, 2005)

[5] Sadly, I’ve been unable to find a reference for this one.  The story that I heard involved a means of identifying ladies of the evening; however, it may have only applied to Sunday apparel when red shoes were considered to ostentatious for church.

[6] State of Ohio (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[7] Cleveland, Ohio (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[8] State of Ohio (Allard, 2013).

[9] State of Ohio (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[10] Bexley, Ohio (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[11] Canton, Ohio (The Dumb Network, LLC, 2016).

[12] $115 for a 4-by-8 foot sheet (The Columbus Dispatch, 2017).

[13] $17 to $20 for a 4-by-8 foot sheet (The Columbus Dispatch, 2017).

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Religious Freedom

17 Jan

Religious freedom has been a cornerstone of this country.  I remember the history classes throughout elementary and secondary school that stressed that point.

  • Pennsylvania became a haven in the New World for the Society of Friends (Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, 2015).[1]
  • Maryland was to be a refuge for Roman Catholics who were being persecuted in England (History.com, 2016).
  • Pilgrims and Puritans founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony (U.S.-History.com, n.d.). Good grief, this even flowed over into American Lit with Puritan readings like Jonathan Edwards’ sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God; consequently, the Pilgrims and Puritans received the most attention throughout my early education.  (Perhaps it had something to do with that Thanksgiving thing.)
  • Rhode Island became a refuge for those persecuted for their religious beliefs not only in the Old World but also in the New World (U.S.-History.com, n.d.) although this information was tactfully suppressed until discovered in college.
  • Utah was always mentioned when discussing Manifest Destiny as the terminus of the Mormon exodus from Illinois after the assassination of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his brother Hyrum in Illinois (Rood & Thatcher, 2017).

On January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom (Virginia Historical Society, n.d.).  The Act recognized that religious freedom is a “natural right of mankind” (Thomas Jefferson Writings, 1984, p. 348).

As the Statute for Religious Freedom was a restriction on the power of the state of Virginia to impose a state religion[2] so to is the First Amendment freedom of religion clause a restriction on the power of the federal government.

The United States is blessed with a multitude of religious beliefs.[3],[4]

slide2

Although the chart suggests that Christians make up nearly eighty (80) percent of the religious in the United States, it should also be noted that that percentage is representative of approximately one hundred and sixty-eight (168) distinct groups under that banner[5] (Janssen, Liu, & Ross, 2015).

Beyond the label Christian, there are more questions than answers.

There are questions regarding church organization, e.g., that continuum from individual congregations through synods or diocese through regional or national to some centralized, worldwide authority.

There are questions of authority: Bible, the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, the Book of Concord, Book of Mormon, or individual revelations from God that become church doctrine.

There are questions about baptism.  When should it occur?  How should it occur?  Is it with water or is it spiritual?

There are questions about the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper and how often it should be celebrated.

There are questions about the religious celebration itself.  Should there be music?  If there is music, should it be instrumental?  Should it be an elaborate ritual?  Should it be a simple service?  Should there be a minister or priest?  What should be the focus of the celebration: the Lord’s Supper, the sermon, testimony, prayer, evangelical fervor, a profession of faith or recitation of a creed, etc.?

Even today, there are questions of how ecumenical the church is.  How well do they play with other religions?  How well do they play with other Christians?

It’s our own perspective that colors how these questions are answered.  We must continue to remember, however, that (1) religious freedom was one of the prime motivators in the creation of this country and (2) laws such as the First Amendment to the Constitution and Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom insure that the door of religious freedom remains open for everyone and makes room for all religions in this country.  Afterall, one of our founding fathers recognized that religious freedom was a “natural right of mankind” (Thomas Jefferson Writings, 1984).

Think about it!

References

History.com. (2016, March 25). The Settlement of Maryland. Retrieved from History: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-settlement-of-maryland

Janssen, S., Liu, M. L., & Ross, S. (Eds.). (2015). The World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: World Almanac Books.

Jefferson, T. (1984). Thomas Jefferson Writings. New York: The Library of America.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. (2015, August 26). The Quaker Province. Retrieved from Pennsylvania History: http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/pa-history/1681-1776.html

Rood, R., & Thatcher, L. (2017). Mormon Settlement. Retrieved from Utah History to Go: historytogo.utah.gov/facts/brief_history/mormonsettlement.html

U.S.-History.com. (n.d.). Massachusetts Bay Colony. Retrieved from United States History: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h572.html

U.S.-History.com. (n.d.). Roger Williams. Retrieved from United States History: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h584.html

Virginia Historical Society. (n.d.). Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Retrieved from Virginia Historical Society: http://www.vahistorical.org/collections-and-resources/virginia-history-explorer/thomas-jefferson

 

 

[1] In Jefferson’s Autobiography, he noted that Virginia was very intolerant of Quakers (Thomas Jefferson Writings, 1984).

[2] In Jefferson’s Autobiography, he noted that the charter granted to Sir Walter Raleigh contained a provision noting that the true Christian faith was the Church of England (Thomas Jefferson Writings, 1984).

[3] “New religionists include followers of Asian new religions, radical new crisis religions, and non-Christian syncretistic mass religions” (Janssen, Liu, & Ross, 2015, p. 700 Note).

[4] Other includes Baha’l Faith, Chinese Folk Religions, Ethnoreligious, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Spiritualism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism (Janssen, Liu, & Ross, 2015, p. 700 Note).

[5] I suspect that there are more than that.  Religious groups having less than 40,000 members were not reported.  On a recent road trip, I noted many churches bearing names that made no reference whatsoever to any of the 168 groups on the list in The World Almanac and Book of Facts.

The National Anthem and the NFL

10 Jan

In my younger days I recall watching NFL games on television.  I remember that the pregame commentary from the broadcast booth always took a break for the National Anthem.  (There were also bands at halftime.) It always seemed especially moving when the Cowboys played at the Cotton Bowl because Tommy Loy played the National Anthem (Granberry, 2016).  It was just Tommy Loy and his trumpet.  That was something to behold!

tommy-loy

Today, I watch fewer NFL games.  Too much mindless commentary before, during, and after the games.  Too much video replay.  Too many “color” commentators who either want to be coaches but can’t or want to be officials but lack the strength of character.

However, since the networks centralized their NFL coverage and spend hours before the games over-analyzing the weekly contests, is the National Anthem even televised?

Flag 2

I suspect that but for the news entertainers who publicized the act, Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the National Anthem would have fallen on deaf ears.  However, like everything else associated with professional sports, it seems that what appears on Sunday on television shows up on playgrounds as well as high school and college football fields the following week.

What has happened to patriotism?

Just Think About It!

References

Granberry, M. (2016, November 7). Legacy of Cowboys’ trumpeter honored. Retrieved from Pressreader: The Dallas Morning News: https://www.pressreader.com/

Granberry, M. (2016, October 21). Tommy Loy, the Dallas Cowboys’ national anthem icon, remembered in new jazz museum in Sherman. Retrieved from Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/arts/museums/2016/10/21/tommy-loy-dallas-cowboys-national-anthem-icon-remembered-new-jazz-museum-sherman

Algebra and Rice Krispy Treats

4 Jan

I’ve been tutoring for Read for L.I.F.E. for a couple of years now.  For some reason math fell on my plate.  I’ve worked with a student completing summer school algebra, three students working to complete their GED, and one student who needs assistance with algebra at the local community college.  It’s been fun …and a little frustrating.

Tutoring math has always presented me with this question: when am I going to use this stuff?  This typically springboards into a conversation about goals since working with GED math or introductory algebra seldom has a place as the ultimate aspiration.  With a little research I can usually produce examples.

rice-krispies3

If not, I fall back on my standard conversion problem: Rice Krispy Treats.  The recipe usually doesn’t call for one box of Rice Krispies or one package of marshmallows but rather so many cups of Rice Krispies and so many cups of marshmallows.  Personally, I’m not a fan of Rice Krispies as breakfast cereal (too loud) ; consequently, if something is left over I’d prefer it to be the marshmallows since they can be employed in hot chocolate, candied yams, s’mores, popcorn balls, and cookies.

rice-krispies4

 

The cooks in my family just roll their eyes and suggest that I be less mathematical or scientific and just adjust the recipe by sight.  (Please don’t tell the cooks in my family that I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet to automatically perform the calculations for Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and butter.)  That may be well and good if you want to use all the marshmallows and modify the amount of Rice Krispies, but that doesn’t work the other way about.  The marshmallows have to be melted before being introduced to the Rice Krispies.  It is impossible to throw additional marshmallows into the mixture should I discover that there are too many Rice Krispies for the amount of melted marshmallows that I have.

 

I may be flexible with other matters in the kitchen, but I’ll continue to be mathematical with Rice Krispy Treats.

Just Think About It!