Sunday, August 28, 2005

Essay 127

Start the week with your recommended daily allowance of MultiCultClassics Minutes…

• The Judicial Council of California is out to make English the official language for jurors — plain English, that is. An eight-year effort rewrote seven decades of legal gobbledygook into layman’s terms. For example, “willfully false” is now “lied.” The hope is that jury instructions will no longer be so complicated and impossible to decipher. Too bad the Judicial Council of California can’t do anything about the “willfully false” courtroom tactics of lawyers and defendants.

• The United States Post Office unveiled a stamp commemorating tennis star and cultural icon Arthur Ashe. There’s a lesson here for Mexican President and Memin Pinguin enthusiast Vicente Fox.

• Being first in market no longer guarantees success. The maker of Rio MP3 players — which were the pioneer devices in the field — is exiting from the market. Seems the manufacturer could not play with increased competition from monster brands like Apple’s iPod. Get your soon-to-be collector’s items on eBay now!

• The London Zoo has a new attraction — caged humans. Three men and five women are on display beside the primate environments. “A lot of people think humans are above other animals,” said one of the exhibited Homo sapiens. “When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we’re not that special.” Wonder if, like the other primates, the humans will be seen fornicating and playing with their poop.

• The battle zones feature hideous torture and shootouts with bazookas and assault rifles, and the death tolls are rising at alarming rates. But it’s not the conflict in Iraq. No, it’s the drug wars taking place in nearby Mexican border cities like Nuevo Laredo. The already strained relations between the United States and Mexico are being worsened by continuing feuds involving Latino drug cartels. Quick, somebody get Pat Robertson’s opinion on this.

• Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that if anything happens to him now, blame President Bush. Chavez was responding to Pat Robertson’s recent assassination recommendation. Actually, Chavez has bigger problems on his hands at this point — Jesse Jackson flew south to meet with him.

• Georgia now has “the most draconian voter identification requirement in the nation,” according to Daniel Levitas of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project in Atlanta. The proclamation came after the state won the approval of the Justice Department to require voters show a photo I.D. at the polls. Democrats claimed the action was designed by Republicans to depress voting among minorities, the elderly and the poor. As if Republicans needed another way to make folks depressed.

• Washington, D.C. prosecutors taking on MS-13 are using a statute originally created to combat Mafia crime families. Nice to know somebody’s benefiting from watching The Sopranos.

• Cindy Sheehan, the protesting mother whose son died in Iraq, met with actor Martin Sheehan, who plays the president on NBC drama The West Wing. Not sure it’s quite what the grieving mother was hoping for, as she’s been trying to get a face-to-face with the real Commander-In-Chief.

• Despite the recent anti-graffiti efforts in New York and Los Angeles, taggers can now find sanctuary in an unexpected state — Ohio. The City Xpressionz Festival welcomed prominent artists to spray paint without fear, sponsored by Scion dealerships, Starbucks and other community programs. Pretty amazing, considering the last hip, urban thing to come out of Ohio was WKRP’s Venus Flytrap.

1 comment:

on a lark said...

There's acually a bumper sticker that reads ' Martin Sheen is my president'.