Take That to the Bank… Or at Least Open Your Account to Us, Mr. President.

“The Reptile”

 

President Barack Obama is a joke. To put it in terms that the younger generation would understand, President Obama’s second term closely parallels the lyrics to Lupe Fiasco’s [B-rated] hit “Kick Push.” Obama kicked through the competition, pushed his way into the presidency and is now coasting through his presidential term. I have to admit, President Obama is a lot like myself. He was an attorney after all, so most of his controversial statements lately are on-point to his previous educational experiences. Albeit I would assume the President did not relish in so many vacations back then, but law school was definitely a win-win for the President’s public speaking agenda. I believe a few examples are necessary in order to understand what I mean. “Kick it!” (sorry, I had to continue with the music theme.. plus, I really like the Beastie Boys).

“Three Sides to A(n Attorney) Story”

 

(1) The Uncompromiser

 

My days in law school were filled with definite answers. These answers were based on a rule of law or case law that was directly on point to the educational topic at hand. Just like law school, a presidential campaign is filled with definite answers to questions that are predetermined. It is obvious what questions are going to be asked and how each candidate (Democrat or Republican) will answer those questions. The difference lies in the manner and tone as to which the candidate answers. If you sound confident in your answer, the general public will believe you. Case in point: the “Change” campaign by President Obama. The campaign in and of itself was brilliant. Who doesn’t want change? And who didn’t want change back then? Change sounded wonderful, as did President Obama’s pledge to remove troops within 16 months of taking the presidential office.  Removing troops during a time of war and bringing them back to a land of peace. This statement was uncompromising, unbending, and (dare I say it?) unyielding.

 

(2) The Backtracker

 

Although definite answers in law school were great, some answers were not good enough… or were they? Law school professors are to students as the media is to the President. Law school professors always try to trip up students into choosing the wrong answer when they were correct in the beginning – or at least allowing for an uncompromising answer to sound a little more compromising. One professor comes to mind – Professor Matt Reiber at Florida Coastal School of Law. He is an extremely educated and talented professor that knows how to twist your mind into a Rubik’s cube (then twist it back again in an ever-so swift fashion). In an essence, he wanted you to think of every scenario no matter if it was different from the answer you provided in the beginning. He made you think (much as I want my readers to do). Either way, the media is like this for the President. At this point, the President is being kept in check by the media (eh, go with me here). Because the media is finally catching him on every lie, it has to publish something whether it wants to do so or not. In this case, let’s continue with the removal of troops situation. According to President Obama as of the latest he did not want to pull the troops out of Iraq. Let me repeat: the guy who wanted the troops removed from Iraq during his presidential campaign now states he had nothing to do with pulling the troops out of Iraq.  This was apparently not his decision. So… whose decision was it exactly? Maybe the President took a lesson from his law school professors, or maybe he failed to understand that backtracking only leads you to look like a fool in front of your peers.

 

(3) The Concealer

 

Masking things that occur was a highlight of my law school career. After all of the definitiveness and backtracking, you just want to cover up your mistakes (or your correct answers that after backtracking ended up as mistakes) and run and hide.  I would normally retreat to my apartment, drown myself in a bottle of Lucky Duck wine and watch a few episodes of Gossip Girl.  However, if I could have afforded it, I would have concealed my mishaps like our dear President. Running around Martha’s Vineyard or playing golf (barf!) on a beach in Hawaii sound like great ways to not only make myself feel better but also conceal every pain I had of being called on in a law school class.  President Obama seems to take vacations at the most inopportune times – most recently during the ISIS terrorist situation. If you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard of this, you have some reading to do. There is nothing like a good “terrorists behead U.S. journalist on videotape” story to get your blood boiling. That doesn’t working for you? How about the headline “terrorists beheading Christian mothers and children?” Yeah, now I have your attention. Either way, concealment of the fact that the President took troops out of Iraq (or did he?) only to watch his plan blow up in smoke has landed the President in hot water. Time to go take a cold bath filled with regret, Mr. President.

“Closing Time”

I know I haven’t written in awhile… I have been pretty busy with work. However, this article is not the end. This article is just the precursor to my next article all about the endearing presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton.  If you thought my previous articles were bad, you will want to mark your calendars for the next one. Remember friends – do your research and read The Constitution.

Drop the mic.

 

Song References: “Take That To The Bank” – Shalamar; “The Reptile” – The Church; “Fight for Your Right (To Party)” – Beastie Boys; “The Sides to a Story” – Joe Budden; “Closing Time” – Semisonic.

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First Amendment + Duck Dynasty = Gossip Column News?

A week or so ago I wrote a piece entitled “V.E.E.P. – It’s a Movement, Not a Sitcom,” where I set out a pretty easy guideline of how to evaluate and understand a piece of news or legislation in our country today. I stressed the importance of four key methods (i.e., validate, educate, extrapolate, politicate) and why you should use them in your everyday life. However, I failed to give an example of how these four methods work together and give you the correct answer you need. Thankfully I was able to experience first-hand these methods in action through a gossip column website called Crushable.com.  Crushable.com prides itself on producing “unapologetically pop culture obsessed” material that is “smart, funny and genuine, combining celebrity news, style and a wide spectrum of content that appeals to an engaged, entertainment-obsessed audience.” Additionally, this site claims to have editors that are “skeptical but never mean.”  

On Crushable.com, however, I was surprised to find a piece on politics and the Constitution within the four corners of this website. A site that prides itself on celebrity news and gossip should focus on just that and not dwell on other aspects that the website’s editors know nothing about.  Either way, I was interested in what the young woman, an editor at Crushable.com, had to say.  The piece, entitled “Here’s Your Constitutionally-Mandated Update on the Duck Dynasty Controversy,” seemed to be argumentative from the start.  This editor, who shall remain nameless until you find the link to the gossip column’s editorial piece on this blog, was in no way a peach in dealing with this controversy.  I would label this editor more “liberal” than “skeptical.” In any sense, this girl knew nothing about the Constitution, the politics surrounding the controversy with Duck Dynasty, or the information about what had actually happened within the controversy itself. So, I thought I would take what I know about my last article’s methods – V.E.E.P. – and have some fun with the editor.

Please read the following before continuing this blog entry, as it will help you to understand my arguments better: http://www.crushable.com/2013/12/20/entertainment/duck-dynasty-homophobia-official-statement-response-freedom-of-speech-second-amendment/  Finished? Okay, let’s begin. During my first of many reviews of this article, I realized she had made many mistakes that are common to those that are not familiar with the law. I labeled them out clearly for you below.

1. First (not Second) Amendment

The first, and most obvious, mistake is that she replaced the First Amendment language with the Second Amendment heading. You only missed this in the article because this was NOT her first draft – this is actually her second draft thanks to me. Here is the reading of the text that you did not see, before I informed the editor of her mistake: “Turns out that according to some of our commenters, even writing about this controversy is violating the Second [underlined emphasis added] Amendment, aka Freedom of Speech.” A simple validation of the difference between the First and Second Amendments would have helped this editor to understand the Second Amendment was incorrect.  Even her prior high school education could have told her that this was the incorrect Amendment. The editor quickly apologized after I pointed out this mental mistake to her, even though the website is supposedly “unapologetic” to its readers. If anything, this editor should apologize to the readers that are taking this garbage seriously.

2. First Amendment Language & Actual Meaning

The second error in the above statement is that the First Amendment is about “Freedom of Speech.” The editor believes that the First Amendment was “initially designed to protect members of the press and individuals from persecution for sharing their opinions.” Persecution? Are we being burned at the stake like witches? No. The First Amendment has nothing to do with persecution and everything to do with legislation passed by Congress.  The First Amendment does not guard against all free speech. I repeat, the First Amendment does not guard against all free speech. Now that this is clear, the First Amendment does guard against Congressional legislation that abridges free speech (subject to certain limitations, like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater).  The First Amendment has nothing to do with persecution or lack thereof when it comes to freedom of speech. So, in the case of Phil from Duck Dynasty and the A&E network, A&E had a right to tear up Phil’s contract and pull Phil from the television show. But, Phil still has a right to speak his mind – this is after all a “free country.” Just as he is entitled to his religious-based opinion on homosexuality, the American people are entitled to not purchase A&E products or to not watch the A&E network.

3. The 2010 Video of Phil’s Remarks on Homosexuality

The third error the editor makes in this argument is providing the video of Phil preaching against homosexuality in a sermon. Duh. Of course he is going to do this. This is a religious-based belief that Phil and I am sure the rest of the congregation in that room on that day held. However, this is not merely the mistake in her argument. The main mistake is that she doesn’t put any blame on A&E’s involvement in the controversy.  All of the blame goes on Phil, and the blame is still being placed on him today by this editor.  The editor throws the video out there just to spark hate and anger toward Phil, but doesn’t exactly explain why this video matters.  I will tell you why it matters – it matters because this gives cause that A&E knew about Phil’s beliefs prior to putting Duck Dynasty on the air. Though the editor does not want to “buy into the argument” that I provide regarding A&E, I buy into it and this is my blog. So, here it goes. The A&E network and its executives knew Phil Robertson and the Robertson clan’s view on religion and The Bible. I am suggesting that A&E was not being honest with its viewers (along with others not watching the show) by terminating Phil’s contract at this point.  The network knew his views were no different from 2010 to now. It just seems odd that A&E would cave to the public turmoil now that Phil’s views are on paper, even though Phil’s views have been on video even before the airing of Duck Dynasty’s first episode.  Additionally, someone from the A&E network had to sign off on Phil’s involvement in GQ magazine. This person should be fired from his or her position – not Phil.

4. Fox News Target

The final error I want to discuss in the editor’s article is the targeted anger toward the Fox News network. By this point in her argument I am now fully aware that she is a liberal trying to spread her liberal agenda to the mass market. However, I am not buying it. Apparently this editor believes that Fox News “tells people how to act and what to say on their program, frequently even giving viewers the tools to register their own disapproval, like contact information and complaint lines to oppose the supposed War on Christmas.”  This poor girl is either clueless or brainwashed by the liberal mass media. She cannot see that EVERY news network (i.e., CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News included) pushes their political agenda on its viewers.  That is the reason why Republicans watch Fox News and Democrats watch CNN. Like I pointed out in my last argument, no one should fully take everything a media piece has to say with any merit – or at least without educating yourself and doing your own research. If someone would have done that with this editor’s piece (before edited), we would all think that the Second Amendment is about freedom of speech. This editor needs to start thinking for herself and not what CNN tells her to think.

 

I will leave you with this last line, which is actually my favorite line, from the editor’s piece:

“Look at me, I’m used to it! I know that when I write a post, people aren’t legally entitled to firebomb my house, but they are entitled to leave nasty comments completely misunderstanding the law.”

Though we are not legally entitled to firebomb your house, Ms. Editor, you have firebombed our minds into the next oblivion. Your lack of validation, education, extrapolation, and politication has definitely blown my mind. I only misunderstand the law because you have taught me to do so. Congratulations – YOU are making your readers stupid. Next time, stick to the gossip and leave the politics to the political bloggers, like myself. Now, go take a government class and firebomb your mind with knowledge.

 

 

To all of my readers, I will be writing every SUNDAY from now on about any hot topic issue that is in the news that week. Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from some of you soon.

 

 

V.E.E.P. – It’s a movement, not a sitcom.

No, this isn’t related to the political comedy of the same title with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  If you have never heard of this sitcom, don’t look it up.  It really isn’t that good. This acronym is meant to be more motivational – a lifestyle that every Millennial should follow.  As I sit writing this blog I am an unemployed attorney living with my parents because I am unable to find an attorney position in this current economy.  You read that right – I blame the economy.  I also blame our current administration for letting our economy fall to pieces.  I can say this because I have done my research.  I developed the acronym ‘V.E.E.P.’ as a guideline to making an educated decision on whether you agree with the current political, legislative, or judicial rulings being made in our country. In order to understand V.E.E.P., looking to the following verbs to guide your way:

Validate. Educate. Extrapolate. Politicate.

I know what you’re thinking: “‘Politicate’ is not a word, Nikki. That is absurd. I am clicking the ‘x’ button on the top of the screen. This is obviously a joke.” You would be wrong to say that.  You would be wrong to click out of this blog. Keep reading – I explain myself quite thoroughly.  Let’s take these verbs one at a time.

Validate: “to check or prove the accuracy of something”

This is by far the most important step in your process of researching political, legislative, and judicial rulings.  Let me repeat: this is by far the most important step in your process of researching political, legislative, and judicial rulings.  Okay, now that I have made myself clear, it is important to start by validating the sources you decide to use in making your educated decision on whether to support or not support a certain issue our country is facing today.  Here is a rundown of what is valid, what is not valid, and what can be valid if you make it valid:

Valid:

  1. Westlaw or LexisNexis websites: most non-attorneys do not have access to these, though.
  2. Non-fiction political library books: yes, I said books – you have to learn to like to read.

Not Valid:

  1. Wikipedia: Some people do not understand that this website is run by every single person in the United States.  I consider Wikipedia as follows: Wikipedia is to the United States community as the Green Bay Packer’s organization is to the Green Bay, WI, community.  Some football fan somewhere out there understands me.
  2. Your friend’s social media status: Just don’t.
  3. The Onion: Oh please.

Valid if You Make it Valid:

  1. News Media Sources: I know you may think that all news media sources are correct… they aren’t.  They are only valid if you yourself do your research on the piece of news, too.  They only make sense if you yourself do your research on the piece of news, too. FoxNews & CNN are NOT valid sources unless you do additional research. I don’t care if you live by the words on these news channels – it is always better to do your own research and make your own educated decisions. You will be a better Republican or a better Democrat if you do so.

Once you have validated your sources, move to the next letter in the acronym.

Educate: “to stimulate or develop the mental or moral growth of”

There are many definitions of “educate” that I could have pulled off of the internet. This was my favorite. The next step after validating your sources is educating yourself on the material you find within those sources. I’m not saying you have to rely on every single article pertaining to the subject you are inquiring about – that is not even possible. Take these articles and learn as much of the information as you can about the subject you are researching. Take notes, write in the margins, get excited about the subject.  Okay, the last part is going a bit too far. However, by the end of this acronym you will get excited about a piece of the political, judicial or legislative pie because you researched it to the best of your ability.  After you have educated yourself with this information, move onto the next letter in the acronym.

Extrapolate: “to form an opinion or to make an estimate about something from known facts”

After all of the reading, you must extrapolate upon such information.  Form an opinion.  Make estimations on where you believe that legislation/policy/judicial decision to be going in the near future.  This provides for your best educated opinion on a political matter – something that you yourself has come up with and no one else has interfered with your judgment.  You have an opinion now.  Congratulations.  After you extrapolate, move onto the next letter in the acronym.

Politicate: “to answer questions in ways that politicians and political leaders do”

Now, I am not saying that politicians or political leaders are the BEST people to look up to when spreading (or politicating) your validated, educated and extrapolated knowledge.  In fact, I quite enjoy Urban Dictionary’s definition of politicate: “to answer a question in an evasive, roundabout way – the way that politicians do.”  Politicians do not always answer questions.  More precisely, politicians are spreading their (hopefully) validated, educated, and extrapolated knowledge of the law by way of creating bills and signing legislation to become law. Think of yourself as a mini-politician.  You may not ever want to become a politician or even think that you could do so.  However, you do have a voice and you should be heard.  At this point, if you have followed my acronym completely, you have a validated, educated and extrapolated voice – no matter your overall opinion.  Whether Republican or Democrat, you have a voice all your own and you are ready to use it.

Remember: Validate. Educate. Extrapolate. Politicate.

I welcome you to the world of politics. I welcome your voice and I cannot wait to hear it agree or disagree with my beliefs and opinions on this blog.  Thanks for reading and I hope to hear more from you all in the very near future.

– Nikki, beingpoliticatelycorrect [find me on twitter: @nikkimccain]