Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, November 3, 2016

an opinion on opinion

 I will write about another topic that really amounts to nothing more than an opinion. I am like everyone else in that regard, I've got an opinion. I like to think I have the correct opinion but is that possible ? An opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. So, yes in my opinion my opinion is correct. Yours may differ. That of course is your opinion. I can disagree with your opinion but shouldn't tell you that it is wrong. I can only state facts that may contradict your conclusions. Knowledge may also alter the judgement you formed, if that judgement is based upon facts. But what abut those things that are not based in fact ? How do we form an opinion on those ? We use our moral judgement, that's how. Our opinions then reflect our morality. Our morality indicates what ? The type of person we are. Politics and religion go hand in hand when forming who we are. Yes, it is possible for contradictions to exist but that is a failure of the individual. In America we call that separation of church and state. We attempt to write our laws based on fact, not opinion. The problem is and will continue to be, legislating what falls into the moral realm. And the biggest irony of all in the American form of government, is the final test is based upon an opinion. That is what the supreme court issues, an opinion !
 Now the topic that inspired this blog was a little story on the news. A gentleman purchased a BMW back in 1998 and obtained some vanity plates for it. The plates, in Spanish, have a single word on them. This word when translated refers to human excrement. Yes, it says s**t. The motor vehicle department has recently discovered that and wants the plates back. A ruling was made but the guy filed an appeal. This guy is also a lawyer so the legal fees do not bother him I guess. His position is he is defending the right to free speech. He claims you have the right to put anything on those plates that you want. His opinion. Now I disagree. I do not think you have a right to that. You must purchase government issued plates to be in compliance with the law. In doing so I believe they have the right to restrict what is written upon them. Vanity plates are issued solely for the purpose of increasing revenue. Vanity plates are not a requirement. Should the government decide, based upon the requested content, to refuse that extra revenue, that is the prerogative of the government. If having that word, or any other is that important to you, you are free to print it upon your personal property. Those government issued plates are not your personal property rather they belong to the state. To me, that is just fact. Now my opinion is this, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. This gentleman, for whatever reason, has chosen to display a word that is in poor taste for the public domain. I expect he thinks it is funny. Perhaps to some it is humorous although in my opinion if it were on a YUGO it would be funnier. Seriously though I just do not think he has right to stipulate what is written upon those government issued plates. I do not see that as an infringement upon free speech, nor is it censorship. He can make a request but that is all.
 And that is all I'm writing about this morning. Opinion. I'm of the opinion that sometimes you just have to take no for an answer. Save the fight for something worth while. It really isn't about what you want all the time. There are times when we must accept things for the common good. That is, of course, a matter of opinion isn't it ? The question here is, is the state attempting to impose a moral judgement upon the citizenry ? That is, after all what the basis for denial would be. Strange how many wish to punish those that offend, but at the same time advocate for the right to offend. Isn't that what this case is all about. The state saying that word may offend people and he saying he has that right. It is all a matter of opinion. He says he will take it to the supreme court if necessary. Then, we'll get their opinion.
 The first amendment : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Does Congress make the laws regulating license plates ? I don't think so. So does the first amendment even apply here ? Not being a lawyer it seems like the answer would be no. This case would fall to the highest court in the state making such laws. But is it even a law ? No, I think it would be a regulation. Then it is subject only to the regulating authority. So, it is not a Federal case. To that attorney I would say, case dismissed. You may request a different set of vanity plates, subject to approval by the regulating authority, or accept the ones issued by the state. Your choice, it is a free land.