Forbes.com had an interesting article yesterday about Paper & Leaf, an upscale, boutique-style marijuana shop in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The shop was started by Brendan Hill, the drummer for Blues Traveler.
Things certainly will get interesting if “being” is a noun. I won’t just lose my car — I’ll lose my very existence.
It’s quite a poetic sign. “Towing” and “being” rhyme, and both words are trochaic.
Something happens when people make signs related to parking. The intended meaning slips away to operate independently of the grammar, like in this sign.
Maybe that’s because parking can be so frustrating. As the late University of California president Clark Kerr once said, “I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.”
In his book Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do, Tom Vanderbilt wrote, “The way humans hunt for parking and the way animals hunt for food are not as different as you might think.”
Which is why, here in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at least one hotel is vigilant, threatening violators’ very existence.
Even with an apostrophe, this would be a difficult sign to interpret.
I think I’ve got it: Everyone except the Private Property will be towed, but the owner of the Private Property will pay for the towing.
Or, maybe, all property except for this Private Property will be towed, yet the owner of the Private Property will pay the bill.
Today on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski pushed back at comments by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.-Missouri) and in the process slipped in an interesting observation about political rhetoric and public discourse.
When I turned on the TV, Sen. McCaskill seemed to be saying the Morning Joe crowd, especially Mika and Joe Scarborough, were unfair in some of their questions and unbalanced in how they treated some politicians. That’s about as much context as I have. (On the Morning Joe site, the video clip of the McCaskill interview stops short of the below quotation.)
For clarity, Mika is a Democrat whose father was Secretary of State under President Carter, and Joe is a Republican who once represented a Florida district in the U.S. House.
“I want to know what you’re trying to say, Claire, because I think that sometimes you might misunderstand questions and take it as a political ploy. I think that’s a game that’s been played since the ’70s, and it’s getting old.”
Mika’s comments were off-the-cuff, so I don’t want to hold her to an unfair standard, but I see a disconnect between the first sentence and the second.
The disconnect might be expressed like this: Is a politician’s misunderstanding of a question genuine or fake? Do some politicians pretend to mistake a question for an attack so they can control their image and the rhetoric around them? Or do they, in a thin-skinned or paranoid sort of way, take a sincere question to be motivated solely by the journalist’s political agenda?
That being said, the bigger point from Mika is more interesting: That such a ploy could exist, that it might be a crafty rhetorical and political move.
Furthermore, Mika identifies when this crafty move might have begun: in the 1970s
If I had more time to research, I would try to nail down the historical and political antecedents of Mika’s comments. That would be fascinating for anyone interested in political rhetoric.
“The current clamor for campus safety seeks protection from what? From ideas that make one uncomfortable!” — Nadine Strossen, law professor and former president of the ACLU
In case you missed it, here’s a worthwhile keynote address from anyone who values freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
There’s a brief drop in audio quality near the beginning — stick with it! The audio quality returns!
Strossen, quoting the late Clark Kerr, “legendary” president of the University of California: “The university is not engaged in making ideas safe for students. It is engaged in making students safe for ideas.”
Unlike some people to his left, President Obama thinks college campuses should not cancel speakers who have conservative views, and he fondly recalls his interactions with people of other opinions while an undergraduate. In this video clip, Obama seems to articulate the genuinely liberal view of free speech held by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
The folks at FIRE posted the following on Sept. 15, 2015:
“Echoing concerns the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has voiced for years, President Barack Obama came out strongly against campus censorship and speech-policing yesterday.”
The President was at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, for a town hall meeting on Sept. 14.
FIRE quotes Obama, who said, “Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, ‘You can’t come because, you know, I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.’ That’s not the way we learn either.”
Obama also said, “I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal toward women. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that, either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view.”