Monday October 15, 2007

An interesting list of places that can be rented for weddings or other events.

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Rascal House

Rascal House, photographed in 2005. Closed in 2006. Update: OK, still open, but on its last leg. And the signage is all gone.

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Opa-locka bans exposed underwear

Consistently ranked among the highest violent crime rates in the United States, the government of Opa-locka is understandably always on the hunt for practical solutions, but boy have they put their foot in it this time. How about a law that bans baggy pants and exposed boxer shorts. Yeah, the crime rate should be plummeting any second now.

Commissioner Timothy Holmes, the law’s sponsor: “Instead of getting their education, these kids are picking up a style that came from prisons . . . And if they keep it up, although I’d hope not, two-thirds of these people with the pants below their butt will end up in prison.”

This doesn’t even pass the laugh test. I mean, so, the height of your pants determines where you end up in life? I guess Mr. Holmes has his pants up way high, over his belly button, with some tight suspenders. (Not sure, the picture on his official bio page is broken. But note that the bio describes him as “powerful, gifted, and compassionate.”)

Now, I’m glad we have a government that’s not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to keeping our kids out of prison, but I think this law is really just the first step. Next they need a law to ban oversize t-shirts, cornrows, and extravagant jewelry, no? But that’s still a half-measure. I think the only way to guarantee these young people a successful future is city-ordained uniforms and crew cuts.

What’s particularly disturbing is that the law’s framers have practically admitted that it does no good — the only enforcement if a cop tells you to pull up your pants and you refuse is that they can remove you from public property. Yeah, that shouldn’t lead to anyone getting unduly harassed by police.

Civil liberties, Mr. Holmes. Look it up. If you can’t come up with any real solutions for the citizens of your city, do them a favor and resign. Laying down idiot laws to criminalize something that doesn’t hurt anyone is deeply, profoundly wrong. It’s worse then attacking the symptom rather then the root of a problem — it’s an attack that’s sometimes near the problem. And I’d note that this is another law that would only stand a chance in Bush’s Fascist America 2.0 (“When you’ve surrendered the big rights, you hardly notice the little ones”).

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