Communication

     If you’re confronted with a naked human being, what would you think that person is saying?
     What if the naked person handed you some money?
     Wouldn’t it be simpler and more effective to speak words than to undress, if you needed to communicate?
     These are not idle questions.
     Well, OK, they are kind of idle, but they’re certainly timely.
     The U.S. Supreme Court says money talks.
     Now nudists in San Francisco are suing the city over their right to talk with their naked bodies.
     So if someone gets naked and another person hands the naked person some money, there’s a real conversation going on.
     No wonder strip clubs are so popular with intellectuals.
     Communication isn’t what it used to be.
     According to the proposed federal class action filed in San Francisco, the plaintiffs’ “expressive speech as nudists is inextricably intertwined with their political activism.”
     What sort of activism?
     Well, one plaintiff “organizes the ‘Nude In’ each year where he expresses his First Amendment right to encourage peace and fellowship among nudists.”
     Someone has got to speak out against the warlike ways of naked people. Unless, of course, there’s mud or whipped cream involved …
     
     Politics as Unusual: Those of you who can’t get enough of politics (and thus are in need of psychiatric care) will absolutely love a ruling from the Connecticut Supreme Court called Republican Party of Connecticut v. Merrill, in which the local Republican Party won in court because it had previously lost but technically won.
     What was this valuable electoral right that required judicial intervention?
     The right to have Republicans listed first on the ballot.
     It seems that, under Connecticut law, the party that gets the most votes in the previous election for its gubernatorial candidate gets to have its candidates listed first on the ballot.
     The Democrats won the previous election for governor.
     The Connecticut Secretary of State, who happens to be a Democrat, seemed to think the Democrats should go first because, well, they did win.
     The Republicans, or at least their lawyers, thought otherwise.
     It seems that despite losing the election, the Republican candidate got more votes as a Republican than the Democrat did as a Democrat. The Democrat won the election because he also got votes as a candidate endorsed by the Working Families Party.
     So Republicans took the listing issue all the way to the state Supreme Court and won. The court said Republicans got to go first on the 2012 ballot.
     Are you wondering why the Republicans thought this was important enough to litigate? Was this a significant strategic victory?
     Continue wondering. The Democrats won the presidential vote and majorities in both the Connecticut Senate and House despite being listed second.
     Both sides may be fighting to be listed second next time.
     
     Beware the Internet: I was going to say I’m getting more cynical as I get older but now that I think about it, I’ve always been this way.
     So never mind.
     Anyhow, what I wanted to note here was a press release that’s popped up verbatim on a number websites touting Laws.com as “well on its way to becoming the largest legal network online.”
     OK. Maybe. (And maybe because it’s suspiciously close to law.com and/or an address someone might randomly type to see what’s there.)
     But I have my doubts. And even if it’s true, it’s kind of sad. News (if you can call them that) Internet sites shouldn’t be touting stuff they haven’t even looked at.
     I, naturally, looked at it. Try it yourself – it’s lots of fun.
     Go to laws.com, click on “car accident” in the left column and the click on, say, “insurance claims.”
     See what I mean?
     The page gives you the option of linking to it. You probably should.

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