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May 06, 2009

Carrie Prejean Hypocrisy Abounds

Normally I don't comment on tabloid style stories, but the blatantly irrational commentary on the Carrie Prejean scandal is grating on my last nerve. No wonder the Republican party has credibility problems. I've been straining to see an ounce of principle in the conservative reax to this non-story, but finding a needle in a haystack would be easier.

On a personal level, I sympathize with Ms. Prejean but I'm not quite ready to have her declared the patron saint of unpopular opinions. While I admire her refusal to genuflect at the altar of political correctness, when standing up to the likes of Perez Hilton becomes the stuff of dewy eyed heroine worship I begin to wonder whether we're not defining bravery down? Maggie Gallegher's statement typifies the cognitive dissonance:

On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: you don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.

This is undoubtedly true. As I noted a few days ago, the attacks on Ms. Prejean graphically illustrate the fundamental unseriousness of ad hominem, "tu quoque" arguments. While they may serve to cast doubt upon her character, (and frankly I'm not sure that case has been made convincingly) in the end the question of whether or not Ms. Prejean lives up to her professed standards says absolutely nothing about the objective value of such standards as moral guidelines. It doesn't take a genius to realize that fallible human beings are rarely able to execute their goals perfectly, but that doesn't mean we stop trying. But this, from Ms. Gallegher, is just plain dishonest:

Nothing gay marriage advocates can do can change the fact—we all saw it on national TV—that Carrie is a young woman who surrendered all the glitter Hollywood has to offer, because she would not become the kind of person afraid to say the truth.

The problem with Ms. Gallegher's statement is that judging from what we know right now, it's hard to deny that Carrie Prejean was very much afraid to speak the truth when it counted most. This isn't even a close question. To all appearances, she lied. So while I don't buy the 'tu quoque' line of supposed reasoning as a means of discrediting her opinions on gay marriage, it's hard to get around the fact that when she stood to gain by not telling the truth, she had no problem with dishonesty. The hypocrisy argument pales beside the evidence of her own actions:

U.S. anti-gay marriage spokesmodel and nearly-Miss USA pageant winner Carrie Prejean has found herself mired in yet another controversy after early career photos of her in various stages of undress were posted to the internet.

The images, which were reportedly taken when she was 17, have been used by a variety of websites to accuse the new National Organization for Marriage spokeswoman of hypocrisy, asking such questions as "What does Jesus think about pornography? and "Shouldn’t a girl who lives by the Bible shy away from topless pictures and breast implants?"

These arguments fail on a number of logical levels. First of all, the single photo released to date is hardly pornographic. One can see more of her physique in the string bikini she wore at the Miss U.S.A. pageant. There is an argument to be made that setting and context count. After all, the staging of a photograph can be used to convey different messages. A beautiful woman wearing a bikini in public, though it will undoubtably arouse sexual thoughts in most men with a pulse, is hardly overtly sexual. Bathing suits are beach attire. On most beaches in the U.S. it would be highly unusual to see anyone having sex in public.

The photo released yesterday, however, was taken in an entirely different context: in a private setting with Ms. Prejean coyly covering her breasts and gazing back over her shoulder at the camera. Women who take the time to put on underpants generally also wear a brassiere. So it's hardly a stretch to see the image as suggestive of an impending sexual encounter. But suggestive isn't the same as pornographic. Unless the unreleased images contain something far spicier, it's ridiculous to call the image anything other than sexually suggestive and risque. By that yardstick, the Victoria's Secret catalog should be in a brown wrapper and teenaged boys everywhere are being sexually abused by pornographic images of Czech supermodels. Oh! The humanity!

The problem with this image (and the outraged excuses conservatives are making for it) is not that the image is pornographic. It's that Ms. Prejean entered the Miss U.S.A. pageant under false pretenses:

... according to a clause in her Miss California USA contract - obtained by the news show - Prejean is barred from being "photographed in a state of partial or total nudity".

The contract, which Prejean signed, also states, "Appearing in public or permitting myself to be photographed in a state of partial or total nudity or in a lewd, compromising or sexually suggestive manner constitutes a violation of this provision (this includes photographs of images that may appear on any website...)."

So how do conservatives get by claiming that the revelation of incontrovertible evidence that Miss California not only lied to pageant officials, but did it in writing constitutes an unjustified and vicious personal attack? Aren't we the folks who always flog accountability, personal responsibility, and the sanctity of contract?

How are Ms. Prejean's actions defensible when these time honored conservative values are applied? Do we blithely jettison our principles because this time it happens to be a very attractive 21 year old conservative ox being gored? Apparently so.

But that isn't the only conservative principle being thrown to the winds. If Ms. Prejean's statement is to be trusted, these photos were taken when she was only 17. Does gleefully linking to semi-nude photos of a minor not register on anyone's moral compass?

Apparently not. When even TMZ has more integrity than righty bloggers, it might be time for a gut check. If you are defending her actions and think she's being unfairly treated, why are you emulating and encouraging her persecutors?

And even if you don't think the publication of these photos is "unfair", what are you doing linking to photos of a minor? If you have a daughter, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

Scratch that. If you have either a son or a daughter, you need to take a look at what you are saying to your children. Either way, it's not good. Either honesty and integrity matter, or they don't. Either women need to stop playing the victim card and accept responsibility for their actions, or they don't. Either women and conservatives are held to the same ethical standards as men or progressives, or they aren't. Conservatives can't play it both ways and still claim a shred of integrity.

And either adults have no business looking at semi-nude photos of underaged girls, or they don't. I feel sorry for Ms. Prejean on a personal level. I hate to see any young person treated with such nastiness and distain for a lapse in judgment.

I hate even more seeing grown men simultaneously defending this young woman and winking and pointing at what she claims was a mistake made while she was still a minor:

We contacted Carrie's rep, who gave us this statement yesterday: "This was a photo that was taken several years ago, when Carrie first started modeling. In her naivete, an agent convinced her to pose for this photo to submit to a lingerie company, claiming they could make her the next Victoria's Secret model. She has since learned what a lie that was, and what a mistake it was to have the photo taken."

... we just got a handwritten statement from Carrie herself, and she's towing the line: "The photo in question was taken when I was a minor, several months before the 2005 pageant. The photo was not meant for disclosure to the general public."

And more than anything else, I hate to see conservatives championing behavior we would deplore if it had been committed by a progressive. We don't have to consign this young woman to the 6th circle of hell for her actions, but we ought to possess the intellectual honesty to admit she was wrong to lie to the pageant committee and even more wrong to accept plastic surgery under false pretenses, knowing full well that under pageant rules, she wasn't qualified to become a contestant.

Conservatives ought to have the decency not to link to a photo of a partially nude minor. Whatever one may think of her youthful indiscretions, her onstage honesty stands out precisely because she had so much to lose by telling the truth. What she has done before, or since, cannot change what happened on that stage and conservatives are right to applaud her willingness to stand up for what she believed then. And contrary to what many are saying, the revelation that she has been less candid in other areas doesn't detract from her willingness to stand up to the PC bullies who injected politics into a non-political beauty pageant. But most importantly, lying once doesn't invalidate every single thing a person will say for the rest of their lives. Perhaps that moment of honesty on stage sprang from the awareness that she had failed in another area. We will never know. Young people make mistakes because they're still learning.

But all of us ought be willing to learn from our mistakes. Human frailty is no reason to paper over the difference between right and wrong.

Adults are supposed to know this, and act accordingly.

Posted by Cassandra at May 6, 2009 06:58 AM

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Comments

Adults are supposed to know better.

There are also more-pressing issues in the country and the world for adults to be concerned with.

If Obama's candidacy had been given one-third the background scrutiny that's taken place here, McCain would be President.

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 08:46 AM

Ah yes, but the danger posed by a beauty queen dispensing opinions without a moral license is so much greater than that of a President whose background and experience were never examined.

I mean, let's face it: given the obsessive coverage and her apparent power to cause otherwise rational adults to stop thinking, who has more power? ;p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 08:53 AM

Ask me again after I've stuck a few of 'em in a room with a fuzzy caterpillar.

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture Apologis at May 6, 2009 08:59 AM

Ooooooh -- I almost forgot the Comfy Chair! And the Soft Pillows!

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT at May 6, 2009 09:01 AM

Heh.

You could always torture them with racy lingerie photos. I hear that 'come hither' look can cause permanent mental anguish.

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 09:02 AM

You'd rather be locked in the pantry with a Helen Thomas blowup doll than be subjected to my "come hither" look...

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT at May 6, 2009 09:18 AM

Bleccccchhhhhh!

You will pay for that. Oh yes, you will pay dearly.

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 09:23 AM

Where, here or at the Castle?

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2009/05/torture_continu.html

"Baited" breath, indeed...

Heh.

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT at May 6, 2009 09:33 AM

Two phrases that should never occur in the same sentence:

"Helen Thomas", and

"blow up doll".

heh.

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 09:46 AM

OK, first. Until this post, I didn't even know the lady was still in the news {with a 5 week old, I don't get out much :-) } so I don't exactly have a dog in this fight as it were.

But, it is not necessarily true that she lied about "Appearing in public or permitting myself to be photographed in a state of partial or total nudity or in a lewd, compromising or sexually suggestive manner constitutes a violation of this provision (this includes photographs of images that may appear on any website...)".

The verbs here are "Appearing" and "Permitting" not "having appeared" or "having permitted". These are present tense not past tense verbs. While she "had appeared" she is not now "appearing", while she "had permitted" she is not now "permitting".

This may be an over-parsing of the sentence, but, if this was her reading it would mean that she was honestly mistaken about the contract and not necessarily intentionally deceptive.

So no, I wouldn't consider it incontrevertible evidence she was lieing. It is very much an open question.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 09:57 AM

[voiceover on grainy video: "Moaning like lioness preparing to defend her kill against the skulking jackals, Helen Thomas slowly approached the Sean Penn blowup doll..." end video]

Now, let's have a chat about those five years you spent in that madrassa in Swat.

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT at May 6, 2009 10:03 AM

The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether title holder Carrie Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to same-sex marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model.

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Tuesday it appears Prejean has run afoul of several sections of the 12-page contract that all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.

The detailed document prohibits the titular Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials. In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.

The contract also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards." As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

"As you can see from the contract, she violated multiple items," Neal said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 10:19 AM

Here's the link:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h2k_jaowU7BPFzCx99CyZNL4HIVAD980EBR00

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 10:21 AM

Yu-Ain:

I would be the first to admit that the terms of the contract are very strict. But you don't get to sign a lucrative contract and accept benefits and then turn around and thumb your nose at legal responsibilities you willingly accepted. The CA pageant folks didn't pay for her surgery out of the goodness of their hearts, and no rational person fails to understand that these positions entail a person being a spokeswoman for the pageant. They have a perfect right to - up front - spell out their requirements.

We'd never excuse a man for behaving this way. What gives?

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at May 6, 2009 10:33 AM

OR... Since she did not show anything in the photo that does not appear in department store ads every Sunday, maybe she didn't connect the photo to porn.

Posted by: Russ at May 6, 2009 11:16 AM

The problem is that her contract didn't specify "porn", Russ. It said no semi-nude and nothing sexually suggestive.

That's clear and unambiguous. If you're a female, that means all the naughty parts are covered. Honestly, this isn't rocket science. How many beauty pageant winners have gotten into trouble for risque photos?

I'm not even remotely interested in gossip columns or beauty pageants. Haven't watched one in years. And I know that.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 11:22 AM

I'm not saying she should be burned at the stake, Russ.

But when you're asked straight out if you've posed semi-naked, this is not a difficult question. If you have to stop and think about that at her age....

*sigh*

And last time I checked, wearing only underpants qualifies as 'semi-naked'. If you're in any doubt whatsoever about this, ask yourself when was the last time you saw a real young woman in a public place (other than a strip bar) in only her underpants?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 11:23 AM

I'm sorta with YAG on this Prejean lady and her coverage, I just don't have as good an excuse for not paying attention.

Maybe it's just me, but when I hear of The Ca. Pageant standing atop the moral crest, while demanding "accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards" from the young ladies in their competition, yet springing (no pun intended) for artificial augmentation to same, augmentation that serves what purpose? Hmmm, could it be an effort to enhance her appeal to a less lofty human condition than the self-professed morals and ethics as laid out in their contract?

She's a beauty contestant fer sanity's sake. It's not as if she were seeking a position in government or industry where a spotless character is an essential marker used to vet a prospect's conduct and attitude towards their responsibilities and the performance of their duties such as safeguarding the nation and/or her secrets... ahhh, wait... ahhh, never mind.

While I can't argue against a contracts T's & C's, specified in B&W and agreed to by all parties, I must admit as did my kindred spirit Cirroc, "Your world frightens and confuses me!"

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 11:42 AM

The core hypocrisy in this imbroglio is that had Prejean answered the question posed to her by gay anarchist perez hilton there would never have been a problem. If there is a contestant among the entire group with no skeletons in the closet I would be amazed.

Since lawyers wrote these qualifications and requirements it is safe to assume that anyone is guilty of anything at anytime if the situation warrants investigation. If an investigation becomes a necessity, political or otherwise, raw commercialism kicks in and the pageant makes more money through the ensuing notoriety and sensationalism. Trump alluded to as much in a recent interview.

The pageant itself has degenerated into a WWF display of contrived, staged violence and titillating voyeurism at the expense of the participants sexuality. This is a more insidious form of "Girls Gone Wild" pimped by crass commercialism.

What seperates the moral conservatives from the progressives in this pageant of hypocrisy is that conservatives have not presented any damaging pictures of perez hilton engaged in some dubious behavior which, if they exist, would disqualify him from being a judge. I wonder what the rules are to be a judge?

Note to perez hilton, don't live in a glass house and throw stones.

Posted by: vet66 at May 6, 2009 11:43 AM

I agree it's surreal, bthun.

I agree that this is motivated less by lofty concerns for morality than personal pique. But that's all irrelevant when you sign a contract to perform x services for y consideration (and she did).

And what the helk is up with this?

Her contract reportedly prohibits the pageant winner from making personal appearances, doing interviews or filming commercials without permission from the pageant directors.

That's a standard clause. So becoming the spokewoman for NOM is pretty dumb.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 11:45 AM

had Prejean answered the question posed to her by gay anarchist perez hilton there would never have been a problem. If there is a contestant among the entire group with no skeletons in the closet I would be amazed.

Actually i'm not sure that's true. The question was inappropriate. But if you've done something in your past and then lied about it and become famous, generally it comes out sooner or later. The problem arose when she lied.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 11:46 AM

"conservatives have not presented any damaging pictures of perez hilton engaged in some dubious behavior"
*howls*

First it was Helen Thomas and blowup dolls, now this?!
Ohhhh the humanity.

I'd rather spend my lunch time being waterboarded than have those images floating around my iddy biddy neural net!

*howls*

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 12:03 PM

FWIW, the reason I don't watch beauty pageants is that they pretty much typify everything I hate about being female.

They pit women against each other, not based on their intelligence or talent, but on their looks. That brings out the very worst in us, and (sorry, but this is my opinion) doesn't exactly bring out the best in the rest of humanity. That this very pretty young lady felt she had to have major surgery in order to be "competitive" kind of says it all. Or what bthun said:

Maybe it's just me, but when I hear of The Ca. Pageant standing atop the moral crest, while demanding "accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards" from the young ladies in their competition, yet springing (no pun intended) for artificial augmentation to same, augmentation that serves what purpose? Hmmm, could it be an effort to enhance her appeal to a less lofty human condition than the self-professed morals and ethics as laid out in their contract?


But that's the society we live in, and it shows what we value. That a beauty contest would be shallow and superficial ought not to surprise anyone. And judging from many of the crass comments I've read, there is no real respect for these young ladies coming from a lot of guys.

This is someone's daughter. She's free to do as she pleases, but we put these girls up on a pedestal and then tear at them if they're not perfect. I think it's reasonable to hold her to the same standard I would apply to any young man. But I would never sign a contract that basically controlled my life for a year, for the same reasons I'll never take a lie detector test to get a job.

I haven't done anything to be ashamed of, but the concept is just offensive to me. And it doesn't make sense to me to excuse someone for accepting very valuable compensation on false pretenses. It's not as though she is the first title holder to have racy pictures in her past.

You don't accept a job if you're not willing to perform the services required.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 12:05 PM

FWIW, my "crass comments" doesn't apply to anyone here.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 12:06 PM

Then explain to me why pageant officials and perez hilton have both filed cease and desist orders to stop NOM from posting the question from hilton and the ensuing answer from Prejean?

The pageant officials arguably are under fire for stupidly hiring hilton in the first place and hilton is undoubtedly under fire from other gay activists for providing a martyr against them and a rallying cry against future prop 8 adventures.

This is what we may expect when unbridled liberalism runs face first into the glass door of common sense and fairness. Our precious perez and the pageant officials just got caught being a little too cute for his own hairdo and their credibility. In military parlance, "A Bridge Too Far."

Posted by: vet66 at May 6, 2009 12:24 PM

I totally respect Carrie for her right to speak her Christian opinions, but lets face it, is she "boobs" for Jesus, or what. There is something incongruous here.

Posted by: pjinaries at May 6, 2009 12:24 PM

"FWIW, my "crass comments" doesn't apply to anyone here."
Phheeeewwwww! I was afraid that you were listening in on my Helen Thomas thoughts. =8^}

When the inevitable Hate Thought legislation passes from our Congressional Masters into law, I'm toast... <---{the original Sam Cooke version that I meant to post list night}

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 12:25 PM

That's easy, vet66. They don't want the official spokesperson for Miss California using her position for political advocacy.

First of all, it's a violation of her contract. Second, it gives the appearance of an official endorsement. This is not a grey area. She should have known better.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2009 12:27 PM

STOP OBJECTIFYING ME, YOU... YOU.... *BABOONS*!!!!

Posted by: Helen Thomas at May 6, 2009 12:28 PM

...my "crass comments" doesn't apply to anyone here.

[voiceover on grainy video: "Moaning like lioness preparing to defend her kill against the skulking jackals, Helen Thomas slowly approaches the Perez Hilton blowup doll..." pause video]

How about now?

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 12:28 PM

Make that "skulking baboons"...

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 12:31 PM

LEAVE PEREZ HILTON ALONE!!!


CAN'T YOU SEE HE'S A HUMAN???

Posted by: Helen Thomas at May 6, 2009 12:34 PM

One more thing, how many females undo the straps to their bikini tops at the beach so they don't have tan lines? I can see the sides of a breast on most advertisements for resorts in Jamaica on television.

All this moral outrage and talk about contracts from the Sodom and Gomorrah capital of the U.S. is indicative of people who believe their own P.R. With increasing frequency the frat house in charge of Hollywood and Wahington gets snared in their own traps. Talk about the pot calling the tea kettle black...!

If we are going to talk about silicone, the Fairness Doctrine would require some discussion about which men take Viagra for E.D. both in Hollywood and Washington, D.C. That should quiet the discourse down.

We would call it the "Fair Game Doctrine."

Posted by: vet66 at May 6, 2009 12:36 PM

Look - this is one of those cases where compassion and a sense of disgust with Hilton, et al, make you want to root for Ms. Prejean. But if she hadn't lied and hadn't violated her contract by using her newfound notoriety and position to expressly violate the terms of her contract, they wouldn't have been able to lay a finger on her.

I don't think we get to violate contract law just to engineer a desired result, though. No one put a gun to this girl's head and forced her to accept a boob job (which is fine) under false pretenses (which is not).

But let's face it - she hasn't exactly done the cause any good, has she? To me, the whole thing is just sad. Really unfortunate.

But let's keep in mind all the folks who cheered on John Hawkins when he suggested digging up dirt on reporters. The tactic was fine with them then. They just don't like it so much now.

Wrong is wrong. Or at least I hope it still is. We don't hate people for screwing up, but we need to be able to admit it when they do.

Posted by: Helen Thomas at May 6, 2009 12:39 PM

how many females undo the straps to their bikini tops at the beach so they don't have tan lines?

Well, me for one. But putting a strap down isn't going topless.

And I don't let people take pictures of me that way and then claim I never posed partially topless.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 12:41 PM

And just to really make my point, I couldn't take this job. I couldn't swear I'd never taken a photo that was racy.

And I wouldn't, because that would be a lie. More specifically, a lie to gain compensation I would not otherwise be entitled to. I think the whole moral turpitude clause is dumb. But then you wouldn't catch me signing a contract like that because I am not willing to have my employer dictate to me like that.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 12:44 PM

"...my "crass comments" doesn't apply to anyone here.

[voiceover on grainy video: "Moaning like lioness preparing to defend her kill against the skulking jackals, Helen Thomas slowly approaches the Perez Hilton blowup doll..." pause video]

How about now?"

*howls*
*howls*
*howls*
*howls*

*bangs forehead against desktop*
*crawls to fridge, grabs Sam Adams Boston Lager, looks at clock, wonders if any contractual obligation to abstain before 5p.m. exists, gnaws top off beer bottle and starts drinking... heavily*

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 12:46 PM

"Wrong is wrong. Or at least I hope it still is. We don't hate people for screwing up, but we need to be able to admit it when they do."
You're never gonna get very far with that attitude young lady!

Posted by: Rahlm Emanual at May 6, 2009 12:50 PM

The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether title holder Carrie Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to same-sex marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model.

Assumes that the paper has accurately portrayed the terms of the contract. See my comment on the distinction between "appearing" and "having appeared".

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Tuesday it appears Prejean has run afoul of several sections of the 12-page contract that all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.

But never specifies which ones. Which brings us to...

The detailed document prohibits the titular Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials. In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.

Again, assumes the contract is being portrayed accurately. But even stipulating that it is, this is a completely different violation than the one you accuse her of. This is after the fact breach of contract, not prior to the fact lying about past behavior.

Guilt about the first does not imply guilt of the latter.

The contract also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards."

Overly broad condition. While I, myself, would answer such a question in the affirmative, I won't say that you couldn't find something I did when I was 5 that is mighty embarrasing ethically. The question is how far back should one go. Obviously last week is way to short and age 3 is way to long. But where do you draw the line? Cannot reasonable people disagree about how far back to go without being accused of lieing about their past?

As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

This is the reason for my skepticism about the accuracy of the portrayal of the contract. This statement says "have ever been" but the contract excerpt presented only strictly prohibits current behavior not past behavior for time immemorial.

I would be the first to admit that the terms of the contract are very strict.

It's not the strictness that bothers me. They can make it as strict as they like. My issue is that the contract is poorly worded. If they meant "appearing or ever appeared" then they should have said that. But they didn't.

But you don't get to sign a lucrative contract and accept benefits and then turn around and thumb your nose at legal responsibilities you willingly accepted.

You want to make your case based on the breach of contract issue then I'm all ears. But that's not the case you made against her.

The CA pageant folks didn't pay for her surgery out of the goodness of their hearts, and no rational person fails to understand that these positions entail a person being a spokeswoman for the pageant. They have a perfect right to - up front - spell out their requirements.

Yes, they do. Haven't argued otherwise. Just that because of the exact wording of the contract she did not necessarily "lie about her past" as the contract does not actually ask about her past, instead it asks about her present.

We'd never excuse a man for behaving this way. What gives?

This has nothing to do with her being a woman, and am a little disappointed that your opinion of me is so low that you think it does.

Again, I claim that she did not necessarily lie to the pagent about her past (based on the section of contract excerpted) as the contract did not ask about her past, but rather her present. You can't give a dishonest answer to a question you were never asked.

At worst it's exploiting a loophole.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 12:52 PM

Yu-Ain, I'll stipulate that I've never seen the exact wording in the contract. But we are going on the information we have. I will be shocked if folks who have seen several contestants disqualified for PREVIOUS racy photos already failed to include that in a freaking 12 page contract.

And I'm sorry. We will have to agree to disagree.

You would have to be living on another planet not to realize this would be a problem. It's been in the news over, and over, and over again. And this is a woman who was *involved* in these contests and competitive enough to nearly win.

I find it highly implausible that this wasn't explicitly spelled out in the contract. Pretty much every news account I've read says it was - only quoted one. But that's a matter for the lawyers.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 12:59 PM

Yes, they do. Haven't argued otherwise. Just that because of the exact wording of the contract she did not necessarily "lie about her past" as the contract does not actually ask about her past, instead it asks about her present.

You don't know that. You are neatly substituting the lack of a word for word quote for evidence the question was never asked.

Actually, the contract asks about the future. The present is obvious since she would be sitting in the room with them during signing and if she had her top off and someone was snapping away, I dare say they'd notice :p

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 01:03 PM

I don't let people take pictures of me that way and then claim I never posed partially topless.

I've gotta admit you *have* been awfully tight-lipped about those pix...

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 01:06 PM

*ahem*

The spokesman for Miss California USA provided CNN with a copy of the pageant contract Prejean signed last year agreeing that the discovery of semi-nude photos could mean disqualification.

It doesn't get any clearer than that. I knew I'd seen it somewhere.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/05/05/california.miss.california/index.html

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 01:07 PM

/smack!!!

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 01:07 PM

But what they should have done, and what they did are not necessarily the same thing.

I will be shocked if folks who have seen several contestants disqualified for PREVIOUS racy photos already

All of whom, I believe did so as adults. A retired 10 year veteran of porn films could hardly be said to not still be appearing nude. But we would not expect a DQ because mom put up baby pictures of her running around the house naked on Facebook. It what point can you say "I don't appear in naked pictures"?

There's a big fat grey line in there somewhere.

But I tell you, my first thought upon hearing that she had taken those type photos was "Where the helk was Mom and Dad?"

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 01:27 PM

"*howls*"
"*howls*"
"*howls*"
"*howls*"


pssst...hey, bubba, got room for one more?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 6, 2009 01:30 PM

You don't know that.

That's right, I don't. And your post didn't present evidence you did either.

And that was my point.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 01:31 PM

You know, and I know, what they meant.

Do nothing that will cause controversy or embarrassment for the pageant.

Honestly, I cannot BELIEVE we are arguing over this.

If people want to excuse someone knowingly signing a contract under false pretenses, nothing I say will make any difference.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 01:33 PM

You know, and I know, what they meant.

Hey, if you want to hold someone to a higher standard than what is legally required, I'm cool with that. I do it all the time.

There were lots of things my brother meant his divorce agreement to say. His ex couldn't care less about what was meant and does only what it does explicitly say. But then we expect this, she's a ^*&%(.

I just don't claim there can be no other conclusion than that she lied about her intentions in the agreement.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 01:50 PM

The contract also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards." As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

A copy of the contract bearing Prejean’s signature and dated Nov. 20, 2008, was furnished to The Associated Press.

It has the "true" box checked under a section that reads, "I acknowledge that, by way of example, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing in any way, having appeared in public or permitted myself to be photographed in a state of partial or total nudity or in a lewd, compromising or sexually suggestive manner constitutes a violation of this provision."

Sorry. I don't see wiggle room in that, but undoubtedly someone will.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 01:54 PM

Miss Prejean in a room full of 27" fuzzy caterpillars.

I am going to be sick.

I kind of moved away from that and didn't know she had been photographed at 17. Unlike that Vestal Virgin Miley Cyrus who posed semi-topless with her dad...the mullet-mopped one hit wonder.

Oh I am being very cranky today. One more test and then I get to take my first accounting class!
Scared does not begin to describe my fear.

Posted by: Cricket at May 6, 2009 01:58 PM

You will do great, Cricket. I had a lot of accounting and managerial accounting in school. It was pretty straightforward stuff once I wrapped my brain around the initial concepts :)

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:01 PM

Or was that 'Vestigial Virgin?'

Helen Thomas stalking Perez Hilton? You know, he might actually pay for...

Never mind.

Posted by: Emily Litella at May 6, 2009 02:04 PM

I acknowledge that, by way of example, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing in any way, having appeared in public or permitted myself to be photographed in a state of partial or total nudity or in a lewd, compromising or sexually suggestive manner constitutes a violation of this provision."

That's the type of thing I was looking for.

"You should know what they meant" is a fine basis for holding a low opinion of someone, but it doesn't rise to the level of evidence of lieing.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 02:07 PM

Sorry, I can't stand it anymore. I find it difficult to lend any creditability to anyone who does the whole beauty pageant route. Either as a contestant or an organizer. The regular "morals" feeding frenzies are getting tiring - let's just cut to the chase and open the new and improved Amphitheatrum Flavium. That ought to keep the peasants occupied.

Posted by: Pogue at May 6, 2009 02:09 PM

Speaking of wiggle room.

"I've gotta admit you *have* been awfully tight-lipped about those pix..."
============================

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, Semi-P.C.

Knucklehead Suite 3

3 Stooges Way

Backlot, Ca. 90068

Dear Mr. Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT,


It has come to our attention that you have made comments regarding an unauthorized use of copyrighted pictures, hereafter referred to as The PIX of the Blog Princess, hereafter referred to as The Blog Princess.

The Blog Princess reserves all rights to The PIX, that have as yet, not been published but have registered and received a copyright license nonetheless.


As you have not received permission to use The PIX, to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies of same, I believe you have willfully infringed upon the rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. of The Blog Princess and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $45.00 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein, or one keg of premium draft RW&B beer or one ride in a fling-wing.


We demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the The PIX, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to us, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately, no, make that you deliver to us and only us, all unused, undistributed copies of same and that you desist from this or any other infringement of the rights of The Blog Princess in the future.

If we have not received an affirmative response from you by 22-May-09 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, we shall take further action against you. Up to but not including forcing you to watch CNN loops of The Best of Helen Thomas.


Very truly yours,

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, Semi-P.C.

Posted by: Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, Semi-P.C. at May 6, 2009 02:11 PM

Although, the issue that she was 17 at the time does bring up some other issues.

Why don't topless photos of a minor constitute child pornograhpy? Isn't this the exact type of thing those laws were written for? If so, should she be held accountable for being a victim?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 02:15 PM

Sorry, I can't stand it anymore. I find it difficult to lend any creditability to anyone who does the whole beauty pageant route. Either as a contestant or an organizer.

Amen, Brother Pogue :p

Amen.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:15 PM

Yu-ain...

/smack!!! :)

Separate issue. I nearly raised it, but after having been vilified for days over my supposed opposition to bikini blogging, I just didn't want to die on that hill.

Either way, doesn't change the fact that her conduct here leaves buckets to be desired.

I think my earlier comment applies. Women are afraid to say a lot of things that men can get away with, and vice versa. Pogue's comment is a perfect example. If I say it, I'm a controlling, moralizing prig who hates men.

If a man says it, it's common sense.

And there are just as many if not more examples of subjects where a man can't say *anything* right :p

You all just aren't as aware of the minefields for women. We bite our tongues plenty, too. Though in reference to me, that's a pretty funny idea.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:19 PM

I agree Yu-Ain, but I had already seen this somewhere. I just couldn't remember where or when.

I realize you shouldn't have to rely on my word but I'm pretty careful before I use words like "lie". Also, previous title holders have been fired for really old photos on grounds of contractual violation. Vanessa Williams, Miss NC, there are several others.

This isn't a new situation. I understood your skepticism. I just had reason not to share it.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:21 PM

For the sake of discussion regarding contract law, didn't Obama and his folks disregard contract law when it came to threatening hedge fund folks who carried paper on car companies? He wanted them to voluntarily disregard their fiduciary responsibility to their investors and take 33 cents on the dollar instead of holding out for 50 cents?

He threatened the hedge fund owners with experiencing the full force and majesty of the White House press corps if they didn't go along with the scheme to nationalize the car companies involved.

I say Prejean should call their bluff forcing them to prove their contract was signed under duress, involved selective enforcement, deliberate vague wording, and/or violation of first ammendment rights to force the pageant's political ambitions for gay rights.

Odds are the pageant would settle on the courthouse steps to avoid possible revelations of wrongdoing and political favoritism toward the gay community.

Posted by: vet66 at May 6, 2009 02:24 PM

Well, I have a different take than Pogue.

Beauty pagents have a ton of credibility in finding examples of pretty women. But we should just stop deluding ourselves that they are examples of purity, morality, and upstanding citizenship. The contestants might be, but it's completely irrelavent and we should just admit that.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 02:29 PM

Jeez. You really don't want to see her have to deal with the consequences of her own actions, do you? :p

What evidence is there that the contract was signed under duress? Miss USA doesn't have to prove she DIDN'T sign under duress. As the accuser, SHE has to provide evidence. Wrong way around - in this country, we don't accuse people and force them to prove they're innocent. The plaintiff has the burden of proof (or if you raise a defense, YOU have to prove it applies).

And since when is breach by other signatories to other contracts grounds for breaching your own contract? On this theory, the very first time a contract was breached, it make all future contracts unenforceable.

And selective enforcement? Vanessa Williams, Miss NC and Miss Nevada might have a problem with that argument. The standard is well established.

Finally, that wording isn't at all vague.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:34 PM

Memo for: Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, LLBeanBackpages, Etcetera.

Gentle Sirs,

Anent your kind request that

...no, make that you deliver to us and only us, all unused, undistributed copies of same and that you desist from this or any other infringement of the rights of The Blog Princess in the future...

rest assured that there were no unused, undistributed copies of same remaining as of five minutes prior to posting your missive.

Further inquiries may be addressed to

Blow Up Adult Novelties of Abu Dhabi, LLC
6496 Blonde Lady Ginormous Hooters Blvd.
Abu Dhabi,
UAE 00210

Yr Ob'dt S'vnt,

Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 02:40 PM

Silly me. Wrong zip -- should be 39595.

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 02:43 PM

I realize you shouldn't have to rely on my word but I'm pretty careful before I use words like "lie".

I know that, and you know that. But, *pointing at the guy whose never been here before*, does he know that?

The epithet "liar" get's thrown around in the blogoshpere so much that it essentially means "He's wrong and I don't like it". It's important that the case really be nailed down.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 02:43 PM

And writing "whose" instead of "who's" is pretty common too, I hear.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 02:45 PM

But, *pointing at the guy whose never been here before*, does he know that? The epithet "liar" get's thrown around in the blogoshpere so much that it essentially means "He's wrong and I don't like it". It's important that the case really be nailed down.

Agreed and I appreciate your insistence on doing it right :)

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:54 PM

FWIW, I wouldn't call someone who lies once a "liar".

And I don't hate this young woman or want her to suffer. I just think it's only fair to apply the same standards to everyone.

She doesn't get a special break just b/c she's a conservative who spoke up on behalf of traditional marriage. She gets full credit for doing THAT, but not a pass for whatever else she may have done.

At least that's my take. The world is full of women who do get a pass all the time for being female - especially if they're pretty. But usually men complain about that :p

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 02:56 PM

But I would never sign a contract that basically controlled my life for a year, for the same reasons I'll never take a lie detector test to get a job.

As someone who had to take a lie detector test as part of receiving an enhanced clearance to work within a certain governmental organization during my time in service, I can honestly say, I will never again fear these things. They're mildly uncomfortable, but that's about the worst you can say about it. It certainly helped that their "intrusive questions" were, and I quote:
"Have you ever committed espionage against the United States of America?"
and
"Have you ever committed sabotage against the United States of America?"

And they went to great lengths to define properly what they considered espionage and sabotage. Really, it was no big deal. And to be honest? I don't think I could have simply opted out of taking it anyway. But like I said, no big deal.

As for Ms. Prejean... sorry, this story barely registers on my Important-o-Meter. But I like the spirited discussions here as always. So I'm kinda glad you brought it up.

Posted by: MikeD at May 6, 2009 03:27 PM

"Silly me. Wrong zip -- should be 39595."

Are you sure it's not 91447?

0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 6, 2009 03:51 PM

Anything after "91" is superfluous.

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 04:01 PM

You *do* realize the consequences if she figures 91915 out, right?

Posted by: BillT at May 6, 2009 04:11 PM

My interest in the case stopped after the event, in which a Person of Low Degree asked a question intended to kill her chances. I sent the Pageant a letter saying, here's Mr Wazzit's website - who do you want representing your event, him or her? Needless to say, no response.

I'm surprised that Paris Hilton hasn't sued him for breach of trademark.

I still would not have heard of that event but for the brouhaha.

I also submit that anyone with an ounce of beauty, who decides to follow that path, who hasn't at least one revealing image floating around somewhere, is most likely long forgotten. Consider Marilyn Monroe, or any number of current "celebrities" whose epidermises are fully revealed somewhere out on the Web.

Heck, youngsters even send their own dishabille photos around their network.

And I'd be willing to bet a thousand Elbonian Prachatkas that none of the "background lies" would have come out but for Mr Rotter's question.


Posted by: ZZMike at May 6, 2009 04:45 PM

Aye-yup.

heh
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 6, 2009 04:51 PM

And I'd be willing to bet a thousand Elbonian Prachatkas that none of the "background lies" would have come out but for Mr Rotter's question.

And how do you explain Vanessa Williams, Katie Rees, Miss NC, and a whole host of other beauty pageant winners who didn't have a run-in with Perez Hilton, but whose youthful indiscretions came out after they won?

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 05:13 PM

I wonder if these contestants have to sign a morals affidavit and contract?

And I wonder what results from a breech of contract?

Things that prompt a western infidel to say, Hmmmm...

OMG! Look at the fingers on that babe! Hubba hubba!

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 05:20 PM

And how do you explain Vanessa Williams, Katie Rees, Miss NC, and a whole host of other beauty pageant winners who didn't have a run-in with Perez Hilton, but whose youthful indiscretions came out after they won?

I'm with you here. Anytime anyone gets any sort of fame a whole bunch of people are going to start digging for dirt. Just look at how many "reality TV" game-show contestants have turned up with naked pictures or sex-tapes.

Were even more people looking. I wouldn't doubt it, but they were going to surface anyway.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 6, 2009 05:44 PM

"And how do you explain Vanessa Williams, Katie Rees, Miss NC, and a whole host of other beauty pageant winners who didn't have a run-in with Perez Hilton, but whose youthful indiscretions came out after they won?

I'm with you here. Anytime anyone gets any sort of fame a whole bunch of people are going to start digging for dirt. Just look at how many "reality TV" game-show contestants have turned up with naked pictures or sex-tapes.

Were even more people looking. I wouldn't doubt it, but they were going to surface anyway."

What amazes me is how quickly all that surfaces and gains so much attention not to mention bandwidth in on-air, print, and pixel.

Meanwhile back at the swamp, we have the Big Bro push to further violate 1A via H.R. 1966.
To fill a SCOTUS seat with who knows what.
To watch the Taliban take control of Pakistan.
To tolerate Chinese aggression in the Yellow Sea and Iranian attacks in Iraq.
To wait and watch while Chrysler Investor rep Tom Lauria is visited by BO Auto Czar Steven Luca -Leave the gun take the cannoli- Brazzi Rattner who then presents Lauria with fish wrapped in newspaper as trade for investment bonds
To use taxpayer funds as payment to any and all for junked autos towards the purchase of shiny new Goverment Motors Dilithum crystal/Mutha-gas duel-fuel powered hybrid.
To nationalize banks and industry
To further squeeze every possible nickel out of industry and ultimately individuals via Cap and Trade, etc., etc., etc…

All of which is hiding in plain sight, covered up by the noise of major media crickets palpating over the young Prejean lady, the Hilton creature and any other available distraction such as the First mutt, the First Pecs, the First Tricepts, the First waffle and on and on.

Sorry 'bout the off the cuff mini rant. I must have been channeling Cirroc again.

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 06:35 PM

Or palpitating...

Typing one handed while channeling ain't easy!

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 6, 2009 06:41 PM

What amazes me is how quickly all that surfaces and gains so much attention not to mention bandwidth in on-air, print, and pixel.

There is nothing like the prospect of hoping there are heaps of nekkid photos of an underaged girl released without her consent to get the conservative blogosphere really excited.

Because, you know, they're on her side.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 6, 2009 06:45 PM

"heaps of nekkid photos of an underaged girl released without her consent"
You naughty girl you!

Posted by: Lewis Grizzard's ghost at May 6, 2009 06:51 PM

Otay. Splain, peeples. What is the difference between 'strapless' and 'semi-topless?'

I got an A on my Euclidean paper. I am feeling strong and froggy.

Posted by: Cricket at May 6, 2009 11:48 PM

If you're a Lady, it's "strapless."

If you're a Broken Chromosomer, it's "semi-topless."

Does Euclidean paper come in different shapes?

Posted by: BillT at May 7, 2009 12:30 AM

*lifts Oreo cookie in salute*
Good job, Ms. Cricket'!!

*chases cookie with a swallow of beer*

0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 7, 2009 01:05 AM

Nope. Only irregular triangles. Gadzooks I was fit to be tied. Thanks fer the cookie salute!

Once the light went on regarding the relationship of algebra to geometry, I had a blast working through the problem sets. The Engineer gifted me with a digital slide rule, a Texas Instruments gonkulator of my very own. So, naturally, the eldest CLU absconded with it and the book.

While I don't have it all memorized, and I refuse to use a calculator until I have mastered the steps, I am still a lot happier than I was a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: Cricket at May 7, 2009 01:23 AM

Blah Blah Blah, what the hell do conservatives have to do with all this? I'm not conservative and I'm not gay; the girl is beautiful, she is a hypocrite, and back home she has a "reputation".
She talks out of both sides of her mouth. She has created her own controversy. Enough of her.

Posted by: me at May 7, 2009 10:08 AM

Shorter translation: "Dayum! No hot photos!" :p

Posted by: Cassanda at May 7, 2009 10:16 AM

That "reputation" remark could be misconstrued as slander. I would advise a prudent person to err on the side of caution, what with Dewey, Cheatem & Howe Semi-P.C. being on the prowl for clients.

"Shorter translation: "Dayum! No hot photos!" :p"
Har...(or the more refined Heh) BTW, I'm told that the recently mentioned search string returns VC as #9 out of 658 on Ask.com

Posted by: Thurston Howell_hun III at May 7, 2009 10:51 AM

Update: Now Number *8* out of 3,560 on Gurgle.

Posted by: Bill The Dirty Rotten Torture ApologisT at May 7, 2009 11:21 AM

Cricket, congrats on the test. I loved geometry and algebra and yet somehow ended up studying PoliSci in college. I was an idiot at 17.

Cassandra, I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Sometimes even the "bad guys" can have good points (post on Kathleen Parker a while back). Just because you're on the "right side" you don't get to be a pig about it (post on TOM's treatment of Carrie Prejean's breast enhancement and other related topics). Now *because* you're on the right side you have a greater responsibility to behave yourself (don't deny facts, don't promulgate iffy pictures of minors).

I'm beginning to smell a morally and logically consistent; not beholden to any party; big tent with a few solid center poles; focus on ideas not personal attacks; concentrate on your/our own ideas/ideals not on "theirs" kind of outlook here. Very nicely done.

Posted by: Elise at May 7, 2009 12:06 PM

Sheesh, I missed Cricket's comment on the test. Congrats Cricket!

I'll raise a Ritz slathered in guac dip washed down with a brewski in salute later this afternoon...

Unless someone starts playing that disturbing Helen Thomas <-> Perez Hilton B&W 8mm film again, then it'll be Kentucky 'branch water' along with 24 VDC applied across the temples as necessary replacements for the brewski.

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 7, 2009 12:17 PM

Elise, I was fulminating at my poor spouse the other night (God help that man, he is so patient with me) about partisanship.

He's a Rethug. Always has been. He was conservative when we got married and he was only 20 - I was still something of a lib at 19. He said, "You know, I always considered that my first loyalty was to the Constitution and to my country. Party affiliation is just the mechanism, and if it no longer serves the end goal...".

That's how I see it. I honestly think conservatism is a better means - overall - of fulfilling the end goal: making this a better country. But it's not a foolproof formula.

I like Haidt's work so much because he says what I've always thought: there's a tension between liberty and social stability. Liberals and conservatives promote very different aspects of what we consider America - we just need the right mix. Too much order and everyone is over-controlled. Too little and things fall apart.

This is why I like Justice Thos. so much - every now and then he applies his principles and comes out with something like the marijuana opinion that explodes liberals' heads everywhere: "AIIIIEEEEE!!! That's not conservative!!!"

No. But it's what's Constitutional, and that ought to trump "conservative" any day of the week.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 7, 2009 01:20 PM

But it's what's Constitutional, and that ought to trump "conservative" any day of the week.

Amen, Cassandra, amen.

I always considered that my first loyalty was to the Constitution and to my country.

Your husband sounds like a very smart man but his comment brings into focus something I've been sort of fretting over recently: I'm increasingly worried that much of my country no longer assigns any particular importance to the Constitution. This is a very scary thought for me because I've always believed my country *is* the Constitution. Not a particular piece of land or a particular group of people but adherence to a set of ideas.

Anyhow, somewhat off topic but a way to explain why I am very, very glad to see that the Constitution has a starring role in your outlook.

Posted by: Elise at May 7, 2009 02:53 PM

Elise, the Constitution, to all intents and purposes is not set in stone. It is a living, breathing document which has to be shredded and recycled as per the Founders' request.

As to Ms. Prejean, I feel sorry for her but one racy photo does not a reputation make. Since the pageant makes the rules, and she signed a contract, she has to abide by them.

Which gets to another point I have been thinking about. Young ladies and behavior. Whilst searching at YouTube for Things That Amuse, I ran across an interview with Joanna Lumley. It seems that she has written a forward to a charm book.
The very idea and notion that young women can be charming and well behaved is an idea that she thinks is on its way back.

Could you imagine if young women behaved like ladies and didn't have to worry about something biting them in the backside later because they were well-behaved?

*faints*

Posted by: Cricket at May 7, 2009 03:13 PM

"I'm beginning to smell a morally and logically consistent; not beholden to any party; big tent with a few solid center poles; focus on ideas not personal attacks; concentrate on your/our own ideas/ideals not on "theirs" kind of outlook here. Very nicely done."
As the public mood has soared/soured (depending on the individual) since last election cycle, I'd bet that the tent you mention will become increasingly crowded by those with the same loyalties. That of nation and Constitution before political party.

I remember yapping with someone recently about being able to recall all the instances when I swore an oath to protect and defend... At the time of my enlistment in the USN and in the documents I've signed over the years for clearances and what have you associated with working with DOD and other gub'ment agencies.

The thing that I can't ever remember seeing is an expiration date on those oaths. *Oh great, now I hear Cirroc screaming in fright and confusion from somewhere around my brain stem* Apparently many of the people currently filling our elected and appointed position of government swear their oaths with expiration date clauses. Or maybe their oaths are worthless top begin with.

Yup, I think I can admit to being increasingly disgusted with much of the GOP after almost 40 years as a solid, consistent, ReichWeng supporter and voter. But it's only May.

I think I'd better hush and go do something productive like let the air outta the tires of that black Crown Vic.

Posted by: bthun at May 7, 2009 04:16 PM

Elise, the Constitution, to all intents and purposes is not set in stone. It is a living, breathing document which has to be shredded and recycled as per the Founders' request.

I feel terribly dense but I don't quite follow this, Cricket.

Could you imagine if young women behaved like ladies and didn't have to worry about something biting them in the backside later because they were well-behaved?

I have a sneaking suspicion that when young women did behave like ladies, it was primarily because their parents had the ability and the will to keep them from doing things they'd later regret. There are darned few 17-year-old girls who can't be convinced by a slick enough talker to pose semi-nude. In 1938, when the charm book was first written, I suppose semi-nude would have meant in a gossamer gown and the argument would have been that semi-nude pictures are artistic celebrations of the natural beauty of the human form. Nowadays, of course, semi-nude means coyly topless and the argument is that Victoria's Secret fame and fortune lies ahead.

Posted by: Elise at May 7, 2009 04:47 PM

Elise,
Cricket is being sarcastic.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 7, 2009 04:50 PM

Sarcasm to the first, dead serious on the second part. What Cassandra is addressing is a larger picture, but somewhere along the line, we no longer teach manners or accountability or respect for good behavior no matter what.

There is another book entitled 'Modesty, the Secret Keeper,' and it is one that was written by a woman who is in marketing. She has some interesting insights regarding how young ladies dress, act and otherwise conduct themselves.

Excellent stuff.

Posted by: Cricket at May 7, 2009 05:13 PM

Oh, good. I'd rather be sarcasm-challenged than dense. That's for the clarification.

Posted by: Elise at May 7, 2009 05:45 PM

Oops. Should have been "THANKS for the clarification." The way I wrote it sounds like a vaguely rude insult in a British novel: "That for your explanation" usually accompanied by a snap of the fingers or something along those lines. Sorry - I certainly didn't mean it that way.

Posted by: Elise at May 8, 2009 12:59 PM

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