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Death by a thousand cuts
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, March 01, 2007

I love stories like this because they demonstrate how silly and petty some legislators can be as well as the danger they pose:
A state legislator whose district is home to thousands of Caribbean immigrants wants to ban the term "illegal alien" from the state's official documents.

"I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals, especially to children," said Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. "An alien to me is someone from out of space."

She has introduced a bill providing that: "A state agency or official may not use the term 'illegal alien' in an official document of the state." There would be no penalty for using the words.

In Miami-Dade County, Wilson said, "we don't say 'alien,' we say 'immigrant.'"
In other words, because this woman is astonishingly ignorant about the primary definition of the word alien, and chooses to be offended through her ignorance, she would like to impose her ignorance on everyone else.

Unfortunately this blatant example of the misuse of power is only one of perhaps thousands that go on every day in state legislatures and city councils around the country. Many elected representatives have forgotten (or never understood in the first place) that the primary function of government should be to protect the lives and property of its citizens from force or fraud.

Government doesn't (or isn't supposed to) exist to provide permanent employment, speech codes, word banning, free goodies or unquestioned power for its legislators to abuse.

Or so the theory goes.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Well, we can’t use "niggardly", which is a damn shame, as it is a truly useful word. But your larger point is taken. And filed.
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
Reminds me of the heyday of the WCW Wrestling program on the Turner network. It was a spectacularly mis-managed promotion despite being successful. At one point, Turner networks had stringent speech codes, so when someone got hit with a chair, instead of the announcer yelling about "foreign objects" he had to call it an "international object" instead to comply with the censors.

This is a true story.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"An alien to me is someone from out of space."

"Why do you keep saying ’Out of Space?’ It’s OUTER SPACE! ’Out of space’ doesn’t mean anything!"
—Alan Arkin from the motion picture Simon
Written By: happyfunball
URL: http://
Back in 2003 the City of Los Angeles banned the use of the words "master" and "slave" on computer equipment.

Here is an excerpt from the CNN story:

(Sorry I cannot provide a hyperlink:
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) — Los Angeles officials have asked that manufacturers, suppliers and contractors stop using the terms "master" and "slave" on computer equipment, saying such terms are unacceptable and offensive.

The request — which has some suppliers furious and others busy re-labeling components — came after an unidentified worker spotted a videotape machine carrying devices labeled "master" and "slave" and filed a discrimination complaint with the county’s Office of Affirmative Action Compliance.

In the computer industry, "master" and "slave" are used to refer to primary and secondary hard disk drives. The terms are also used in other industries.

"Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label," Joe Sandoval, division manager of purchasing and contract services, said in a memo sent to County vendors.

"We would request that each manufacturer, supplier and contractor review, identify and remove/change any identification or labeling of equipment components that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature," Sandoval said in the memo, which was distributed last week and made available to Reuters.

The memo did not include any suggestions for alternative labels.

Dennis Tafoya, director of the affirmative action office, said in a separate memo that an "exhaustive search" had been undertaken to find all such labels and replace them with more "appropriate" ones. A form was sent to all departments to identify equipment carrying the labels "master" and "slave" or any other offensive terms.
Your tax dollars at work.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
happyfunball noted:
"An alien to me is someone from out of space."

"Why do you keep saying ’Out of Space?’ It’s OUTER SPACE! ’Out of space’ doesn’t mean anything!"
—Alan Arkin from the motion picture Simon
That’s right! It’s meaningless. And misleading, confusing, and way too easily gotten past 3 or so layers of editors.

Why, there outta be a law!
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Correction to my previous comment: the story was from the Reuters news service. I just grabbed the first Google result, which happened to be a link to CNN carrying the Reuters story.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
How about "unlawful noncitizen interloper"?
Written By: Rick
URL: http://
"An alien to me is someone from out of space."

priceless - two demonstrations of ignorance at one fell swoop.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I emailed that out to some friends yesterday along with a link to the niggardly incident. I referenced the sorry state of the educational efforts. Then I googled the ladies name and guess what? If you’ll page down to the ladies name (Frederica Wilson) you’ll be surprised—well, maybe not, to find out that she’s a school administrator.
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://

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