Sunday, October 20, 2013

3784 Dago

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Well, this is the first post in years without the leading green quote.  I still haven't solved the problem of how to get to my ".wps" documents.  No big deal.  Eventually I will.


There's a food truck in the Albany/Schenectady area named "The Wandering Dago".  New York State had no problem approving the business name, but now someone in the government has decided the name is offensive, and the truck has been banned from places under state control, like the Empire State Plaza in Albany and the Saratoga race track.

The truck owners and operators happen to be Italian.  They like the name. They not only like it, they're proud of it, and by serving great food, they feel they are saying exactly that. They can call themselves Dagos if they want, right?  They've gone to court, claiming their first amendment rights have been abridged by the state.

I've been idly following the story for a while.  There's no resolution yet, but it doesn't look good for the wandering Dagos.  The judge's name is D'Agostino.  Catch the first four letters.


This brings up something that generally bugs me - the tendency to much wider interpretation of the Constitution than the framers ever intended. 

The first amendment was meant to permit citizens to criticize the government without reprisal.  Period.

It was not intended to allow anyone to say, write, wear, do, display any insulting, profane, irreverent, impious, disrespectful, sacrilegious, obscene, blasphemous, indecent, foul, vulgar, crude, filthy, dirty, smutty, coarse, rude, offensive, indecorous, just plain nasty thing to anyone else, anywhere, any time. Which is how most people want to interpret it. 

Neither is it the function of government to protect people from being insulted or offended.

So I don't think the state has the right to ban the Wandering Dago truck from tax-supported public areas just because some people are offended.  I also don't think the owners have a right to the name guaranteed by the first amendment.  The first amendment has nothing to do with it. 

No, I don't know what the solution is.

The whole issue is annoying.

Now, if this were Europe....

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