* What is pomegranate juice? and other stories

Supreme Court to decide what constitutes pomegranate juice  •  Free speech means freedom to lie  • “I’m not changing my lifestyle.”  •

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Supreme Court to determine what constitutes pomegranate juice

This is not Coca-Cola’s, nor Minute Maid’s, finest hour.

The product’s name is “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of Five Juices,” but “pomegranates and blueberries … make up only 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, of the drink.”

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Supreme Court suspicious of Ohio law that criminalizes false speech about candidates

‘Piles’ of bodies left after attack on civilians by gunmen in South Sudan

I conceived The William Tell Show in part in response to the realization that the First Amendment is not always a friend to the Gospel — or to truth. Lies are, in general, protected speech. Hate speech is normally protected speech. The criterion for “inciting to riot,” for example, is whether or not a riot actually occurs. No riot? No incitement.

If you can manage to unravel the convoluted paths that the facts have taken in the Supreme Court’s Ohio case, that’s what it boils down to: the Court is (rightly) concerned that the Ohio law would criminalize lies.

I take some joy in the fact that, for a person who follows the principles set forth in Free Speech Handbook, the principles I hope to teach as William Tell, hate speech becomes practically impossible.

I wish I had better understanding of the ethnic conflict underlying the events in South Sudan. That exhortations to kill were broadcast over radio, should make that particular perpetrator not hard to find.

Related: A living hell
Related: Free Speech Handbook
Related: The Gospel vs. George F. Will

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Wednesday 2014-04-23. Two anecdotes from this morning at McDonald’s.

There is this man who hangs around out front much of the time, who appears to be both very drunk and also demented — and off his meds. He staggers, walks lurching this way and that, always keeping a hand in his pocket because his pants are falling off his butt. (Related: “Pull your pants up.”.)

I was out on a smoke break this morning and he came up on a path that would bypass me, jumped in the air and spun, flailing his arms at some invisible victim; then turned around and gave that person the finger.

On his next approach toward me from that same direction, he announced, “I’m not changing my lifestyle.”

I have a friend, a nice, older (though probably my age) homeless woman whom I see often at the library and at McDonald’s. She looks frumpy and has heavy lines on her face, but a beautiful smile. She once mentioned to me a job she had had that clearly entailed a good deal of responsibility and required significant technical expertise.

The other day, I was out in front of the library for my 11:00 smoke break, and she asked me for a smoke. She said, “I always try to get a smoke in before I go over for lunch,” nodding towards My Sister’s Place across the street.

“Why?” I asked, astonished.

She said, “It’s very stressful.”

This parallels things I mean to say in a forthcoming post, “Where trees thrive, people thrive”, pertinent Our Daily Bread.

Related: The crazies and the stupids

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