Sunday, August 13, 2017

On #Charlottesville, Hate, and the Constitution

Good Morning.

I return from my self-induced absence to say a few words because I believe that those with a widely heard voice, the platform upon which to speak, and the education to know what is fact and what is fake have an obligation to speak out against wrongdoing – not because it will turn the minds of the ignorant, but because it will show them that the power they think they possess is nothing more than a fantasy they created. Just as the breaking of dawn casts nightmares back to the dark realm from which they sprung, the light of justice can shatter the fantasy that some are more equal than others. In the words of Edmund Burke, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. And so, I use my platform to speak these few words: Chaplinksy v. New Hampshire, 1942.

Click the link. Circulate the word. Hate speech is not constitutionally protected speech.  You do not get to wave a flag with a swastika on it and then complain that your rights to free speech and peaceable assembly have been violated, not in America. The Supreme Court of the land has ruled – and that ruling has been upheld time and again over the last 75 years – that fighting words are not protected under our Constitution; that if you choose to express yourself in a way that you know will incite violence that you are the aggressor, not the victim.

I could go on, but I won't, as I have said all that is needed.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tazi's Annual Veterans' Day Tribute

Dear Readers:

Today is Veteran's Day. Whether your political stripes are Republican red, Independent white, or Democrat blue, today is a day to remember those - living and dead - who put our country and Her interests above their own, and signed on to serve in the U.S. Military.

The jobs of our Soldiers, Airmen/Airwomen, Navymen/Navywomen and Marines are not like our own. They cannot call out sick because the weather is nice and they wish to take a personal day. If, after signing on, they decide they do not like the job, they cannot simply quit - they must honor the multi-year commitment they have made to serve. When they are told that they are being transferred or deployed, they cannot say "no". They go where their leaders send them, be it across the country and away from family and friends; or across the world and into imminent danger. How many of us show such loyalty to our employers? 

Whether an enlisted member or an officer, employment in the U.S. Military is more than just a job, more than just a career: it is a way of life. When they leave the "office" for the day - whether the office really is an office, or whether it is a ship or a training field or a battle site - the members of our U.S. Military do not stop representing, even if they are out of uniform; and even when they have long since retired from active duty. How many of us show such pride for our profession?

Our country's laws protect our civil rights, preventing our employers from forcing us to complete tasks that we find morally objectionable. The members of our U.S. Military give up many of these protections when they join the service. For the most part, they do not get to choose their job assignment; it is chosen for them based upon their abilities; and they do their job to the best of their abilities, even if they would prefer to be doing something else. How many of us are so accommodating of our employers?

If we, as civilians, disagree with a decision our company leaders make, we can openly argue. If a Military Journalist finds the U.S. position on foreign affairs objectionable s/he had better keep that opinion out of the articles, Editorials, and opinion pieces they write; and keep cheering for the decisions of their Commander in Chief, regardless of their true feelings. The rest of our U.S. Military must also tow the "company line", and keep dissenting opinions out of their blogs and away from the ears of their commanding officers. How many of us are so supportive of our Chief Executives? And how many of us could learn to keep our mouths shut so well?

Being a member of our U.S. Military involves sacrifice that civilians will never understand; but it also provides rewards that civilians will never experience. Being a member of the U.S. Military means you are part of a brother-and-sisterhood that goes beyond self-interest, beyond cultural background, beyond the color of your skin. It is to know that whoever you are, and wherever you are, there are those who are willing to put their life on the line to protect the importance of your mission. How many of us can say that about our co-workers?

Whatever your political stripes; whatever your beliefs on war and military spending; please take the time to say "Thank You" to a Veteran for the sacrifices they make to secure, protect, and preserve our American way of life. In the words of one Veteran - who I am certain speaks for more than self - a Veteran of the U.S. Military has "defended those who hate me, fought those who where afraid of me, aided those who didn't know me, and took shots for those who were with me".

How many of us can claim to be so selfless? 

Wishing you all a Happy Veterans' Day, and sending a great big THANK YOU to all of our country's Veterans!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, April 17, 2015

After The Wedding, It Is REALLY Time To Grow Up!

Dear Tazi:

When I was a child, a unicorn was my imaginary friend. I would watch My Little Pony cartoons and wish I could be magically transported to the land of Ponyville where I could live with all the ponies and their friends. I am now an adult and am preparing to be married. My fiancé is unaware of my imaginary friend, but he is aware of my love of unicorns and has graciously given in to having a unicorn and rainbow themed wedding. The reception hall will be decorated like Ponyville and the wedding favors will be My Little Pony ponies with our names and wedding date airbrushed on the sides.

Welcome to Ponyville!

I realize that all of this sounds like a dream come true, but I am afraid it will all turn into a nightmare after my husband discovers that I have a stuffed unicorn and My Little Pony collection big enough to fill a good sized basement. My mother has held onto my collection for me, but has always said that once I am married with a place of my own she wants her basement back. My fiancé owns his own home, and it is into his house we will be moving after the wedding. His basement is furnished and has a huge bar with a sports theme throughout, including many signed collectibles. I couldn’t possibly ask him to make room for Ponyville – his friends are already giving him a hard time about the Ponyville themed wedding.

Could you please print my letter in your column? I am hoping that my fiancé will see it and realize how important my unicorn and My Little Pony collection is to me, and that he will then offer me room to re-create Ponyville alongside his sports kingdom. It’s the only way I can think of to save Ponyville!

Pony Girl

Dear Pony Girl:

Men everywhere are going to hate me for printing this letter, but here it is anyway – but only because Hasbro, a Rhode Island based company, makes My Little Pony and I never miss an opportunity to promote a local enterprise.

If you are afraid to ask your fiancé/husband directly for something that should tell you that your request is probably a selfish one. Put yourself in his shoes: Would you give up your Ponyville wedding for a sports-themed extravaganza, complete with mini football helmets for favors? I didn’t think so; therefore, I give my full support to the resounding “NO!” that your fiancé is going to give you. As for what happens to Ponyville, that is up to you and your mother. If she wants her basement back, I suggest you box it up and rent a storage facility; or better yet donate your collection to the local children’s hospital, so a new generation of children can enjoy these wonderful toys and so you can feel the fulfillment that comes with letting go in order to help others.


P.S. Your fiancé sounds like a saint!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.