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The Sciences

The Golden Rule

Cosmic VarianceBy Mark TroddenAugust 30, 2007 7:44 AM

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I know it seems obvious, but two of today's news stories brought home the absurdity of how people are judged. On the one hand we have a Republican (who would have guessed?) Senator who is accused of soliciting sex in an airport men's bathroom. On the other is this priceless story about legislating against the wearing of too baggy clothes. What is striking is that I don't think the first should be news except that the Senator in question consistently votes against gay rights and gay marriage. His fellow Senators seem concerned with the actual behavior, which I think is irrelevant, and unconcerned with his hypocrisy, which I think is abhorrent. But the individuals involved in the second story seem to ignore completely the behavior of the persons wearing the dangerously low-riding jeans. Even those defending these loose-legged louts seem to miss the point:

"The focus should be on cleaning up the social conditions that the sagging pants comes out of,"

No, the focus should be on how they behave, not on what they wear. Being a good citizen is about how you behave to others - what rights you support or try to deny them, or how you treat them - not about how you choose to meet sexual partners or about how you dress.

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