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Virginia License Plates

Is it a story about a license plate or a story about First Amendment freedoms? The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t consider it as either. To them, it is a story of reasonable regulation.

One Virginia driver decided that he should be allowed to put “ICUHAJI” on his license plate. It didn’t matter to him that some Muslim and Arab Americans consider being called “Haji” offensive. (Pilot Online) “I see you Haji”.

Former Army Sergeant Andrew Bujino believes that he should be allowed to put that on his license plate. He is willing to fight for it, even after Chesapeake Judge John W. Brown ruled that he could not reclaim his desired personlized tags after DMV advised that the tags fit within the interpretation of “socially, racially or ethnically offensive and disparaging” and therefore not appropriate for a Virginia license plate.

Bujino doesn’t deny that  “Haji” is a common and often derogatory term that U.S. soldiers used to describe Muslims in the Middle East. Wikipedia describes the name of “Haji” as an honorary title given to a Muslim who has successfully completed a trip to Mecca.

Bujino believes that his first amendment rights entitle him to have whatever he wants on his license plate and he and his attorney claim that they are now considering an appeal of Judge Brown’s ruling to the Virginia Court of Appeals. They are also considering a suit in Federal Court.

One person commenting on the article on Pilot Online, questioned why Bujino was putting so much effort into this. As he put it, “Don’t folks print bumper stickers anymore?” Another sensibly stated, “The state owns the tag. They can do as they wish”.

Speaking of the importance of a name, DID YOU KNOW that while sailing along the Caribbean coast of South America in 1499, Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojedo saw several Indian houses that were built on stilts over the water. The area so reminded him of Venice that he named it Little Venice. Because of the Spanish pronunciation, that is how we now have a country called Venezuela.

And for pic o’ day, here is a dog’s interpretation of a jackpot!


Best of Bieber- Round 2


The Rich and Their Rules

Steve Jobs was famous for wearing black turtleneck shirts, New Balance sneakers and blue jeans. As a business man, he looked the part of a rule breaker.

In his biography, Jobs claimed that he ended up wearing the black turtlenecks, because his employees complained loudly when he announced that he wanted to have a “wholly original” uniform, and it was going to be a nylon jacket. When that didn’t go over well… the turtleneck “uniform” was the choice of attire.

If you read his biography, you’ll learn that his outward appearance was an indication of his life. During his lifetime, if you ventured on to the Apple parking lot, it reportedly was not unusual to see his Mercedes parked in a handicapped parking spot.

His Mercedes SL55 AMG was photographed may times over the years. In each picture, there is never a license plate. Do you think that he wanted to maintain his privacy; which caused him to quickly run up and take off the license plate  before each photo?

You know that’s not the answer because you continue to accumulate amazing information by reading the Joel Bieber blog! You have the combined intelligence of the CIA coupled with cat-like instincts.  You search farther and refuse to take No for a Yes. You don’t even have to stay at Holiday Inn Express. (snagged an old advertising campaign there)

There was never a license plate in the pictures because Jobs was a rule breaker. But, he wasn’t a law breaker. In fact, he learned about an unusual loophole in California law. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix a license plate to the back of their new car.

Jobs worked out a deal with a local leasing company. He would always get a new Mercedes during the sixth month of the lease. So, at no time did any of his cars fit outside the time requirement of affixing a license plate to the back of the car. It wasn’t the intent of the law but it was the letter of the law. And, it made the leasing company happy. Plus, someone out there kept buying 6 month old cars, after Jobs was turning them in.

Pic o’ day, “What are you missing?”

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