PJ Power Pummels Parish Pajama Police Proposal

In a rare showing of common sense from a public body, the Caddo Parish Commission yesterday decided not to allow an ordinance banning pajamas being worn in public to appear on the agenda at today’s regular meeting.

The PJ Police ordinance, a naked attack on liberty, is the work of Commissioner Micheal Williams. Williams got upset after seeing a group of young men wearing sleeping pants and house shoes at a Walmart and decided to use the power of his office to make things right in the world.

He couldn’t make things right and his fellow board-member, Commissioner Joyce Bowman, used PJ power to help thwart him by wearing sleeping pants to the commission planning meeting in which Williams’ ordinance was shot down with an 8-4 vote. Good for her:

The commission obviously doesn’t want anything to do with the creation of parish PJ police in light of all the bad flack they were getting over this. Williams has decided to keep fighting and has vowed to reintroduce the ordinance at a future meeting. Rumor has it that he is also working on a law to get people to “turn their frowns upside down,” after someone scowled at him in Kmart for holding up the express lane for an Alpo dog food price check.

Like Williams, I don’t like to see people dress and act like slobs. The commissioner is also working on a letter-writing campaign to convince retailers to enforce some kind of standards in their establishments, which is a good idea.

That’s the way that this should be done, because if Williams thinks he is going to be able to re-establish “traditional conservative values,” through laws, he is sadly mistaken. The opposite will most likely happen.

I imagine that there are a lot of good people reading this who think that Williams’ proposed law is a good idea. After all, we seem to live in a society in which people don’t seem to adhere to standards of common decency anymore. With people not taking it upon themselves to act and dress in an acceptable manner, why shouldn’t we want government to step in and enforce standards?

The easiest answer to this is that we live in a free country in which standards can’t be simply handed top-down from government and we generally end up with a more degraded society than we started with when that happens.

One of the reasons that we live in a world more and more barren of decency is because government has increasingly tried to correct societal problems through a welfare system that has perpetuated the break-down of the traditional family over the last 40 years or so.  To fill the void of lost values that were once instilled by the family, we turn to government to enact laws telling people to not wear PJs in public, to pull up their britches and to play nice.

When government assumes the role of momma and daddy, you tend to absolve society of the responsibility of policing itself and our personal liberty is ultimately as degraded as the social norms around us. As government officials realize that they are being allowed to have power to micro-manage how we live—even how we dress—there are no limits as to how far their tyrannical tentacles will reach. There never comes a time when the tyrannical mind will be satisfied that it has enough power. Busybodies will always want more.

Let them tell people that they can’t smoke in restaurants—instead of letting business owners decide—and they will be telling people that they can’t smoke in bars and casinos. Let them have that and they will be telling people that they can’t smoke in their own cars and homes. Doubt me? Such laws have already been passed in places like California. 

In Caddo Parish’s case, pass an ordinance against sagging pants and now we have an elected official looking into criminalizing other clothing he finds objectionable. How predictable.

These laws are always predicated on the notion that they are needed to keep society from coming apart at the seams, like Williams does in his absurd statement that people will soon be walking around naked if they are allowed to wear sleeping pants to Walmart. Obscenity laws are already on the books. What we have here is a government official drunk on the little bit of power he has been given who needed to be put back in his place.

Thankfully, his fellow commissioners have done that with one showing that it was such a simple task that it could be carried out in sleeping pants—kind of like a trip to Walmart.




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