URBAN PHILOSOPHER
Conscience Laureate

Monday, July 30, 2012

TWO THOUGHTS



(1) GREG FOR PRESIDENT


My friend Greg Alexander, also known as Professor Moptop on WXRT, is an expert on the subject of the Beatles. He claims he is always learning new things, and not to know everything about the subject-- but I think he must be close. He lives and breathes music and one day hopes to know every song ever-- he is probably close at this task as well. When it comes to politics, he says has become increasingly disgusted with the process, and  the lack of leadership by 100% of the so called leaders of our country. So why has he chosen to run for President of the United States?

Alexander told me, “These guys are just as unqualified as I am, possibly more, so I figured I should sort of run. Voter apathy is trending, I am apathetic, hence I will probably lead the polls. Also I got friends who are good with photoshop.”  Alexander also claims he can make up stuff on the spot and draw applause just as good, if not better, than the candidates.

While what Alexander said about the qualifications of the two candidates might be wrong, he is correct on voter apathy.  According to CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) 4% of eligible voters under the age of 30 participated in Illinois’s March primary.  
CBS News reported that,   “The total turnout was a meager 24 percent, officials said. It was the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the past 70 years”   Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, said,"It’s very, very disappointing.”

Maybe a candidate from the Apathetic Party might finally stir up some interest.

(2) FAT UNITED STATES AND OLYMPIC MEDALS


Obesity rates are defined as the percentage of the population with a Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 30.The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)published data that showed  that while “obesity rates have significantly slowed or stopped altogether in England, Hungary, Italy, Korea and Switzerland, and have grown only slightly France and Spain, obesity rates have grown by 4 to 5 percent in Mexico and the United States, the country with the highest rate of obesity of any developed nation.”

Repeat--The United States has the highest obesity rate of any developed country.  That sounds like Americans are probably fat, lazy slobs.  If that is true, why does this country win more medals than any other county during the Olympics?

A table of the all-time medal totals for all Olympic Games from 1896 to 2010, including the Summer and Winter Games, gives the U.S. a combined total of 2549.  The next closest is Germany at 1099. One cannot count the Soviet Union’s count of 1204 because that number does not include the totals from the Unified Team ((EUN, 1992), nor the totals from pre- and post-Soviet republics (RUS, UKR, etc.).

So maybe it is good that Americans are apathetic about being fat, it wins medals.

Monday, July 23, 2012

NO RESOURCES TO INVESTIGATE



Last Friday Chicago's Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan spoke at CAPAG (Chicago Area Public Affairs Group.)  During the Q&A session I asked Khan how he chooses what investigations to pursue.  He replied that he investigates every lead because he wants citizens to know that every complaint is treated seriously. Not so with Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.

Last week Ferguson issued his report for the second quarter of 2012The cover letter accompanying the report read:

As always, I encourage you to do your part in eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency in City government. Please continue to send your complaints to the IGO, and please continue to send in your ideas for audits and program reviews. Our work can only go so far without the help of Chicago residents, City employees, and vendors. Do not hesitate to alert our office if you have suggestions for improvement in City or IGO operations, our reporting mechanisms, or if you have any questions or concerns about IGO inquiries.”

One would infer from that sentence that the Office of the Inspector General encourages people to report instances of waste, fraud and abuse and that something would be done about it.  Later in the report we discover a problem with that supposition. Page two of the report lists a table chart that shows that 63 complaints were being investigated and 319 were declined.  Were these complaints declined because they were bogus?  NO!

 Ferguson writes it is because of a lack of resources. “As the table shows, for the vast majority of complaints, the IGO declined to investigate the allegation. The primary reason that the IGO declines a complaint is due to a lack of resources. That determination, made by the Director of Investigations, involves a form of cost/benefit evaluation, which, among other factors, gauges potential magnitude or significance of the allegations advanced in the complaint both individually and programmatically, investigative resources needed to effectively investigate the matter, and actual investigative resources presently available. More serious forms of misconduct, greater monetary losses, and significant operational vulnerabilities suggested by the allegations receive priority.”

So basically if one wants to report instances of abuse or fraud those cases will only be investigated if the cost/benefit evaluation shows that it will cost less financial resources to investigate than the potential crime might net the alleged perpetrator.

The equivalent of that with the Chicago Police Department would be if they declined to pursue a criminal who allegedly stole $20 from a convenience store because the cost of the investigation would cost more than $20 in manpower hours.  Selective prosecution is wrong!

Ferguson’s report sends a very clear message.  It’s okay for city employees to commit fraud as long as it is a "small crime" because his office is never going to investigate. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

COOKING CAN BE SIMPLE!!


Do not try this at home!

 I do not have the reputation of being a fabulous chef.  I am the consummate example of the classic answer to the question, “What are you making for dinner?” and replying, “A reservation!” 

Recently my friend Kari Underly shoot some videos for ”E How To” with some simple cooking tips.  Since Kari is the James Beard nominated author of, “The Art of Beef Cutting,” she knows what she is talking about.  The twelve videos can be seen at E How TO at this link.  I have posted the topics below so you can decide what you want to watch.

A meat thermometer isn't going to do you any good if you don't know how to read it properly.

Applying meat rubs is easy, but it does require you to keep a few very important things in mind.

Different rubs are used for different purposes when it comes to cooking meat. Find out about rubs for cooking meat and seafood.

If you want the most tender meat possible, you're going to want to educate yourself about a few key grilling secrets. Find out about grilling secrets for tender meat.
When hamburger meat gets spoiled it will display a few pretty clear signs that you should watch out for. Find out if hamburger meat is spoiled when it turns grey.
 When making a Philly cheese steak you need to use only specific kinds of meat for the maximum amount of authenticity. Find out about what meat goes in a Philly cheese steak.

 You don't have to go to a fancy restaurant to enjoy delicious Boeuf a la Ficelle. Learn about the cut of meat and which cooking method you should use when preparing Boeuf a la Ficelle. 

 Making tough meat tender is something that you can do in a few different ways depending on your overall preferences.

You should always cut your meat based on what specific type of dish you're using it with.

Cutting a chicken for a barbecue isn't nearly as complicated as you might think.

Cutting a large chicken breast after oven cooking is one of the last things you'll do before your dish is ready to serve.

Cutting chicken into slices only requires the right technique and a little bit of know-how. 




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RELIGION AND THE HEALTHCARE LAW



Last week a lawsuit (CASE NUMBER: 1:12-cv-3932) was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The plaintiffs are R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, Illinois; The Most Reverend Thomas Paprocki, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. Catholic Charities of Chicago joined the suit after it was filed. The defendants are Kathleen Sebelius, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; Hilda Solis, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor; Timothy Geithner, in his official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the U.S. Department of Labor; and the U.S. Department of Treasury.  Basically, according to the filing, “This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference.”

When I first read a story about this suit in the Wall Street Journal, I was confused by how the article described the lawsuit as being, “against the Obama administration's mandate that would force these Catholic groups to offer free contraceptives through their insurance, in violation of church teaching.”  It seemed a simple violation of the government trying to interfere with an established religion’s belief about contraception.  Then I read the actual lawsuit and what I discovered about the Obama Healthcare Law astounded me because I had not seen any stories about this issue.

What is upsetting is the basically Hobson’s Choice the U.S. government has offered the Catholic Church.  If the church wants an exemption from the law that requires them to” provide health plans to their employees that include and/or facilitate coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception, in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs,” they have to make a torturous decision.

(a)        The Church can either decide to violate the teachings of the religion by offering contraceptives and access to abortion;

(b)         or they can convince the government to give them an exemption if they totally satisfy four criteria:

1. “The inculcation of religious values is the purpose of the organization;”
2.   “The organization primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the organization”;
3.  “The organization primarily serves persons who share the religious tenets of the organization”; and
4. “The organization is a nonprofit organization as described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.”

As the lawsuit states, “Thus, in order to safeguard their religious freedoms, religious employers must plead with government bureaucrats for a determination that they are sufficiently ‘religious.’”

It is the third requirement of the exemption that really bothers me. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago  is one of the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest, annually assisting more than one million persons in Cook and Lake Counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background.  The organization has been doing this for more than 95 years.

Reverend Monsignor Michael M. Boland, Administrator, President and CEO of Catholic Charities sent out a letter that included a paragraph that read,” As all of us know, Catholic Charities serves the poor because we are a Catholic organization, not because our clients are Catholic.  We strongly believe at Catholic Charities that we witness our faith by our service to the poor.  We ask only, ‘Are you hungry?’  ‘Do you need clothing?’ or ‘Are you homeless?”’ Under the HHS (Health and Human Services) mandate, to be a ‘religious employer’ we would now have to ask, ‘Are you Catholic?’  This goes against everything that Catholic Charities stands for as an organization.  Under the HHS mandate, we are punished for both employing and reaching out to serve non-Catholics, which is an injustice. “

The cost for Catholic Charities to assist people vs. government costs is astoundingly less.  As Monsignor Boland wrote, “In a recent report, Catholic Charities notes that it costs Medicaid (read: taxpayers) $43,000 per year for every senior in a nursing home. By contrast, Catholic Charities provides day care for seniors at $6,461 per year, home-delivered meals at $1,188 and services such as housecleaning for $4,028.”  He also pointed out, “The church can provide such value because for every staffer, it has nearly seven volunteers. That works out to a volunteer army of 17,000 people, larger than Chicago's police force.”

The Wall Street Journal story pointed out that Catholic Charities of Chicago, “last year alone provided “19 million meals in the form of groceries for single moms, another 2.5 million meals served to the hungry or homeless, 458,000 nights of shelter for families and children, and 897,481 hours of homemaker services for seniors.”

If organizations like Catholic Charities cannot serve the needy, the government (taxpayers) will have to step in at a cost many times what it costs the church to provide the same services.

So this really is not a question of just whether one agrees with abortion or the use of contraception, but who will take care of people in need if religious organizations have to turn away a homeless person if they are not followers of the same religion as the group that wants to help them?

I sit on an Advisory Board of Catholic Charities of Chicago.  Would I be prohibited from volunteering because I am Jewish?  Maybe they won’t ask.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The City of Chicago Still Can't Find Faisal Khan!

This is supposed to be posted in all Aldermanic Offices
I have been writing about Chicago Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan since his office was created last year.  In April I decided to try contacting Mr. Khan and could not find him anywhere.  No City of Chicago resource that I called or contacted had any idea who he was.  I wrote about it on April 4th in a blog called, “What Happened to Chicago’s Legislative Inspector General?
 Mr. Khan read my blog and contacted me.  I was very impressed with his credentials and have great hopes that he will do a fantastic job in fulfilling his mission.

The picture on this blog is a copy of a sign a friend recently gave me telling me that she had heard it was supposed to be posted in all Aldermanic offices.  My first thought was I wonder if anyone posted the sign and my second thought was does the City of Chicago now know who Faisal Khan is?

I called 311, the city information line looking for an answer. First I had to listen to a long list of choices and press a number if I wanted special events info press 6, for Chicago Parks press 7 etc. I had to listen to recordings for 1:52 before I was told to hold for the next available agent.  When an operator finally came on I asked for the number of Faisal Khan, the Legislative Inspector General. I even told her that I did not want Joe Ferguson, the City's Inspector General. The woman told me she only had one number for an Inspector General. It was 773-478-2127.I called it and it was Joe Ferguson's office. The total time from start to finish was 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Why doesn’t the city want citizens to know how to report any questionable activity they see in an Alderman’s office?  They still say Khan does not exist.

I know he exists and I know he is trying to do his job whether the city is helping him or not.  That is why I invited him to speak at CAPAG (Chicago Area Public Affairs Group) on July 20th at the Union league Club. This will be Khan’s first time speaking in public in Chicago about how he got the job, how he is accomplishing the task of creating the first Office of the Legislative Inspector General for the city of Chicago and what his vision for the office is.

The luncheon is open to the public.  Anyone can sign up at www.capag.org.  Please come because I think it will be quite interesting!  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

HOW TO SURVIVE THE SUMMER 2012


Last year I wrote a blog about summer etiquette that listed the important rules of how one should comport themselves when the temperature is high. I find it necessary to repeat those tips again because of a phone call I received from my friend Jill.  She reached out to me because there was not one single woman on the street or in her office who was wearing panty hose besides herself and it bothered her for the same reasons it bothers me.  She asked me to re-run my rules about how should conduct themselves when temperatures soar.

KATHY'S SUMMER RULES

1.  I find it disgusting when women wear dress shoes without stockings.  Sandals I can barley tolerate, but pumps without hosiery?  What is so difficult about putting on panty hose in the summer?  Most women’s legs are pale and pathetic and I don’t want to look at stubbly legs.  Plus, having bare feet encased in leather shoes without stockings creates a sweating situation that leads to smelly feet.  Offices, stores and restaurants are air conditioned!!  Put on stockings!

This is how your feet look!
 2.  I can tolerate sandals without hose but, really, with the exception of going to the beach, do people really need to wear open toed footwear?  I don’t want to see people’s dry, cracked heels and the corns on their toes.  Have some pride!  If one is going to wear sandals, make sure the feet are pedicured (men also!) and free of bunions and bumps.

 3.  No woman over the age of 21 should ever wear anything sleeveless in public unless they are hospitalized with IV needles in their arms or at the beach.  (see note 5 on not going to the beach)

 4.  Capri pants are also a fashion horror!  Does that missing few inches of cloth at the hem of trousers keep one cooler?  No!  Women look pathetic in short pants.  Only Lord Fauntleroy could get away with wearing them.

How is this attractive?
 5.  There is no reason to ever go to the beach (see note 3 for dressing at the beach).  Why would anyone want to lie out in the blazing hot sun and be forced to use a porta-potty to “freshen up.”  Plus swimming in a lake or ocean is repulsive.  Fish and other creatures live in the body of water one might swim in and it is not only their personal porta-potty, but where they procreate!  You want to put your face in that?  Might as well lick the floor at the CTA station if you want to wallow in germs.

 6.  Steaks and hamburgers grilled over charcoals certainly do taste better than when broiled in a kitchen’s oven.  But who wants to eat outside in the heat with bugs?  It is okay to attend a backyard barbecue as long as one is allowed to eat inside where it is air conditioned.  My friend Karen has a yearly summer event and I love attending, but I eat my food at her dining room table with utensils as any civilized person should.  Picnics in the woods are totally insane! (see porta-potty #5)

 7. Avoid going outside as much as possible if one lives in an urban environment with sidewalks.  Aliens land in the summer and populate cities.  I know they are visitors from outer space because they are always stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and looking skyward obviously trying to locate their Mother ship.

 If you think about it, summer is just winter reversed.  Winter is cold outside and heated inside; summer is just the opposite.  No big deal!  If one acts the same as they did in winter, they will not make a fool of themselves in summer by trying to do crazy things like walking on a beach or getting a tan.

"In Winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candle-light.  In Summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day."

Robert Louis Stevenson

 


Monday, July 9, 2012

CAIR and The Office of New Americans




What is The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)?  And what does CAIR have to do with a recent announcement in Chicago about the Office of New Americans?

First what is CAIR? The CAIR web site says: 

”The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.”

“CAIR's vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”

CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. “

However, the federal government disagrees. A 2007 court filing in the case of the United States of America v. Sabri Benkahla states, “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists ... the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists."


In a July 2009 decision in The United States v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, District Judge Jorge Solis ruled  that the government provided “ample evidence” tying CAIR to Hamas to justify its designation as an “un-indicted co-conspirator.”


What is the Office of New Americans?


A year ago, on July 19th, the City of Chicago announced the creation of the Office of New Americans. The office would be “dedicated to improving services and engaging Chicago’s global immigrant communities through enhanced collaboration with community organizations, educational institutions and the private sector.
The press release issued by the city quoted Mayor Emanuel as saying, “Chicago’s vitality has been built on the strength of immigrant populations that have come to enjoy new freedoms and access new opportunities. I want to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world and the Office of New Americans will ensure every law-abiding Chicagoan has access to the resources they need to become productive members of society and contribute to our thriving global city.”
Last week, it was announced that the Executive-Director of CAIR-Chicago, Ahmed Rehab, has been named to the Advisory Committee for the Office on New Americans.
Maybe Mayor Emanuel is not aware of some of the controversy about CAIR?  Not according to “The Investigative Project on Terrorism ,”a  non-profit research group that is recognized as the world's most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups
 On July 3rd they questioned Emmanuel’s appointment of Ahmed Rehab, saying that when, ” He was White House chief of staff when it became known  that the FBI had broken off communication with CAIR in 2008 over concerns about the organization's roots in a Hamas-support network. CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad are included in a telephone list of "Palestine Committee" members (Ahmad is identified as "Omar Yehya"), and CAIR was listed in internal records as a specific committee arm.Other internal records  show that  the Palestine Committee was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to help Hamas "with what it needs of media, money, men and all of that.


An FBI official wrote to inquiring U.S. senators in 2009, explaining that "until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."
So if Emanuel knows about CAIR’s ties to Hamas, why did he appoint its Chicago Director to an advisory committee on immigration?  Or more important, why hasn’t the Chicago media covered this issue? I guess the 100 degree weather is a hotter story.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WHO HAS THE POWER?




It has been widely reported that the Chicago's Police Department and Fire Department union contracts expired last week.  The last time the contracts expired was in 2007, but new ones were not signed until 2010. Cops and firefighters just continued working under the terms of the old contracts until the news ones were hammered out.  But who has the power when it comes to the negotiations?

I read through the 164 pages of the police contract (valid dates July1, 2007-June 30, 2012) that has just expired and discovered something interesting that no one has addressed. 

 Article 5 of the police contract reads:

ARTICLE 5 — NO STRIKE
Section 5.1 — No Strike Commitment.
“Neither the Lodge nor any officer will call, institute, authorize, participate in, sanction, encourage, or ratify any strike, work stoppage, or other concerted refusal to perform duties by any officer or officer group, or the concerted interference with, in whole or in part, the full, faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment with the Employer. Neither the Lodge nor any officer shall refuse to cross any picket line, by whomever established.”

This article of the 2007 contract clearly states that police cannot go on strike.  Now the $64,000 question is- if the contact has expired then that clause has expired, so why aren’t the police able to strike?

The answer to the questions seems so obvious, but if I am correct why is everyone still saying police cannot strike?  I spoke to some police friends and they were mystified by the question also.

The rest of Article 5 dealing with strikes is below.  Nowhere in any of the subsections does it read that the police promise not to strike once the contract expires.

Section 5.2 — Resumption of Operations.
“In the event of action prohibited by Section 5.1 above, the Lodge immediately shall disavow such action and request the officers to return to work, and shall use its best efforts to achieve a prompt resumption of normal operations. The Lodge, including its officials and agents, shall not be liable for any damages, direct or indirect, upon complying with the requirements of this Section.”

Section 5.3 — Union Liability.
“Upon the failure of the Lodge to comply with the provisions of Section 5.2 above, any agent or official of the Lodge who is an officer covered by this Agreement may be subject to the provisions of Section 5.4 below.”

Section 5.4 — Discipline of Strikers.
“Any officer who violates the provisions of Section 5.1 of this Article shall be subject to immediate discharge. Any action taken by the Employer against any officer who participates in action prohibited by Section 5.1 above shall not be considered as a violation of this Agreement and shall not be subject to the provisions of the grievance procedure; except that the issue whether an officer in fact participated in a prohibited action shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure.”

While I did not read every word of the 164 page contract, I carefully looked for any section dealing with what happens when the contract expires.  There was nothing. I must be wrong because otherwise the police would be threatening to strike and that would give them the power in the negotiations.  If they cannot strike, then the City has all the power.

So I really have no idea who has the power, but the question should give everybody something to think about.

As I was patting myself on the back for being so clever, my editor Linda, who is obviously smarter than I am,  sent back my copy and told me to look at Section 28.2 of the police contract.

Section 28.2 — Continuing Effect.
“Notwithstanding any provision of this Article or Agreement to the contrary, this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect after any expiration date while negotiations or Resolution of Impasse Procedure are continuing for a new Agreement or part thereof between the Parties.”

So I was wrong.  The police cannot strike, the city has all the power in negotiating. Like Emily Litella (Gilda Radner's character on Saturday Night Live) used to say...NEVER MIND.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WHAT IS CHICAGO POT SEIZURE WORTH?




In all the stories about the 8 tons of marijuana that was seized by Chicago police last week, I did not see any mention of the value of the dope.  Or how many joints one could make from the haul.  Being mathematically insane, I had to figure it out myself.

SIMPLE MATH:

VALUE OF POT
  1. 8 tons of grass
  2. 2,000 pounds in a ton gives 16,000 pounds
  3. 16 ounces in a pound gives us 256,000 ounces
  4. Sources tell me that pot is sold in 1/8 bags so we now have  2,048,000 1/8 oz. bags.
  5. Sources also tell me that 1/8 oz. sells for about $50.
  6. So we multiply $50 times 2,048,000 and get a street value of $102,400,000.

HOW MANY JOINTS?

  1.  Sources tell me that one can roll 6 joints from 1/8 oz. bag.
  2. So we multiply 6 times 2,048,000 and get 12,288,000 joints for smoking.
  3. According to the U.S. Census Bureau ,the total population of Chicago is 2,695,598.  But since we don’t want youngsters smoking dope, the adult population (76.9% of the total) is 2,072,914.
  4. Dividing joints by people gives us approximately 6 joints per person or 1/8 oz.  Since that is well below the level of 15 grams (.5 oz) that now results in a ticket in Chicago instead of arrest, we can all smoke away.
It's interesting that one goes to jail if caught selling grass, but just gets a ticket for smoking. Now we just have to figure out how to get Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to give us the stash.  Anybody know the dude?



Monday, July 2, 2012

I AM TALL,THIN AND BEAUTIFUL



Last week most people were eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacre and totally missed the Court’s 6-3 decision that the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 was unconstitutional. That Act made it a federal crime to falsely claim or wear unearned military medals.  The wording of the 69 page decision seems to make lying legal!

BACKGROUND:

The case, United States vs. Alvarez, was about Xavier Alvarez, a California Water Board member, who had falsely claimed to have received the Medal of Honor.  In 2007 Alvarez pled guilty but reserved the right to appeal. His sentence was three years probation, a $5,000 fine and community service.
On appeal, his lawyer argued that the Stolen Valor Act was unconstitutional because it violates a person’s right to lie. "The Stolen Valor Act criminalizes pure speech in the form of bare falsity, a mere telling of a lie," Alvarez's attorney, Jonathan Libby said at the Court’s hearing in February, "It doesn't matter whether the lie was told in a public meeting or in a private conversation with a friend or family member."

ABC News reported  that in its argument before the Supreme Court, the government said that such specific lies fall under a special category of speech that is not protected by the First Amendment -- when the speech could do harm.
DECISION
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority said,"Though few might find (Alvarez's) statements anything but contemptible, his right to make those statements is protected by the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech and expression”  he also wrote that the First Amendment "protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace."
Kennedy said that the law as written would criminalize any false speech, even "personal, whispered conversations within a home" and this was granting the government too much power.

Kennedy's plurality opinion was signed by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. A concurring judgment by Justice Stephen Breyer was joined by Justice Elena Kagan.

CONCLUSION
The Supreme Court has ruled that I have a constitutionally- protected right to lie.  But they did not rule that you have to believe me...and I am tall, thin and beautiful!"