Monday, November 14, 2011

Today's word: loophole

All politicians claim to hate loopholes. Tax loopholes, regulatory loopholes, legal loopholes. But you know who really hates loopholes?

Medieval infantry.

The original loopholes were vertical windows on medieval castles and fortifications. They were thin on the outside, but they widened on the inside, giving archers inside the castle the ability to fire on advancing armies over a wide angle without exposing themselves. The development of gunpowder marked the beginning of obsolescence for these Old World loopholes.

MedievalLego® Wall Street
Coming Christmas 2011
for all game systems
Image by Joriel "Joz" Jimenez via Flickr
Of course, loopholes are alive and well today. In a seemingly rock-solid wall of legislation, the loopholes are those small gaps through which slick-tongued bigwigs manage to get around the rules that everyone else follows.

Loopholes certainly loomed large in the lead-up to our current economic woes. When I hear the word loophole, I imagine Wall Street fat cats safely ensconced in their high-rises, raining down deadly thoughts upon the Occupy Wall Street protesters banging on their castle doors below.
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