Friday, April 13, 2007

Random Thoughts

Baseball is being played again and a bird is trying to build a nest in our front porch light fixture, so spring must be in the air. Spring my a**, it still too damn cold for April 13 for crying out loud. My grass is growing and I will have to wear a fall jacket to go out and cut the jungle down. It needs to get warmer damn it. I like seasons, but come on spring. Too often in Baltimore, Maryland area we go from winter to summer with a passing notion that spring is a season.

Just how damn thin skinned have we become as a society. The whole Don Imus debacle has been a mess. From Imus making such a stupid remark, to his not apologizing for it the next day, to his groveling afterwards, to Jesse and Al coming out to extort money from the networks that owned the show, to the overplayed "hurt" that was fostered on the basketball players (can anyone say lawsuit), it has been a ridiculous extravaganza of coverage. No one involved looked good at the end of the day. How about Obama calling for Imus to be fired because his daughters should never have to be talked down to and then he has the rapper Ludacris as part of his youth outreach (and one of his songs is entitled "Ho"). Just insane, that we now have people who are offended by almost anything that is said. My favorite thing that happened was the fact that the New Jersey Governor got banged up in an auto accident (as he was going to attend the Imus / Rutgers meeting) because apparently he was not wearing his seat belt. The frelling nanny state wants to tell us what to do and how to do it and our own elected officials ignore the rules. This just shows that these people do not feel like they are servants of the people, they think they are our rulers. Poetic justice.

Yeah, the Duke Lacrosse team has been exonerated. It was such a travesty of justice to see those kids get raked over the coals by a prosecutor looking to get re-elected that it made me feel like sometimes things work out the right way. One thing I do think that hopefully guys throwing these type of parties will understand to not hire strippers or whatever and put themselves in a position to be question.

So Amsterdam has legalized prostitution and legalized smoking of marijuana and guess what the world has not ended. One of my co-workers just came back from there and after hearing her stories it really makes me realize that the US should try and lighten up on all of our puritanical restrictions and start to understand that certain vices are what people want to do and by legalizing it you can control it better and make tax revenues off of it. I think as we go bankrupt these things may become a reality. Of course we have this crazy anything goes attitude in America, mixed with a wide puritanical streak and political correctness fever that makes for a really schizophrenic culture. In Maryland we have passed a state wide smoking ban because smoking is such an evil, but next year we should have legalized slots as we need more revenue. Yes our every shifting morals are a moving target.


  1. Actually Amsterdam has not technically legalized marijuana - they just decriminalized the possesion of some drugs. Kelly Kirkwood went to the Netherlands during her study abroad program and as a student of law enforcement it was part of the course to learn about foriegn legal systems. She told me that in many of the larger cities (such as Amsterdam) the police as a whole choose to not prosecute certain crimes - such as the use of some illegal substances - because they don't have the resources to waste on trivial laws when they could use those resources on more important. things - like murder, rape, ect.
    "Technically, the sale of cannabis remains an offence in Holland, and dealing in the streets remains illegal. Even so, possession of less than 30 grams for personal use carries only a minor punishment, and coffee shops are restricted to flogging no more than five grams per person"

    I thought that was pretty intersting when she told me.

  2. And when did MD pass a statewide smoking ban? You can still smoke in the bars last I heard and you can't smoke in ANY public building down here.

  3. Well if it isn't legal how come the coffee shops can sell it? Maybe it is not legal to personally own it, you can just get stoned at the place that sells it or something.

    Maryland passed the ban this year and it goes into effect October 1.

  4. I think there is more to the Imus story then is being told. His industry reputation is poor. He has a reputation of being hard to work with, arrogant, and mean to the people who work for/with him.

    Lately his audience is older (almost as old as Jim)... he hasn't experienced any growth in decades, and while in some major markets he is mostly in the smaller markets.

    I would not be surprised to hear that this was "reaping what you sow" and the corp. took advantage of a situation to get rid of him.

    The old "We didn't want to but the people made us" so they don't look like the bad guys who pulled Imus's plug.

    I think it's a poor way yo do it and it sent a bad message but I think that was more the underlying facts.

  5. Because it's been decrimanalized - still an offense if they catch you with too much, and the shops can't advertise it.

  6. Lee's right about Imus. The biggest factors in his firing were his aging demographics and the yanking of his sponsors, who no longer wanted to be associated with him. Plus, Imus has had numerous prior incidents of gender and ethnic slurs. He's apparently equal opportunity in that, as his previous incidents have been other groups than American black women.

    By the way, Jim, just who are the Rutgers women going to sue? And on what legal grounds? As athletes in a championship game, they had become public figures prior to the Imus incident, so their chances at a slander action are slim to none. It's much easier to get some boob fired for his words than it is to sue him.

    So, should people be allowed to smoke at the desk next to you, inflicting their cancer causing drug of choice on your lungs? If not, then why should restaurant workers be subject to the same pollution. The rationale behind the smoking ban in MD is not morality. It's about the health of the workers. You can kill yourself on your own time, in your own home or car to your heart's content. So what's unlibertarian about the smoking ban?

  7. I don't disagree about Imus "real" reason for being fired was a disappearing market (I don't know anyone who ever listened to him), but I still think everyone associated with it came out bad.

    Thomm- The smoking bad is an enforced morality ban. A legal product is now not legal. The market palce should determine how you run your business. The government should not tell me I can not have smoking in my place of business.

    As to the workplace hazard, you don't have to work there. Many jobs have hazards and people avoid those jobs.

    Funny think is since I quit years ago I really don't personally mind that they have banned it.

  8. Smoking is not illegal. Inflicting it on employees is. Can't say as I have a problem with that. You didn't answer the question I posed before, either. Do you think your coworkers should be allowed to smoke in your office?

  9. Thomm - to be consistent I would say yes, but again the market place would determine it for me. As a non-smoker for the last 10 plus years I would not want to work in a smoking envirnoment as a preference. I don't know if it should be illegal.

    On a pure feeling level I like the smoke place work ban.