Thursday, January 11, 2007

Get Ready to Rumble

As mentioned in my last posting, I’ve been neglecting This Old Blog while I try to land more writing assignments of the paying variety (not that writing for you good people isn’t rewarding, it just doesn’t pay my kids’ tuition.) I did, in fact, receive a paying assignment yesterday, along with one from my daughter’s school that I’m doing for free. Add this to my regular gig for the SJ-R and guess where BFS lands on the list of priorities. I still have no plans to close up shop here, but my visits will be brief for the time being.

Anyway, I do miss the passionate debate in the comment’s section, so, just to stir the pot a bit, here’s my no-punches-pulled, albeit abbreviated, take on today’s hot issues. Don't be afraid to fire back with your opinions.

Boy, that whole Kerosotes thing is a hornet’s nest.

How about those homeless people showing up at Alderman Bartolomucci’s fundraiser! Did that ever make a poignant statement. Or were the homeless exploited for political gain? Hmmm.

Those Christians and Agnostics are at each other’s throats in the letters-to-the-editor page again. Will they ever learn?

They may do away with the psychological assessment portion of the police and firemen’s test. That could be good, or bad.

The weather’s been pretty nice, but it’s starting to get worse. Which only goes to prove that . . . well, you know what that means.

Another bar closed it’s doors this week. The smoking ban went into effect last fall. Correlation? Causation? Coincidence? Go ahead, prove me wrong.

23 comments:

Dave said...

I agree, except when I don't.

Artie Fufkin said...

How many yachts can you water ski behind anyway Dan? Stop this silliness and get back to quality blogging. Money is not everything. As long as those kids have a roof over their heads and at least one meal a day they should consider theirselves lucky.

What is important however is that you get back to work so that we can continue to anonymously show each other just how smart we think we are. We are the victims here. Stop your selfishness!

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Dave,

Keep telling it like it is, except when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Artie,

Maybe if you had done a better job promoting my in-store appearance at Barnes and Noble last week, this blog would be more lucrative. I was promised massive radio support. Or was it vast radio support? Either way, you’ve got no timing.

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

nancy said...

Dan

OK, I'll bite:

I love the prank on Bartolomucci. Having attended an aldermanic fundraiser myself this week, I can assure you that had the homeless been allowed to enter, they would have enjoyed the free food and beer with little risk of feeling exploited. At least I did. Bart had a great opportunity to embrace these guys, sit down with them and have a little talk. He blew it.

Atheists taking on Fr. Weitzel have hit a new low. Never mind all the good work he has done advocating for Beardstown's migrant population, how dare that Catholic priest speak out on behalf of his faith? Rita and her followers give us liberals a bad name.

Police and firefighter exams will always be the subject of scrutiny no matter how they change them. That's because no one really believes that politics will ever cease to be a real factor in deciding candidates.

Yeah, this weather's freaking me out.

The Kerasotes thing is almost too hot to handle. It smacks of racism, especially since the movie has nothing to do with glorifying or even examining gang violence. I find myself feeling a little bit sympathetic to the owners, though. My hope is that they show the movie, everyone plays nice and Kerasotes continues to enjoy its monopoloy on Springfield cinematic consumers.

Buster's. Whatever. How many different bars have been there and failed? I would love to see a statewide ban and make ineffectve business owners have to look only to themselves for the failures of their bars. Dan, who do you blame when copywriting gigs are down?

Ok Monkey Boy...Bring it.

Anonymous said...

Nancy,

I blame the lack of freelance writing opportunities on the homeless, gangs, the mayor, Wal-Mart, neo-cons, Monkey Boy, the Clintons, and to a lesser extent, Tom Wopat.

Thanks for commenting,
Dan

Dave H said...

The part of the psych test where they asked if I hated my mother and whether I would drink my own urine if I had to, over and over, got me in. Why change a good thing?

nancy said...

Interesting. If I had to put money on it, I would've put Tom Wopat at the top of that list. Live and learn.

monkey b. said...

It is about time someone brought to light the sheer evilness of one Mr. Thomas Wopat. That bastard! And what about that damn Bill Bixby?

Nancy, dear Nancy,

Please don't believe the SJ-R's continuous hype on the homeless outside the library. The vast majority of them are among the worst society has to offer. The portrayal that they are just a little "down on their luck" is for the most part a load of crap. Bart handled it quite well in my opinion. At your next dinner party I will give a couple of them a ride to your place and you can chat them up. And while you are at it clean them up, refill their prescriptions, and lastly do inventory of what they pocketed for your insurance agent.

Although I too have a hard time imagining Springfield's "thug life" crowd going to see a "stomp" movie, I fully respected Kerasotes' position.....right up until he caved in to being labeled a "racist!!!!!" Anytime something goes against the benefit or in this case merely a convenience (not being able to see the movie for 2 weeks - oh, the horror!) of a black person it is racially tinged. When something goes against a caucasian, oh say like not getting into a college because of a color quota, its "just the way it goes." I am so tired of this crap! What is this guy supposed to do? Risk losing the business of 82% of the population due to fear of being shot, or risk losing the business of 18% of the population for only 2 weeks? Hmmmmm, if only the bar owners would be as business savvy as Kerasotes they might still be in business. Lets put the pressure on the other side of this equation. How about all the black "leaders" who are so outraged by this delay in being able to see what will probably be a real bad movie, channel it in a different direction. Why don't they condemn the disgusting actions of those of their own color who needlessly threatened the lives of numerous innocent persons? Why are they not outraged that a few bad apples make them all suffer the horrible indignation of having to wait 2 weeks to see a movie? Maybe if they would quit coddling and making excuses for the worst of their kind they would find that the majority of society isn't really spending all their waking hours plotting how to ruin them in order to preserve the good ol' Confederacy! Racism would be delaying the movie without there having recently been a shooting at his theater. I call his actions good business.

Should you need me in the future just shine a sign, that of a banana, on the Capitol and ..................I will do my best to get back to you by the next business day.

I'm back baby!

nancy said...

The next time I host a "dinner party" at the local KC hall (where I won't bring any of my personal possessions. Did Bart?) while trying to raise money for poliitcal office, you're more than welcome to bring the homeless. I'll be happy to take their money and give myself a little good press. I didn't take any of SJR's coverage of the homeless situation into account. I never stated an opinion on the homeless' value to society. I have none. I just think Bartolomucci dropped the ball from a PR standpoint.

Where are you getting your 82% figure in reference to Kerasote's risked loss of business? Not from the media, I hope! Has business even been down at their theaters since the shooting? Was Mr. Kerasotes making this decision to delay the showing in order to not lose this 82% figure who aren't coming to the movies or to protect the 82% who ARE coming to the movies? I'm confused. As far as the black population not standing up to these thugs (and I believe they are thugs), have you heard the black community defending them? I haven't.

I did say that I feel a little sorry for the Kerasotes mgt, but I don't think they have a big problem taking money from black movie goers most of the time.

Didn't a white scumbag kidnap, rape and kill a young mother from one of their parking lots a few years back? I can't remember how long the ban on white scumbags from their parking lots lasted, but if it was two weeks, then at least they're consisitent. Since the movie playing during the shooting wasn't a "black" movie and Kerasotes isn't banning black people from coming to the theater (at least not yet), I'm not sure what the logic is in delaying the release of this particular movie. Are they thinking that large groups of black people won't come to some other movie?

I must be losing my edge, I don't understand the banana/capitol reference.

I'm a little wounded that you didn't give me an "Amen sister" to my comments about Fr. Weitzel and the weather. Throw me a bone!

It's been nice sparring again, though, Monkey Boy. Now I can lay off my husband a little bit.

nancy said...

Just got educated about the Batman/banana/Capitol reference. Now my husband thinks I'm an idiot, thank you very much. I think I missed that entire franchise.

M.B. said...

The black population in Springfield is 18%, thus the non-black population is.....

I appreciated the humor or irony of the homeless persons being sent to Bart's fundraiser. But since I wasn't there and have no first-hand account I can only assume the persons sent there were obviously, and painfully "homeless" - and everything that comes with that. Would you, or those attending your fundraiser, have wanted to hang around those filthy, stinking poor souls who are just one break away from being CEO of Coca-Cola? Me thinks not. I guess I could be wrong about them being unsavory persons as they may have had their "homeless" identification cards with them.

I believe the murderer you are referring to is Dale Lash. Until he was caught I recall there being quite a bit of fear and hysteria. However, the fact that the victim's car was found in a theater lot (if that is correct) is rather misleading. Was it a particular movie that attracted him there? If you can't answer "yes" then this situation is completely different from what we are dealing with now. I think I will rely on the Kerasotes' knowledge of what types of movies draws what types of demographics. I think they have earned our respect in knowing the movie business. (Which as you know is a theme with me; let the experts make the decisions until such time they are proven to be otherwise or there is a better, proven option)

The movie being shown during the shooting is one that one would expect to be popular with those in the 16-25 year old range. Furthermore, it is one that may appeal to those in that age group that enjoy violence. It has little to do with black and white, it has to do with the propensity for violence. Where would you expect for there to be a greater chance for violence at? A Clay Aiken concert or a Limp Bizkit concert? A Dion Warwick concert or a Lil' Wayne concert? On the heels of what just occurred at his theater I think Mr. Kerasotes is being a little careful of what types of movies may attract the same crowd that went "old West" in his lobby. Whether or not he is misguided on the concept that a "stomp" themed movie would do the trick is irrelevant. He didn't ban it, he just wanted to see what type of crowd was attracted to it before releasing it. Will it attract Clay or Fred Durst?

When "The Godfather" came out, Italian-American's protested that the portrayal harmed their reputations as hard-working, honest persons. The same happened with Cuban-Americans when "Scarface" was being made. Similarly, I would think that if I was of a member of a minority group, say the Red-Hat Society, I would try to distance myself as much as possible from the rouge members of my group who gave the rest a bad name through atrocious acts like tipping only 5%. Although at times certain members of the black community will speak out about the criminal element of their race, I find that they are rather tolerant of such persons and prefer to place blame everywhere except at the individual's feet. By remaining silent, they enable the destruction of their people due to drug abuse and crime. This could be a dissertation on the topic so I will just stop here. Needless to say however, I think they need to worry more about protecting their good name than going after the "dastardly" theater owner who is merely responding to an act that threatens his livelihood.

nancy said...

As always, a fine rebuttal. I still think the 82%/18% figures are a little askew in terms of movie customers. I don't dispute that's the racial breakdown in Spfld, but obviously 100% don't go to the movies. It would be interesting to see how it breaks down racially at Kerasotes theaters. Also, did they stop showing all movies that would appeal to the 16 - 25 age range?

I will concede that the black community in Springfield didn't express themselves through the media in terms of denouncing the shooting. I'm not sure if that was an access problem or an apathy problem.

I can only speak for myself, but personally I would become much more violent at a Clay Aiken concert than a Limp Bizkit concert. Although I am not a person at all prone to violence, I think that little twerp could send me into a rage. It might be interesting to explore the corrolation between red hats and adverse public opinion, i.e. The Red Hat Society, and is Fred Durst still rockin' his backwards red ball cap? Somebody call Oliver Stone.

Monk B. said...

I figured Dan would beat you to the Clay Aiken = violence reference.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Oh my god you guys, Clay Aiken is so amazing. Don't even try to compare him to Fred Durst.

Laura said...

I think my opinions on race relations in Springfield probably fall somewhere between Monkey Boy's beliefs and Nancy's. I definitely believe there is a legitimate race problem in Springfield that goes largely unaddressed by all sectors of the community. However, I believe that for every bonafide claim of racism in this city, there are countless more baseless accusations that allow people like Monkey Boy to dismiss every claim as bogus and hinder any real progress toward a dressing the actual issues that do exist.

And I share Monkey Boy's sentiment that the black community who so quickly mobilized to protest the Kerasotes decision on 'Stomp the Yard' did not act so quickly to denounce the violence that occurred in the first place. Why no community meetings or public comments from the NAACP as soon as it happened? Why no outrage toward those who perpetrated the violence?

But, here's how little I know. I went to the Parkway Pointe Theater on Christmas Day, but I saw a matinee and was long gone by the time the violence erupted. I was going to see The Pursuit of Happyness (coincidentally starring the very talented, and black, Will Smith), which happened to be showing at both Parkway Pointe and Capital City that day. In my infinite wisdom, because I was going to the show alone, I decided to see it at Parkway Pointe because I felt 'safer' there than at Capital City. It wasn't a racial decision, but I made a judgement about the types of people (of any color) that I thought might be in the area of Capital City as compared to those that i thought would be on the west side. Thugs are thugs, and color is not part of that definition, and i thought it more likely that thugs would be on the east side than the west side. So imagine my surprise when i opened the paper the next day to read of the shooting at Parkway Pointe. I felt a little vulnerable, and a little embarrassed. It truly can happen anywhere, at any time, until all segments of society start to let go of excuses and assumptions and demand change.

I guess what I am saying, in the immortal words of Lloyd Dobbler, is that 'I don't know. But I know that I don't know, you know?'

nancy said...

Laura

I agree completely with what you said (and your Lloyd Dobler reference takes me back. "Lloyd, Lloyd all null and void...")

Here's the question I'd like to throw out to whoever. Is the black community of Springfield obligated to organize and denounce the shootings in order to feel justified in protesting the delay of the movie? I don't know.
Could it be that most of the decent, law-abiding black citizens of Springfield ( and they DO exist) don't associate themselves with these thugs and therefore don't feel the need to publicly scorn them as "one of their own"? Are they only allowed the right to address racial issues in Springfield if they first appease all us white folk by lashing out at criminals that they don't know? Maybe they feel, as I do, that it's a given that the instigators at the movie theater are thugs, that that is widely believed, and they shouldn't have to find time on public access to say so. It's an unfair burdern we put on the black community to adequately express outrage before we will examine racial inequity in Springfield.

It kind of reminds me of a couple of years ago at my son's school. A couple of boys had been misbehaving on the playground for a couple of days, getting in fights. Eventually, the entire class had recess taken away for a day to try to discourage the bad behavior. This didn't seem fair to me. To take something away from an entire class when only a couple of kids had misbehaved seemed unfair and unjust. Furthermore, as the parent of a child who was not involved, I did not feel obligated to go on record as disapproving of the other kids' bad behavior. That wasn't my concern. Those weren't my kids and I wasn't responsible for their bad behavior.

Maybe I'm just a tree-hugging, ozone-loving, war-hating liberal sap (maybe????), and maybe it's because I have enjoyed friendships with African Americans, but I have a very hard time lumping an entire race of people together and saying that by virtue of being born with dark skin, they are unworthy of the rights and basic decency that I enjoy. Until you can say that every white person is good, and everyone black person is bad, you must leave open the possibility that it isn't an issue of race that makes a person one or the other.

M.B. said...

Nancy,

"but I have a very hard time lumping an entire race of people together and saying that by virtue of being born with dark skin, they are unworthy of the rights and basic decency that I enjoy."

I truly hope that your above statement is not supposed to represent anything that I have discussed here. Because it couldn't be farther from what I believe.

In a nutshell, I believe that the black community would serve itself better, and get to where they want to go quicker, if they would redirect their anger. Their anger should be at the punks who caused this situation, not the theater owner. And this situation is a microcosm for what goes on daily in the U.S.

Here is a hypothetical example of what I see as the problem: - Police officers in a large Midwest city pursue a black male teenager is a car that was reported to be used in an armed robbery. The car crashes, and the teen flees on foot. After a short foot chase the teen stops, pulls out a handgun, and points it at the officer. The officer fires and kills the teen. The gun turns out to be a BB gun. -

In my experience more often than not the outrage from the black community in this situation is not directed at the criminal. In this case it is directed at the police. Statements like, "why didn't they just wound him instead of killing him?" or "it was just a BB gun!" are sure to be heard. Both statements are equally ridiculous and usually made by the lowest common denominator of the black community to the local media whose job it is to create more news and fan the flames of "racism."

Where are the black leaders when something like this occurs? If they are stupid enough to believe in such notions then they should not be their leaders. If they don't believe, but remain silent, they are equally inept.

What the black community needs is strong, intelligent leaders who are confident enough to stand-up and tell their own people when they are wrong. The sooner the black community learns that the "great white conspiracy" does not exist the sooner they can break free from the social and economic quagmire they currently dwell in. If the Marion Berry's, or Al Sharpton's of the world continue to be the mouthpieces for the black community all hope racial harmony will be lost.

Laura,

Can you give some examples of the "legitimate race problem" that exists in Springfield? I am curious what incidents or acts qualify to some as "racial problems."

Laura said...

Nancy,

I think any group who wants to express outrage at the response to a particular action or event gets more credibility by first addressing the action or event which triggered that response. Don't pretend its all effect with no cause. That is, it would go a long way for me to hear some acknowledgement from the black community that the Kerasotes decision was not caprecious and arbitrary...it was triggered by shots fired in their movie theater and that is no trivial event. We all should be outraged by it, and if you want to question the theater owner's response to it, fine, but at least first acknowledge that his motivation in delaying the movie was not purely racist and prejudiced but was in response to a ridiculous brazen act of violence.

This is not just a standard to which I hold the black community. If it helps, here is another, purely white, example.

I watched a 60 Minutes interview Sunday with the parents of the three Duke lacrosse players who were indicted on rape, sexual assualt and other felony charges for actions supposedly taken against a drunk female stripper at a campus party. Later it was determined that their DNA excluded them from the possibility of having raped the girl but the DA seems to have ignored this fact and proceeded with the rape charges anyway.

Now that these facts have come to light, the DA has recused himself from the case and these parents are outraged at the horrible treatment their adorable sons have endured (note that the sexual assault and other charges still stand). The interviewer (I think it was Leslie Stahl) at one point asked them, what were they doing participating in a party where this girl and another were obviously being abused, denigrated, humiliated and disrespected. None of the parents were willing to state that their children had any blame for being there in the first place or for participating in such disgusting acts. One father said its no different than what any other kids their age do, and those kids aren't facing charges for it.

The parents' outrage at the shoddy treatment they received from the justice system would resonate more with me if they also owned up to the fact that if nothing else, their sons are guilty of horrible lapses in judgement and total disregard for basic human dignity, judging by some pictures shown of what the girls were being subjected to at the party. You don't end up facing felony indictments for absolutely no reason. These boys are not completely innocent victims in this whole mess. Juat acknowledge that first.

Monkey Boy

Yours is a tougher response to address. I wasn't referring to specific incidents or acts of institutional racism that everyone would be familiar with. In fact, I tend to think the most public accusations of racism often aren't. My opinions on the racist attitudes in this town come from comments i hear made by peeople from all different walks of life with whom i come in contact - relatives, co-workers, people from church or school, neighbors, etc. For people to hold racist beliefs in private is disturbing enough but to assume that everyone is going to agree with you so its not offensive to make such statements publicly - I guess that just makes me think that racist attitudes are prevelant.

nancy said...

Monkey Boy

The comment you refer to was only meant to describe my views. I certainly was not directing it at you. I don't throw around the "racist" label loosely as I view it as one of the truest insults in life. Worse than Republican, even. As I've said before, your experiences give you insight that I don't have. I hope you will acknowledge that I might have some personal experiences that help shape my view, too. I believe you would truly be interested in seeing the black community of Springfield thrive, hardly the vision of a racist.

I wonder if we're just arguing semantics at most times. Your story about the black, bb-gun bearing kid isn't really about being black. It's about being stupid and irresponsible. I believe there was a tragedy a few years ago in Spld where a young white kid went joy-riding around town. When the police started pursuing him, he crashed his car on North 3rd St. (?) and died. I remember the family and neighborhood being outraged that the police dared to follow this kid. As in your example, the anger was misdirected. Except for some incredibly delicately crafted words from the police department, I don't recall a big statement from white leaders of our community condemning the actions of this kid. It's easy to defend the actions of the police because they did the right thing. It's much harder to look into that dead kid's mother's face and say "tisk, tisk". I think it is only human, in the face of a fatal tragedy to want to blame someone or something. It is not reasonable to expect the mother in my example or the family in yours to say "Oh well, I guess they had it coming!" Anger is a much easier emotion to deal with than grief, and that is true across every racial line.

I cannot disagree with a word you said about the black community needing stronger leaders. I'm not sure what the answer to that problem is. Laura made a comment a few posts ago questioning why there had been no community meetings after the theater shooting. We should not assume that simply because we were not invited to one, that none happened. On Monday night's news there was a segment from one of Spfld's black churches. They featured two pre-teen kids giving speeches. Both stressed the need for a decrease in violence and the little boy made a point of saying that the black community has to stop blaming white people for all of their problems. Would these speeches have found air time on WICS had it not been Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Probably not. Does that mean that the black community isn't discussing these problems every other day of the year? Probably not.

Monkey Boy, you have expressed concerns that the media prefers to highlight the bad rather than tell the good with regard to the police department. Is it possible the same is true of media coverage of the black community? You have daily contact, I presume, with Springfield's black community. I am certain that you've seen good, hard-working families and productive members of society. I feel sorry (huge understatement) that those people have to be permanently affixed to the bad behavior and moral corruptness of others from their race. I don't think that's true of the white race.

M. Boy said...

In the "North 3rd Street incident," as it will now be known as, there is a slight variation from the scenario I presented. What white preacher or alderman blindly came out and said that the boy was chased only because he was white? None. Furthermore it wasn't a large portion of the white community that was outraged. It was just the kid's family. In my scenario, and it is one that plays out in real life over and over, the black community, fueled by an irresponsible media, and led by incompetent leaders, blindly jump on the "racism" bandwagon and ignore the real cause of the incident. The white community in the 3rd Street case saw it for what it was, a dead dirt bag who created his own demise. Time to move on.

I realize that we are not really debating some of this and have some common ground. I must reiterate that this delusional view of wide-spread "racism" by both black and white's is silly. Does it occur to a small degree in some parts of this country? I would be a fool not to think that it does. However, I have never heard one person in my adult life-time deny a minority anything simply based on their skin color.

What the little boy you referred to said was awesome. Stop blaming the majority for your problems. In today's paper there is a story about Oprah and her philanthropy. A comment in the article attributed to her shows exactly what I am talking about. She came from a poor background and made it huge. Certainly if she can make billions, others who put in honest effort can make a comfortable living. She said it is "preparation meeting opportunity". Very wise, and that is the type of leader who should be commenting after the media tries to create "racial" news, not Frank McNeil.

Ronnie Pudding said...

The current state of black leadership closely resembles the current state of Republican leadership..... A few bright stars whose light is smothered by way too many dim bulbs.

Anonymous said...

We may all be homeless if the Mayor keeps up. Having said that what a choice we have a incumbent smiley face puppet, and a hair brain attorney. Come on Springfield can't we do better than this. What has Mayor Davlin done since he has been in lets see: He has raised the sales tax, negotiated deals of a public owned utility that raise our utility rates 35%. He and the Godfather Renfro then behind close doors negotiate selling water to a ethanol plant in Waverly when the city barely has enough for itself in a drought. This deal will probably increase our water bills 50%. He courted the black vote to get himself in office, then runs a highly qualified and intelligent black woman off as his left and right hand, only to hire two white males to replace her. He then request raises for these and other overpaid and overated individuals. He and the ten maroons and yes I did say maroons (I will not dignify them by calling them morons)ran more business out of the City last year and the beginning of this year than Blago did in 4 years. With Blago continuing to move the capitol to Chicago and the Mayor and the Maroons running business out all we are going to have left is the medical community maybe!

As for Bartolomucci we may all be looking for handouts soon! I thought thats what determined whether you were a democrat or not.

Oh yeah and how about the robberies and holdups lately and thats just in the SPD! It seems the only way they catch someone is when they turn themselves in! Lets get rid of the psychological exam they are all nuts anyway its a pre-requisite. Doesn't it seem logical that you do not want a disturbed person to have a gun!

Well its been a helluva year and this one is starting out with a bang?

Dave H said...

Dan, you kind of threw me for a loop Saturday when you drew the comparison between the smoking ban and loud music from a neighbor. I do agree that there should in fact be nuisance laws to control unruly and annoying neighbors when you cannot work it out amongst yourselves. The only comparison that I see between the two is that they are both nuisances, particularly smokers to non-smokers who go out to a bar every six months and don’t want to go home smelling the same.

It seems funny to me that when you try and get someone to admit that the smoking ban is just a nuisance to them, it immediately becomes a public health issue. I find it hard to believe that many people are really too concerned about others welfare from second hand smoke while they are guzzling booze. I guess the real question here is second-hand smoke really a public health issue? John Stossel would report that most second-hand smoke studies are very flimsy at best. Studies that followed nonsmokers who lived with smokers found some increase in lung cancer and heart disease. But they studied people who were exposed to lots of smoke, often shut in with chain smokers for years in claustrophobic situations like homes and cars. Even then, some of the studies found no effect. Nevertheless it's been enough to launch a movement to ban smoking most everywhere. The idea that restaurant and bar patrons are threatened is silly, and it's even sillier to fear exposure outdoors. Politicians have become zealots.

If you are going to limit someone’s freedom in the name of public health, you better have some hard-pressed blind-studied facts that back up the assertion especially when you are allowing the government to control small private decisions of your day to day life. My concern now is where does it stop? What is next? I don’t want more government in my life, I want less. I am capable of making semi-smart decisions for the health and well-being of myself and my family. I also side with capitalisms ability of weeding out what the people want and what they don’t want.

And as Forrest Gump would say “That’s all I got to say about that!”