14
Jan
09

Mid-week misanthropy, vol. 26

Almost-President Obama’s surely a charismatic politician.  He’s inspired a thoroughly excessive level of trust and expectation in at least 30% of the American electorate (not to mention just about every Canadian left-progressive).  As the country (and the world) get ready for his inauguration canny trinket-sellers are offering Obama thongs and vaguely-described sex toys, and Bush 43 gave D.C. emergency funding for the event with an eager alacrity that I’d expect to send about half of Hurricane Katrina’s displaced victims to the emergency room in uncontrollable apoplectic fits.

But wait, there’s more!  The Brooklyn Cyclones minor-league baseball team are purportedly changing their name to the Baracklyn Cyclones for their first game of the season.

(Hat tip: The Liberty Papers)

As befits a momentous and historic change of executive, they’re giving away bobbleheads.  But that’s not all:

In addition, the first 1,000 fans get free Band-Aids as part of “Universal Health Care,” […]

Rationed and inadequate… looks like someone’s dealt with the NHS.  I wonder how long the lines will be to get into the stadium.

——

Speaking of government-mandated health programmes, we find a drearily predictable state of affairs in Ontario:

Readers with long memories may remember that a group of journalists was booted unceremoniously from the popular downtown Ottawa watering hole D’Arcy McGee’s on a quiet Monday night last February. There was no warning, no incident — just no more beer.

It turned out a liquor inspector working for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario had satisfied himself that the revellers were intoxicated and told the bar’s manager that he was filing a report that would put D’Arcy’s liquor license in jeopardy — hence the beer yanked from the hot, clammy hand of one of my bemused colleagues.

See, serving alcohol to drunk people is against the rules in Ontario.  I’m reminded of Ron White’s comment about being charged with public intoxication in New York City:

The cop was like, “Mr. White, you are being charged with drunk in public-K!”

I was like, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! I was drunk in a bar! They threw me into public-K! I don’t want to be drunk in public! I wanna be drunk in a bar, which is perfectly legal!”

So, back to Ivison’s story about D’Arcy McGee’s and their liquor license.  I’ll just hit the high notes:

[U]nlike a criminal court, where the prosecution has to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, to a high evidentiary standard, at an AGCO hearing, the burden of proof is much lower — on the balance of probability — as is an evidentiary standard that allows the use of hearsay.

[…]

“You had to repeat yourself several times, did you not?” the lawyer asked.

“Yes, but that happens all the time. You might have noticed I have the hint of an accent,” I replied, in my strongest west Scotland brogue.

[…]

“As regards the subject of your conversation, is it possible the conversation was of a sexual nature?” the lawyer asked.[…]

“I have no idea. Is this relevant?” I asked.

“Your job here is to answer the questions. I will do the asking,” she said, curtly.

[…]

I have no idea whether I am identified by name or the precise nature of the allegation — I wasn’t allowed to listen to the inspector’s testimony.

[…]

Much worse that government is encroaching on the rights of the individual to the extent that a supposedly private conversation becomes a matter of public record.

It gets better (or, if you have the misfortune to live in Ontario, worse).  Not only is it frowned upon to serve liquor to drunk people — and enforced by evidentiary standards straight out of the Malleus Maleficarum — but once you’ve served enough alcohol to a sober person to make them drunk (either in a bar, or in public-K) you are suddenly and magically responsible for that person’s every action.  From the above article:

Take the case of the Ottawa bar where a server refused a clearly inebriated customer, only for an inspector to pop up and tell her the man was now her responsibility and she was obliged to either escort him home or sober him up with a free meal.

It’s fortunate for that server that her customer didn’t sneak off and drive home… or halfway home:

Ontario Provincial Police have taken the highly unusual step of laying charges against a Muskoka resort and 16 of its employees in connection with three traffic fatalities.

[…]

On Monday, police in Bracebridge announced they were charging 16 employees, along with the directors of the Lake Joseph Club with offences under the Liquor Licence Act in connection with the deaths.

The 34 charges include allowing drunkenness on the premises of the club as well as serving liquor to an apparently intoxicated person.

(Sorry, Mr. White: it ain’t legal to be drunk in a bar up here.)

This is absurd.  Sure, I’ve been drunk to the point where another drink seems like the best thing in the world — which is usually two or three drinks past the point where I really ought to switch to water for an hour or so.  Getting drunk impairs your judgement.  This is not news to anyone, least of all to the men and women buying themselves drinks.  It’s not the bartender’s responsibility to second-guess me or anyone else: if I want to stay sober, I shouldn’t order drinks.

overserving

——

And keeping on the subject of state control of what people put into their bodies, we discover that the state of Texas is treating its high-school athletes like criminals out of hysterical fear of sterrr-oiiiids:

By the tens of thousands, Texas student-athletes have been pulled out of class to urinate in a cup for the nation’s largest high school steroids testing program.  Boys and girls in all sports, from football to tennis to cross country, have been randomly selected.

The results so far have found little to confirm fears that steroid use is a rampant problem. When the first 10,000 tests found only four positive results, critics declared the two-year program a waste of time and money.  Now state lawmakers must decide whether to keep the $6 million program chugging along, scale it down or eliminate it.

With a positive-test rate of 0.04% — well into the “statistical noise” range, which makes me wonder about the false-positive rate of the testing procedure — the State of Texas has concluded that there isn’t a problem, patted themselves on the back for their children’s fine upbringings, and shelved the programme.  Right?

The Texas legislator who sponsored the testing bill in 2007 calls it an “incredible success.”

Run that one by me again, Sparky?

The point of testing was to act as a deterrent against steroid use, not catch teens using drugs, said Rep. Dan Flynn, a Republican.

Fantastic.  If the programme doesn’t uncover widespread steroid use, it’s an incredibly successful deterrent, and should continue to leech money from the state’s taxpayers.  I suspect that if the programme did uncover widespread steroid use, it would be an integral part of a diverse and integrated law-enforcement strategy to blah blah blah drugs blah blah abuse blah blah blah poor precious snowflakes blah blah and should continue to leech money from the state’s taxpayers.

By the same token, my regular beer consumption was working perfectly well to keep British Columbia safe from terrorist attacks right up until late 2008, when some dipshit bombed a sour-gas pipeline in the interior.  These despicable attacks only serve to underscore the importance of ensuring that I have regular access to beer — think how bad it would’ve been if I’d been tee-totaling in October, or if I lived in Ontario! — and the province desperately needs to consider subsidizing my alcohol intake.

——

And riffing off of the topic of government misappropriation of funds, we find that while the cash-strapped State of California is cutting Medi-Cal benefits for low-income taxpayers it has plenty of money with which to line the pockets of the state Avocado Commission:

Among the benefits to staff members cited by the auditors were home remodeling projects, tickets to sporting events, gym memberships and vitamins, regularly delivered restaurant meals, clothing from high-end retailers described as uniforms, generous auto allowances and $850 hotel rooms at four-star resorts.

During the three-year audit period, the commission’s 18 employees used commission credit cards to run up more than $1.5 million in charges for “a significant amount of discretionary expenses that appeared questionable at best and even personal at times,” the report said.

About $17,000 was spent on gifts, meals and flowers to celebrate employees’ birthdays, employment anniversaries and other special occasions, the report said. An additional $39,000 purchased clothes at Nordstrom, Talbots, Ann Taylor and other stores that the commission dubbed “uniforms” after spending $8,700 to embroider the commission’s name and logo onto them.

Commission board members, their spouses, guests and employees spent thousands of dollars on “massages, nail service, facials and body treatments” during meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and at luxury spas in La Jolla and Del Mar in San Diego County.

That’s a pretty clever trick with the uniforms.  Better luck next election, dudes.


3 Responses to “Mid-week misanthropy, vol. 26”


  1. 1 kbiel
    January 15, 2009 at 09:35

    I hate to piss on Ron White’s parade, but it is illegal to drunk in a bar in Texas, his home state and mine. As far as I know, it’s still illegal, but we citizens of the Republic of Texas did put a muzzle on these officious asses and the arrests in bars has been stopped.


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