Space Station

Stupid Government Tricks

Reason #213 not to move back to Texas: Texas, my home state, has recently decided to crack down on drunk driving. How are they doing this? By arresting drunk people in bars.

Yup. That's right. They're sending undercover officers to bars and if you're drunk, you're busted. Never mind that you have a designated driver. Never mind that you live a few blocks away and were going to walk. Never mind that it's a hotel bar and you're staying in a hotel room. They're taking you down.

You think that's funny? Yeah, it is, but it pales in comparison to my follow-up link: seems the Texas officials are surprised that people are upset with this idea.

Sadly, this is not the worst case of government cluelessness and micromanagement I have seen.

There's a meatpacking company in Kansas that ships meat to Japan. However, Japan had a beef with the beef, if you will, and halted shipments unless all slaughtered cattle were tested for BSE (mad cow disease). This Kansas meatpacking company, irrationally wanting to stay in business, agreed. Well, until the US Agriculture Department threatened them with prosecution if they tested all of them. Read it for yourself. You won't believe it.

Just to complete the "government idiocy" trifecta, I have to slaughter one of my own sacred cows: NASA. You've probably never heard of Maciej Ceglowski¹;, but his infrequent blog posts are phenomenal. He's funny, intelligent and most damningly, writes far better than I do. I hate him. But I do urge you to read his essay about the space shuttle program. If you yearn for the space program to fulfill its potential, this essay will leave you on the verge of tears. There's no funny summary or pithy pullquote I can grab to wrap this up, so just go read it, OK?

1. For you hard-core geeks, Mssr. Ceglowski wrote a brilliant rebuttal to Paul Graham's famous Hackers and Painters essay.
  • Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
RE: "public" drunkenness ...

I was always under the impression that if you're drunk in a bar, you're not in public. Rather, you're in a private establishment. Once you step outside, I guess you're fair game, but as long as you're inside, you're cool. Or so I thought.
You would think that, wouldn't you? Nope, they are considering it a public place, unless you are in one of the 'dry' areas. We have several towns surrounding Dallas where you have to join a 'private club' to drink in a restaurant. Once you have joined this club (most use the same one - Unicard), you can drink there, but since it is considered a private club, the cops can't go in there. It appears the TABC is targeting the bars where they have the most calls out, and are therefore considered 'trouble spots'.

Too bad two of my favorites are on there :(
Does the "public drunkenness" statute make that distinction?

Why not start arresting people for "public nudity" when they strip down to take a shower in the locker room at a school gym or public pool facility? How about "public lewdness" when using public restroom facilities ... pretty much anywhere? Same thing, as far as I can tell.
The worst out of this? In the NBC 5 article you posted, this is said:

"Even though a public drunk is not planning on driving, that could change in an instant," he said. "There is certainly potential danger."

Yep, and just because someone owns a gun doesn't mean they are going to go on a shooting spree, but that could change. It's 'potential' danger, so we must thwart it.

At what point do they take away my kitchen knives because some senseless piece of trash stabbed her husband?

We often go out in a group, with a designated driver, so the rest of us can get three sheets to the wind. Now, we mostly drink in our homes. So, when do they decide there is a 'potential' danger to us being drunk at home? We might start a fire! Our kids might be neglected! We could suddenly decide we need to run to the corner store and get more beer!
I won't comment on the Texans arresting people in bars, there's nothing I could add to it, really...

As for the beef...
Here in Norway we sell a lot of fish-products to Japan(mostly Salmon), and we have long since learned that the only way to deal with the Japanse customers is to allow them full access to all the stages of production and the processing plants so that they can verify that all is to their liking.
Because if something isn't to their liking, or some part of the process is kept hidden, they'll just take their money and go. (Cleanliness is particularly critical when working with fish as most of it is to end up as sushi)
Anyway, as one of the few countries free of BSE, who knows, the customers of that butcher may turn to Norway for his next shipment?

Thanks for the link to the article about NASA.
I was wondering about the shuttle and all its deficiencies...
I can only say that Burt Rutan's Tier Two system can't come soon enough.
We need more of his creative madness...
(The madness in using the 'accepted facts' only as gudes for how not to do things)
Even though a public drunk is not planning on driving, that could change in an instant," he said. "There is certainly potential danger."

Okay that is just ridiculis but no no *shakes head* I can't even think of what to say
Don't even get me started on cattle and the U.S. *sighs
Thanks for the NASA article link. That was a fascinating read. I still think there's merit in manned spaceflight, but this reinforces my belief that being stuck in low earth orbit for decades is not where that merit lies..
Public drunkeness......
I've been here in this rv park I live in for ten years (ick) and I've seen people get arrested on bicycles for dui and I've seen the cops cruise through on weekends unannounced just to pick up drunks in their own yards. People just trying to relax and have a good time. But the drug problem here is way out of control. I don't see them really trying to deal with that. I think that would be more important right now.
Re: Public drunkeness......
Uh, how the fuck can they nick people for being drunk at home?

I think you must have accidentally teleported to Saudi Arabia without noticing.
Re: Public drunkeness......
It's Texas, like my brother said. Need I say more? There is no rhyme or reason. I haven't figured it out. They can't get you for speeding on private property but they can arrest you for being drunk on private property property. I see them do it all the time. The taxi drivers here don't wear diapers on their heads like in LA so I guess I'm still here in Texas.....