Posted by: Opey | July 5, 2007

Enough is Enough Thursday – Week 4

Independence Day has come and gone.  The fireworks displays have been presented, the flyovers have been completed, and mass amounts of meat has been devoured (especially on a corner in Coney Island, NY).  All of this Americana makes me want to stretch the 4th of July to today and into this blog.  So, in the spirit of America, it’s time for some good ol’ complaining.  The past few weeks came and went without much actually landing on some of my last nerves.  This week has managed to make up for those.  Here are this week’s Enough is Enough subjects.

First off, I’ve had it up to here (that phrase doesn’t go over as well on a non-visual medium as I would have hoped) with the whole crime and sports saga.  We as a nation take sports way too seriously.  Now, that may sound hypocritical coming out of my mouth, but hear me out.  I enjoy watching, participating, and talking about baseball, football, basketball, whatever.  I stop short of analyzing every move a player or team makes both on the field of play and off it.  This is where the crime and sports stories of the past few weeks take over.  Every day ESPN is full to the brim about dog fighting, steroids, shootings, and other nefarious acts perpetrated by athletes.  I don’t need, nor want, to hear about this stuff on a sports program.  Handle this stuff in house (or in league) and outside of the eye of the media.  We’ve been worked up into such a fervor about crime in sports that Tank Johnson was let go when he was simply suspected of doing something wrong.  That seems a bit overblown.

The next thing on the list for this week are the actions of a few Madison bicyclists.  Madison has made using a bike an easy and effective mode of transportation, with bike lanes in the road and ample parking spots, and I am 100% for that.  A problem arises, though, when those bikers fail to remember that when they are in the street, they become essentially motor vehicles and are held to follow the traffic laws as such.  In the past 2 weeks alone I have nearly hit 4 or 5 people on bikes who ran red lights or stop signs.  If it is early in the morning and there is not a car to be seen for miles and a person looks in all directions, then I guess a red light or stop sign could be skipped.  But, when it’s 3pm and traffic is picking up, don’t run a red light, shift through lanes, or make some crazy turn and not expect to be hit or nearly hit by a car or other vehicle.  Every time a biker is injured in Madison, I first feel for them because they were injured, but I quickly start to ask myself, ‘I wonder if they had lights/were wearing a helmet/ran a red light?’

The final thing that is causing me to rise from a slow simmer to a rapid boil is the fascination by some cities and others on trans fats.  Even in my new healthier paradigm, I find any move to ban trans fats ludicrous.  I am generally opposed to bans on anything that is essential a victimless crime.  Smoking is an exception, in my opinion, because of the evidence that second hand smoke can cause some harm.  Trans fat is potentially harmful, but it only directly effects those who ingest it.  Now, people will claim that the increase in obesity will cause health care costs to rise and then that will spread to other people.  I counter by saying that if everyone walked, leg injuries would be on the rise and would then increase health care costs.  This is a perfect case of “educate, but don’t ban.”  Make sure that people know what they are eating/drinking/doing, but then stop there.  Madison’s Common Council passed a voluntary ban, which is OK, but it shouldn’t go any farther.  Do not put up walls that prohibit people enjoying something that they want to enjoy.

There it is, the subjects of annoyance for the week.   As always, feel free to post a disagreement or your own “Enough is Enough” subject of the week.

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