Several good comments today from people about Sunday’s column on global warming and the idiocy of our lawmakers at the Legislature.
Marie Irvine was one of several who was really torqued at Sen. John Valentine for his idiotic — really, there is no other word — proposal to let people arrest people for being drunk if they just look drunk.
That’s not just idiotically vague, I wrote, but cruel, since there are many medical conditions that make someone look drunk in public. Multiple Sclerosis, for which I raise money every year in my column, is just one.
I told Marie she should let Sen. Valentine know how she felt, not me, and she did:
Please read Charles Trentelman’s column in the Ogden Standard Examiner today. He points out that your definition of “easily observed outward manifestations of behavior or physical signs produced by the over-consumption of an alcoholic beverage” is absurd.
My daughter has MS and people like you do not need to go out of your way to make her life more difficult. She is not yet in a wheelchair and she is still fighting hard to retain her mobility. She often walks in a manner that is not graceful or coordinated. There is nothing wrong with children learning to tolerate people who are different from themselves. There is nothing wrong with children learning to tolerate the mealtime customs of others at the next table. There is nothing wrong with children learning that there is more than one cause for difficulty walking. There are people who have had strokes, diabetes and other problems. They deserve the courtesy of not being accused of being drunks also.
Frank Elder wrote that he has a different medical condition that also would make him vulerable to any rookie cop who failed to get an advance medical degree in assessing conditions that might make someone appear unstable:
I have had a leg-pain treatment that left me with numbness in the soles of my feet. This affects my balance-adjustment reflexes. My sister-in-law has MS, and sometimes an observer might think we were both snockered.
And so on. I haven’t checked the status of the bill today, yet, but I would sincerely hope that Sen. Valentine is getting a lot of emails from the people he wants to set up for harassment.
Really, what is the alternative ? Require anyone who has MS or some other condition be ready to prove that they have that condition? That would require notes from doctors, I suppose, or maybe Sen. Valentine will set up some new state bureaucracy that will examine people and issue ID cards telling police that who is sick.
Of course, the cop could still decide, based on who knows what, that the person is still drunk.
It’s a stupid slippery slope and one guaranteed to expand government into ever more intrusive realms, born of the idea lawmakers get when they’ve been in office too long that they really can cure the ills they perceive in the world just by passing a law.
And these guys call themselves conservatives who want small government?
Should you be inspired to write to Sen. Valentine about this, his email is
Be polite. With any luck, he’s having a bad day.
Have a fun Monday.