Thursday, September 25, 2008

Minority Report: Chicago

Why do people think we need more rules and more laws? Why do people think it's a good idea to make rules or laws governing problems that MIGHT occur at some point in the future?

Some day, when I am the benevolent despot, I will make the inherently ironic law that there are enough laws already, and no more law-making will be tolerated. Don't you think by now we have enough laws to cover everything?

At church, TPTB (come on, you know this one: The Powers That Be) were discussing whether or not to make a rule proscribing coffee in the sanctuary. Why? Because at some point in the future, we might get carpet, and then someone might spill coffee on it. Give me a break.

In the same Minority Report spirit, our city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications will enact a "voluntary moratorium" on alcohol sales in Wrigleyville after the seventh inning of a clinch game "to prevent Cubs playoff celebrations from turning ugly," the Sun-Times reported Monday. In other words, they're afraid something bad might happen.

Don't we already have enough rules, regulations, ordinances, and laws to cover this situation? It's already against the law to over-serve alcohol to already-impaired customers. Drunk and disorderly conduct and driving under the influence are arrestable offenses.

Why can't we just enforce the laws that are already in place--and let those of us who are mature enough to drink responsibly still have a beer? I hate being told what to do; and if I were a bar owner, I'd hate being told how to run my business by a bunch of bored civil servants.

I heard someone suggest that this extraneous rule-making is likely related to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics. The less negative publicity we have, the better our chances to pluck that primo opportunity; and theoretically, the one-hour alcohol moratorium will reduce the chance that Wrigleyville will erupt into a mad, dangerous, frenzy of out-of-control celebration-related destruction.

But I think it makes more sense to take a less totalitarian approach: Increase police presence. Ask bar owners to increase their vigilance about over-serving--but don't prevent them from making a living serving the 99 percent of people who won't overdo it.

What do you think?

Oh, and go Cubs!


The Little League Coach said...

Interesting that you want less laws, rules, and regulations, yet you are going to vote for Obama who wants to control every detail of your life?

E. Peevie said...

Hi Coach! Welcome. I'm curious why you believe that Obama "wants to control every detail" of my life?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Coach: Your post using such a broad swath as "wants to control *every* detail" is unfair, ridiculous, and not a reasonable way to engage in healthy dialogue. IMHO, it is undeserving of a thoughtful response from any Obamaphile.

My suggestion: refrain from using words such as "never, always, none" in this context. Your post is revealing of your thinking and attitude in a way that is not admirable.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this time. For one, I gotta like and respect you, if only for being a fellow faithful Green Room reader. I will assume your were in a rush and this is a one-off type of comment. How about restating and backing it up with facts and thoughtful analysis? I will be looking for it. Respectfully, Bucky (Not an Obama supporter, btw.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Coach:

Oops, my bad. Perhaps you are Dear MS. or MRS. Coach. That was not mine to assume that you are a man. Best regards, Bucky

E. Peevie said...

Bucky--click on his name, and you will learn that Coach is indeed a mister.

And, "not an Obama supporter"? Dang. I'm disappointed.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were having this discussion recently. We live in Los Angeles. Where 'Hands free' cell phone while driving is now required. That is, if you're going to be on the phone while driving. So, recently TPTB have been whether to also ban Texting while driving. (They just banned it for train operators after a horrific accident last week in L.A.) Our feeling is that, if you are a stupid and irresponsible human being, you're going to do it whether the law says you can or can't. And then they're going to ban switching your radio stations and eating, drinking, etc.. I agree that we have enough laws. Those that wish to follow them will, and those who don't won't. Further, there are limited ways to enforce it. How can a cop tell if you're driving or checking out the lint on your pants? I support Obama, but check out this girl's feelings about it. I kinda agree. But still voting for Obama

E. Peevie said...

Elbee--Yeah, we have the hands-free law in Chicago, also--but as far as I can see, it's never enforced. Which is good, because I break it all the time.

But I'm guessing that all of these little laws that try to make us all safer drivers are all covered under the basic driving laws: you gotta pay attention to what you're doing, and if you don't, and you cause an accident, you get cited for negligence or something.

I suppose that as technology changes, we might need a new law or two to keep up. But most of the new laws that law-makers of relatively tiny importance try to pass are, I believe, already covered by existing laws.