Every day, President Trump continues to throw Twitter matches into the gasoline-soaked Korean peninsula without any thought of the monstrous consequences. Since he skipped out on serving in the Vietnam War, he knows nothing about the horrors of war. He doesn’t comprehend that playing chicken with a delusional dictator is sure to end badly, very badly, for them and us.
Almost 50 years ago, I was stationed in Korea in an atomic demolitions munitions unit. Our job was to hand-deliver tactical atomic bombs to enemy positions--but only as a last resort if American forces were going to be overrun.
Today, a Korean war will escalate to nukes almost immediately. The North Koreans have so much artillery positioned along the DMZ that no conventional response, even massive American air power, will halt their deadly barrage. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans and Americans will die within the first days. The only American option will be to carpet bomb North Korean positions with tactical atomic bombs.
But, it is unlikely that the North Koreans will just give up. They will battle door-to-door like ISIS in Mosul. A long blood bath will ensue. That’s were we need the children of Trump voters. They must be at the head of the lines at the military recruitment stations. Trump voters must pay their blood obligation to their presidential choice and sacrifice their children on the Trump altar. Hail, our great leader!
Two guys walk into a bar, grab a couple beers and decide to take their drinks outside to join others participating in the downtown Janesville kickoff to the MDA Tub Run.
But wait. Then the two learn they can’t take their beers outdoors, even though the Tub Run kickoff is happening in the closed street right outside the bar’s front door.
Is this a joke?
Barry Badertscher, chairman of the Janesville Alcohol License Advisory Committee and one of the Tub Run’s organizers, learned about this arbitrary rule last year when he was trying to set up the event.
Common sense dictates a bar should be able to sell beer and wine for an outdoor event, and customers should be able to carry their drinks from the bar to the event. But when it comes to alcohol rules, common sense often doesn’t apply.
That’s why a new ordinance is needed to make downtown more business friendly, allowing bar customers to join a special event with their drinks in hand. The ordinance would benefit event-goers and businesses alike while eliminating headaches created from confusion surrounding current restrictions, which Badertscher said aren’t being always followed, anyway.
We don’t mean, of course, that people should be allowed to drink booze along city streets anytime. The proposed ordinance would apply only to special events along a closed street and would not be an invitation to tolerate public drunkenness or drunken driving.
Police would still be expected to enforce alcohol-related laws regardless of where people are drinking.
City officials and event organizers should make it a priority to promote moderation and the use of designated drivers. It would take only one tragedy or drunken brawl for city officials to regret loosening alcohol sales rules and revert to a stricter standard.
Badertscher’s experience last year demonstrates why the ordinance change is necessary. Organizers at the last minute had to obtain a temporary alcohol license to sell beer and wine outdoors during the Tub Run, even though nearby bars could have easily supplied the event, which closed off Main Street between Milwaukee and Wall streets.
“It was horrible,” Badertscher recalled. “We weren’t as successful because of it, for sure.”
He noted four bars missed out on revenue from the Tub Run because of the restrictions.
As the downtown ARISE initiative gains momentum, changing this rule will become more important. With the recent opening of a new town square and creation of a business improvement district, event organizers are likely to reconsider whatever misgivings they previously had about downtown Janesville. It’s not hard to imagine a business with a liquor license opening on the section of River Street that will be converted next summer into a festival street with retractable barriers at each end.
More events and activities downtown is surely a good thing, but organizers and event-goers must feel welcome. Arbitrary rules can sour feelings toward a venue, and city officials cannot afford giving organizers an excuse to go elsewhere with their dollars.
“Trick or treat! Trick or treat! Give us something lethal to eat!”
That’s not the actual rhyme, but from all the warnings about Halloween, you just might think it was. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is still insisting that “a responsible adult should closely examine all treats.”
Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, first put a stake through the poison-candy rumor all the way back in 1985, when he did a study of newspapers dating back to 1958, looking for “child poisoned by Halloween candy” news stories.
He found none—because there was none. One time, a boy in Texas did die because of poisoned Pixy Stix, but cops quickly discovered that his own dad, $100,000 in debt, had just taken out a life insurance policy on him. Dad was dispatched to that haunted house in the sky (or down below). Yet we still use this fear of neighbors as psychopaths as an excuse to curtail our kids’ Halloween fun.
We trot out plenty of other threadbare fears, too. Last week, Patch reminded its readers of a girl murdered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, by a man later referred to as the Halloween Killer. That crime was in 1973—44 years ago. Yet that single sad story is the excuse Patch gives for publishing maps of the homes of men, women and children on the sex offender registry.
That may sound like a public service. But it’s actually like telling people never to go to Manhattan because once there was a terrorist attack there. When Johns Hopkins University professor Elizabeth Letourneau did a study of sex crimes on Halloween, she was shocked to find that not only is there no bump in the numbers on Halloween but also the day is actually remarkably low in crimes against kids. In fact, she said, “we thought about calling it ‘Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year.’”
And then there are the fears spread simply by the way Halloween is morphing from child holiday into supervision on steroids. Kids trooping door to door seems less and less normal as communities, churches and schools sponsor chaperoned parties and “trunk-or-treating” events.
That’s when parents park their cars in a circle and open up the trunks, which are decorated and filled with candy. Nothing wrong with that new tradition, except that it is edging out the far older one of kids walking around their neighborhood.
Trunk-or-treating is a perfect example of modern-day childhood. We have taken away all the independence of the most liberating holiday of the year and replaced it with something that grown-ups may feel is just as good—plenty of candy—even though so many thrilling elements are gone: The bravery kids get when they knock at the cobwebbed house, the confidence they get from being trusted to go out at night, the triumph they feel returning home with the fruits of their labor, and the memories they make the way most of us did, goofing around without a parent always watching.
That’s a lot to trade for a trunk of easily accessed candy.
Holidays always evolve, of course. Sleighs evolve into SUVs; taffy apples evolve into fun-size Snickers. (Aren’t all Snickers fun?) But trick-or-treating did not just evolve into a riot of overprotection.
That is a decision adults have made, fueled by the forces insisting that our very safe kids are not safe enough to have the kind of fun and freedom we did.