Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Why the Tea Party movement? It’s the government waste, stupid.

Posted by sanityinjection on February 11, 2010

I have been surprised recently by conversations with some left-leaning acquaintances. Normally fairly astute when it comes to the media, they seem to have swallowed wholesale the media’s caricature of “Tea Party” protesters as radical extremists. Though I have never attended a “Tea Party” protest or participated in any related activities, I have found myself having to defend and explain the Tea Party “movement”. Sure, there are always a few wackos that show up at any protest, but the majority of Tea Party-ers are simply ordinary Americans who are angry that the federal government seems determined to waste as much of their money as humanly possible.

“But the stimulus worked,” say my left-wing friends, “it saved us from another Great Depression.” I disagree, but it’s dificult to prove one way or another.

What is not at all difficult to prove though, is the obvious examples of waste and corruption that the “stimulus” money has been spent on. Consider this insanity: The Polk County, Florida school district received $350,000 in federal stimulus money, which they are using to buy iPods for parents of students with disabilities as prizes for filling out an online survey.

Is anyone going to step forward and seriously defend this as the best use of our tax dollars? I think not. Admittedly, $350,000 is a drop in the bucket of the vast stimulus bill, but you know what? $350K here and $350K there, all over the map, eventually starts to add up to real money.

Doesn’t reading about this kind of waste and excess make you at least *imagine* making some sort of protest? If so, congratulations: You’ve grasped the essence of what the “Tea Party” phenomenon is all about.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Florida’s Tim Tebow to star in pro-life Super Bowl ad

Posted by sanityinjection on January 27, 2010

It’s been a while since there was anything controversial about the commercials aired during the Super Bowl. But this year promises to be different.

Even if you don’t follow college football, you have probably heard the name Tim Tebow. Star quarterback for the University of Florida, Tebow is the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and the first to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season.

Now set to enter the NFL draft this spring and begin his professional career, Tebow has made an unusual choice. He has agreed to star in a Super Bowl ad sponsored by conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. The ad tells the story of Pam Tebow (Tim’s mother)’s difficult pregnancy, during which she was advised by doctors to have an abortion to protect her own health. She refused, and gave birth to Tim.

There are two interesting aspects to this ad. First is the fact that nobody can remember a political issue ad such as this airing during the Super Bowl before. CBS – the network carrying the game this year – used to have a longstanding policy against “controversial” ads, but they have since loosened their rules. Except during a Presidential primary year, there’s rarely anything big going on politically when the Super Bowl is played, so there’s little incentive to spend the megabucks to pay for such an ad. Needless to say, pro-choice groups are lobbying CBS to kill the ad; surprisingly, CBS appears to be standing firm for the moment.

The second question is whether this is a good decision by Tebow. Well known at school as a devout Christian, no one doubts the sincerity of his motivation. But the NFL tries hard to avoid political controversy. Tebow and whatever team he ends up playing for will want fans to be eager to buy a Tebow jersey regardless of their political views. If taking a strong stand on this issue alienates half the fan base, that will cost Tebow and the NFL real money. I could even imagine certain teams rating Tebow lower on their draft boards over something like this.

Of course Tebow should not have to forego the right to speak his views simply because he plays football. There are many, many NFL players who are pro-life and also quite public about their Christian faith. But there is a difference between answering questions honestly – like beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean did – and going out of your way to shove your views in everyone’s face, like Barbra Streisand. Focus on the Family and its leader James Dobson have been particularly prone to controversy in the past. Choosing to associate yourself with them for your first foray into politics is like choosing to associate with Al Sharpton for your first foray into civil rights.

What do you think? Is it a good idea to have these kinds of ads during the Super Bowl? Is Tebow doing the right thing by speaking out?

Posted in Current Events, Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

He’s the stupid one, but we have to pay for it

Posted by sanityinjection on December 9, 2009

Wonder why our judicial system costs so much to administer? Maybe it’s because of judges like this one in Florida who decided to spend taxpayer dollars to hire a cosmetologist to cover up accused murderer John Ditullio’s facial tattoos, which include a swastika and an obscene word.

Ditullio’s lawyer argued that the tattoos in question, which Ditullio obtained after his arrest, might prejudice the jury against him. (Well, duh.) Instead of making the obvious response, which would have been, “Well, counsellor, your client should have thought of that before he got them,” this jurist in a fit of Solomon-like wisdom declared that the tattoos would be covered up (at state expense) but that any tattoos Ditullio had at the time he was arrested had to remain visible.

At least when King Solomon proposed to cut a baby in half he a) wasn’t planning to go through with it, and b) didn’t spend any tax dollars on it.

If Ditullio had obtained breast implants after his arrest would he have been entitled to have them removed for the trial at taxpayer expense?

Posted in Domestic News | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Give this man a medal…and a job.

Posted by sanityinjection on October 21, 2009

Today’s example of the lack of sanity in our modern society comes to us from Ocala, Florida, in the person of one Josh Rutner. Mr. Rutner, you see, was until recently employed by the local Wal-Mart as an “asset protection officer” – essentially, a store detective whose job is to identify and stop possible shoplifters.

Earlier this month, while Mr. Rutner was on duty, a man tried to steal forty bucks worth of golf balls and a chicken dinner without paying. Mr. Rutner, following store policy, radioed for assistance and with the help of two other employees, collared the thief just outside the store’s door. But then, the suspect pulled a knife and fled on foot. Mr Rutner gave chase and tried to knock the guy over with a shopping cart. He was eventually apprehended by police.

The next day, Mr. Rutner was called into a manager’s office at Wal-Mart and fired. Why? Because store policy strictly forbids detectives from giving chase to armed suspects once they leave the premises.

Now, one can understand why Wal-Mart might have such a policy – to protect its employees and to protect the store itself from liability. But as Rutner states, he felt he could not allow someone he knew to be dangerous to run free and possibly attack someone else. “I didn’t get hurt. They got their merchandise. And yet I got fired.”

Rutner knowingly violated store policy and should certainly be subject to some sort of discipline for that. But to most of us, he’s a hero – and that should count for something more than being tossed out on his tuchus. The one time somebody tries to go above and beyond the call of duty – rather than just getting by with the minimum amount of effort – and what happens? He gets punished for it. So much for civic-mindedness. So much for incentivizing excellence, which is probably mentioned in Wal-Mart’s BS employee materials. The message Wal-Mart is sending is “Screw the community, all we care about is ourselves.”

Wal-Mart can of course do what they want – but here’s hoping that if Josh Rutner doesn’t get a medal for his bravery, someone will at least offer him a new job.

Posted in Domestic News | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »