Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 17, 2013

Saturday Odds and Ends: Doritos, Tragedy and Zealotry

Hello Loyal Readers,

Sorry for the delay on the Odds and Ends, here is the latest news for you.

Seattle Police Distribute Doritos at Hempfest. I love that our forward-thinking state is now generating headlines that sound like they are coming from The Onion. In a clever bit of viral marketing, the Seattle police are handing out flyers with the details of the new marijuana law stapled to bags of Doritos at Hempfest. This incentivized approach (read up on the law so you don’t get in trouble) is pitch perfect for the cannabis enthusiasts at Hempfest, tip of the hat to you, Seattle police.

Tragedy in Bellingham

Tragedy in Bellingham

On more tragic news, my heart goes out to the family of Justin Small, a WWU student who accidentally and fatally shot himself yesterday while playing with a roommate’s pistol while drinking. I won’t cheapen this tragedy by turning it into a political point, but I come back to the choices my wife and I made about our household.

We don’t own a gun simply because we believe having a gun in the house puts us in more peril that being without. We choose other methods of keeping our household safe. That’s the choice we made and it is not the right choice for everyone, but it is something I think about every time one of these terrible events occurs.

I’ve written before about the oncoming strife between the younger libertarians getting involved in the Republican party, and the older, more social issue focused, conservatives that make up the party leadership. Down in Alabama, their state party is stumbling over the same issue. The president of the College Republicans of Alabama, who is granted an automatic seat on the executive board of the state party, spoke to a reporter and had the gall to suggest that perhaps our government is based on the constitution and not the bible, in reference to same-sex marriage. In response, the state party has tried to kick her out.

“She’s a 23-year-old girl who’s being bullied by some 50- and 60-year-old people because she made a statement in the paper,” said Chris Brown, former chair of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama.

“I think that our party is big enough for diverse opinions,” Brown added. “Some of our extreme right conservatives don’t want diverse opinions.”

What sort of message does that send young people wanting to get involved in politics? Go home if you disagree with us on this one issue? With the older leadership of the party continuing to shun these younger conservative voters, they will find other places to go. How long can a party survive without any new energy?

Ponder that over the weekend, and tune in next week for some candidate interviews and maybe a campaign poster for Doug Ericksen’s run for Congress.



  1. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the Tea Party Taliban has spoken to Lamar Alexander, saying the country “can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous.” They warned him to do the right thing and retire gracefully because he’s gotta go.

  2. Persons who are inclined to operate things that require caution while drunk, shouldn’t have a chainsaw or lawfull fireworks either. If you tend to bypass safety logic, then of course the remedy is to decline to have those items handy in your home. Meanwhile, plenty of folks do not mix liquor or bad decisions with their blow torches, guns, containers of acid, or plenty of other lethal toxic things that people need and use for legitimate reasons. People who die from drunk driving perhaps should not have had a car. The vast majority of us use our car correctly.

    • That’s a good point. I just know that a firearm in my house makes me feel unsafe, that is the choice I make but I’m completely in support of others making their own choices on that.

    • Yes, I agree, most of us use our cars correctly. Unfortunately, the majority of deaths related to DUIs are not the perpetrators. Car, and gun, ownership is a responsibility that is often understated and requires the understanding that by virtue of owning said object you take on any liability for damages caused. As such, not owning a weapon is in my opinion safer than owning one, as it is statistically more likely for an accident to occur than any situation in which I might use it. The same is not true, however, for cars.

  3. What is it about today’s Republicans? Intolerant of ANY dissent, unable to handle conversation let alone debate about issues (we don’t talk to terrorists and we don’t attend LIBRUL candidates’ meetings!), and utterly partisan on every issue. This is not the party of Eisenhower, or even Coolidge, whom you knew were making more rational than ideological decisions.

    Riley, I think your partisan glee over the slow demise of the Republican Party is justified.

    • That’s the hard part, while I take a little joy in these self-inflicted wounds, in the long run, I want an opposition party that is rational and coherent. That’s essential for democracy. The national republicans would have had so much more credibility to criticize Obama’s spying program if they hadn’t been so reactionary for the last four years, screaming about birth certificates. We need healthy opposition parties and the current Republican state of affairs is anything but healthy.

  4. Can you give me an example of a “healthy opposition” dear Riley? Maybe an example of “rational and coherent”? I”m sure you will say the Dems but reading your blog always conjures up pictures of blood thirsty mobs washing down their meat with some free doritos……..

    • I would say some healthy opposition would be Sen. Rubio working up an alternative immigration proposal, or even Sen. Rand filibustering the drone program. These are taking substantial issues (as opposed to the President’s birth certificate or rehashing Bengahzi) and offering critiques based on policy. Rep. Gohmert ranting about latinos smuggling melons of drugs in their pants is not rational . . . and to use an example on my side, neither is ranting about a 9/11 truth commission or trying to create a department of peace.

      • But what would your party do if someone stood up and said there should not be gay marriage? I would bet there are those out there in your party who believe that but will not say it…… Personally, I think the Government should stay out of the marriage business……and I know there are others in my “party” who feel the same. Political parties are not homogeneous, never have been, never will be.

      • There are lots of anti-same-sex marriage Democrats out there and they have frequently spoken out about it. Our Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is quite passionately anti-choice but he is still in the leadership of my party. I feel like the Republicans are becoming more and more ideologically pure, kicking out many of the moderates along the way, while the Democrats remain where they were. This has left many moderate conservatives in a hard place, join the party they never really agreed with (the Dems) or become more and more radical with the Republicans.

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