I believe in a few things. Not many, but a few. I never fail to do a favor for a friend so long as the favor is legal and within my means. I open doors for women and pick up tabs on dates. I don't think open container laws are fair and will battle against that particular issue until I die or move to New Orleans, where open container laws refer only to containers of illicit drugs. And I think people ought to be allowed to bring coolers full of plastic and/or aluminum filled with alcohol onto public beaches. I'm pretty sure I'm right about this, but I could be wrong. 

Police make a guy pour liquor out on the beach
Money down the drain now, money down the government drain later.
Last Sunday, much like a bad penny, my friend Big Mike showed up and invited me to a beach get-together near Caddy's, a beach bar and Treasure Island tradition for years. Most of the beaches in Treasure Island are private beaches and as such, allow you to drink out of coolers all you like, provided you're staying at the hotel claiming ownership of said beach. A small chunk of Treasure Island beaches are public. (Just so we're clear here, Treasure Island is not an actual island.) We headed to those public beaches. So we could drink. 

Only problem was, we couldn't drink. 

Just six days prior to our arrival, Treasure Island had passed a law banning alcohol consumption on its public beaches. To a drinker and a Floridian, this seemed to me akin to banning boiled peanuts and key lime pie. I mean, there are reasons people come to beaches. 

Eventually, everyone's gonna get sick of this Big Brother, Do-Gooder government and realize it would be nice to have freedom again.I chastised Big Mike heavily for his choice of beach (we'd have gone to another one but one of our friends involved here is in a wheelchair and needed to be near Caddy's as a result). 

"Excuse me for not reading Treasure Island's chamber of commerce minutes," Mike responded. 

I forgave him. One of the things I believe in is forgiveness. 

A news camera crew descended on our part of the beach to watch police (who really and truly have more important things to do) rifle through coolers and issue tickets to offenders. 

It really is becoming a totalitarian world. 

The cops were nice enough about the ordeal, even issuing warnings to those with no warrants, but they were still enforcing a dumb law. 

This law will simply cause drinkers to go to a different beach, which will cause a decrease in city revenue from the lack of parking tickets, towings, DUIs (they're expensive), and what not. Eventually, to make up for this shortfall, taxes will be increased, which, when combined with the loss of revenue, will cause stores to shut down and move. This will be a little bit of a problem for Treasure Island, but they don't see it that way. 

The people who passed this law think they're doing good. These are the same people who tell you what to eat and not to smoke and that they know better than you do how you should live your life. 

I hate those people. 

When we got into the car to leave Treasure Island (sans tickets), my friend Chris turned on a radio. From the news on the radio we learned that our state's governor, Rick Scott, had a new bill to consider. It should cross his desk on Monday. The bill, if passed into law, would mandate that all public school students with droopy pants pull them up. 

Boy wearing saggy pants in public school against the rules
Detention, OBVIOUSLY.
As if teachers don't have enough to do. (They just fired more than 400 public educators in Florida last week.)

You can't wear your pants like an idiot in this state in public schools. You can't have a drink on certain public beaches. This is because the governments of our fine nation think they know better about our lives than we do. 

Eventually, everyone's gonna get sick of this Big Brother, Do-Gooder government we got going here, wake up and realize that perhaps it would be nice to have freedom again, to be able to think for ourselves, to not freak out about every damn thing with which we don't agree. 

Until then though, I am reminded of a classic line that has gotten me through my lot in life. It's an old Dutch saying:

"A man can do whatever he wants in this land just so long as he doesn't do it to me or mine."

Words to live by. If only our governments could be so smart.

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