Top Five Things I Believe Should Be Legal by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

As we mature as a society, hopefully people become a little more tolerant and stop seeing certain areas of the lives of people beyond the scope of the law.  Here are the top five outlawed behaviors I would like to see legalized:

#5 – Profanity and nudity on TV

I’m not kidding.  How silly is it to ban words on TV?  Words are words and they convey meaning.  Now some words are a little more shocking than others, but is there any diminution of our culture with people watching HBO or God-forbid Cimemax?  America’s rules of acceptable language might as well have been founded by puritans.

You can say “poop” but not “shit”.  “Butt” is okay, but “Ass” is bad.  “Fornicate” is allowed, but “fuck” comes with a steep price tag from the FCC.  “Vagina” is good, but “c**t” is verboten.  And the “C” word is the best word in the English language.  To my knowledge, it’s the only word that will absolutely get you hit whenever you use it.  That is a powerful word only for use in extreme situations, but that doesn’t mean it should be banned.  They all mean the same thing, but we are shocked by some words.  That’s due to our own ignorance, not because of some moral code.

And what about boobs?  Who doesn’t like to see a nice set of cans?  Why is that so wrong.  A girl wants to bare her bosoms, like Janet Jackson during the Super Bowl halftime show, why would anyone feel a need to stop her.  Where’s the harm.  Kids remember them as food dispensers, and adults are fascinated by them.  Yet, our government stands in the way of our seeing them.

For me, the showing of male genitalia – for the purpose of this article in favor of a variety of terminology, let’s call them cocks – is unpleasant, so I won’t watch shows that show peckers, schlongs, johnsons, 100% all-beef thermometer, or bald-headed yogurt slinger.  That’s the way the market will determine what is permissible, not a bunch of intolerant blowhards sitting at a table like the Hays Commission ruling over what is and is not acceptable.

#4 – Water Boarding

I’m a little shocked at the revulsion we reserve for water boarding.  It’s terrifying, which is the point, but virtually harmless.  Water boarding shouldn’t be used for much, but if there is a terrorist in custody, and he may have information regarding future terrorism, get that information.  Don’t physically batter the terrorist, but whatever needs to be done to scare the shit out of the guy to get him to talk, I’m good with that.

I’m not good with physical torture that permanently harms the target, but if with a little water a man can be compelled to provide information that will save thousands of lives, who would stand in the way of that?

#3 – Speeding

Why shouldn’t the roads in America have similar rules to the Autobahn in Germany.  What’s the big deal about driving 100 mph?  The interstate highways in America are designed to be safe at speeds of 110, so turn us loose.  The left lane can be for cars going 100.  The two right lanes can be for the rest of the people with nothing better to do than drive.  I would rather get where I’m going in three hours than five.

This would necessitate drunk driving legislation with a good deal more bite.  How about 90 days in jail for drunk driving.  I don’t want drunken fools going 100 mph.

The absolute fastest speed allowed should be 110.  At that speed, things start to get a little weird.  I’ve never gone faster than 110 mph, and I won’t.

#2 – Pot

This is just silly.  I don’t want people stoned on street corners anymore than I want a bunch of drunks passed out in hotel lobbies, but the distinction between alcohol and marijuana is so nebulous that to have one be readily available and legal while the other is readily available and illegal seems arbitrary and purposeless.

Fifty-nine percent of people in federal prisons are there because of drug arrests.  With outrageous punitive measures like three-strike legislation mandating 25-year sentences for three strike felons, there are tens of thousands of people in prison for victimless drug crimes like pot possession.

I’m sure there are health consequences for excessive pot use similar to that with tobacco, maybe even more because there is no governmental oversight over the quality of the product.  The overall effect is stuporous eating, so I’m not sure why pot has gained any popularity.  Being around people while they were high is annoying, but that’s no reason to make its use illegal.

#1 – Same Sex Marriage

There was a story on CNN yesterday discussing the unholy partnership between Ted Olson and David Boies, who argued against each other before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, joining forces to overturn Proposition 8 in California, which outlawed same-sex marriage.

It’s so odd that people against same-sex marriage outnumber those who favor it – even in California.  What the hell do we care?  So a couple of guys or girls get married.  I’m not sure that’s a worse idea than a guy and girl getting married.  Marriage is just crazy to me, but good for those of us who find a way to make it appear less idiotic than the concept appears to be on paper.

The only argument I can find to justify the ban is that kids are said to be better off with a representative of each sex in the home.  Really?  Take a look inside homes and tell me there aren’t a lot of kids in horrible situations with both a mommy and daddy.  There are straight morons and gay morons.  There are many gays and lesbians I know who would be far superior parents than some straight people I know.

The real reason for the ban is that the majority of people are straight, and they are creeped out by the idea of men having sex.  And, lesbians are all crewcutted, tattooed, pushy broads who are more masculine than bikers.  Silly stereotypes shouldn’t prompt legislation.

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Indianapolis Plan to Close Monument Circle to Traffic Was Hilarious – Eight Years Ago by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

Dave “The King” Wilson used to do a thing during the six o’clock hour of his popular radio show on WIBC where he would interview a comedian adept at improvisation who would propose some ludicrous civic initiative.  Dave never let on that the hour-long interview was a bit.  Most of the listeners got the joke.  The rest called the station, irate that we would let some idiot blather about an idea so dumb.

One afternoon, Dave’s idea was to bring a comic to make public an Indianapolis city government plan to close Monument Circle to vehicular traffic and turn it into a green space.

People called the show, screaming at the guest and Dave.  When the show ended, they started to call the mayor’s office.  Disrupting the traffic patterns, and making delivery by truck to businesses calling the Circle home were by far the most cited complaints, and the callers were so intense in their disapproval of the idea that it was probably the best of the fake guest hours WIBC ever aired.

Someone in City Hall must have been listening because city officials announced yesterday that Monument Circle would close for the month of August to determine the feasibility of permanently closing the Circle, so residents and tourists can enjoy it on foot and bicycle.  Events wouldn’t need to worry about petitioning the city to close a quadrant of the Circle.

Predictably, people in Indianapolis went batshit, and the boobs who made the proposal have back pedaled away from the boondoggle with speed.  As Dave always said, “Change scares people ’cause it’s differ’nt.  We don’t like differ’nt.”

WIBC might be a reasonably safe place to test goofy ideas.  Eight years ago, we floated this trial balloon and it popped loudly.

One of the other ideas that was poorly received was a radical tourist spot.  We had a fake guest advance a new prison to be built on the site of the old Market Square Arena that would be entirely transparent.  All walls, pipes, and electrical tubes would be plexiglass.  It would be educational because kids would be horrified by what they saw, and popular because adults love to watch shows like “Big Brother”.

I hope that idea isn’t on a list somewhere that will soon bubble to the top.  Our callers really thought that was nuts, but only marginally nuttier than shutting down Monument Circle.



Robert Kennedy’s Assassination – 42 Years Ago Today, Hope Died by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

There are moments in history that you just know meant something more than their face value.  When Bobby Kennedy was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, it was more than a politician who died.  It marked the end of the dream that an individual could matter in the process of electing a president.

As political hacks like Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey strategized and patronized, Bobby Kennedy connected with those who had been disenfranchised by the Vietnam War and those who had benefitted from the virulent insipidity of the American political system.  A war that made no sense to anyone other than the Domino Theory faithful would end if Kennedy was elected.  Those without a voice would have one.  People trampled by the system would be given enough space to recover and stand on their own.

That’s the best case scenario and maybe a little more naïve than makes me comfortable, but what could have been, not necessarily what would have been, is what was ended on June 5, 1968.  There is every chance that the machinery that had been in place for decades would have rolled over the Kennedy presidency, but at the very least, ideas not generated in back rooms for the betterment of politicians would have been advanced and debated.  True equality would have been articulated by those who actually believed in it, and the killing of Americans in Southeast Asia would have stopped.

Nixon, and his ends justify the means pragmatism, would have been sent back to San Clemente where Nixon the excellent author would have started his literary career eight years earlier.

“The Last Campaign” by Thurston Clarke is a great book chronicling the three-month Kennedy Campaign.  It speaks of jaded politicos who signed on and felt the wonderment of doing something because they believe in it.  Many journalists got into the business because they saw “All the President’s Men” and thought that the newspaper business is all about investigation and telling the truth.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the truth very often.  Mostly, it’s about sitting in meetings and talking to people who lie so often they can’t tell the difference between honesty and deceit.

I got into radio thinking it was the coolest business in the world.  A lone person sits at a microphone and tells the truth to thousands of people one at a time.  What could be more powerful?  The truth was that I managed budgets, worked my ass off trying to make money for clients (which was fun and rewarding in its own way), and tried like hell to keep talent from getting fired.  I sat in endless meetings and listened to others opine about how the stations should operate.  Most were wrong, and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince them otherwise.  The point is that the magic of a profession from the outside is generally nowhere near what happens on the inside.

For political warriors to suddenly feel empowered, and get that incredible feeling that change could actually happen is no small feat.  Kennedy’s genuine enthusiasm for a campaign that mattered stripped away the sinister veneer from these veterans of many elections, and turned loose the love of country that motivated their career choice in the first place.

In Indianapolis on the night Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed, Kennedy ignored the advice of Mayor Richard Lugar and many aides to give a speech to a mostly black audience on the northeast side.  People interviewed in “The Last Campaign” claim they came to the speech with the purpose of killing Kennedy.  One said, “They took one of ours, so I was going to take one of theirs.”  Kennedy’s speech was so heartfelt and personal that not only wasn’t he killed, Indy was the only major city in the country without rioting that night.

The speech (you can listen to it here by pressing the icon at the bottom)  was entirely extemporaneous, and is carved into stone across from the simplewhite cross marking Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.  Whether Kennedy’s presidency would have been successful is debatable.  What isn’t debatable is that reasoned discourse and the notion that what is right and wrong can be considered important in the political landscape.

The murder of a man who thought differently, and evolved into a compassionate and generous leader, is so unconscionably wasteful and cynical that is in the pantheon of the saddest moments of our republic.  Today is a time for all Americans to wonder what might have been, and try to bring enough positive energy to others that it still can be.



Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Very Hip to Current Events by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

Onetime clerk for Chicago Judge Abner Mitka, Elena Kagan has been selected by President Barack Obama as a nominee to replace retiring United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.  Her connection to Mikva gave kentsterling.com a leg up in the pecking order of interview requests.  Mikva once clerked for justice Sherman Minton, who attended New Albany High School (Class of 1910).  Minton was expelled for committing a prank, and I was nearly expelled for the same reason 70 years later.  That bizarre and seemingly meaningless series of coincidences when presented artfully to the media relations rep at the U.S. Solicitor’s Office (the post Kagan currently holds was enough to get the nominee on the phone for ten somewhat troubling minutes of conversation.

My interest is not whether a nominee of President Obama’s will uphold Roe v. Wade or try to legislate from the bench.  I assume that she will.  I want to scratch this successful 50-year-old where she itches and find out what makes her tick.

KS:  Good day today, huh.

EK:  It’s always a pleasure and honor to be called upon to serve.

KS:  Right.  Hey new “24” on tonight.  Do you think Jack Bauer is an American hero.  Last season.  Are you psyched?

EK:  Not only am I psyched, I hosting a roundtable of friends to watch and then critique the show.  “24” shows Washington as it truly is – filled with duplicitous snakes like Charles Logan behind every corner.  No man can be trusted  Thurgood Marshall once pretended to go the the bathroom so he could call me for help in a meaningless game of Trivial Pursuit with Warren Berger and Whizzer White.  It was silly as the answer to the question was him – Thurgood Marshall.  I think he was just trying to impress me by reading me a Trivial Pursuit question with him as the answer.  That was before he deduced that I didn’t swing…

KS:  (Interrupting) Hey, great.  Speaking of swinging, how about Tiger Woods?  Karma is kicking his ass all over the course, isn’t it?

EK:  Champion on the links.  Amoral nimrod off of it.  No offense to all of the men named “Nimrod”.  Did you know that “Nimrod” is an actual name that parents give their kids?  Incredible.  Everyone knows that it was Nimrod who ruled over those who constructed the Tower of Babel, but given the more modern demeaning connotations of the word, you would think the name would have fallen into a hopeless abyss of disfavor.  Anyway, investing a great deal of trust in a man like Tiger is a fool’s errand.  Men are built for one thing, and Tiger seemed to be doing that thing without any regard for those in his life who cared about him.  It’s that type of behavior that drove me to …

KS:  You’re a Chicago girl having taught at the University of Chicago.  The Cubs sure suck, don’t they?

EK:  I spent a lot of summer afternoons in the bleachers at Wrigley in 1991, believe it or not.  The smell of the neatly mown grass is intoxicating.  Interestingly, only autograph I got during all that time at Wrigley was that of Marla Collins, the ballgirl in the mid-1980s.  Some girlfriends and I would sit out there hoping to catch a home run, so we could throw the balls back.

KS:  Why’d you stop going?

EK:  The drunk guys kept hitting on us, and it made us very uncomfortable.  It was right around that time that I came …

KS:  (rudely finishing her sentence) …to the conclusion that drunks guys are well-meaning rascals?  That’s my take too.  What do you think about Donald Trump firing Cyndi Lauper last night on “The Apprentice?

EK:  I was stunned.  Clearly the weak link was Brett Michaels.  Cyndi is so courageous – constantly taking stands on important issues.  She is so amusing and pure.  Donald Trump and his twit of a son penalized her for telling the truth about the red room that she designed, but Holly suggest the color.  What the hell difference does that makes?  I’m still very emotional about Cyndi’s termination.  As frivolous as the show is, the misogynistic lunacy that permeates almost every decision Trump makes is a very big part of the reason I …

KS:  (rudely interrupting again) …won’t watch the show next season.  I know.  Me too.  Thanks so much for the time, and good luck in the confirmation process.



Iron Man 2 Star Robert Downey Running for Sheriff by kentsterling
May 4, 2010, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

by Cyrus Moosetit

There are always surprises at election time.  Crazy people run for offices they have no reason to crave.  Famous people like Arnold Schwarzenegger run for governor.  The lady who played Jane Hathaway on “The Beverly Hillbillies” ran for congress in Pennsylvania.  Ralph Waite (the dad on “The Waltons”) served in congress, as did Sonny Bono and Gopher from “The Love Boat”

And now in sleepy Morgan County, Indiana, the star of the upcoming “Iron Man 2” is running for sheriff.

It’s only natural that the actor, who has extensive experience in the justice system from the other side of the bars as a defended and several time loser on drug charges.

It is surprising though that Downey would choose Morgan County as the launching pad for his political aspirations, but nobody argues with Iron Man.  Initially when I saw the sign facing the northbound lanes of State Road 37 between Bloomington and Indianapolis, I thought it might be a hoax to generate some pre-opening buzz, but a quick check on Google revealed a valid campaign for sheriff run by Downey and the absence of a movie theater of any kind in Morgan County.

After voting for Downey under an assumed name, I returned to the road with my fingers crossed that Morgan County would end the night with a new sheriff in town.



Election Day – Send Them All Home by kentsterling
May 4, 2010, 8:15 am
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

by Kent Sterling

We get the government we deserve because every elected government official serves at the pleasure of voters.  Every two years we get a chance to fire everyone, and that is exactly what we should do today.

Are you happy with your government?  Only a moron would say yes, and morons aren’t smart enough to find their polling place.  Unemployment is incredibly high, and the only thing keeping it from spiraling into 1930s-style Armageddon is a level of governmental spending that will bankrupt our kids and their kids.

The best thing that could ever happen to our government is a systemic resolve to men and women suckling at our collective teat as their career.  Term limits can be imposed by the voting boobery.



Chicago Protests Against Arizona Illegal Alien Law Confuses by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

There is a new law in Arizona that makes being an illegal alien in that state illegal.  This allows the state law enforcement community to patrol borders and arrest those who violate federal law by entering this country illegally.

This new law has people hopping mad, and has prompted protests outside Wrigley Field this weekend as the Arizona Diamondbacks visit.  Beyond the law’s merits, I’m baffled that the visit to Chicago from a baseball team would result in an organized protest.  Maybe the protesters are unsure as to how the governmental system works.  We might be better off if members of baseball rosters voted on bills rather than state legislatures, but they don’t.  It’s still idiots in ill-tailored suits more interested in feathering their own nests than serving the public good.

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