Saturday, January 18, 2014

Drinking and Facebooking could become against the law


Butch Meriwether
Butch's Brew

I emailed Arizona State Representative Sonny Borrelli the other day and asked him introduce a bill in the state legislature to make it mandatory for interlock breathalyzer devices to be installed on all computers being operated in Arizona. This is the first effort to make it illegal to be drunk while Facebooking (DWF), and I won't stop until the interlock is mandatory nationwide.

You're probably thinking that was a ridiculous request for me to ask an Arizona State Representative, and I bet by doing so I caused a lot of chuckles in the halls of the state Legislature.

Yep, some are more than likely thinking that Butch Meriwether (I don't know why, but a lot of people talk in the third person) is a brick short of a full load, a sandwich short of a picnic, or whatever other cute saying someone might come up with to describe a person ready for a padded cell.

Let me explain the reasoning behind my bizarre request. I asked him to do so because I noticed than often, especially during the evening hours, people who post comments on blogs and Facebook seem not to be able to spell, definitely forget grammar, and even lose their train of thought. No matter how much they try, they seem to ramble on and actually show how unintelligent they actually are.

You ask why? I surmise many have had way too many cocktails or brews, or have been nipping at a bottle of wine more than they should – and then begin a prose trek of cyberspace ranting. That is when their brain and fingers are not in sync and they make fools of themselves, even though they believe they are making clever comments. Maybe their efforts are done just to impress themselves.

I understand everyone one needs to be able to jump on their soapbox once in a while. It's everyone's God-given right, but when they continually ramble on about one specific subject or a "cause" they think needs to be "exposed," their overindulgence causes them to dilute their reasoning and credibility.

Nobody is pointing fingers at anyone in particular and I will admit there has been a time or two in the past I too have had a few too many cocktails and probably shouldn't have posted something. And as a friend of mine seems to say often, "My Big," which to him is his way of saying he made a mistake.

Here is where all of you bloggers come into the picture. Let's make a suggestion to Representative Borrelli to call the new bill the "I Really Shouldn't have Typed that, It Must be the Booze Talking" Act.

What a paradox it can be when people who professes to be extremely intelligent and also knowledgeable about most subjects (everyone knows someone like that), lose all common sense while drinking. After a few too many alcoholic beverages, they routinely attempt to show how articulate and intelligent they are by posting comments on the various social media outlets and on various newspaper websites.

All I can say to them is that's a big mistake!

I can just picture someone waking up in the morning, turning on their computer and reading what they had posted the night before after a bout of sucking down too many alcoholic beverages with friends. Their mind goes into immediate shock when they read their posting and think to themselves, "Oh crap, I really shouldn't have said that. It wasn't me; it was the booze talking. I hope my friends will forgive me for calling them jerks and stupid amongst other nastier things I have said to others."

The biggest problem as I see it is most people do not realize that once something is posted on the World Wide Web, it is there for eternity for people to read. That includes things that may be discovered by a prospective employer who decides to check out the Web, social media outlets and newspapers to see what can be found about a person they are contemplating hiring.

Can some of the various scenarios currently being played out on social media outlets and comments posted on the KDM website, in part, be fueled by an overindulgence of alcohol? I think so, but I do not have any hard evidence to back up my assertion. All I can say is it's apparent to me that people, some who act like immature children, can't play nice in the sand box.

I'm basically going to briefly focus just on one example - the Golden Valley Fire District (GVFD) - because much has been said or implied about how it is being operated and the alleged haphazard expenditure of taxpayer funds. Oh, I am not forgetting the overindulgence of alcohol and then those individuals writing comments on the Web with their actual names and of course, secret monikers. What I find interesting is when you read a comment by a person not using their real name, most likely, you can tell who it actually is by the phraseology used.

As we all know, it is apparent some individuals who partake in alcohol and then write comments act like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and/or a better reasoning could be they are suffering from bipolar disorder. There isn't any other logical reason for them to have dramatic personality changes like that.

Some of the problems, as I see it, are some people rely heavily on the rumor mill and information others provide. They then twist the facts in order to prove a point they want to stress. Sometimes the information provided to the person making the comments is incorrect and way off base. Some of this information comes from the person sitting at one end of the bar and is second hand, if not third or fourth hand information by the time it gets to the other end of the bar. Hell, there is sometimes more misinformation being disseminated than the United States government does as a propaganda tool during war.

Everyone always points out about alleged problems or wrongs, but hardly ever suggests a solution other than saying the entire GVFD board of directors need to resign and certain employees fired. Is it overindulgence of alcohol or are some people "blind followers" like sheep that make statements because the person sitting at the second stool at the bar told them what they believed was true?

Because of the infighting and bickering amongst a few people, four efforts have been initiated to recall all but one of the GVFD board of directors. The only reason the fifth member of the GVFD board was not included in the recall efforts is because he was appointed to fill the vacancy when Director Jim Kanelos unfortunately died in a single-vehicle accident.

Much of the feeling of disdain by various people toward the GVFD and board, in my opinion, isn't caused by overindulgence in the consumption of alcohol, but because of one specific board member - Steve Robinson. I honestly believe Robinson could say, "The sun rises in the east and sets in the west," and the misanthropes, belittlers, scoffers and those who hate him would say, "No, the sun sets in the west and rises in the east," and we all know both sayings are isomorphic.

I will say right from the get go that I do not agree with everything Director Robinson says or does and I am not Robinson's eyes, ears and lap dog, as some misinformed people have attempted to say. I believe Director Robinson has some redeeming qualities, could be a productive member of society and actually has the GVFD at heart. The problem is he goes about it in a different direction than most would want and sometimes "marches to a different beat of the drum." I understand the four recalls currently ongoing for the GVFD board of directors was probably caused by Director Robinson, even though two others are listed on the recall effort for Director Rhonda Brooks. If Director Robinson hadn't inspired or been the driving force behind the Director Brooks' recall effort to start, then more than likely the other three would not have been initiated.

The biggest misconception about the four recall efforts is if adequate amounts of petition signatures are gathered to cause a recall, it will cost the GVFD somewhere between $15,000 and $35,000 out of their coffers and taxpayer revenues to pay for the special election. And to top it off, the individual who is being recalled can run for the same office they currently hold during the election. Wouldn't that be a waste of taxpayer funds for a select few people to cause a special recall election and then the person being recalled is re-elected by the residents? That money could be best utilized elsewhere for things the fire district actually needs.
What I believe is those skeptical opponents or advocates (both sides of the various issues) involved in the infighting and the four recall efforts need to stop their petition gathering, put forth a genuine and concerted effort to get along, help move the fire district into the 21st century instead of attempting to drive it into the quagmire of despair.

If all involved with the back and forth bickering, comments, hatred, misinformation, innuendos and downright shoddiness feel that strongly about certain subjects and/or events, why don't they treat each other with dignity and respect in order to help solve the particular problem they are concerned about.

And if attempting to get along doesn't help and it involves things or organizations such as the GVFD, then why don't they run for one of the two spots on the board that will be coming up for election during the next regular 2014 election cycle. If they are a Director Brooks' supporter and win a seat or two during the general election, they could possibly shift the balance of power in the day-to-day operation of the GVFD.

Because I believe much of the self-perceived problems of the fire district are the lack of positive suggestions and solutions, I took the dramatic step to resolve the possible root of the problems that may be manifesting and contacted Representative Borrelli. I honestly can't say if alcohol is the root of the problem.

I understand my latest blog is going to cause verbal attacks on me because people sometimes don't want to admit they have a problem and want to shoot the messenger. They seem to always keep the booze bottle hidden in the garage so their husbands or wives can't figure out there is a problem.

If booze were taken out of the scenario, would people be able to get along better? Would many of the problems be solved without petty bickering? And wouldn't there be fewer alcohol-related accidents and deaths? I think so!

Another blogger also recommended that the interlock breathalyzers be installed in all vehicles operated in Arizona. They went on to say maybe a nickel a six-pack of beer, bottle of booze or a bottle of wine could be charged as a "breathalyzer tax" so those fees could help put the devices in all current cars being operated on the Arizona roadways, but then all new vehicles would come with them installed by the manufacturers at no additional cost to the driver. There would be no monthly fees or anything like that unless you have what someone might call a "fail," or positive result.

I've already received some positive feedback and/or comments in regard to me contacting Representative Borrelli. Here are just a few:

• Friends don't let friends drink and Facebook;

• I wished the cell phones had them too. I've even had days where I get up and check my phone and think OMG, did I really send that? Or I can't believe I called that guy;

• I've often wondered about what if every car had a breathalyzer? No one is excluded, no profiling or discrimination. Every single car has one, period. I don't know of any reason any person should be exempt, nor any good excuse for driving impaired, so why not? And maybe they could make it so they were free of charge and maintenance unless you had a fail;

• Hey, I make sure my drunken Facebook postings are grammatically correct;

• I really shouldn't agree with this, must be the booze talking;

• The real problem here is that they just might take you up on it;

• I think the reduction in DUI-related court cases, crashes, and everything else would free up so much money and time for our law enforcement officers and judicial system to focus on other areas that really need help. I'm not seeing a downside to this; and one of the best comments posted on Facebook about the subject of drinking, driving and posting comments is

• Glory hallelujah, I've been inspired again … this time by a "blogalizer test." I can feel my writing skills coming back … nope … mistaken again. What to do Butch? I spent all day on the healthcare website and I'm just spent. A brew sounds good, but I don't drink much. What to do Butch? Shall I edit your bill draft or just drift with a draft thought.

All I can say is people should refrain from drinking, driving vehicles and also posting on the web. And if the shoe fits, wear it!

Yep, this blog is a little long and rambles on. I can honestly say there was no alcohol consumed during the writing of it.

What does everyone think? And please refrain from name-calling.
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