When it snows in Scottsdale, Ariz., you know weirdness is afoot. Some freaky weather dropped a dusting of snow on the yards of snowbirds seeking to avoid the effects of living in the land of frozen tundra.
But, there has been so much weirdness this week, I had to check to see if there was actually a full moon. There isn’t, and it’s not expected until Monday. So, I don’t know what could be going on. Here’s a sampling of the weirdness I read about this week:
Road kill dining
Montana legislators have introduced legislation that would allow “game animals, fur-bearing animals, migratory game birds and upland game birds” who have been killed by a car to be harvested for food,” ABC news reported. Click here to read the story.
There are a handful of states from which I would expect that kind of story to originate, but Montana isn’t one of them. All I can say is thank goodness RV’s have kitchens. It should help keep costs down when visiting Glacier National Parks or any of the dozen or so federal forests in that state.
No anonymous comments
One story that hit close to home is about a bill introduced by an Illinois legislator that would make it illegal for people to post anonymous comments online. Click here to read that story.
I had to hire a lawyer a few years ago to defend RV Daily Report from Heartland RV after their lawyers subpoenaed me to get the name, address and IP address of someone who posted a critical comment to a story we published about a lawsuit the company was involved in.
I’m a big fan of freedom of speech, and there are dozens of reasons why I think people should have the ability to say anything they want — even online — and retain their anonymity. Whistle blowing is one of those reasons. But, I suspect the legislators are tired of being bullied by their constituents and are seeking a way to quash the debate about various highly-politicized subjects.
No business owner in his right mind would use his real name to weigh in on political arguments these days. Yet, he should still have the right to contribute to the dialogue. If this bill gains traction, it could also impact the ability of RV owners to leave reviews about dealers, campgrounds or products.
Not only is this a bad law, but it is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights, and that is something we should enjoy that as long as we can.
No more free test drives
A story out of California left me baffled. Some auto dealers in that state are now requiring people taking cars for test drives to sign an agreement indicating they will pump in as much gas as they use on the test drive.
You can read that story by clicking here.
I am from Wisconsin, so I might be a little slow, but isn’t it a good thing when a salesperson can get someone interested enough in a car to want to take it out for a test drive? I can’t imagine a salesperson telling a prospective buyer “Here are the keys and I need a copy of your driver’s license and I need you to sign this agreement that says you will stop at a gas station to replace any gas you use on the test drive.”
I mean, really? How many people stop by a car dealership to take test drive and wind up driving more than 25 miles? I know gas is more than $5 per gallon in some parts of California, but shouldn’t that be factored into the vehicle’s price?
What’s next? Will people test driving cars have to get the vehicles washed if they drive over a puddle?
No smoking in RVs
I don’t know if we should call it a nanny state or a ninny state, but Connecticut legislators want to ban smoking in automobiles, which I am sure will be interpreted to include RVs. You can read that story by clicking here.
Of course, they want to pass the law “for the children,” who should therefore probably be kept away from campfires that release carcinogens into the air, and create nasty tripping hazards when kids make Smore’s.
My all time favorite story this week is the abject hysteria that’s taking place over the upcoming sequestration designed to force cuts to the federal budget. Here are the disasters that are being predicted:
- 800,000 civilians to be furloughed from the department of Defense
- TSA screening lines will require three hours to get through in some airports
- Air passengers may have to wait an extra hour on the tarmac because there won’t be enough air traffic controllers.
- We’ll all be poisoned because there won’t be enough food inspectors on the job.
- Firefighters, police officers and teachers will be furloughed as well, but not apparently anyone at the IRS or in Congress or at the White House or at the State Department. How can local employees, like cops and teachers, be impacted by cuts to federal spending anyway?
Although the second and third points could be a boom for the RV industry, here’s the reality check. The mandatory cuts that take place March 1 amount to $85 billion. Now that sounds like a lot of money because it is. It’s the equivalent of 85 stacks of freshly minted $1,000 bills reaching 333 feet into the air.
But, it’s also the equivalent of 0.0243 percent of the total $3.5 trillion federal budget. Armageddon? Hardly.
Thank God it’s Friday.