July 18, 2008

Fundraising at any cost

This editorial writer below must have read some of LAAG's articles written in the November 2006 election cycle as the selling of drugs line sounds familiar. LAAG did not "advocate" the selling of drugs just nice legal ("safe and sane") cigarettes. Those sell really well, are high priced (good profit margin), sell year round, and have very reliable big companies behind them that I am sure would be willing to share a little profit "for the children" just like the fireworks companies. The added benefit of allowing this form of distrobution is that you get the kids to back the selling of the product. And who can argue against sales of anything that benefits kids!! Plus like fireworks, tobacco has a long "honored tradition" in this country. Its almost un-American not to grow and sell tobacco. Lets not forget that a few of the founding fathers were tobacco farmers. (long American tradition as you recall is a big agrument fireworks promoters try to throw in if the "children" argument does not work on someone) And tobacco is still grown today. Plus its totally legal and when used responsibly does not start fires.(so we could label them "safe and sane" ciagarettes...but just the ones sold for the kids) So whats the problem? Well you see cigarettes got a bum rap a few years back by these darn "health advocates" as we learned that even though people really like them it turns out they have no redeeming qualities and cause harm...sort of like fireworks. Sooner or later as the effects of global warming ravish this state and fires are a year round condition and people have to pay a carbon tax for the air pollution they cause (via fireworks), perhaps the civics groups and the "kiddies" will have to give cigarette sales another look. After all the ends always justify the means when comes to the kiddies new baseball uniforms right?

OP ED: MY TURN - July 16, 2008
By Peter S. Beck, Pacifica CA
Article Launched: 07/16/2008 02:00:00 PM PDT

Every year on the 4th of July, our city becomes one of only a few in the entire Bay Area to allow fireworks to be sold and ignited within the limits of the city.

Not only do we allow it, we pursue the sale of fireworks with such abandon, that we attract citizens of many other, more sane communities, to our rapidly constructed, temporary sales offices.

For the 17 years that I have lived in this city, I have read the numerous arguments for preserving this idiotic tradition.

It is always the same drivel, "without the fireworks revenue, our programs could not survive", or "We would have to pursue other means to raise the money that would never make as much money as the sale of fireworks", or "We make all the money we need all year in just a few days selling fireworks".

Might I suggest a few alternative measures: sell drugs, sure they're illegal, but with a little effort, our local city council could probably declare them necessary to support our various civic programs.

But drugs are harmful and people get addicted, you might say. No more addicted than all the people in our city who simply must celebrate the birth of our nation, by blowing up fireworks all night long.

Actually, that makes a lot of sense, if you blow up fireworks, you don't have to think about the sacrifices our forefathers made to establish and nurture our great country. Blowing up fireworks makes us all as smart as 5th graders and isn't that what we all strive for?

Don't you love the signs on all of our fireworks stores? "Pacifica is a Zero Tolerance City".

If you have no tolerance, you have to be able to enforce it don't you? Like keeping dogs on leashes, driving 45 miles per hour on Highway 1, actually signaling when you make a turn, or even granting the right of way to the other driver.

Yes sir, we are a no tolerance city alright, the only problem is, that nobody cares and we can't do anything to stop it. So let's see, we've discussed selling drugs as an alternative, if that doesn't work, let's sell cigarettes and liquor to all of our underage residents. I bet that will give us enough revenue to support all of our civic programs.

Let's stretch our virtual reality a bit. Suppose your entire state is engulfed in wildfires. There are over 18,000 firefighters working day and night to control these wildfires. Highways adjacent to many of these fires have been closed to all traffic and, to top it all off, we have been warned to stay indoors because the wildfire smoke air we are breathing is dangerous.

What do we do to help this situation? Why here in our city, we sell fireworks and encourage everyone to set them off adding both smoke and danger to an already dangerous situation.

I realize that this sounds a little stupid, but how will we ever be able to pay for all of our civic programs without fireworks?

So let's cut down all the redwoods and sell the wood, let's burn down the forests and pollute the air because, by George, we need that revenue to run our civic programs and coming up with alternatives just takes too much thought and too much effort. Wait till next year, we'll have even bigger and better bombs for sale.

Maybe next year we can add rifles, pistols and a few rocket launchers too. Happy 4th of July folks and keep those excuses coming.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | www.LAAG.us | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

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