Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Neville Chamberlain: Alive And Well At the Amethyst Initiative

We're reliably informed that something called the Amethyst Initiative has managed to sign up a number of college presidents eager to kowtow to an army of militant drunks.

"What?" you say, "college presidents doing something important besides migrating from job to job like a bunch of disloyal, money grubbing locusts? Thinking about the Big Issues? Brilliant!"

Hold your horses for a minute, Sparky.

The inartfully yclept initiative is an effort to get the national drinking age lowered from 21 to 18, on the somewhat dubious premise that this will serve to limit college binge drinking among the studenti and there will therefore be peace and justice.

Were truth in advertising enforced, this could be described as the Caving In To Campus Disorder/Drunken Bum Initiative. A more appropriate symbol would be a stinking drunk person vomiting in a wastebasket while hurling a brick at police.

Apparently this notion is the brainchild of John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College. He recites that the law is routinely evaded (true) and that the people that it is aimed at believe it is unfair, unjust, discriminatory and a downright shame-all of which is true, but beside the point. People in the habit or routinely disobeying the law always see consequences for their actions as a gross imposition. Also, if you believe that drunken affrays should be the norm in every college town across the nation then you're on board with the Amethyst Initiative. And it's also germane if you figure that college presidents need more time to sit on their asses instead of getting out in front and enforcing reasonable rules of conduct on campus and in campustown.

John, here's what you're going to get if you succeed. These are the people you want to turn loose on the rest of us.

Joanne Glasser, prez of Bradley University in the great state of Illinois is not joining forces with the amethystas. She disagrees with the muddleheaded notion that lowering the drinking age will make anyone safer.

Here's what she said, and it's worth reiterating:

"Based on the tragic and untimely alcohol-related deaths of two Bradley students last year, I recognize more than others the very serious consequences of this proposal. Rather than spending our time trying to lower the drinking age, universities should be focusing our attention on programs and activities that address both the responsible use of alcohol and a reduction in the misuse and abuse of alcohol on our respective campuses."

You know, I have an idea. How about the Obey the Rules or Get Your Ass Gone Initiative?

The premise is simple. There are rules, you're expected to behave like an adult on campus and follow them, and if you don't, out you go. Make your own way in the world.

I'd be glad to host it if somebody like A-B or Jack Daniels funds the project.

I mean, who could be against expecting people to obey the rules that were in place when they applied to Booshwah State University, for heaven's sake.

All of which raises an interesting and important question.

Who's paying for the Amethyst Initiative?


At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was refreshing to see your comments - my first thoughts when I heard this is the same as your question - who is behind this? Could this be a ploy to reduce liability among the campus-taverns and the unviersities themselves?
thanks - kepp up the good work
Rebecca Reier
Greenville OH

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

Thanks for your kind words Rebecca. Ever since the Veishea riots at ISU I've had very little patience with campustown drunks. The way I figure it is that enabling people like this-which is what the amethyst initiative would do-is just the sort of thing that Neville Chamberlain would have approved of.
I mean, if people want to be drunken slobs, fine, but get the hell away from campus and out of the university-it's supposed to be a place of learning, not a place to misbehave and avoid punishment for it because the administrators are afraid of the students.

At 4:43 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

When I read this I automatically assumed it was a big push by Anheuser-Busch et al. Any evidence of lobbying by the beverage industry ?
(great blog by the way, just happened to wander in !)

At 8:56 PM, Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

I'm going to raise my feeble voice in opposition to the views expressed above. The fact is, the 21 drinking age has made alcohol (slightly) more difficult to obtain than marijuana, LSD, crystal meth and a whole cocktail of similar substances. The drinking age was raised to 21 in an attempt to curb teenage DUI. That has only served to increase the allure of the forbidden fruit.

However much I may oppose the 21 drinking age, I must at the end of the day agree that reducing the drinking age to 18 is a bad idea. If we really want to nip college age drunkenness in the bud, as well as prevent teenage drunken driving, the legal drinking age should be reduced to 12, and the driving age increased to 18. Let them get it out of their systems before they learn how to drive or go off to college. Of course, that's never going to happen because of the "church ladies" lobby.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

How are ya, Mac. Long time no see.

I really do not care if people drink til they're blue in the face, puke their guts out, and sometimes die from the wretched stuff. That's their lookout.

However, none of that gives people the right to run riot and act like a mob of hooligans on campus, destroy property, and whatnot.

If people want to do that, fine. Let's don't be enablers of such behavior. There are rules.

If they want to do like in the video, administrators need to throw their asses out of college and let them shift for themselves.

Education's too important a gift for the people who need it and want it, to be wasted on swine.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

I guess I've just been lurking. I came for the Aviation and have stayed for everything else. Google Reader is a wonderful thing...


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