Volume III, Issue II Summer 2004

The Smoking Section

So now the health fascists are invading not only bars and restaurants, but beaches and even your own car.

The once-idyllic seaside town of Solana Beach, California, has now banned smoking at the beach. Second-hand smoke and all that. Forget the fact that courts have already held that banning smoking in open-air locations is problematic in that the smoke dissipates so quickly that it creates no public health menace.

If that sort of supposedly benign iron-fist rule isn't obnoxious enough, one of these health nuts got elected to the state Legislature here in the Golden State and proposed a law that would have banned smoking in your own car if a child under the age of 18 was present. Child abuse, don't you see.

But even this loon's fellow do-gooders thought that was going a bit far, and despite watering the bill down to only ban smoking if a child in a car seat was present, it still went down to defeat.

But rest assured, freedom lovers – busy bodies never admit defeat, and ever-more restrictive proposals will be back ...

Raping the system

JusticeKobe Bryant's defense team is doing to every woman in Colorado what Bryant stands accused of doing to one woman.

Trying to overturn Colorado's rape shield law – which quite properly holds that an alleged rape victim's sexual history is irrelevant to the case at hand (after all, even prostitutes have the right to say no) – was only the most despicable of Bryant's lawyers' transgressions. From repeatedly casting aspersions on her morality, motives and decency, to defying the judge's directions not to identify her in court, Bryant's attorneys have lost no chance to defile this woman's reputation.

Here at Turbula, we're not so keen on keeping the identity of those making allegations of rape hidden. While the argument is that being a rape victim continues to expose a woman's reputation to damage, we'd point out that being falsely accused of rape doesn't do a whole lot for a man's reputation, either. And even if acquitted, once accused there will always be those who consider him guilty.

Besides, the whole idea of shame being associated with sexual victimization is an outdated relic of a time when rape was considered a property crime, or that a woman's chastity was her greatest gift to her husband. Maintaining such double standards hardly seems to further the cause of women's equality.

But that's still a minor complaint compared to the kind of damage Bryant's lawyers are willing to inflict in order to gain a favorable verdict for their client ...

Naughty but funny
Two and a Half Men

Here a Turbula nation, we hesitate to hold up Charlie Sheen as a signal of anything progressive or good ... but at the same time, we find ourselves increasingly amused by the irreverence of his television program, "Two and a Half Men."

Definitely not kid fare, and often fixated on bodily functions and parts, it is nonetheless one of the freshest, wittiest and most outrageous things on the boob tube these days.

Sheen basically plays, well, himself. Or at least his old self – a narcissistic, hedonistic promiscuous playboy.

But Charlie inherited a ton of charisma and not a little acting ability from his dad, and so despite the inherently self-fixated nature of his character, it's hard not to like the guy.

Just keep him away from your daughters ...

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