Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. - Mark Twain

Tanks and Beers
by Lee

I couldn’t agree more with this.

One Wisconsin lawmaker figures if the U.S. military trusts 19-year-olds with a $10 million tank, then the state should trust them with a beer.

State Rep. Mark Pettis, a Republican who served in the Navy, is pushing a bill that would drop the drinking age to 19 for Wisconsin soldiers — but only if the federal government agrees it will not yank an estimated $50 million a year in highway aid.

A federal law ties federal highway dollars to compliance by the states with the required drinking age of 21.

“We’re treating these young men and women as adults when they’re at war. But we treat them like teenagers when they’re here in the states,” he said.

Pettis admits his proposal will be a tough sell unless Wisconsin gets the federal government’s approval — or at least permission to start a pilot program to prove it will not cause more accidents or other problems opponents associate with a younger drinking age.

Wisconsin transportation officials say the federal government has told them there is no process to apply for a waiver from the drinking age requirement, and creating one would likely take an act of Congress.

The bill would create an exemption for 19- and 20-year-old soldiers from Wisconsin — but not for soldiers from out of state. A valid military ID along with a Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card would be required.

I think the drinking age everywhere ought to be lowered to 18.  All the 21 limit has done is increase incidents of binge drinking among college students.  But I especially agree with this lawmaker’s sentiment that soldiers are expected to act like adults, but they’re treated like children.

When I was stationed in San Diego the Navy lowered the on-base drinking age to 18.  This was to stop sailors going to Tijuana to get drunk.  Of course, there was no drunk college girls in the on-base bars, so we went to Tijuana anyway.  But, astonishingly, the world didn’t end when 18 year old were allowed to drink.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 07:55 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by JimK on 05/31/05 at 09:04 PM from United States

Hear hear.

While I support the right of any state to set “adulthood” wherever they so decide, as a practical matter I wish they’d all pick 18.  If you can give ‘em a rifle, you can give ‘em a beer.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/31/05 at 09:09 PM from United States

Ah, Tijuana...(sighs wistfully)

I don’t have a problem with this, either-but we should then raise the voting age back to 21. And you should know your American history and the role of the Electoral College and the Constitution in elections backwards and forwards. The only reason it was lowered was because of the antiwar crowd.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 09:12 PM from United States

While I support the right of any state to set “adulthood” wherever they so decide, as a practical matter I wish they’d all pick 18.

Many of them would.  The issue is federal highway money, which the federal government withholds from any state that doesn’t enact a 21 age limit for drinking.  And the SCOTUS has upheld the right of the federal government to do this.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 09:18 PM from United States

...research shows the brain has not fully developed until people reach age 21. “It’s for their own protection,” Kinnard said.

My favorite part, I love it:)

Posted by Poosh on 05/31/05 at 09:18 PM from United Kingdom

Actually I would say “if you have been given a rifle, then you can have a beer.”

It would do wonders for the army.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 09:27 PM from United States

if you have been given a rifle, then you can have a beer

absolutly, it will give them a spirit of beeing adults

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 10:09 PM from United States

I have long been of the opinion that 18 should be the age of “adulthood” for everything.  Drinking, buying smokes, adult prices at the theater and buffets, etc.  Make it consistent across the board.

Posted by HARLEY on 05/31/05 at 10:14 PM from United States

Yeah, move it down to 18 there be less people going to jail for buying alcohol for minors…
that help the legal system just a bit more.

Id like to see the age for owning a handgun down to 18 too.. hell one can vote at 18, and drive a 2000 pound plus death machine down our roads at 16.....

mainly case id like to take my son, once he is old enough, deer hunting with a hand gun.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 12:43 AM from United States

Oh yeah...take the ferry from North Island to downtown, hop on the trolley to San Ysidro, stop at the McD’s to fill up, then walk across into TJ.  Used to hang out at Club A on the Avenida de la Revoluçion, among other places.  Memories...........

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 12:56 AM from United States

There should be no drinking age.  Beer, wine and liquor are things that parents should decide when and how to expose their children to - not the government bluenoses.

The most surefired way to create a group of binge drinking retards is to make booze something that is banned until several years after they already started using regularly anyway.  Other cultures don’t have our messed up obsession with liquor and they seem to skip the frat party mentality.

Posted by Drumwaster on 06/01/05 at 12:58 AM from United States

Looked at THAT way, there IS no drinking age.

Think of it as the age at which you can legally buy it for yourself.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 01:25 AM from United States

Lee wrote:
“Many of them would.  The issue is federal highway money, which the federal government withholds from any state that doesn’t enact a 21 age limit for drinking.  And the SCOTUS has upheld the right of the federal government to do this.”

Ah yes, the old carrot and stick approach. They dangle the carrot in front of you and beat you with the stick when you don’t pay attention and do what is expected of you. They pulled the same shit with the 55 mph speed limit too.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 01:45 AM from United States

When I was 19 and lived in Chcago,I went to school in Madison,when the drinking age in WI was 18 for all alchohol.They changed it in IL to 19-21 for beer and wine,21 for hard liquor.So when I went to the bars on Divvision St,they would mark the back of your hand with a big magic-marker “X” so you could only order beer or wine.Try being cool with that scarlet letter announcing for you,You could tell who was in that age bracket by who was standing around with their hands in their pockets.But my grandmother owned a tavern,I started drinking much earlier,and it did not have the same allure to me as the other kids who didn’t have that upbringing,and,yeah,most of them were big-time bingers.I mostly hung out at the parties at school with a mug of ginger ale.so people thought I was drinking but i could snake the babes away from the load stars.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 01:52 AM from United States

I got out of the Marine Corp in October of 1970 and Massachusetts dropped the drinking age to 18. Well for about the first two years all I saw was, if they weren’t fighting they were puking.
History may have a lesson here.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 01:54 AM from United States

Once I turned 21 drinking did not seem to be as fun.  It was much more fun when you had to sneak into bars.  I wonder if lowering the drinking age might actually decrease consumption.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 02:35 AM from United States

Used to be 18 when I was coming up in NC; I was in the window that got “grandfathered” in when they changed it to 21 (i.e., I was 18 before it got changed, but not yet 21 when it did get changed, so they let me drink anyhow, not that they could have stopped me). I gotta say, I never noticed any particular social benefit to raising the age, other than sucking on the Federal highway fund tit, god bless the tit, in go(l)d we trust, and all.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 02:41 AM from United States

I agree somewhat that the drinking age for the military should be 18, but be aware, when I was in high school in Massachusetts, the drinking age was 18, and man, what a hell of a time was going on.  As an adult, now 44, and in law enforcement, it would be a disaster.  Back then, there were so many fatalities, car crashes etc, it was a nightmare.  Granted, there are kids drinking now at 18, but to allow them to waltz into a package store and get it at 18, no way.

At 18 years old, in this day and age, 18 is just about puberty (with the drinking scene) Crap, we were buying Boones apple wine at 15 years old, but it was a challenge to get it.  Kids, by themselves behind the wheel at 18 are a menace, never mind roll up to a package store and fill up.  Its not a good mix..(listen to me, I got my license at 15)

But, and maybe not, Ive seen 18 years olds at the NCO club in the service, shitfaced, and acting like assholes, because they could drink., I dont think anyone needs that, and man am I getting old................................:)

Posted by Lee on 06/01/05 at 02:42 AM from United States

When I first moved to Texas in 1986 the legislature passed a bill raising the age from 19 to 21.  I was only 16 at the time, so the law didn’t affect me.  But I remember all of these 19 year olds being interviewed by the news, getting loaded legally for that one night, because at the stroke of midnight it went up to 21.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 05:36 AM from Canada

It is 18 or 19 here in the Peoples Republik of Canada, and I used to get a small glass of beer or wine occasionally with dinner when I was younger (14, 15).  The world has not ended here.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 06:17 AM from United States

All the 21 limit has done is increase incidents of binge drinking among college students.

How?
18/19/21/17/23 They will still binge drink, because to them, having no brain cells is cool. Less weight to carry around. Give them an inch…

Posted by Poosh on 06/01/05 at 08:34 AM from United Kingdom

In Britain binge-drinking is called “being normal”.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 08:45 AM from United States

The issue of raising the drinking age to 21 had to do with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving and others who rallied for the increase to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  They estimate that the increase saves about 1000 people a year.  www.madd.org has some interesting stats.

Posted by Keggin on 06/01/05 at 08:58 AM from United States

I was raised and went to college (many moons prior) in a state where the drinking age was 18 at the time. I was astonished at the degree to which the college kids, and not just the freshmen, from “21 states” couldn’t handle their booze.  They were more often than not they dudes passed out in the shower in their vomit encrusted clothing.  Those from “18 states” seemed to have learned earlier on how to pace themselves and not become puking idiots.  I agree treat them like adults.  There will always be a handful that can’t handle their firewater but the time to figure that out is at 18 y.o. not pretending a problem doesn’t exist for four more years.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 09:25 AM from United States

I was about 5 or 6 when my parents let me suck the foam off freshly popped can of beer.  Not even enough to give a little kid a buzz.  About the same age I asked my dad if I could try some of the bourbon he was making drinks with - one shot of 80 proof put me off the stuff until I was 16.

But by the time I was 16 if I wanted a beer all I had to do was ask for one, and during the summer my dad would just grab one for me on hot evenings when he hit up the fridge.

By and large I skipped the “forbidden fruit” of booze, never had a problem with binge drinking, and learned to appreciate good booze in moderation.  The number of times I’ve been drunk in the last 20 years I can count on one hand - and I drink almost every day.

Posted by on 06/01/05 at 10:59 AM from United States

The issue of raising the drinking age to 21 had to do with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving and others who rallied for the increase to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  They estimate that the increase saves about 1000 people a year.  http://www.madd.org has some interesting stats.

Well, that’s great.  Now, raise the enlist age to 21, since these 18 year old choades aren’t mature enough.  Isn’t that Lee’s point here?

MADD had the right idea, but as usual (human nature), they went too far.  Now the have responsible people thrown in jail and license suspended for a .08 BAL.  Talk about a slippery slope “agenda” and all.  These people want a defacto prohibition on alcohol.

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