Opinions matter, even small ones

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

I have a lot of opinions. But today, I’ll just give you three. They’re not enough for individual columns, but each has pop culture, sports or political merit.

• One of my friends has joined an online group dedicated to creating a worldwide carrot shortage on May 15. The group already has 180,000 people, who are pledging to go to a random supermarket that day and buy out the carrot supply.

This is idiotic on three fronts. First, this “carrot shortage” won’t be a surprise to anybody who’s in the business of selling carrots, because this super-secret effort showed up in nine of the first 10 entries I got when I Googled “carrot shortage.”

Second, that money could be better spent. I went to my neighborhood supermarket Tuesday and priced its carrot supply at $24. If one-third of those 180,000 people instead donated that to Habitat for Humanity, they’d provide new homes for 24 families displaced by hurricanes.

Third, May 15 is my birthday, It would be a better gesture to send me all that carrot money (c/o Freedom New Mexico, PO Box 1689, Clovis, NM 88101).

• There’s no telling whether there will be any traction on the Democratic National Committee’s complaint that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain shouldn’t be allowed to withdraw from public financing for his presidential campaign.

If the Federal Election Committee does not allow McCain to leave the public financing system, he will severely be hampered in campaign spending between now and September.
McCain’s people say it’s not unprecedented for a candidate to opt out of public financing, because it was done in 2004 by Howard Dean, who is now filing the complaint against McCain.

Now the chairman of the DNC, Dean has countered the situations are different. Dean alleges McCain has already benefited from the public financing system by getting on the ballot in states where he would have otherwise needed signatures, and securing a bank loan using the public financing money as possible collateral.

My favorite part of it all is this: The law that may hamstring McCain is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, commonly known by its bipartisan Senate sponsors as McCain-Feingold.

• I treat trade deadline day in the National Basketball Association like a holiday, because it is a turning point for so many teams that decide if they’re making a playoff push or hanging it up for the year. It’s particularly interesting this year because some players that wear headbands (Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden) have been traded to the Chicago Bulls, which has a team policy against them.

I’d make the argument that headbands are just a current style that will phase out without the help of an arbitrary dress code, but former
SLAM Magazine editor Russ Bengston has already spoken on it. He said more on the magazine’s Web site:
“If anything, headbands are a useful piece of gear, to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes. Just look at Drew Gooden. With that head and that beard you just know he’s sweating all over the place. What if sweat were to drip into his eyes at a key moment and make him miss a free throw, eliminating the Bulls from the playoffs? Oh, that’s right, the Bulls aren’t going to MAKE the playoffs. They have bigger fish to fry.”

Well said, Russ.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com