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    David Smith: So many stories, so little time

    A team of masons moved into my brain recently and started building a “mental block.” It’s made writing a column difficult.

    There are so many things vying for my attention lately that I seem to be going from one to another without pause and time for reflection.

    That’s no excuse, really, just an observation. My inability to reflect has, in essence, reflected ideas away and not allowed them to steep and marinate.

    There are so many great stories kicking around, too.

    Gov. Chris Christy of New Jersey is one of them. Anyone who thinks the governor was unaware of what was going on please raise your hand. No one? That’s what I thought.

    I asked my brother-in-law from New Jersey last week what he thought about his governor’s traffic jam. He didn’t believe the governor’s closest aides would have failed to at least give Christy a head’s up about what was going on. If your top aide fails to keep you informed, it is my brother-in-law’s belief that Christy either told them that he wanted plausible deniability, or that the aide knew it was wrong and was trying to shield the governor.

    It made me wonder how many more skeletons are in the governor’s closet.

    And did Christy really need a two-hour press conference to issue a denial? He must like to hear himself speak, or he saw his presidential hopes flying out the window. That kind of damage is hard to erase with words, even with declarations of “I was blindsided.”

    The only thing that blindsided him was the fact it was revealed.

    While I believe that the issue of essentially stopping traffic in Fort Lee will be nearly forgotten by the election in 2016, it will probably be enough to keep him from winning the primary. Nobody likes a bully.

    And in Rhode Island, we have a governor who is not running and the candidates are starting to line up. A seat like that up for grabs is almost like a blood sport in Rhode Island. Everyone wants to take a shot at it. The only thing we’re missing is a candidate from southern Rhode Island. Isn’t there anyone from our area who can help us? Our issues need to be heard!

    Kudos, though, to Gov. Lincoln Chafee for recently quoting the state’s leading expert on tourism, Taylor Swift. She thinks Rhode Island is a cool place and said so in a Rolling Stone magazine interview.

    I did think it was funny, however, that Chafee noted in his State of the State speech that the wealthy singer is a resident of “Westerly.” I thought I could hear the sound of jaws dropping in Watch Hill all the way to my house nestled securely in the heart of Westerly.

    It is a good thing that Chafee is not seeking re-election. He just burned one of those proverbial bridges. On a brighter note, however, perhaps Swift could be our candidate for governor. I’m going to write her name in because the apparent other choices are so ... not cool.

    The other big news is that another retailer, Neiman Marcus, has been branded with a security breach. Target has already suffered with that problem. Millions of people had their debit card information stolen. It makes you think that debit cards need a major overhaul. There has to be some technology that would make it more difficult for thieves to steal our information.

    And let us not forget the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, for those over age 21, of course. I’m not a fan of legalizing pot. I don’t think that having people wandering around stoned is a good idea. If someone needs it for medical reasons, that’s fine.

    I have to admit that I have never tried marijuana and don’t see its appeal. I’m a realist and know that there are people currently using marijuana, and legalization would just bring it out into the open. And it might even slow the smuggling of the stuff across our borders.

    But now other states want to give it a try, for the tax benefit, of course.

    It’s rather difficult for people that support the sale of liquor to argue against the legalization of marijuana. Any politician or voter who drinks should have to recuse himself or herself from the discussion. That would do two things — cut down on the number of people voicing an opinion and shorten the debate.

    Besides, this drug-induced haze could end with the U.S. government deciding that states are out of line on this course of action.

    The whole mess is enough for me to consider taking a toke.Well, not really.

    David Smith is the editor of The Sun’s weekly publications. This is his personal opinion. He may be reached at dsmith@thewesterlysun.com.



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