To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pack Shack Foils Howard County at Every Anti-Pornography Turn

Is this the definition of having nothing better to do?

For 11 years, Howard County officials and some residents have fought to close the jurisdiction's only adult bookstore.

They've passed legislation and waged costly legal battles, only to be thwarted time and again.

And now, despite a county law designed to force the Ellicott City store to move away from nearby homes or close, the Pack Shack appears poised to prevail again - maintaining its "Adult Video" sign along a busy stretch of U.S. 40, along with shelves of explicit movies, skimpy lingerie and sex toys.

The store's solution? Filling its basement and other little-used areas with a broad selection of used books that most customers may never see.

"I'm very bitter," said John Baronas, an Ellicott City resident who first protested the store in 1997 and fears that pornography spurs sex crimes. "Why, if [Rudolph W.] Giuliani can clean up Times Square, can't we get rid of an eyesore?"
It doesn't say in the article, but I'm pretty sure John is bitter because he doesn't have a brain. To begin with Ellicott City isn't Times Square. It's Ellicott City...In Howard County, MD. One of the richest, crime-free counties in the Baltimore-Washington area. There isn't a rape epidemic, or any crime epidemic in Howard County because of one porno store called The Pack Shack (which incidentally is a great name). In 2007 there were 19 rapes (yet county police only arrested 6 suspects) in the entire county to go along with 4 murders within a county population that is over 270,000. The rape rate is nearly half of what it is for the rest of Maryland, and homicide rate doesn't even come close to the state average.

And just a reminder for John: It's 2008 and we are blessed with computers and the Internet, both of which allow scumbags like myself to stay up until all hours of the morning watching completely free and completely disgusting porn in my very own home. While I'm sure The Pack Shack gives its customers a helluva' selection you could no more stem the flow of pornography into your county by unlawfully closing one porn shop than you could slow the flow of white yuppies in Howard County by closing down one Starbucks.* However, that isn't an argument for closing The Pack Shack; it's a business that follows the law and clearly has a market, and just because some activists and silly county executives don't like it doesn't mean that's a good enough reason to close it.

More here including how the county blew $187,000 in taxpayer money.

*Disclaimer: I own a very small amount of Starbucks stock that like most everything else in my portfolio has lost me a lot of money in the last 3 months.

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