Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Leadership, Tobacco, and Religion
During lunch today I had the pleasure of attending the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs' Distinguished Carlson Lecture at the University of Minnesota via a ticket supplied by my racquetball buddy Tom A. -- may his recovery from knee surgery go well!!
Today's guest lecturer was General Colin Powell the former US Secretary of State whose speech theme was -- "Leadership: Taking Charge". Overall it is clear General Powell is a very accomplished public speaker. I saw him speak earlier this year at a conference in Austin, Texas and he shined again today before a completely filled auditorium.
Ah, "leadership", is always a key topic debated in society. I have graduated from four (4) different leadership development programs with the most recent one being "Leadership Minnesota" which is hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce - www.mnchamber.com
Several of our local city councils/mayors are proud of their "leadership" whereby they forced restaurant and bar owners to forbid people from smoking in their privately owned businesses. This city council activity precedes a new issue brought to my attention in the October 2, 2006 Pioneer Press newspaper article (www.twincities.com) "Taxi Light will mean 'no alcohol' ". This article focused on the hundreds of devout Muslim taxi drivers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport area who refuse to transport passengers in their taxi if these potential passengers are traveling with bottles of alcohol since their religious practice forbids such exposure to/promotion of alcohol use.
No I am NOT a Muslim-basher at all despite my Christian heritage but I a lover of free enterprise and private property rights so I have to wonder where our society is going when a restaurant/bar owner can't allow people to smoke tobacco in their private establishments due to government puritans BUT cab drivers who do or do NOT own their taxi cabs can dictate who can ride in their vehicles based on their possession of alcohol.
Both Muslim cab drivers/operators and bar/restaurants owners should retain equal rights to run their businesses by serving whatever patrons they want to serve without the presence of big government regulators pursuing their own agendas.
Freedom is good for all entrepreneurs,