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Old 11-05-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
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Las Vegas Mayor = Nutjob

From the Las Vegas Sun

Mayor: Sever Thumbs of Graffiti Artists

November 05, 2005 11:19 AM EST

RENO, Nev. - Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has suggested that those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

Goodman, appearing Wednesday on the "Nevada Newsmakers" television show, said, "In the old days in France, they had beheading of people who commit heinous crimes.

"You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it.

"I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb," the mayor added. "That may be the right thing to do."

Goodman also suggested that whippings or canings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

"I also believe in a little bit of corporal punishment going back to the days of yore, where examples have to be shown," Goodman said.

"I'm dead serious," said Goodman, adding, "Some of these (children) don't learn. You have got to teach them a lesson, and this is coming from a criminal defense lawyer."

"They would get a trial first," he added.

Another panelist on the show, Howard Rosenberg, a state university system regent, responded by saying that cutting off the thumbs of taggers won't solve the problem and Goodman should "use his head for something other than a hat rack."
I do like Rosenberg's quote though....

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Old 11-05-2005, 06:38 PM   #2
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i wonder what punishment he'd like to dish out to the drunks who piss on the sidewalk....


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Old 11-05-2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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Originally posted by caragriff
i wonder what punishment he'd like to dish out to the drunks who piss on the sidewalk....

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Old 11-05-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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Aaaaahhh, I love this city.

Those tortoises and murals that had been defaced were a donation to the city.
I can see why he's worked up.

Stiffening the rules and things for people to be able to purchase a spray paint wouldn't work in a million years.
So many of the kids who work in the stores they sell it in are under 18, yet they have the permission to unlock the spray paint.
I worked at Home Depot for a bit in Loss Prevention, and so many of those kids were stealing that crap.

While I don't particularly agree with the whole 'OFF WITH THEIR THUMBS!' thing, there needs to be stronger punishments against defacing public property.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:30 PM   #5
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I really don't think the mayor was honestly suggesting lopping off a digit of someone who paints a tag on a mailbox. The point that the mayor was trying to get across was, IMO, that vandalism deserves a harsher punishment.

Which I can agree with in many cases. Most times graffiti consists of an ugly tag or of a stupid, vulgar phrase. That's dumb, and there should be punishments for that.

However, there's another side to it.

In Halifax, we have a program where graffiti is judged based on artistic merit. It's run by city hall, and there is a committee of local street artists, businesspersons from the downtown core, and general citizens. They go inspect reports of graffiti, and, if it's deemed to have artistic merit (which a lot of graffiti does -- some of it is outright beautiful and takes hours of work), it will not be covered over or cleaned up as long as it's not on private property. It benefits everyone. The true artists get a chance to have their work displayed, the idiots who think they're gangsters and spray tags on everything they see get punished, and the downtown looks more beautiful as a result. We've got full murals that have been done overnight that are incredible, while some 15-year-old who picked up a can of spray paint at the local Canadian Tire gets a fine (if he is caught).

I think that's the solution. The reason that graffiti artists are so maligned is that it's automatically assumed that all graffiti is ugly; it's not. There are some truly beautiful things that it's a damn shame get covered over on a daily basis. As well, idiotic vandalism gets removed. It works here.
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Old 11-06-2005, 02:02 AM   #6
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Cibola!!!! My life for you!@!!!!
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Old 11-06-2005, 08:23 AM   #7
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Sounds like Halifax got it about right. Thanks for the post, DaveC. There's a lot of graffiti I'd take over the "official" art.
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:32 AM   #8
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I doubt much thinking went into Goodman's comments, but there is a larger issue that could be discussed. There are a number of countries where harsh, physical punishments are given for relatively minor crimes. These countries all enjoy lower crime rates. Are they more or less civilized than countries that do not employ such harsh punishments?

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