First they came for the toilets, and I sat idly by, next it was smokers, and I said nothing. They took the fluorescent light bulbs away and I hid in the dark. Then they came for the trans-fat, and I let it slide on by. They came for the 16oz sodas, and I turned away. Finally they came for the chips and the milk, and I said enough! Right now, if I lived in New York City, I’d be breaking the law. Add a bag of popcorn and I could potentially be a felon. There could be police check points as you enter the movie theatre. (Tickets please, would you mind removing your shoes?) Dude all I have are Raisinets. \(Why chocolate covered raisins are called Raisinets; and chocolate covered peanuts not called peanutets? I mean why not just call them chocolate covered raisins? Perhaps the better question is, why not a fancy name for chocolate covered peanuts?) Sorry, just another random thought.
It seems that the Mayor of New York wants to become “Nanny in Chief.” Is his goal to make the “Big Apple” the “Small Apple?” If I choose to move to NYC, why can’t I be a French fry eating, soda slurping, chain smoking, fat slob? Perhaps the Mayor would like to check my underwear and see if I’ve changed it? Of course that is the TSA’s job, but hell, given the current state of our federal, state, and local governments. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind joining together to limit our freedoms even further.
However we willing accept these infringements as they are for our safety. Take a look around; there are so many surveillance cameras today that I’ve applied for my Screen Actor’s Gild card. The state Legislature wants to pass a law that would allow Philadelphia to continue using cameras at red lights and would extend their use to other cities in Pennsylvania. I’m all for safety and security, but at what cost? Think about it, we spend more time on camera than Mel Gibson.
The soundtrack of our lives should be the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” We are told what to eat, what to drink, what type of light bulbs we can use, and who to marry. We are being recorded on cameras almost everywhere we go, stopped at seatbelt and DUI checkpoints. It doesn’t surprise me that I can’t have a 16 oz pop, since I can only have 1 ½ gallons of water in my toilet. For the love of God, can’t you leave us alone and let us live our lives.
The free trade gang has sacrificed American jobs and security in an effort to build a Global Village. Visit any local retailer and search for the “Made in USA” label. Indiana Jones had an easier time finding the Ark of the Covenant.
We were told that by sending production overseas we would benefit by paying less and helping other nations increase their standard of living. It was a win-win situation. The reality is if we were to go to war we would be unable to defend ourselves, as our means of production are scattered across the globe. Do we have the capability to manufacture the steel to build naval vessels? Do we have the fuel resources to keep our soldiers and sailors on the move? Do we have the textile manufacturing facilities to even clothe our soldiers? No, no and no.
Besides the security issues; what benefit is it to have cheap goods if no one is working or they are unable to afford them. As corporations move, the employees are the ones who suffer the consequences. To the economist a worker is capital, a tool that drives the economy at a cost, expendable, a small piece of a much larger equation. Human capital has no more value, if not less value, than the machinery of a plant.
It is amazing to me that during political campaigns everyone does their best to show that they are more patriotic than their opponent. Yet, once they reach Washington the turn their backs on the American worker. Our leaders, both political and business, have no problem putting profit over patriotism. Until we as a nation are prepared to make the sacrifices to keep American companies here and our citizens working, we are vulnerable to outside forces that do not have our best interests in mind.
The health care debate has ended. It has been replaced with screaming theatre that neither entertains nor brings comfort to the audience. The sides for and against, have their heels so firmly dug in that you can barely see their heads over outstretched arms. The basic problem is that our elected officials have no idea what is in H.R. 3200, better known as “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.”
A “one size fits all” government program will not work. The President as much as admitted it when he gave kudos to UPS and Federal Express, while telling us that it was the Post Office that was always in trouble. While health care reform is needed, it should be done by the states. Each state knows the problems of health care in their own backyard. Who better than the state government to craft legislation to place controls on the cost of health insurance, introduce tort reform and force the Congress to enact legislation similar to The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 making insurance competitive and portable among the fifty states.
It is easier to hold our state representatives accountable for their actions, or inaction, each election cycle, than to remove those that have sold their souls to the national party machines. Granted that current events in Harrisburg may make the idea of accomplishing anything at the state level difficult, however we can remove the current group in 2010. Good government is as much the responsibility of the citizen as the legislator.
I had read that it was now possible to buy shoes with a GPS in them for tracking lost children. It was an interesting idea, and then I thought that a serious kidnapper or child molester would just remove the shoes and carry on with their sick plans. Obviously the best way to protect the children would be just to implant the GPS into the child at birth. This would make it more difficult for the perverts to find and remove.
However, why stop there? If you think about it, old people need a tracking device. It is almost as heartbreaking to read about some out lady who wandered out into the winter snows and froze to death, as it is to read about an abducted child. While we are at it might as well tagged the ladies too. Let’s face it; they are the victims of sex crimes as well.
Come to think of it we should tag gays, African-Americans, and other minority groups who fall victims to hate crimes. By tracking these groups we could dispatch the police to the exact location before the trouble begins. In fact it might be wise to also tag all prison inmates as well. When you think about it this GPS tracking system is really all about preventing crime.
Now that we have the children, the elderly, the gays, and the various minority groups there is only one group we need to figure out what to do with; straight white males between the ages of 17 and 60, depending when dementia or Alzheimer’s disease sets in. Eventually the problem will solved given the tagging of babies at birth and criminals, but what should be done in the short term?
I mean, the last thing we would want is a bunch of gun totting white guys running around unchecked.
So Utah now has a backup plan for killing death row inmates, joining several other states, in seeing that justice is done. I used to be a proponent for the death penalty, but given my recent experiences on local and federal court, count me out.
After hearing a retired judge and two attorneys tell my friend that, “It’s not about the truth,” and “The truth doesn’t matter,” my already low opinion of the justice system reached rock bottom. There are two justice systems; one for the rich, and one for everyone else. Unfortunately, you get the justice you can afford.
Do I believe that the jails are full of innocent people? No, but given my experience, as a former law enforcement officer and recently in court, there are more than we would want to admit. A nation that was built on laws and protecting the rights of the weak cannot survive for long when justice is not served equally.
Killing someone may make us feel better, but it also lowers our value as human beings. If strapping someone to a chair and shooting them is not a violation of the 8th Amendment, then nothing would be, and we have become the very barbarians we seek to protect ourselves from.
It’s Martin Luther King Day and what have we learned or accomplished?
The violence we are witnessing in not only our area, but around the nation is disturbing. While it is easy to blame guns for much of the violence, it is unfair. The use of a gun to kill or injure someone is the end result of years of neglect. That neglect starts at home with parents that want to be their child's friend or the other extreme where the child is not just wanted. Single parents often overworked and tired; slowly lose their influence to the gangs. Without the direction of the parents, churches sit empty on a Sunday and moral relativism takes over in our communities.
In many aspects the government has replaced the church. At the federal, state and local levels people turn to government to feed, house, educate, employ, set moral standards and solve problems. It could be argued that the government is the leading charity organization in the country. We have become reliant on the government instead of our neighbors and religious institutions. Unfortunately the government has no vested interest in our success; our neighbors and community do.
The government can impose all the laws that it likes, but it is our communities that can change the culture of violence faster and more effectively. There are thousands of gun laws on the books, yet it seems, the murder rate continues to climb. Why? Prosecutors accept plea deals that drop the gun charges; cases are dismissed or lost because witnesses refuse to cooperate. What does it say about society were a line of clothing promotes a "Don't Snitch" attitude? Could it be possible that the crime in the street actually is caused by law abiding citizens who take a "don't ask, don't tell" position on the violence in their own neighborhoods?
Often after a tragic death there are protests, speeches and posturing by political and community leaders. However, once the television crews have left so has the will to solve the problem. What if we actually followed through on the pomp and circumstance and actually made a stand against the thugs that are killing our youth and destroying our neighborhoods? To do that we need to make a stand against those committing the acts of violence, relying more on our communities and less on the government.
We are currently fighting a "War on Terror" around the world. How much longer will the battle need to be to stop the terror that rules our streets? Ask yourself if it is possible to teach our young people that respect doesn't come from a barrel of a gun. Can we get our young men to believe that women are not as portrayed on MTV and BET? Can we convince our young men and women that sex is not love? Is it possible to get adults to make lifelong commitments to their spouse and children?
What type of a commitment are we as a community willing to make to end the violence on the streets? Turning off the television or radio and putting down the newspaper are not options. We need boots on the ground in this battle, and they need to be ours.
It seems that President Obama’s Stimulus Plan does come with strings attached. That is really is no surprise. Over the past nine years we have come to expect the government to give at a cost. Be it “compassionate conservatism” or “Hope,” we the people end up paying the cost.
The Patriot Act gave us security with a loss of freedom and liberty. The Bush years lead to deficit spending by the Republican Congress, and the current administration seems to be following suit. Is there really a difference in the two parties?
On issues of freedom and liberty both parties talk a good game, but in the end both regulate and impose laws that hurt both the individual and business. The Republicans wrap themselves in the flag and challenge your patriotism if you question their motives and policies. The Democrats surround themselves with various groups and call you names if you disagree with the direction they want to take the country.
End the end however, nothing is accomplished. Why? Getting things done means losing an issue to fundraise on or losing an issue to divide and scare the nation into voting against their opponent. Change is the last thing our elected officials in Washington, and yes, Harrisburg, want. Real change would involve them losing power and the citizens gaining power. The real job of government is solely to defend a citizen’s person or property.
I challenge you to find what the government is not involved in as you go through your day. From the amount of water in your toilet to what you can eat or do, the government is there, helping you throughout the day. Big brother is there whether you want him or not.
Finally, what do you call an economic system that exerts a strong direct influence, such as personnel decisions, and effectively controls the production and allocation of resources? Hint,
it starts with Fas. . .
One of the biggest items in our budget is the United States Armed Services. This small piece of change is constitutionally mandated, unlike some others. We have our bravest and brightest spread across the globe defending our freedom. While I trend to disagree with that view, we spend much of our blood and treasure defending other people’s freedom, it is what it is. Until such time that we end our foreign entanglements we, as a nation, must find a way to provide our servicemen and women the tools, protection, and services they deserve.
Perhaps the best way to do this in to no longer loan, but rent our military to the countries we defend, and free from dictators. We carve into our budget, gutting programs, while these other nations invest in themselves. Our men and women come back injured both mentally and physically, are greeted by long waits and substandard care at our VA facilities. This is criminal.
By making other countries foot the bill, we can provide the best services for our wounded warriors, invest in our military, and reduce our spending. If our leaders in Washington want to bravely wrap themselves in the flag and send others off to be the “world’s policemen,” then these countries need to step up to the plate, like every community in the United States, and pay for the police service provided to them.
So Congress has decided that the answer to our budget woes is to starve the poor. While I find this solution intriguing, is it really cost effective? I mean starvation could take weeks, even months, and if those on food stamps seek medical treatment during their suffering, it will place a further burden on our medical system.
In an effort to help elitist Washington and state capitals across this great land, I am offering an easier and more cost efficient solution. My friends why let the working poor and needy suffer? Wasn’t this country built on Christian values? Surely we don’t want our fellow countrymen, women and children to suffer?
I propose rounding up individuals and families that receive food stamps and shoot them. This would save billions of dollars by eliminating much of the food stamp program, CHIP, and the majority of those receiving medical assistance. Obviously individuals with disabilities would be spared, until such time as they become a burden on the budget.
By eliminating the people that need these programs, the programs themselves would wither on the vine and die, allowing our elected leaders to free up much needed tax revenue for the truly deserving corporations and wealthy that create millions of jobs in other countries around the world.