Do you want More Freedom or Less?

Pocket knife

The question posed in the title of this blog seems simple, as does the answer. And yet in today’s America we are constantly relinquishing our freedoms, or being asked to do so. Our collective compliance will only lead us to a totalitarian, tyrannical world in which a very tiny segment of our society decides what’s best for us and how we should live our lives. The weak among us are less afraid of this scenario. They wish to be led. They find self-responsibility and risk, which go hand-in-hand, very uncomfortable.

The latest issue that brought this issue to mind is the TSA‘s (Transportation Safety Administration) decision to once again allow small pocket knives on airline flights. On the surface it sounds like a crazy idea. And the mass media and liberal pundits are jumping up and down screaming we’ll be less safe and planes could be taken down again like they were on 9-11. But when you look at the decision and break it down to its basic truth this represents a very rare occasion where government is returning rights to you it had previously taken. And this should be applauded.

Prior to 9-11 carrying small pocket knifes, or large ones for that matter, onto air plane flights was not illegal. In the time before 9-11 you could also travel with your own shampoo. But in the hyper-safety-conscious period following 9-11 the TSA was created and new rules and laws, like the passing of the Patriot Act, took away our individual rights in the name of security. At the time it was understandable to temporarily suspend some of our individual liberties because we didn’t know how great a danger we faced as a people, as a nation. Lincoln suspended habius-corpus and declared Marshal Law during the Civil War. So, it’s been done before, for temporary and emergency circumstances. But 9-11 was 12 years ago. There have been no major terrorist attacks on Americans since. And yet the Patriot Act was renewed by a Democratic Congress at the behest of President Obama.

And before you argue that there is no need for people to carry knifes and therefore they should be denied the right to carry them. Please keep in mind the Constitution of the United States was written and intended for the protection of the people, the individual person, from their government. Also keep in mind how hypocritical opposition to the small knives on airplanes really is. The TSA already allows screwdrivers up to 7 inches in length, and small scissors. Both these implements can do as much, and possible more damage than a 2-inch knife.

1.2 liter Super Big Gulp

Also in the news this week was the story that a New York Judge has struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law preventing the sale of large (32-ounce) soft-drinks. Here again, what Bloomberg fails to understand is that it is every American’s right to get as fat as they want. Bloomberg says New York will appeal the judge’s decision. Apparently, he is still convinced that he knows best and therefore can and should restrict the rights of the people in his city.

English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Folks, it is every American’s God-given right to do something stupid. This right should never be restricted unless a person’s stupid decisions endanger or harm another person or inhibit another person’s rights. And, to be clear, carrying a pocket knife doesn’t harm anyone; only using a pocket knife in a violent way can actually hurt someone. And there are already laws against that.

Every time you think you know best, just realize you may be wrong, what you know best may only apply to yourself, and you can’t legislate against stupid.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Mayor Bloomberg- Nanny in Chief

Michael Bloomberg - Caricature

Michael Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of soft drinks, sodas, in containers over sixteen ounces. He says it’s not good for us. He says the sale and consumption of these super-extra-large sugary beverages is a contributing factor in our nation’s obesity epidemic. He says he only wants to do right by you. (In fairness to Bloomberg I have no idea whether he said these exact words. But the sentiment is certainly implied)

My response to this gesture of help and support for New York City’s throngs? It’s none of your damned business what I put in my mouth Mr. Bloomberg. And it’s also none of your damned business what legal product my company sells to individuals willing to part with their own money and make it my money. Butt out.

Liberals from NY to SF (San Francisco) continue to propose laws, rules, and ordinances with the intent of taking good care of you, apparently because you can’t take care of yourself. We now have laws governing or prohibiting smoking tobacco or marijuana, trans fatty acids, and increasingly sugar.

A story, not too long ago, told of a Federal bureaucrat from the Department of Health and Human Services prohibiting a four-year old from eating their homemade lunch at her kindergarten class because it didn’t meet Federal standards for a healthy lunch. What was in the lunch, you may ask? Chunks of glass, glue on toast, and to wash it all down a thermos of Liquid Plumber? No. This dangerous lunch, made by the child’s mother, contained a turkey-meat and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice. Conservatives and Libertarians continue to warn us all that at some point government control over our lives is going to go to far. Ladies and Gentlemen I offer you Exhibit A for the argument IT ALREADY HAS. 

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Sec...

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

None other than the author of The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, said of big government and government control:

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government”

Jefferson also said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have”

You may say, calm down this is all for your own good. Too much soda is bad for you. I agree that too much carbonated soft drinks are bad for me, which is why I exercise my personal liberty, my right, and never buy a “Super-Sized” soft drink. But remember when everyone, and I MEAN EVERYONE, told us that salt in any amounts was bad for us and would increase our likelihood of high blood pressure and heart disease? Well, it turns out EVERYONE was wrong. The authors of the study wrote: “Our current findings refute the estimates … of lives saved and health care costs reduced with lower salt intake. They do not support the current recommendations of a generalized and indiscriminate reduction of salt intake.”

The number of times we ALL knew something that proved to be wrong throughout history are innumerable. As late as the early 1900s cocaine was promoted as a healthy medicine. The first recognized authority and advocate for this drug was world-famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Early in his career, Freud broadly promoted cocaine as a safe and useful tonic that could cure depression and sexual impotence.

Jefferson was one of many American heroes to oppose too much government. Abraham Lincoln said, “Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. ”

We must overcome this national infection to control people’s lives and do what’s best for them. The only way we can do that is to accept that some people will make poor decisions, including drinking too much “pop”, possibly leading to obesity. It is every American’s individual right to be obese. It is every American’s individual right to fail. And all the government control, in the name of caring for our well-being, won’t change the fact that some of us will make bad decisions, and fail. Accept it.

And accepting individual’s rights to fail is not a lack of compassion or love as many liberals would have you believe. Just ask any parent of any teenager if it’s possible to love someone who repeatedly chooses actions against the parent’s will whether its possible to love and feel compassion for that person.

Michael Bloomberg may think he knows what’s better for you and me. But it’s not his place, or his right to do anything about it. Unless there’s this small unknown Amendment to the Constitution which I’m unaware of which says the Government can dictate what you and I eat and drink. Democrats will tell you it falls under the Commerce Clause.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Take Responsibility! Your Kid is Fat. It’s YOUR Fault.

What scientists call "Overweight" ch...

Personal responsibility is a character trait increasingly hard to find in people of this country. The people of the United States have completely fallen for our “leader’s” efforts to “help” you every time an accident happens, or a negative trend is discovered, or a problem occurs. It’s always someone else’s fault.

A growing and popular topic of discussion in this country is childhood obesity; a problem so pervasive and threatening that we could be raising the first generation ever to have a shorter life expectancy. It’s a war that has drawn the attention of former President Bill Clinton, current First Lady Michelle Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many others. It’s a serious problem. But if you want to find who or what’s responsible for your child’s heft…go no further than the nearest mirror.

CBS News reported yesterday that a key drug used for adults with Type 2 diabetes, Metformin, was largely ineffective in treating children with Type 2 diabetes. The drug is supposed to help control sugar levels in blood. Obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes in kids and adults. Since 1980 obesity in children has almost tripled, to over 12.5-million. In the CBS report the studies Director says “If we can prevent them (children) from getting diabetes that would be far preferable than being in a position of treating it.” Doctor Robin Goland correctly points out that historically kids didn’t get Type 2 diabetes. When, and if a child got diabetes it was Type 1, which has little or nothing to do with obesity. Diabetes creates a host of medical problems including poor circulation, blindness, and kidney disease.

In related news a new study reported on by the New York Times discloses that the claims of urban residents around our country being nutritionally disadvantaged because of a lack of stores providing fresh fruits and vegetables is an urban myth, not urban desert. The urban food desert myth was given lots of credibility by…wait for it…First Lady Michelle Obama.

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama (Photo credit: West Point Public Affairs)

I for one am glad Mrs. Obama cares for us all and emphasizes healthy eating and physical activity. It would just be more helpful if she knew what she was talking about. The article in the NY Times reports that two recent studies have been done about the supposed lack of nutritional foods in poor urban environments, “But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too.” So with availability no longer an issue who’s to blame for kids lack of proper diet and their subsequent obesity? Here’s a hint…they got their money for that McDonald’s Super Sized Bic Mac Meal from Mom or Dad, same as yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.

City Road McDonalds The famous golden arches b...

And lets stop blaming McDonald’s and other fast food establishments for our kids being fat. As Bill Wittle explained in a video blog we posted a couple of weeks ago called, Why It Sucks to Be Conservative, all McDonald’s does is open up for business. It’s something they have been doing with largely the same menu for sixty years. Remember when we were kids and Mom and Dad took us to McDonald’s? It was special and exciting? Why? Because it didn’t happen all that often. For me if I got McDonald’s food twice in a month I was fortunate. Now, it’s not unusual for many families to visit the drive-thru two-three-four times per week. We can’t do that to our kids and not have them suffer the ill effects. Let me remind you, they don’t have the money or the car to take them to McDonald’s. You do. You are also the one whose responsibility it is to say NO when the kids ask. Grow a backbone and do so.

Years ago I heard a news report on the radio in which the anchor told the listeners of a study, a multi-million dollar study that concluded obese people were obese because they ate more than the rest of us. Do we really need a study to come to this conclusion?

Used to be a common refrain from social critics was “how much time kids spent in front of the tv”. Well, I don’t hear that too often anymore, though I suspect its more of a concern. Between sitting in front of a tv show, video games and computers your kids are probably more inactive than they used to be. Combine that with the fear of letting them out of your sight and your kids are zombies compared to our youth. And we watched tons of TV, didn’t we? Telling your kids to “go outside and play” may seem like a punishment to them, sometimes. But you are doing them a big favor.

In this as in most all things your Mom or Dad were right when they told you “all things in moderation”. I personally don’t have a problem with buying my kids “junk” food, any kind of junk food. But eaten in moderation it’s not going to kill your kids. Too much of a “good” thing definitely will. And I certainly don’t mind being the bad guy (when my kids were younger) and telling them to go outside and play. The life you create for them through a little more attention being paid to the things you limit will be so much more healthy and full filling and they’ll be thankful too.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Best World Series Game 6 Ever!

Last night’s World Series game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers was why so many of us enjoy sports. The sheer excitement, the drama, the edge or your seat suspense was all incredible. Then the sudden unexpected conclusion with the walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning off the bat of St Louis hometown boy David Freese made for a memorable evening I’ll not soon forget.

I was jumping up and down mad in the bottom of the tenth inning when Rangers Manager Ron Washington made the correct call and decided to intentionally walk Albert Pujols. By most people’s estimation Pujols is the games best player and after only 11 years in the big leagues is considered a sure Hall of Famer. So here he was stepping to the plate with two out and a runner on 2nd, bottom of the 10th inning and his team trailing by a run. With Pujols facing free agency in the off-season and possibly in his last at-bat as a Cardinal the situation was absolutely delicious. But Washington took that taste right out of my mouth. Of course, I know it was the right thing for him to do. But karma can be a bitch sometimes. By taking away the drama of Pujols either being the hero or the goat (though the final out would hardly qualify him as the goat) Washington had the baseball Gods come back and slap him. Lance Berkman hit a double tying the game, and of course the Cardinals went on the win it and force tonight’s game seven.

As wonderful as last nights game was I will not call it the Best World Series game, or game 6, I’ve ever personally witnessed. Heck, it’s not even 2nd best. My BEST, and the best of so many other people, is the 12 inning Boston Red Sox win over the Big Red MachineCincinnati Reds, in 1976. I was only 12 years old but I still remember how exhilarating it was to watch. Of course, like so many others Carlton Fisk became one of my favorites, one of my heroes, with his home run the he willed fair with hand, hip and heart. It was beautiful.

And who can forget the 1986 Game 6 win of the New York Mets over the Boston Red Sox, the night I became convinced there really was a CURSE. People forget that the final Bill Buckner between the legs whiff was only the last of a series of Red Sox gaffes that enable the Mets to come back from the brink of losing the World Series to eventually winning it.

Of course in 1976 The Big Red Machine won Game 7 and the World Series cementing their legacy as one of the greatest teams ever. The Mets won Game 7 in 1986. How could they not? So what’s going to happen tonight? Based on history, there’s no telling. But I like the chances of the Cardinals. I’ll be watching. That’s for sure.