Why does the World think America is nuts?

     Greetings and Salutations
     The following image/meme was posted on my FaceBook thread today,  with a one word comment of “Truth”.   It has motivated me to write a long-overdue Blog post.    What follows is the reply I posted to the image….  In addition  I wanted to add,  as my title indicates,  I believe this is an excellent example of why it is that the on going clown show of the Republican fight to come up with a candidate for this November’s presidential election is causing such a stir in the other countries of the world.
Anti-American Rant

An Example Of An Ignorant Rant

     I love the irony of putting the word “Truth” in juxtaposition with this meme. “Half-Truth” would be generous, as it is mostly without merit. First off, 125 years ago (which would be 1891. Oddly enough, many of the things that are in the first part one DID have to happen. Also, some of things listed were not a function of the Government – The issue with taking up a trade, for example.   Issues like that were controlled by the guilds for hundreds of years,  and these guilds are the source of many of the laws regulating who can work as a “Professional” in the area.   Also, many of the other items were put under the law to protect us citizens from each other.
       As for the issue of automobiles and driver’s licenses…One has got to remember that in 1890, a LOT of the roads in America were still dirt paths and not only were there very few automobiles, they were quite slow.  Here is a worthwhile article about the state of the automobile in America around that time – http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/automobile.aspx So, the idea of a license to cover the 2600 vehicles a year being built, when they were barely faster than a running man, is ridiculous.   As the speed, weight and power of the automobile increased,  the government instituted the requirement for a driver’s license,  to ensure that the drivers had some education on the rules of the road and the proper operation of this powerful machine.   Does the creator of this meme think this was a bad idea?  Would he really like to have untrained and ignorant people speeding around in vehicles that weigh a ton or more, and have enough power to push their top speed to 90 MPH or more?
Another point that is wrong is “asking permission to own a weapon”. There are no bans on law-abiding citizens to own a gun, up to and including some serious weapons like the Barrett .50 BFG made in Tennessee.   With the changes in society, though,  the government has seen it preferable to implement regulations requiring that one pass a background check to ensure that the purchaser is not a convicted, violent felon who has lost their right to own weapons. However, how is that a bad thing?  I am of the school that believes there should be a requirement that anyone purchasing a gun complete a course of education about the proper use, and storage of the weapon.   I talk about the problem and a way to address them  in this blog entry from a while ago.
     The claim about the 16th Amendment (which established and defines the ability of Congress to collect income tax) not being ratified is totally false – http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=57
While the creator of this meme may hate taxes, the fact is that the government spends money on what we, the citizens want. Government reflects the population – like it or not. The income taxes we pay are dues for living in this society. They pay for the paved roads we drive on, they pay for the standing army that we support. THey pay for fire departments to keep our property from burning, and police to keep evil doers from walking off with it, or attacking and injuring or killing us.  They pay for disaster relief from FEMA; They pay for a HUGE list of benefits and responsibilities that our country offers. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you want the goodies, you have to pay the piper.
     As for the ending rant about living in an open-air prison state, to me, this is nothing more than ignorance inflated by paranoia and anger speaking. While we may have had some of our freedoms curtailed, the fact is we live in one of the most free countries in the world. We can get online, and speak our minds, up to and including calling for the murder of the Federal representatives, with no serious consequences.   In other online posts,  we can malign the character of public figures, again with no consequences.  we can, in many states, hang a high powered rifle over our shoulder, loaded with a 30 round clip, and wander through public spaces, with no consequences. We have no limits on our travels in the United State, nor are we required to have identity papers with us all the time; and as a part of that the police cannot randomly stop us and demand to SEE those identity papers. There are many more examples, but, these examples are hot points for so-called “Prison States”.  In TRUE dictator state – Prison States –  If you do anything that annoys the powers that be, you will be vanished, and it is likely that your entire family out to your grandparents and the family dogs will end up in shallow graves in the desert.   If this were a true “Prison State”  does the creator of this meme realize that the many postings over the past seven years comparing the Obamas to dictators,  or monkeys,  or claiming Pres. Obama was not qualified to be President would have resulted in a lot of empty houses and vanished people if this were a Prison State?
     Look at the recent example of the college kid who went on a tourist visit to North Korea, and is now looking at a 15 year prison term at hard labor (and North Korean prisons are NOT fun places to be). His crime? He tried to take a propaganda poster from his hotel as a momento of the trip!  In a true Prison State, not only is this standard operating procedure,  but, half the citizens are watching the other half,  waiting to turn them in to gain brownie points with the administration.
     Finally (and this is a small quibble),  if the creator wants to have ANY credibility they need to go back to community college and take some remedial English course,  so they can learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”.   Showing one’s ignorance of proper spelling undercuts ANY valid points that might be hidden in a rant.
     It is my opinion that this meme does not point up problems with the country so much as it reveals the reality of how deep the pool of anger, ignorance,  and paranoia  is in a large percentage of American Citizens.      It is this bigotry that has fueled the rise of The Donald  as a candidate for President,  and is generating the nervous laughter around the world over the state of America.   As a Canadian Prime Minister said, quite some time ago when asked about having such a long border with America – “It is like a mouse sleeping next to an elephant.  The elephant may be friendly,  but, the mouse had better watch out every time the elephant stirs”.
     Pleasant dreams.
     Bee Man Dave
This entry was posted in Ethics, General Thoughts, Humanity, Nuttiness, Political rants, Politics, Snake Oil and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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