Monday, June 3, 2013

Conflicted Tuna!

Liaise Faire
People who know me and the topics of my writing might be shocked and dismayed at what I am about to say. I don't like having the Federal Government intruding in my life. I don't like have a bunch of bureaucrats telling me what to and not to do. I think that businesses flourish best when left alone in a Liaise Faire atmosphere. While they are flourishing they are leaving behind a trail of tears.

I want to be able to order and eat a cheesy-eggy-bacony muffin or biscuit, some fat fries and a sweet-fizzy-caramel -colored water without some government wonk telling me it is not good for me to eat this stuff. I can make that informed decision and have this meal once a month or twice. The problem is that there are other adults who do not understand the connection between that meal three to five times a week on a human body that is only fifty pounds and still growing. When we let a corporation mascot have the freedom of speech to encourage naive children and adults to maintain brand loyalty and over eat too much of the calorie-laden, fat-laden, sugar-laden, salt-laden foods, we the people will pick up the medical tab several decades later.

I am conflicted in these ideas and the ideas that I have come to hold sacred in my educated maturity. Federal employees of any agency, administration or department aught not be dictating what s right and wrong. This is especially true since they themselves cannot be sure that what they say is right or wrong. Is it global warming or global cooling? Is it what man does that warms the planet or is it the strength of the sun or the variation of the tilt of the planet or the impact of volcanic ash and gas emissions that alter the heat capacity of the atmosphere?

Some geologists have asserted that the Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Pinatubo, and two other recent volcanoes have placed more carbon into the atmosphere than humans have in all of human history.

I personally believe that if you are an addict of alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin or other drugs that you deserve to die for your stupidity. I think that if you are dumb enough to use an electric hair dryer while in the bath tub, Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest just might make humans a more intelligent species. If you eat a poor diet, you will get fat, develop diabetes, have any of a multitude of other long term illnesses and die before you otherwise would have.

If you smoke tobacco or even just suck on a wad of it in your mouth, you have a high likelihood of needing medical intervention to prolong your life. So if you are free to have your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as guaranteed by the US Constitution, why have some DC liberal whack-job telling me and my businesses what to do?

Recent movement has been made to add salt and fat content to the regulated substances that the Food and Drug Administration regulates. Why should I limit the sodium content of my dipped potato fries or the fats in which they are fried, when actual people will pay good money to be allowed to eat those potato slices and feed them to their children with abandon and be freed of the parenting responsibility of knowing what is good for them to consume? Who are they to tell me what to eat or to feed my kids?

Well here is the reason.
 Lets's back up to 1970. Mom is a very busy woman who has three children who are quite astute and impressionable when a Clown or a Colonel or a King or a little Red-haired Girl says come and eat at my place. Mom and dad both find it so much easier to pass a few dollar bills across the counter in exchange for ready-made food than it is to shop, prepare, serve and clean up after a nightly meal that happens 7 days a week year after year, ad naseum. The children love the ambiance and entertainment. They may even get a toy to remind them of how good a time they had.

Jump ahead 40 years. It is 2013 and the children are 45 years old, 245 pounds heavy, with cholesterol levels of 345, and type 2 diabetes that if not now, may eventually require three dialysis sessions per week.

Now who is paying for this dialysis sessions? Who is paying for the Cardiac ICU days? Who is footing the bill for coronary stent surgery, stroke rehabilitation and all the durable medical hardware that is essential to maintain the lives of the children who ate themselves into this condition because their parents had no idea what they were doing AND the Federal Government respected the privacy and freedoms of American adults to do what they want to do, eat what they want to eat and most importantly feed their children what McDonald, Yum Brands, and Wendy's tell them to?

There is a direct connection between what parents feed their children at a "family restaurant" and what taxpayers have to pay later on in the lives of the brand loyal customers of the franchise. The Federal Government is US. It is those of us who think ahead and try to head off the expensive disasters that are steaming at us at full throttle. Unfortunately, it is also people who are positioned so as to stymie the intentions of the thinking people.

At 45 and older, people will arrive at a hospital seeking treatment for the downside of their lifestyle choices. They will get services whether or not they can pay for those services. The rest of us will pay the difference. It is an extremely difficult task to turn someone away for medical treatment when they are in pain, sinking slowly into death or are in jeopardy of greater losses if not treated. It is even more difficult when it is an ignorant adult who presents a child for treatment of a condition that could have been prevented with education, regulation of a business practice, or with an earlier intervention.

The Harley Factor
One middle-aged white man on his new Harley who crashes into a utility pole without a helmet and sustains a brain injury is just one stupid dude. But when thousands of middle-age white men start buying Harleys and crashing into fixed and moving objects, it is someone's job to raise the warning flag and make them think before they ride. The motorcycle manufacturers aren't going to say, "Don't buy our machines." The sales rep won't be doing that either. It would not be so bad that they crash like this, but too many of them are surviving with severe long-term disabilities that cost society hundreds of millions of dollars to treat. They leave families without a means of support. We the people end up talking care of them and their families when the healthcare insurance runs out.

The bottom-line is that We The People do have the right to say what a business can and cannot do to promote a negative product or service.
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Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Forfeiting Liberties to Protect Liberties

The Fox site reported --- According to a survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University, nearly a third of registered voters -- 29 percent -- believe an "armed revolution" might be necessary in the next few years in order to protect liberties.

After I read that claim, I went to the survey poll itself to learn more about the claim. The full report was not very enlightening other than to confirm the fact that the higher ones education level is, the less likely the person is to believe that the accounts of events are being fabricated in order to support a political agenda to remove guns from American society.

One statement in the Fox story suggests that the fear of the loss of gun rights is the cause of the sharp rise in gun and ammo sales since the Sandy Hook School shooting. Coupling the gun sales statistic and the lower education variation in opinion with the concern that armed revolution might be necessary to protect liberties suggests that people with low education attainment believe they need to buy guns to protect their rights to buy guns.

The poll language was not specific and left it up to the respondents to imagine what it is that they themselves classify as their "liberties" that might need protection in the next few years with "armed revolution." Although the poll did not explicitly word anything in terms of who might responsible for the taking away of rights in the next few years, it is an unmistakable reference to the remaining three years of the Obama Administration and the fear of a follow-on Democratic Administration.

What also was not offered for consideration is what the nature of the Legislature is now, what it will be next year or 2, 4 or 6 years hence after each biennial election.

I went to Wikipedia to obtain a sense of what liberties one might want or need to protect with armed revolution. I wanted to see who the target of the revolt might be and how a rebel force would seek to overthrow it. I mostly wanted to determine what imperiled liberties might be reinstated after a successful revolution.

Civil liberties included freedom from slavery, forced labor, torture, death. I cannot find any state sponsored violations of these freedoms here in the USA. We do have various capital punishment statutes in the US, but I cannot see very many low-education conservatives taking up arms to stop it application.

The liberties included freedom of conscience, religion, expression, press, assembly and association, speech and privacy. While we have varying degrees of infringement of these liberties, I don't suspect that a conservative thinking American would take up arms against the government to protect everyone's conscience, religion or expression since it is they themselves who support the curtailment of such liberties.

Continuing deeper into the question of liberties the list goes on with equal treatment under law, due process, fair trials and right to life. The presently Republican-controlled US Congress and the myriad of Republican-controlled state legislatures are systematically narrowing the scope of human rights and defining each of them in terms of their dollar-values.

The question of equal treatment under law has been a Great American Fiction since it was first wrapped in Old Glory and codified in the Constitution. Due Process is only defended by the much maligned American Civil Liberties Union and their like minded colleagues. Without the works of the ACLU and their ilk there would be little implementation of fair trials, due process or any semblance of equal treatment under law. I cannot imagine any conservative gun owner shooting his AR-15 rifle or his Glock 9 in defense of these three liberties.

In the broadly defined sense of life being a cluster of living cells that if left alone might soon become a human, there could be armed revolution in defense of the notion of the right to life for this potential future human being. At the same time, the same conservative minded people want to be able execute perpetrators of acts they deem as worthy of being dealt death.

The last group of liberties included the right to own property, defend ones self, have control of bodily integrity and control over reproductive processes. These are the liberties most often cited when expounding ones willingness to kill and die for the protection of. They are the liberties the proponents of gun ownership are most loathed to lose. It is ironic to me that it is the first two that they want for themselves and the second two are ones they want to control in others. It is also curious to me that they deem the first two as constitutionally guaranteed and the second two are their god given right to determine for others.

Now as to the matter of just who the rebels will be revolting against. There will be no army or militarized police force coming to arrest a person for protecting his privacy, conscience or due process and fair trials. There will be no guns pointed in the face of people who print their opinions on paper or in cyberspace. All of these thing are taken with the stroke of a pen in a far away office out of sight of the people who are impacted.

We must recall, be reminded or learn for the first time that there are three branches of the US government. It is the elected representatives who make the laws we do not like. We have a legal method of replacing them without the use of firearms. It's called The Ballot. We have a method of replacing the chief executive in the same way: Don't listen to the propaganda and vote to put the right person in the oval office, who ever that is. Democrats believed that George W. Bush was installed as the de facto President of the US by a partisan Supreme Court and we lived through those 8 years without resorting to armed revolution or even suggesting that it was necessary. Democrats believed that it was so obvious that he was engaged in criminal activity with the two wars and all the corporate shenanigans that it was possible that he could be removed from office through due process and the legal structures presented in the American Constitution.

National Republican politicians have posited 27 separate reasons for which they say they think that Barack Obama should be impeached. This includes everything from the alleged nation of his birth to the passage of a health care bill they do not like. The bottom line is the Supreme Court made its ruling and Obama IS the President. The act of impeaching is solely an accusation, not a trial and a conviction punishable by removal from office.

So back to this fear that that there may be a reason to engage in "armed revolution" in the US in the next few years to protect liberties. Why go for the use of arms when they don't even use the methods openly available to them, unless it is because they don't like what the majority of Americans do and they want to create anarchy.