The following post was originally published in October, 2010 on another blog I had been writing. It’s a sarcastic, slightly frustrated and typical knee jerk response I can give when my filter is only on “moderate”. A popular “letter” by a man named Ken Huber (if he’s even real) had been circulating around the internet and email so I chose to respond to it. I figured I’d include this piece with all the other long ago ventings I have archived here. Take it for what it is…venting.
My response to Ken Huber’s “What Has America Become?”
Dear Mr. Huber,
This is a day and age where the differences of opinion between people are truly displayed in how they each perceive the world. There are differences in politics, in religion and general worldviews. Your recent letter to the editor has found strong life on the internet, being passed around from email to email and many social networking sites. As is allowable in our free society, this is my response. Your text is in Italics.
What Has America Become?
Has America become the land of special interest and home of the double standard? – In a nutshell, yes. But it comes from both sides of the aisle.
Let’s see; if we lie to Congress, it’s a felony and if the Congress lies to us it’s just politics. - Does that refer to lies to sell ObamaCare or lies to initiate a questionable war?
If we dislike a black person, we’re racist and if a black person dislikes whites, it’s their 1st Amendment right. – Not quite. There’s no issue about liking or disliking other people, that’s a 1st Amendment right. However, if a white person dislikes a black person just BECAUSE they are black, than it’s called racism. If a black person dislikes a white person…just BECAUSE they are white…it’s STILL called racism. Let’s not cloud the issue.
The government spends millions to rehabilitate criminals and they do almost nothing for the victims. – The government DOES spend millions to rehabilitate criminals…and ALSO spends millions trying to help victims. The differences are that the criminals are often given mandatory treatments while the victim is given a “choice” to receive help. Many either choose not to or are confused about what to ask for. There should be more guidance in the system to help victims, without a doubt…but that would grow government even more, wouldn’t it? The biggest issue here is perception. It’s more a shock to your senses that we “help” [aka “rehabilitation] criminals, so it sticks out more in your mind. Rehabilitation has many successes as well as failures. But if we remove rehabilitation, then the odds of more innocent Americans being victimized are enormously increased. So, what would you rather have, sir? More victims? Or better government services FOR those new victims?
In public schools, you can teach that homosexuality is OK, but you better not use the word God in the process; – The issue here is largely semantics. Homosexuality is “promoted” in public school about as much as “God” is. Teachers teach their kids that tolerance is OK and that the constitution should protect everyone. Some often confuse the word “tolerance” with the phrase “they are grooming my child to be gay!” God can be mentioned and often is, but specific religious teachings cannot be stressed to avoid that particular conflict of church and state. The teachings of God and the “perversions” of homosexuality can easily be taught in your church and in your home, as they already are. A state funded institution is not the place for it.
You can kill an unborn child, but it is wrong to execute a mass murderer; – Mr. Huber makes it sound like these arguments come from the same people. Uh…no. There are people who are pro-life and people who are pro-choice. [It’s no question where Mr. Huber stands.] Then there are people who are pro capital punishment and those who aren’t. The majority do not fall into a combined cross-section of the two sides.
We don’t burn books in America, we now rewrite them; (NOW rewrite them? Mankind has been rewriting the history books as long as they have had language to do so. In America. In Europe. Western civilization as a whole. It’s the winners who write the history, sir. Always has been, always will. Nothing new there.
We got rid of communist and socialists threats by renaming them progressives This statement is true when you define who “we” is. Progressives are labeled socialists and communists by ignorant conservatives and ignorant liberals call conservatives fascists. Neither is actually true, in theory.
We are unable to close our border with Mexico, but have no problem protecting the 38th parallel in Korea. – The jury is still out about how many North Koreans are trying to become landscapers in South Korea, however trying to police 250 miles [Korea] compared to 2,000 miles [US/Mexico border] seems to be an easy comparison to some. Not to mention that the Korean divide was established over 50 years ago in a partnership with the Soviet Union… kind of like Godzilla breaking up a fight between 2 geckos.
If you protest against President Obama’s policies, you’re a terrorist, but if you burned an American flag or George Bush in effigy it was your 1st Amendment right. – Hmm, after an hour-long, exhaustive internet search, I can’t find one reference to anti-Obama supporters being called “terrorists”. [It’s true, if it isn’t on the internet than it doesn’t exist] It is claimed, quite frankly, to be the other way around. Obama is black with an Islamic middle name. The many rumors that Obama is a secret Muslim and “terrorist” far outnumber any claims of the opposite. Newsflash: Protesting President Obama OR burning an American flag or presidential effigy…are ALL within your 1st amendment rights! Bad taste is protected, too! Remember the good ole days, when you opposed the invading of Iraq and you were called un-American, a traitor and were said to be aligned with the terrorists and hated America? Good times, good times.
You can have pornography on TV or the internet, but you better not put that nativity scene in a public park during Christmas; – Well, you can only have pornography on the TV if you pay/order it; you can certainly have it on your computer as the government does little to regulate that. If you’d like the government to regulate more of your internet freedom than, by all means, let them know. Apparently, they’ll be happy to tax you for it. Cities CAN have nativity scenes during Christmas…and menorah’s during Hanukkah, etc. as long as faiths are fairly represented during their “holy days”. Many cities, however, don’t want to get in a tiff with that whole church and state thing, which, I see, is your point. Just a reminder…I’ll whisper it…not everyone in America is a Christian. That’s the whole purpose of the constitution. But it doesn’t stop you, Mr. Huber, from putting up the largest nativity scene in Tawas city! Local zoning laws observed, of course.)
We have eliminated all criminals in America, they are now called sick people; – Uh…they have always been called “sick” people, but I think you mean that they have been labeled as having some disease or syndrome so in certain cases their defense lawyers allow them to walk free. That is true in some cases, sir, because…well…we have actually advanced in our sociological and psychological, and even physiological, understanding of why people act the way they do. That new knowledge though, typically, doesn’t allow the criminal to get away with it, Mr. Huber. It just allows people to answer that age-old question of “why” people commit heinous acts. Most criminals are prosecuted and given their due. Alcoholism and drug addiction ARE diseases recognized by most medical societies. These diagnoses can help people “recover” from these addictive traits so that they don’t resort to criminal behavior after they serve their time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s better than all of them re-offending. If you prefer, and you can find an island big enough to put all these so-called “sick” people on so they are far away from you, then let us know.
We can use a human fetus for medical research, but it is wrong to use an animal; You can argue about when life begins until the cows come home. But live human fetuses are not used for research. Miscarried and some aborted “embryos” [which is different from a fetus] are studied but not manipulated like animals. We don’t inject cancer, AIDS and scores of other diseases in fetuses to see how long it takes them to die. And to clarify, stem cells are not fetuses, either. Again, the argument is about origin of life. Stem cells are the foundation for life and how we utilize them should be scrutinized. The enormity and sheer number of animals that are used for research positively dwarfs any human studies. Much of this research, however, is employed for the betterment of mankind. If your loved one, sir, was to be tragically diagnosed with a deadly disease…are you willing to reject proven treatment were it obtained by the use of stem cell research?
We take money from those who work hard for it and give it to those who don’t want to work; Mr. Huber makes it sound like this issue is tit for tat. Hard facts indicate that the numbers of those that abuse the “welfare” system is far lower than public opinion believes. Belief versus fact is still hard to overrule. The majority of people who utilize the Dept. of Economic Security are justified for assistance and would be far worse off if it did not exist, which means that this country that Mr. Huber wonders about would more resemble Pakistan than modern America. If he prefers that style of government he’s free to move there.
We all support the Constitution, but only when it supports our political ideology; This a true statement. Google the word Mosques.
We all have freedom of speech, but only if we are being politically correct; Correction: We ALL have freedom of speech…period. If you have radical ideas that by voicing them could levy punitive damages upon you, then you may want to reconsider sharing them.
Parenting has been replaced with Ritalin and video games; Parenting is an ever-changing role. Statistics show an increase in the use of prescription meds which may also correlate with new advancements in behavioral health, as we see more diagnosis of disorders, which is normal. But surely abuse, or in the least, over-use, occurs. Video games, wireless internet and endless technology is completely changing life in general, not just kids and parenting. Although many parents do play the “friend” card with their kids we also have many scenarios of both parents working just to make ends meet and kids find more and more freedom with little knowledge of how to manage it. Are parents bad for that? Usually not, but they need to find a way to catch up, connect with and parent their kids. We seem to see a greater lack of respect for authority and increased entitlements from our kids these days. But guess who they learn all that from?
The land of opportunity is now the land of hand outs; – Right now it’s the land of “how the hell am I going to pay my mortgage, my car payment and put food on the table this week?” Times are tough and some “hand-outs” are justified. Mostly, though, people just live above their means. With so many technological advancements in America we’re making it exponentially too expensive to keep up with the Jones’. But most of us continue to try. To qualify for the “hand outs” you have to be ridiculously below any rational income structure where, in most cases, these ‘hand outs” keep people hanging by that thread. Do some abuse it? Of course. But not the majority. This “land of hand outs” is pure misinformation and perceived reality. And yes, this is still America and it is still a land of opportunity.
The similarity between Hurricane Katrina and the gulf oil spill is that neither president did anything to help; Somewhat true but you can’t lay all the blame on either one. Despite its immense cultural contribution to America, New Orleans (Louisiana and much of the gulf states, really) are influenced by the oil industry. Leadership is virtually non-existent or, at least, mostly controlled by these global monstrous corporations. Both presidents worst crime is not gaining more influence over “business as usual” in the gulf area. For Bush, as a Republican, that wasn’t even on the radar and Obama was too soft and not used to dealing with such a huge contributor to the GOP. With his numbers plummeting, the last thing he wanted to do was rile the feathers of a war chest. Always campaigning those politicians. Both disasters had warning signs and both tragedies were foreseen, but nothing preventative was done by either side.
And how do we handle a major crisis today? The government appoints a committee to determine who’s at fault; – (Because if they act too quickly and non-partisan then the public, like Mr. Huber, will crucify them) then threatens them (they have to take a strong stand or they’ll be called too liberal), passes a law (because Joe American then feels like something was done), raises our taxes (because those damn Democrats just love to stick it to us on purpose because they hate America); tells us the problem is solved (because that’s what we want to hear) so they can get back to their re-election campaign. (They NEVER stop).
What has happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave? (The land of the free is still free, sort of, but lots of money and knowing the right people gets things done a lot faster. That’s capitalism and is what our forefathers signed up for. As for brave…we have many brave people. We have tireless soldiers. Teachers who have to put up with self-righteous parents whose kids “couldn’t possibly have done that!” Cops, who are hated and sneered at until somebody needs one. And people who will argue the right for everyone to be protected by the constitution, despite how unpopular their views may be. )