Thursday, April 26, 2012

A modern-day lesson in choice

Another day, another idiot collapsing from gluttony.
A fortysomething woman suffered a heart attack while consuming the Triple Bypass Burger at Las Vegas's Heart Attack Grill.
You've got to hand it to this establishment—they don't flinch from truth in advertising.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the woman is expected to recover, and that the man who collapsed from eating the same burger in February did not shed his mortal coil either. I don't believe that anyone deserves to pay the ultimate price for their deviancy as long as it harms no-one else, animal or human. Reports indicate the woman was a smoker as well as an unhealthy eater, and this stupidity is something she is welcome to if she chooses to continue cruising along that course.
And a business like the Heart Attack Grill is entitled to supply whatever they think there is a demand for. That's how the free market works and it is the basis of any sound economy. (Although I think it's highly irresponsible for them to offer free meals to those over the 350 pound mark. I thought the point of a business was to make money, not give freebies to a particular client demographic?)
But let's also stipulate that I am in no way inclined to pay for anyone who requires emergency treatment for their lifestyle. If you drink heavily, smoke like a chimney, can't be bothered to move your butt for any meaningful exercise and/or eat the equivalent of five cows in one sitting, then you may not deserve to die. But I'm not interested in shelling out higher tax monies to make you better either.
That is your responsibility, like having children or making insurance payments on your car.  (And I'm not keen on contributing toward those either.)
After all, with regard to this woman, I wrote that she is at liberty to follow the same path in terms of her unhealthy habits "if she chooses." That's what it boils down to: choice. "Choose" is the verb form of choice. Let's conjugate that, shall we, dear reader?
I choose, you choose, he/she chooses, we choose, they choose. I have chosen, you have chosen, etc.
Now let's define choice, according to "the right, power, or opportunity to choose".
We all have options and it would seem logical that we know the consquences of such options if we take them. Now I'm not saying that the burger itself caused the heart attack in either person. But it was the tipping point after many years of a sedentary, gluttonous way of living.
There is a white-hot debate going on the UK over whether or not smokers, binge drinkers/heavy drinkers and those who overeat being treated by the National Health Service, which is severely strapped for cash and is the subject of budget cuts, should pay for the treatment of their self-inflicted illnesses. Hospitals are consolidating and nixing programs, including children's heart care units. And yet, there are people out there—and they are very much "out there"—who think absolutely everyone is entitled to care provided by the public health care system, regardless of what they've done to themselves. Regardless of the very poor choices they made.
I'd rather have the money paid in higher healthcare costs for people who have no pride and don't look after themselves to spend on Berocca, tofu and running sneakers, thank you. Guess what? Those are my lifestyle choices and I contend that I have a right to them. But when my "fair share" of taxes goes up to support the wobbling, creaking NHS—Proudly Abused Since 1948!—chances are my choices are going to be limited in terms of my ability to afford them.
Pity us, dear American reader. You have the chance of turning things around with a Mitt Romney presidency, God willing. Who's going to right the ship here? Our Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government is proving just as useless as the previous Labour cabinet. Alas, I digress ...
What do we do with the masses of generously proportioned asses out there? The cost of emergency services gets passed onto the municipalities in which they operate. And Americans pay higher premiums as a result. Under ObamaCare, beauracrats can decide on the future of those with cancer. But the person who eats KFC three times a day, every day, will be supported by the taxpayer.
Amazing, isn't it, that liberals talk a great game about food choices and smoking, yet will happily keep their voting base supplied with as much fast food and cigarettes (as well as booze and lapdances) as it takes to keep them on the plantation? EBT Cards Acceted Here!
That woman doesn't just demonstrate the end result of disgusting lifestyle choices. She is far from alone, but she epitomizes everything that is wrong with advertising, education, public services, waste and an overwhelming lack of personal responsibility.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Romney's got the right stuff

I should feel confident that any conservative who dares to call him or herself that, or an independent who considers himself a patriotic citizen, possesses an ABO blood type: Anybody But Obama. Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are gone now. Newt Gingrich, bless his heart, is a shadow. Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal: they're not in the race. (Though who's not salivating at the idea of having Rubio as the veep?)
However, I do worry. I hear callers to talk-radio shows nationwide grumble about how Mitt Romney hasn't got a conservative bone in his body, how he's weak-willed, how his RomneyCare led to ObamaCare, and how, as Santorum deliriously asserted, Romney is no better than Obama.
These people pose as conservatives, but in bashing the one-and-only hope against Barry O. and trying to argue against a vote for him, they will indirectly be putting the Messiah back in office. If you, as I did, kissed the memory of the country you grew up in good-bye in November 2008, you may now feel that was a bit premature. All was not completely lost. Obama had to be, in some minute sense, answerable to the electorate. But a second term won't mean a pen stroke here and there; it will be wholesale destruction. Constitution? What Constitution?
You may feel that a Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachman presidency would have been 2,000 times better than Obama. Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain would have been, perhaps, 1,700 to 1,800 times better. Mitt Romney might prove to be 1,000 times better.
Time for you nay-saying reactionaries out there to cut out the horseshit, man up, and give Romney your vote. I don't care if you hold your nose while checking his name on the ballot. Just do it.
In an age when you've been paying and continue to pay more for less week after week, when the price of groceries and fuel is off the chart, when the housing market is stalled, when the work ethic has been devalued and the entitlement culture reigns supreme, and you feel like a foreigner in your own country, who wouldn't settle for an improvement that is 1,000 times better than the current administration?
Wouldn't we all love to see Romney breathe the same fire in deflecting his critics as he did when confronting Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman Matt Amorello in the wake of the fatal Big Dig tunnel collapse in 2006? But would that be wise? I don't mind my politicians being cantakerous if I'm inclined to vote for them, but a large part of the electorate doesn't agree with me. Everyone always has to be nice in this politically correct era.
There's always the possibility that Romney will pleasantly surprise us. Remember that, in 1980, Republicans were not exactly enthusiastic about Ronald Reagan. During that year's primary season, he was widely viewed as not strong enough and his debating style was criticized. The Gipper did not prove his credentials until he was in office. Who's to say that Romney cannot follow in Reagan's shoes? We won't know unless we, as conservatives and libertarian independents, put him in the Oval Office.
Is Mitt Romney likeable? I say yes. Maybe I see something in him that scores of others don't, but Romney appears affable and approachable enough. And I have absolute faith that he "gets it." The Romneys once lived in a basement apartment with patchwork carpeting and used a door on a workbench for a desk. Just because he's very wealthy now does not mean he does not know the value of work and to aspire to greater things.
If Romney was so shallow, why would he run for president again? His experience in 2008 would have defeated a man of lesser inner fortitude. In my opinion, Romney has shown true grit by putting himself through another primary season.
Furthermore, any Southern dislike for Romney based on his faith did not prevent John F. Kennedy from being elected in 1960. I would like to think that there are many Southerners with a more open mind than there were 52 years ago. Romney was polling well in South Carolina before Gingrich won the state, so I doubt his eventual loss had much to do with being a Mormon.
Finally, Rubio endorsed Romney before Santorum dropped out, and if none other than Ann Coulter can get so excited over Mitt, then so can I. Coulter said, "[Democrats] are going to run against our candidate, because it is the only way that they run against any Republican: Call them dumb or stupid. And there is one presidential candidate we have right now who frustrates both of those. That is Mitt Romney."
I agree.
This blog endorses Mitt Romney for President. Let's go, Mitt!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Should we leave guns outside the home to the police?

It's for very good reasons that Bill Cosby is a treasured American icon. His contribution to my generation alone, via Fat Albert and The Electric Company, is palpable, and his stand-up comedy has always been refreshingly obscenity-free. Cosby received heat from some quarters for The Cosby Show in that it was uplifting the ideals of Reagan—but those of us who have at least half a working brain in our heads know that those are ideals worthy of uplifting and those quarters should be ignored if not mocked. Cosby, in that sitcom and in his own life, showed how blacks are just as capable as any other racial or ethnic group of engineering an upper middle-class or wealthy lifestyle through dedicated study and hard work (as opposed to specious talents).
Cosby has weighed in on the Trayvin Martin-George Zimmerman scenario. The actor-comedian said the issue relates to guns, especially with respect to taking them out in public instead of keeping them in the home. While Cosby supports an individual's right to keep guns in his or her home, he has said that when the same individual carries a gun outside the home, "sometimes their mind clicks that this thing ... will win arguments and straighten people out."
We can argue the merits of carry-and-conceal statutes, and it's little wonder that those who attack police officers often receive a Darwin award for their idiotic efforts. However, I also agree with Cosby that possession of a gun can preternaturally embolden many individuals. Money and power can go to people's heads; so, we must admit, can guns.
Cosby's son Ellis was shot during an attempted robbery in 1997, so we can certainly understand Cosby's attitude toward having guns in public.
With respect to what happened in Sanford, Florida on the night Martin was shot, Cosby questions Zimmerman's logic. He said, "When you tell me that you're going to protect the neighborhood that I live in, I don't want you to have a gun. I want you to be able to see something, report it and get out of the way."
If Zimmerman had done that, and taken the advice of the 911 dispatcher to leave the matter to the police, then Martin, angel or not, would still be alive and Zimmerman would not be facing second-degree murder charges. Charges the prosecutor was forced to make, in my humble opinion, but for the purposes of this piece, that's neither here nor there.
We do not know if Martin was aware that Zimmerman had a gun. We do not yet know why Zimmerman felt the need to pursue Martin. The fact that Martin beat Zimmerman up (as well as his previous use of social media) proves he is not the choir-boy the media insists on portraying him as. It's apparent that Zimmerman shot Martin for the very reason you would have a gun in the first place—self-defense.
Could it be that Cosby is right, though? Did Zimmerman ignore the dispatcher's advice because he felt invincible with a gun at his side?
Hopefully all the facts will surface during Zimmerman's trial. But if Cosby's overall point is that some people, regardless of race, can be prone to being trigger-happy, then that's difficult to argue against.
Like Cosby, I fully support the Second Amendment. Without it, the rest of the rights enshrined in the Constitution are pretty much mooted. And I like having an armed police force. But that doesn't mean I want everything the National Rifle Association wants. Police have guns and, under normal circumstances, any potential need for them should be left to law enforcement. There's got to be a balance when it comes to firearms.
But the issue is such a polarizing cauldron, I wonder if that balance will ever be achieved.