I watch the TV news and I get angry. I really need to quit that. It's not good for my blood pressure. However, there are certain things that always get me going no matter how hard I try to ignore them. They get me hot under the collar and I guess they always will. I feel a need to vent right now, so I'll discuss seven of them below. (Hey, that's a nice round biblical number).
(1) Unrighteous indignation. What right do convicted felons serving time in prison have to punish someone else for their sins? They have no right whatsoever, but they do it all the time and the system winks at it. Very often, we'll hear about a convicted child molester, for example, being assaulted or killed by another inmate. The sad part is that society has grown to accept this kind of behavior as a fact of life and, in many cases, seems to approve of it because of our deep hatred for certain kinds of criminals. Actually, God doesn't give anyone, not even the best of us, the right to hate anyone else, not even someone like Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. When it comes to punishment for crimes, only those with clean records have a right to apply it, and then only in a lawful manner in keeping with the due process of law. Apparently, most of us, including members of the news media, have forgotten this precept.
(2) Forced acceptance. I'm a very tolerant person. I believe in religious freedom for all. I don't believe in so-called "crimes against nature" laws. I believe everyone should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't directly affect anyone else. However, I wish the liberal busybodies would quit trying to force me to accept other people's life styles, religions, customs, and cultures. Isn't tolerance good enough? Apparently, it isn't. I'm now being told that I must accept homosexuality as the moral equal to heterosexuality or risk being branded a "homophobe." I must now accept other religions as being on a par with Christianity. It is politically incorrect to acknowledge Christianity as the only true religion. Instead, I am told that I must worship at the alter of diversity. In the name of multiculturalism, I must now refrain from viewing mainstream American culture and customs and as being superior to other cultures and customs. Otherwise, I risk failing the sensitivity test.
(3) Government coercion and confiscation. No law-abiding citizen should ever have to give up life, limb, liberty, or property (other than reasonable taxes) at the behest of government. However, all of these things happen or have happened, even in our beloved United States. People who have not been charged with crimes have been and continue to be detained for various reasons. The USA Patriot Act, among other things, places controls on where we can go and how we can use and store our cash. The concept of eminent domain is utilized every day to confiscate people's property. For years, we had a military draft in this country and may have it again soon. A draft is not needed as people can be enticed into the military with enhanced salaries and benefits (which I'm all for). In times when that isn't enough, I don't see why convicts can't be allowed the option of going into the military in lieu of their prison sentences. A draft, however, takes productive, law-abiding citizens by force and places their lives in jeopardy. To me, that's almost the same as executing innocent people!
(4) Censorship. Other than for reasons of national security, censorship should never be used. Free adults should be allowed to choose whatever they want to view or hear and should be allowed to regulate what their children can see or hear. The marketplace should be the only deciding factor as to what is available. A free market system will provide what people want and discard what they don't want. Each individual should have the right to decide what is offensive to him or her. No one should be given the right to decide that for another adult. Besides being a violation of a person's basic rights to exercise his or her own tastes, censorship is problematic for another reason. Those doing the censoring rarely have enough common sense to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water. In other words, stuff that most people would find acceptable or even desirable tends to get thrown out along with the obvious garbage.
(5) Double standards. Why is it "okay" for a man to be sexually promiscuous, while a woman behaving that way is considered a slut? Why do many fathers tell their sons to "have fun", while telling their daughters they better not? In my opinion, sexual impurity just as bad for one gender as it is for the other. Why are only men required to register for the draft? Isn't that government-sponsored sexism? Why are married men with kids encouraged to be safe, while single men without kids are not? Shouldn't a high level of safety be stressed for everyone? Why can we have black history celebrations, Miss Black America pageants, black congressional caucuses, and so forth, but not the corresponding items for whites? Would their white equivalents be racist? Maybe, but not necessarily. Personally, I think we should forget about race and strive toward Martin Luther King's ideal of a colorblind society. However, as long as we continue to identify people by race, his dream will never come to fruition.
(6) Too many lawsuits awarding too much money. Many small communities no longer have the services of an obstetrician. Medical costs are skyrocketing. No company within the borders of the U.S. now produces flu shots. Most of this is due to out-of-control lawsuits in which juries award ridiculous amounts of money. Lawsuits for accidental or negligent behavior should be limited to actual damages only. No pain and suffering or punitive damage awards should be made in those cases. Lawsuits for intentional misconduct that don't involve physical injury should be limited to actual damages and punitive damages. Only lawsuits for intentional misconduct involving physical injury should be eligible for pain and suffering damage awards. Lawsuits involving the consequences from things that people do to themselves, ex., smoking or overeating, should never be allowed and not even be taken seriously.
(7) Nation building with American blood. If George W. Bush wants to "export freedom", that's fine with me. It's certainly an honorable endeavor and there are many ways to do it without placing our military personnel in harm's way. However, Americans should never have to shed their blood fighting for someone else's freedom, especially in when it's unclear whether many of the people we're trying to liberate actually want the kind of freedom we're trying to bestow on them. Despite what some will have us believe, it is neither our duty nor in our interest to remove tyrants that are not a direct and imminent threat to our security. If people of other countries yearn for freedom, let them take up arms and fight for it themselves. Americans will be more than happy to provide encouragement and send weapons and other types of aid.
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.