I posted this on my Facebook page on July 4th and have decided to share it here. I hope you enjoy it.

In My America.

I’d like to take a few minutes and share what I think of America on her birthday and where I’d like to see her go in the future.

America is my home and I love her, but it makes me sad to see some of the ways that we, as a people, have been steering her.
In my America, torture is not tolerated under any circumstances. There is no false “ticking bomb” scenario that justifies torture. This is the agreement that President Reagan signed and we should be following it to this day. From a moral standpoint, if you attempt to say that torturing our prisoners is okay in certain situations, then you also state that it is okay for other governments to torture our personnel in certain situations. You strip away our ability to exact justice on other countries that have used torture if you say it is okay for us to torture. And water boarding is torture. If we do not prosecute those who committed torture in our own government, then we lose the right to prosecute those in other governments who commit torture.
In my America, the ends do not justify the means. It is not okay to lie and make up reasons to start a war to depose a sadistic madman. If it’s so important to remove him from power, then do it properly and with the rest of the world’s agreement, not over lies. And you definitely do not destroy not only our economy, but realistically the entire world’s economy, to do it. This and torture are war crimes and those who committed them need to be brought to justice, no matter what party they belong to.
In my America, the words “promote the general Welfare” in the Preamble of the Constitution means that we take care of our citizens. No one is suggesting that people be allowed to have expensive steak dinners or plastic surgery on the public’s dime, but there should not be a single citizen of these United States of America that goes hungry, goes homeless, or goes without medical care, whether they have a job or not. And none of those, especially medical care, should cause an individual to go bankrupt. We are stronger as a nation together instead of separated, and we should treat all of us with compassion and a helping hand, even if that sometimes gets taken advantage of. I’d rather some money be wasted and all of us be fed, housed, and medically taken care of, than some money be wasted and we use it in an unneeded war.
In my America, Socialism is not a bad word. People who think that socialistic programs automatically lead to Communist China or Russia are uneducated. People who think that socialistic programs automatically lead to the loss of freedoms are also uneducated. One only needs to look at the social Democracies of Europe to see this. And for those who try to point out the flaws in those systems, I say those systems are still better than what we have here with so many hungry and not taken care of, and we, as the great nation we are, can certainly adopt those systems and fix the flaws and make them better.
In my America, CEO’s do not experience an increase of salary in the double digits year over year when the average worker experiences less than 5% increase. Is it any wonder that the average American is continually feeling like they are drowning with no way out? Is it any wonder that you need a two income household just to scrape by? Is it any wonder that the average American feels like they have to take riskier and riskier chances to get ahead so that they utilize things like cheap credit and all the other things that are part of the current financial crisis? One only needs to look back in history and see that any nation that had such a vast difference in the classes leads to disaster. Some people like to claim this is redistribution of wealth, but I say that is what we experience right now with the wealth of the hard workers being redistributed to the rich, and there is no trickle down happening. I’m all for trickle up. If the poorer have more money, they will spend more money, which will then increase how much money everyone earns from the common worker to the CEO due to the increased need for goods and services. A rising tide lifts all boats, but one has to remember that the tide is UNDER the boat, not on top of it.
In my America, there is no place for religiously based legislation. That means if the core of your position is based on unfounded religious beliefs, then it should not exist in my government. That means no laws restricting gay marriage. That means that we accept the scientific evaluation that climate change is affected by human activity instead of sticking our heads in the sand and thinking that Jesus will come back before we destroy the earth. That means that evolution is taught in schools and creationism/intelligent design is kept out. That means that we accept the fact that abstinence only policies are a complete failure and we use comprehensive and truthful sex education for our children. Why would anyone want to send their children out in the world without the best possible information available to them? When people are ignorant of the truth and of reality, they make bad decisions and those decisions can affect all of us.
In my America, people can own guns, but there are restrictions. Before one can own a gun, you must pass a course that educates you on the handling and storage of weapons. Just like you must pass a course before you are allowed to drive a car, you must do the same before you own a gun. There must be a waiting period before the purchase. You must pass a mental evaluation along with a criminal check. Will this stop gun related deaths or criminals getting guns? No, but I feel it is the best compromise possible that would allow us to have guns (which I strongly believe in) and those who want to get rid of them.

Some of you may disagree with these, and that’s okay, since this is America. But I would hope you would disagree with these because you have facts to base your opinion on, not just because it doesn’t fit with your party line. If you read these and your first reaction is solely based on partisanship, then I ask you to think for a second, do some research, use some logic, and find a better reason to disagree with me, then defend that position.

Most of all, I wish all of you a Happy July 4th and extra props go out to all our current, past, and future service men and women that put their lives on the line and make extreme sacrifices to keep us free.

Views: 62

Comment by Reggie on July 11, 2009 at 10:59am
Jeff, I find your liberal sensibilities very agreeable. :)
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on July 11, 2009 at 11:48am
Wait a minute.. since when do you have to pass a course to drive a car? As far as I know, you pass one written and one driving exam, no course.
Likewise, you must pass a gun safety course to get a hunting licenses. (A start, at least.) Make gun attainment a comprehensive FEDERAL law to prevent loopholes by border crossing. (likewise someone that is going to use a gun for a crime probably isn't too worried about how legally it's attained.)

In court, with-holding the truth is considered the same as outright lying. Why then are abstinence only programs even legal in a public school?

Plant life in it's un-chemically processed form is a food group. Not a drug. Why is smoking weed worse than drinking alcohol? How many violent crimes have been committed while high as opposed to while drunk? What about mushrooms? Most people that do shrooms are way too busy staring at the patterns on their wallpaper to get out and hurt someone.
Comment by Matthew on July 11, 2009 at 2:50pm
@Jeff: What Reggie said.

@Misty: I got my driver's license 16 years ago (oh my that makes me feel old), so a driver's education course has been required for at least that long and I think much longer. You only have the two tests as you said. The written gets you a learner's permit that allows you to take the course. You have to take and pass the course to take the driving test which then gets you a license. At least in Wisconsin - I don't know what other states do.
Comment by Jeff Langston on July 12, 2009 at 3:02am
Thank you all for your comments. If anyone else wants to chime in, please feel free to.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on July 12, 2009 at 4:14am
@Matthew- Every state is different. I know in Nevada ten years ago, (when I got mine, so now I feel old, too. Thanks!) there were no courses required. Just depends on where you live, I guess.
Comment by Reggie on July 12, 2009 at 9:08am
Considering that 40,000 people die in automobile deaths each year in the United States, I strongly believe that Driver's Education should be mandatory for attaining a driver's licence.


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