Dolts and Idiots

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Recently by Don Cooper: American Fear


Government nonsense, broken logic and stupidity abounds.

Take, for example, that in most states the government says that a person can't drink alcohol until they are 21-years-old. Why 21? No one knows just some arbitrary number that has changed many times over the years demonstrating there's no reasoning to it. But not to adhere to it is a crime.

But at eighteen they are considered an adult (except at Florida theme parks where my 12-year-old is considered an adult and daddy pays full price) and are then given the "privilege" to vote, join the military and legally kill people in war, but cannot legally drink a cold beer. Why eighteen? No one knows just some arbitrary number that the government has decided officially makes a person an "adult." From eighteen on a person is also given the "privilege" of entering into marriage sanctioned by the state and to procreate with another of the "privileged" class, but still no cold beer, damn it! You don't want that criminal conviction on your permanent record. That record will follow you around for the rest of your life and you'll never be able to get a "good" job.

Luckily, I'm over twenty-one and have a good job so this is the part where I start drinking.

At seventeen, with parental consent, a person can join the military and legally kill people in war but cannot vote, procreate, nor legally drink a cold beer. Why seventeen? No one knows just some arbitrary number that the government has decided shouldn't carry as many "privileges as the number eighteen.

At sixteen then, a person, still considered a child by the government, is considered responsible enough to drive a motor vehicle — considered a deadly weapon in all 50 states — but cannot vote nor join the military and legally kill people in war nor drink a cold beer. Why sixteen? No one knows, just some arbitrary number that allows children to operate deadly weapons on our streets.

At fifteen then a person is considered responsible enough to drive a car with another licensed driver, which could be a 16-year-old who got his license yesterday, but he cannot vote, legally kill people, nor have a cold beer. Why fifteen? No one knows just some arbitrary number that coincides with the rebellious stage in adolescent development. What better time for them to be behind the wheel of a car with their high school friends?

(Footnote: their high school friends can get beer.)

At thirteen a boy's voice changes and his manhood arrives. That is to say: mother-nature considers him mature. The government, as everyone knows, knows better than mother-nature, though, and will tell us when someone is mature.

What does mother-nature know anyway? She doesn't even know that she and her planet are sick. That they are dying and the governments of the world are doing all they can to save her. Certainly we can't leave such important decisions to her. But I digress.

Speed limits are another bit of nonsense. The government will tell us what is the one and only maximum safe speed on any given highway. But doesn't that speed depend on a number of other factors such as: weather conditions, volume of traffic, condition of the car, condition of the driver, time of day, etc.? And certainly those factors vary from situation to situation. One driver may be driving in the rain, or the snow or on icy roads. Another may be tired or the car may be old and in a state of disrepair. Yet another may be in heavy traffic at night whilst another may be in light traffic during the day. Doesn't every driver have the responsibility of making the best decisions regarding a safe speed given all those factors? And doesn't the fact that the state has issued us a driver's license mean that we are to be trusted with making just such decisions? If not then why have they let us on the road behind the wheel of a deadly weapon? What if there's a street with no speed limit posted? Are we to stop and call for help? Moving right along.

Lastly, for fear of beating a dead horse, and running out of bourbon, I'll finish up with the stupidity of laws such as j-walking which is still enforced today in Georgia, Florida, Seattle, Las Vegas, and no doubt many other states and cities. J-walking is a law that assumes that we as a society are such dolts and idiots that we can't be trusted to safely cross the street on our own, so the government is going to build a cross-walk with a light to tell us where and when to cross the street. But if we are a society of dolts and idiots and we have a government of and by the people, then doesn't that mean we have a government of dolts and idiots? And didn't George Bush and "Dick" Cheney prove that? He shot someone in the face?

And that's why I drink!

Don Cooper [send him mail] is a Florida native, Navy veteran, economist, business analyst and father.

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