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Guest commentary: Are we outlawing the right to enjoy life?

Guest commentary: Are we outlawing the right to enjoy life?

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:02 pm
By: Glen Spicer, Special to The Messenger

By GLEN SPICER
Special to The Messenger
The liberal mindset in its attempt to regulate every area of our lives, has gone power-hungry or maybe just plain nuts. Admittedly, it was a short trip, but their incisive desire to undermine even the simple pleasures of life is getting too extreme for those who think we should enjoy life. You know, the pursuit of happiness and all that.
Have you ever played kickball, dodge ball, tag, touch football, musical chairs or ever hung from a Jungle Jim or the monkey bars as a kid? Sure we all did and it was fun. Childhood is supposed to be fun. These and other playful exercises are now considered too dangerous and emotionally crippling for children to bear. And don’t even think about playing tetherball. Why, one could get hit in the face with the ball! With the more active games they might run into each other and get hurt. And, more importantly, they might have their personalities warped by being eliminated from the game as in kickball, dodge ball or musical chairs.
It seems the little pleasures we enjoyed as children may be a thing of the past and not enjoyed by our kids as they are being labeled as too dangerous. Even games having a winner and a loser are frowned upon. Now every child, no matter how badly they play, should get a trophy. There is no need to be the best you can be any longer. Everyone gets a trophy.
The line between winners and losers is getting blurred. What is next, the elimination of the practice of keeping score so no one will look bad for having fewer points at the end of the game? What about eliminating the three-strike rule or the foul ball so kids can swing until they hit it and get on base? And when you shoot the basketball and miss, you’ll get a do-over until you score. And perhaps at county fairs when they do the cake walk, everyone could get a cake. That only seems fair, doesn’t it?
Some activist group now is calling for the retirement of Ronald McDonald because he sends the “wrong” message to kids, you know, that hamburgers and chicken nuggets are actually good to eat. It apparently isn’t enough that McDonald’s also serves salads, fruit and their fruit yogurt sprinkled with granola that is wonderful and worth more than the dollar they charge for it.
Trans-fats are being banned in some cities and there is talk of banning salt shakers from the tables and even the use of salt in the preparation of the food they serve in restaurants. Are we becoming a society too dumb to make our own decisions as to what we should and should not eat? Isn’t that a part of living in a free society? Choice and being able to make the ones we want is what freedom is all about. Even the right to make the wrong choice is important to the growth and progress of a free society. Piling on more and more restrictions until those choices are eliminated is not.
Added taxes on tanning bed usage, necessary medical devices and possibly even the sodas we drink may cost more to subsidize the government take-over of our lifestyle choices.
It is all too crazy, this victimized world view the liberal mindset is creating. They see the whole world as full of victims and they don the capes of the protectors of mankind. Must we be protected from every little thing that could go wrong? Yes, it seems so.
What woman who desires the attention of a particular man would not cherish the idea that he might be inclined to flirt with her, to see if she likes him, to test the water? How else do people get to know each other except through interaction which may include complimenting each other or even harmless flirting. The rule seems to be that if the woman likes the idea of getting attention from a particular man, it is OK and even desirable. If she is not attracted to him, look out fellow. Maybe we should use lawyers to make preliminary contact for us when we want to meet someone new.
Interaction between human beings is becoming more of a risk with unforeseen consequences. When I was growing up, a guy might be snubbed, embarrassed in front of his buddies or be told to buzz off by an uninterested girl. Today he can have a permanent blotch on his job performance record, lose his job, or be sued for sexual harassment instead simply for trying to meet someone or let them know he is interested. He may be instructed to undergo sensitivity training so as to remove this inclination for such “shameful” behavior. (And so as not to neglect the different world we live in, man on man and woman on woman sexual harassment cases are instigated as well.)
I am not advocating abuse, stalking or such recognized unacceptable behaviors but as civilized people we usually know where the lines are in social interactions and this air of super-sensitivity really doesn’t solve as many problems as it creates.
With all the tiptoeing that must go on now, where has the right to experience the simple pleasures of life gone?
The more the government gets into our daily business, the crazier things become. (And don’t even get me started on Obama’s health care bill!)
Once in America, “a man’s home was his castle,” as the saying goes. I suppose that should apply to a woman, also. With ever-increasing demands being made in that area as well, we are losing control of the last little piece of the planet that we once could hold sacred, our homes.
Some communities restrict the number of cars you can have parked in the driveway and if you don’t mow your yard enough to suit them, the city will do it and bill you for the service you did not ask for. In some cases this might seem justified but it still is simply more government intervention into our lives.
It used to not matter what type of light bulb I used in my home or how much wattage it drained from grid. Now it is a cause for national debate. With the nonsense of global climate initiatives and environmental concerns, the government wants to switch us all to CFL bulbs, which contain mercury thus making them dangerous when broken.
They give some people headaches, provide less than suitable light in my opinion, and cost more. Should one break, you almost have to call the Haz-Mat team to clean it up properly to rid yourself of the mercury which the EPA classifies as dangerous even in landfills. So why should we want that danger over our heads at home?
Disposing of CFL’s in the regular way we get rid of waste or trash is even unlawful in California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin adding to the nuisance of using them. Breaking one over a carpeted area will put particles of mercury in the fibers that cannot be removed and will be re-introduced into the atmosphere, the air you breathe, then walked upon.
Hundreds of Chinese workers have been hospitalized due to mercury exposure in plants where CFL bulbs are manufactured and yet our government wants them in our homes. Oh, the joy of government nonsense.
The EPA’s instructions as to what you need to do when one breaks in your home is a 16-step procedure which includes removing all humans and pets from the area and opening the windows, even if there is snow on the ground outside for a period of time. Who wants to live with such a dangerous item in the house that could expose them to poison at any time?
Outside of the home, the cars that may be available to us to drive in the future may be very restricted as to body-type, power, and fuel usage. We are going to be taxed for choosing to drive to work because the environmental alarmists would much rather you ride a bicycle or jog. If they can make it expensive enough, you’ll change your habits.
Of course, liberal politicians jetting back and forth across the nation doesn’t apply to this logic. And, too, are gone the glorious days of the muscle cars of the ’70s and to drive one makes you an enemy of the environment, according to liberal theology. (I say “theology” because liberals practice it with the fervency of a religion.)
So will life ever be as simple as having fun as a child or simply being human and enjoying life again? Perhaps not, if the government continues to subscribe to the levying of its ever-expanding list of ridiculous rules upon us. No one is adverse to true progress but somehow the limitation placed upon the simple pleasures of life doesn’t feel like progress to me.
Glen Spicer, a Troy resident, is a long-time contributor to The Messenger.
Published in The Messenger 4.21.10

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