So there I was standing in the kitchen a little while ago, spoon in one hand and jar of Wally World, store brand, peanut butter in the other. Bread has all those calories. What should I spy on the side panel? "ALLERGY WARNING: CONTAINS PEANUTS." Peanut butter contains peanuts? When did that happen?
How many other blatantly obvious warnings do we see on a daily basis, forced by legal beagles and government functionaries? We certainly shouldn't use a blow dryer while standing in the shower or bathtub, hold one hand in a sink full of water while we operate the toaster or microwave, try to grab the blade of a circular saw when it's running, or a chainsaw, stick a hand on a hot stove burner, eat too many McBurgers, or too much ice cream. But people do it, don't they, then turn around and sue the manufacturer for the consequences of their personal, sometimes nonsensical actions. How much does all this add to the cost of a product, and all because some government functionary, or a lawyer, wants to flex the muscles he or she perceives they have.
It would be easy to become cynical about the "me, me, me... it's all about me" attitude some of these have while they, figuratively, hock loogies in the faces of the rest of us so they can feel powerful.
It would be easy to become cynical when we see elected officials and government functionaries spending tax dollars for their personal feel good projects such as what they consider art, so-called green energy, tax abatements for their buds and budettes in the real estate development biz, studies about gang problems the cops already know about, and any number of others... all on the backs of cops, firefighters, and tax paying citizens while crime rates rise, cost of living rises, and paychecks remain the same, if they even come from the same employer.
It would be easy to become cynical watching all the political chest thumping, slander and liable of one candidate toward another, because politicians believe rumor and innuendo are always more important than facts... as my favorite TreeHugger is wont to say. Truth, character, and integrity don't seem to matter to some politicians. What matters is who gains, or keeps, power. It doesn't make any difference, establishment democrat or establishment republican, they're in it for their own aggrandizement not what's right and proper for society, those who pick up the tab.
But what more can we expect when we have lawyers, like, floating around the courthouse who don't understand that our government is a republic, not a democracy, don't understand the legislative branch of government makes law, not the courts, and the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution are all separate documents created at different times in our history and all serving different purposes. Is it any wonder they feel perfectly justified in copping an attitude like the public defender's office seems to be doing? And those judges... some of whom would presume that most of us among the great unwashed don't need to learn all that geometry and trigonometry stuff, or who might not recuse themselves even when they have serious conflicts of interest.
But then we have other judges with the courage to stand up and do what's right, and lawyers who will too. Some folks just don't seem to like seeing bullies attempting to ply their chosen craft. This is, after all, America.
Almost 40 years ago Sammy Johns, of Chevy Van fame, wrote a song that Waylon Jennings tweaked a little before recording it ten years later, America.
Some have said down through history
If you last it's a mystery
But I guess they don't know what they're talking about
From the mountains down to the sea
You've become such a habit with me
America... where our President can flap his jaws that those of us who've hung everything out there to start and build businesses couldn't have done it without government assistance, only to have Iowa entrepreneur Ross Murty wear a t-shirt boldly stating “Government didn’t build my business, I did." when his company was contracted to cater a presidential campaign event.
America... where Chris and Kelly McMurray, who just opened their Crumb and Get It Cookie Company in May, can tell Vice President Biden's gang they won't allow their store to be used for a photo op and later tell the crowd at a political rally in front of another small business “We are gathered here today to send a message to the Obama-Biden team that we did build it.’’
And some would say I'm an eye poker?
America... where kids like those two little girls on Wilson Avenue in Walden, Tn.,, will set up a lemonade stand to earn their own money. It was pretty good lemonade too, but they're probably graduated from college by now. Or a kid I knew in Charlotte whose Dad wouldn't let him keep a stray dog unless he committed to support it, so he started his own cleaning service... even did windows. Or another kid who, at the ripe old age of 18 and already an alcoholic, woke up one day and decided his current path wasn't one that would take him where he wanted to go... so he sobered up, cleaned up, and started his own handyman service.
America... where my most recent favorite is one Mrs. Kerri Smith of State College, Pa. She invented a unique maternity pillow while pregnant and called it The BellyRest, just to discover that not only are there federal regulations to abide by, but each State has its own set too. For a pillow? She could have given up, thrown in the towel, or the pillow, but that isn't the way she's built. She could have whined and cried, held her hand out. She could have gone out and borrowed money (in this economy?). No. Her husband's a web geek. She's an artist in her own right, a singer and song writer, so they put their heads together and decided to pre-sell her pillow to PregoBabes via Indiegogo. She wrote a rap and they made a video, then loaded it up on YouTube. Ol' KDiggy, Kerri's character in the YouTube video, has got the gloves on and they're ready for action. It wasn't long before she was able to get a toe in the door of several media outlets. Now she's off to the races. There will be some speed bumps, but from our discussions I suspect these will be mere gravel patches for this lady. She's bound and determined to create jobs, American jobs, good American jobs.
Shades of Elvis and Roy...
Every man knows better than to make a chick mad. It's a sure fire way to discover, empirically and first hand, the true meaning of audacity.
America... there's no mystery. Audacity, pluck, tenacity, determination, independent thinking, creativity, all contribute. Bowed up, torqued off, PO'd, do too.
But we also need to be careful what we ask a girl to help with. I was having difficulty with a name for the newest family addition, a male mixed pit bull puppy, and asked a Budette for some help. I could understand Rex, Caninus Maximus, or even Spike, something macho. Oh man, how do I hold my head high down at the store? "Yeah, hey, this is the new guy... mixed pit..."
Oops, I see one of my shoes bounding out into the field dragging a brown and white fuzzball behind... again. I better go rescue Boo, um, BooBoo Bear before he gets too traumatized. BooBoo Bear... pit bull mix... this is so embarrassing.
Royce Burrage, Jr.