All of us have heard a few examples of dumb laws in our time, ranging from a law in Oregon stating that dishes must “drip dry” to Canada placing a ban on any comic books that contain images of illegal acts. While amusing, I don’t find these to be the truly stupid laws. My examples are much worse.
Let’s start with pro-life versus pro-choice. Everyone knows the argument and takes their own sides. I’m not here to tell you who is right and who is wrong, nor am I here to explain my feelings on the subject. Instead, I wish to present some facts that prohibit one side (either one, doesn’t matter) from practicing their beliefs, and how the government sometimes seeks to place firm restraints on its citizens that are far beyond what We The People should deem acceptable.
For example, Kansas made a few headlines recently when the Republican-driven Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill defining life as beginning “at fertilization.” In layman’s terms, this renders all abortions illegal. Period. No argument, no discussion. As soon as Governor Sam Brownback puts his name to paper, abortions will be considered illegal in the state of Kansas.
Maybe we should start with locking up all the sex addicts first? Nah, that’s crazy…
This is not the first state to pass such a bill; in fact, it’s the eighth (or thirteenth, depending on your source). I understand why it’s such a hot debate: is abortion murder? It’s nearly an impossible question to answer given people’s varying perspectives on when life truly “begins” inside of a womb, but to have a government impose laws telling us how we should view any subject is just wrong, pure and simple. It is one of many steps this country’s leaders have taken to establish supreme control over its people.
North Dakota also recently passed an abortion-related bill into effect in a campaign spearheaded by Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple. This particular bill states that abortions are declared illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected through a transvaginal ultrasound, which occurs about six weeks into a typical pregnancy. Although this “Heartbeat Bill” has little chance of standing up to the Supreme Court, it is still a very clear effort to restrain the individual freedoms of the American people.
Hell, I can barely hear his heartbeat coming through those cholesterol-clogged arteries. Maybe we can still abort him?
Let’s change the subject, shall we? Nobody likes talking about dead babies for too long. How about…
Drug Testing For Welfare
Ah, this issue seems to have really exploded over the last few years amongst cries from blue-collar America, screaming about how drug users can still apply (and receive) welfare while they spend all their “free money” on drugs and alcohol instead of life necessities. It got so hyped up that many states began working on legislation to pass bills addressing the issue, including Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, and a dozen others. The most notorious of these instances involved Florida, however, in which the state legislation signed into law the mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients. The entire affair lasted only a few months before a temporary – and still currently standing – ban was placed on the program, and in the span of these few short months, a groundbreaking 108 people tested positive for drug use, most of which were for marijuana use. That may sound high, but considering the state tested over 4,000 people, the number is hardly impressive. Another interesting bit of information is the fact that any person that passed the test was refunded the cost of the procedure, which resulted in costs of nearly $200,000 – all in the span of only four months.
“Well, maybe they knew the tests were coming and decided not to take them.” A good theory, and one I certainly wondered myself. It should be noted, then, that only 40 people actually canceled their tests. So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt: let’s say 148 out of 4,126 people would have tested positive for drug-use. That’s…what, 3.5%, if my math is right? WOW. Good job, guys. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just pay the benefits to the drug users in the first place? Actually, yes. Yes it would.
Not pictured: someone worried about getting on welfare.
And while we’re on this subject, how many of you smoke pot? Because I’m 26 years old, and pretty much every single person I know has at least tried it or become a full-fledged habitual user. Not only that, but the most common reasons I personally hear when asked why you smoke pot is “It just helps me mellow out” or “I had a rough day and just need it to relax.” Fair enough, we all have our vices, and I am of the opinion that marijuana, while not my cup of tea, really isn’t that bad. I’d even say cigarettes and alcohol are infinitely worse, and I have experience with both of those things. But anyway, let’s say things in your life take a turn for the worse and you find yourself in a position of applying for welfare to help get through the tough times ahead. Is your first instinct going to be “I better give up that thing that makes me happy for a few hours a day!” or will it be “this sucks, everything sucks, I’m depressed, I’m gonna smoke a joint and chill out for a bit.”
….Yeah, I thought you might go with the latter. So, are these people heathens that deserve to be denied access to money they would most likely spend on food, clothes, laundry detergent, shampoo, and electricity (and maybe a dimebag)? I would say no, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.
$15?! There goes all my food money.
I’m simply asking for everyone, no matter which side of an argument to stand on, to stop and take a look around at what’s happening. While we’re too busy having our petty squabbles with each other, our individual freedoms are getting destroyed by those that we elected to preserve them. Maybe instead of blindly reposting the same images on Facebook and Twitter every day, you can go do some research on a given subject and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. All I’m saying is, don’t get caught up in something just because it sounds nice in your head. At the risk of ending this post with a cliché, even communism looks good on paper, but that doesn’t mean it works well in the real world.