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Made in the USA: Spoiled brats

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I got an e-mail at work saying that this tidbit came from Jay Leno. I did my "Google" research and found out that it did not come from Jay, but from Craig R. Smith, a media commentator. I think he nails it well, myself also guilty in some part. We do forget what we have.

Anyways, here it is with corresponding links:


Made in the USA: Spoiled Brats

Posted: November 20, 2006
1:00 am Eastern

© 2008

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way. Oh what a mean man I am.
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did ? insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''
I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the ''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

If I had something to bitch about it would be that we have way too many laws being passed without any thought as it's true consequences.

Many, many, stupid laws. Where do I begin? Anti-gun laws. Anti-smoking (and I'm an avid non-smoker). Anti-bully. And so on.
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Don't forget about the no-spanking push that is starting to hit in various parts of the nation. We have it good, people don't understand how good we have it.

I can remember flying from Kuwait to Mosul in one dayin a chinook at around 100 feet above the ground. I got to see lots of the country that day. If people could see how it is there they would quit complaining about how it is here. There are people in the middle east that are living in the same tent that there grandfathers from hundreds of years ago were living in.

We got it gooood
I completely disagree with the premise of this article (and some of the points it makes). It sounds like he's arguing for stagnation. That we should not continue to try and make things better.

Complaining and unhappyness is necessary, this is how you get competition in the market place and to some extent in politics. In fact I would argue that the reality is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what Craig R. Smith is arguing. Americans are happy and content and as a result have become complacent. This complacency is leading to the destruction of our freedoms.

The irony of the article is that Craig flames the media for misreporting yet his article is based on the exaggerations that the media has portrayed.

And how could any of you guys have missed this:

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
I can't believe anything else this guy says after he makes a naive statement such as that.


Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
As far as I'm aware all states have done internal checkpoints and continue to do them on a regular basis. I remember a few months ago there was a big one near me on the highway or at least on the off ramp, if you were traveling across states you would have hit it. This was one of those holiday checks where they check for drunk drivers.

I can't say that I take for granted any of the things he mentions that Americans supposedly do take for granted. Many of the freedoms he mentioned that we have are under attack and we have to be vigilant.

If you believe and follow the constitution then you have to be a complainer and a brat. It's all part of being vigilant. If we become complacent happy little piggies only counting our blessings then the wolves will come out to play.

I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away.
If we don't sit at thanksgiving and count our blessings they will be taken away? I don't think counting your blessings will help you keep them.

Be vigilant, not complacent.

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I kind of agree with the article. For the most part Americans are spoiled.
I'm not sure where you going there Lex? Seem as if the whole article is bunk to you just because of two things and I can tell a hint of 'anti-copness'. I hope that isn't the case because 'JBT fear' disease seems very rampant throughout the 'net' in gun forums.

Yeah, I did read those and the one about how a cop will be there to prevent a theft made me chuckle a bit but tell me if it doesn't ever happen. I also chuckle at the Brinks TV commercial where there is a couple in their new house and the bad guy made the TV commercial wimp and run like a girl. I'd recommend that people take steps to protect themselves, specifically via a 12 gauge, but in fact most burglaries occurr when the home is unoccupied, which unless you have that Brinks alarm, most likely will go w/o a cop responding.

I've been a LEO for almost 15 years. I've yet to meet a single cop/LEO rubbing their hands to gether in an evil fashion saying, "I can't wait until the US Constitution is abolished". It isn't there, period! Most issues involving police misconduct usually involves a rookie, but they usually don't get the media attention like a more veteran cop gets, unless they go beserk and gun GF and others down with an AR. But police misconduct occurs as you guys are well aware of already to the 'nth degree.

Let me address a little what it's like to be in LE. Initially being a cop is something that is idealogical at the time, before being exposed to a non-stop stream of liars, crooks, and all around general criminals. Guys (and gals) come into this thinking that they will make a positive impact to their community. We all know that doing this won't make us rich, may loose the job, your house, your own freedom, your life. Kinda the same mentality as to joining the Marines I would say. It's very thankless. No cop gets to go to a call where they are welcomed by all. More often than not at least one person there doesn't want to see us. So I knew then, and a lot more now, that us LEO's are not so popular, to the point it is expected. But at no time had I desire, nor do anyone I know, ever said or though that we need to shitcan our Constitution. Quite the contrary, where since the Academy, is the U.S. Constitution ever so drilled into us. And, as I've read and heard elsewhere from lawyers in law school, the 2nd isn't mentioned a lot. Actually I learned a lot more about the 2nd and gun laws from being on 'da net', hearing it from others, reading it over a few times. Us LOE's are very familiar with the 4th, and 5th Amendments and enough of the 1st.

But, none the less, cops in general strive to do their best for 'Da Citizens', and all citizens. We always don't get it right. I would dwelve more into this and will so on a tit for tat basis. I would add, although everyone I speak to seems to want to lie to cops, I'd have to say 94% of 'Da people' are not the people I look for and they tend to go about their lives generally obeying the law. And EVERYONE NEEDS TO REMEMBER, cops do not generate or invent the laws. There have been instances where some obscure law violation gets misinterpeted, or misconstrued, most istances if it isn't cut and clear cops won't enforce it. I've been Border Patrol for 10 of those 15 years and nothing is more f-up than trying to interpet immigration laws. And believe me there are times that stupid laws get enforced, or things are done that most do not agree with. Anyone who has known me for the while I've been on this forum knows that I know fellow agents facing prosecution where all of us are saying "WTF?!?!", however I'm not in the driver seat of that investigation. And as I've stated before way too many laws are being passed without legislators taking the foresight to establish it's long term effects. But who are the suckers stuck enforcing these laws. I see more on this issue later.

About driving accross the country w/o needing papers, unfortunately not quite accurate. We do need a driver's license. And the vehicle needs to be registered and insured. Are these things listed in The Constitution? No. Driving is a priviledge but try and tell that to most Americans. Sobriety checkpoints. I've only experienced one. More on that in a bit. Immigration Checkpoints. Practically everyday. That is something most Americans never experience.

So, near the border, specifically southern border, there may be a chance a U.S. citizen may get stopped, along with everyone else. BTW, few cars get stopped, most are flagged. What documents do people need to carry in order to prove that they are a US Citizen? None. BP can only stop people on reasonable suspicion, not because the license plate light is out, or about a jillion reasons most cops can stop a vehicle. However, even though our forefathers had the sense to protect the people's rights (notice I didn't say citizens) that the 4th Amendment somehow applies to vehicle stops!! They didn't have cars in 1791, so how did they know to formulate the Constitution that will make it a valid documents years ahead never dreaming that it too is applied to stopping a vehicle or for any cop just to make contact with someone. I will make this clear, I don't spend my days trying to figure "a way around" the Constitution. If I decide to stop someone I do make the effort to find a reason where I won't stop them. It makes the difference when it comes whether or not it will waste my time. A lot of restrictions are placed on the U.S. LEO's in this day and age as there where at any point in our history. Just look at what a LEO were able to do 50, 75, 100, 150 years ago.

Sobriety checkpoints. If you actually do know your rights you will know what a cop can and can't do. The one time I did get stopped at the one and only SB checkpoint I've been through was by a young cop. I can tell he was a reserve, or so if I'm wrong... let's not hope so. Usually reserve cops/auxiliaries man SB checkpoints b/c I'm sure most cops like doing it as much as I don't like manning BP checkpoints. Well the cops introduces himself, quite lengthy intro. Informs me that it was a sobriety checkpoint. I figured by the first two seconds seeing me with groceries in the PAX seat, wearing sweatpants, sandals with socks (hey it was cold), and I said "Hi" that would be all he needs to see that I obviously don't look like or smelled like I just came from the bar, besides the fact he saw me going in the other direction a half an hour earlier. But no. He asked where I was coming from and going.

Well, I have also asked this question before at people I've stopped. BUT, by the time I do ask this question I would have at least a half dozen good reasons to even consider asking that particular one. Trying not to be an asshole myself I asked him CAMLY and POLITELY, "Why do you need to know?". I could see that I just rattled this young buck's cage. He went on that they encounter a lot of drug smuggling in the area and just wanted to know. My answer, along with that 'are you stupid' look on my face was, "No shit". This should have clued him in other than I look like a cop 24/7 and that practically every 3rd vehicle on the south end of Sierra Vista is a BP Agent. I then asked him, "So do you normally encounter drug smugglers going TOWARDS Mexico, wearing sandals and socks, and just coming from Fry's Supermarket?". He got the hint.

To make that revelant to the article, although there may be an instance where one may have a slight encounter at a sobriety checkpoint that rarely occurs, or worse yet, a BP checkpoint, at least in this country we 'da people' are protected by law, that we are innocent until proven guilty, that we are to be protected by unreasonable search and seizure AND that you can tell a cop to fuck off, either politely or point blank, while wiping your ass with the American flag and you won't go to jail for doing so, although I'd only recommend that you don't do that if the cop has you doing 50 in a 25 zone.

Just so ya'll know that I don't merely have a black and white experience on checkpoints, I too have been stopped by corrupt cops, and military soldiers,... in Mexico. And how do I know that they were corrupt by US standards? I gave them $40 after they tried to extort some $340 for doing 7 kilometers per hour over. Soldiers will stop you at several checkpoints along the same route and search your vehicle w/o explaining jack.

So, the article is pretty dead on.
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I'm not sure where you going there Lex? Seem as if the whole article is bunk to you just because of two things and I can tell a hint of 'anti-copness'.
Please reread the first part of my post. Yes, I had issues with a few points he made but I disagreed mostly with the premise of the article and I explained that in the first few lines of my post.

I'll respond to the anti-copness thing after you finish editing your post :p
No I didn't miss your first point Lex. I just forgot to mention it but I was more distracted by the other remarks.

I did notice a bit of the "quit yer bitching" or "don't bitch, you have it good" message. However I beleive what his message was not to focus your happiness strictly what the media tells us. I've known for way too long the U.S. media will only feature news that will turn a profit by drawing th emost viewers. It is not the news, but more so on how the media manipulates whatever they want Americans to know. Not a big conspiracy thing, just what I've seen all too often to the point of even commenting some of that very ppoint on my other posts. Like what the fuck Britney is doing. Who's ahead in American Idol. What Michelle Obama said. I also see a similar crap on the Spanish speaking news-US side. All they focus on reporting are issues affecting and benefiting illegal aliens. Rarely addresses those in th eU.S. legally.

I don't expect the media to just focus on "happy" news either, but c'mon.

About vying stagnation; a couple of thoughts, one would be; does it really say that? And the other, my view, stagnation, or all out recession isn't necessarily a bad thing. Since the 90's we've enjoyed a steady economical progress and wealth accumulation. An economical downturn is the necessary checks and balances to establish a solid economy, as oppose to a 'great/hot' economy. A way to 'trim the fat'. Unfortunately our next economic downturn may be an all out depression, no one country's economy can sustain this growth endlessly that is just a fact. Everyone has to take some precautionary action to prepare for this. It seems to me too many Americans are just prepared for the 'now' and no foresight as to what is ahead. Sorta like the way we were in the 20's. This is the 'spoil brat' in us if we think nothing bad could or would happen. We don't have to live like the world is ending but be realistic that credit card we have in case of emergency may not be worth the plastic is stamped on if we needed it, or as a matter of fact, even the cash we have in the bank. Do we realistically expect the g'vmt to cover our losses if the economical shit hits the fan? I think many people either do, or don't even give it a second thought. If we tank economically it will be a global recession/depression then we will all definitely be unhappy Americans.
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That's a long post and I had to read it twice but I still don't see what you're trying to argue or what point you're trying to make. You just described your experiences as a cop and as a regular person interacting with cops. I can't agree or disagree with the things you've said.

What does this have to do with being vigilant?

Not to go too much off on a tangent, I would like to make two points regarding your cars comment:

1. Our forefathers knew that the constitution can't practically last forever, this is why Jefferson said: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson. Our forefathers understood the problem and provided a recommendation, albeit one I personally disagree with. (I strongly believe that violence for ideological reasons is futile. Revolutions, Wars, Crusades, etc have always had a larger cost to humanity and individuals than they gained as a result of them.)

2. The only major difference between a horse and a car is that a horse has no air conditioning and usually only carries one person, although carriages allowed fewer horses to carry more people. People rode horses while drunk back then too. They still do: http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?in_article_id=46457&in_page_id=2 My point is that the forefathers did have similar issues to deal with and decided to either leave it up to the individuals or the states.

And of course there is the question of which forefathers we're talking about? The ones who drafted/signed the Declaration of Independence or the ones who drafted/signed The Constitution? They were mostly different people and the folks who signed the DoI were against the Constitution, so...
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I'm just saying. ;)
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