Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Price to Pay to be American

Being American – or, at the very least, living in America – is great. In one afternoon stroll through a Safeway, we see more food than some people see in their entire lifetime. We have healthcare. Sometimes expensive healthcare, but healthcare nonetheless. Pizza delivery? Check. Internet porn? At our fingertips.

Truly, we have an abundance – our cups often runneth over. C’mon, think about it: the swimming pools in our very own backyards are filled with perfectly good drinking water.

We have so much in America, that we hold a weird spot in the view of the rest of the world. Oh, they love to talk crap about America and the people who live here. Some even hate us. Hate. That’s a pretty strong word. That is until an earthquake rumbles, a volcano erupts, or typhoon sweeps. Aside from being the world police deterring freak jobs from cracking off AK’s in streets from Timbuktu to unnamed villages too, our military is the first to deliver aid and care to every helping hand that’s extended.

By the way, big thanks to those in the armed services.

And for you haters out there, you’re welcome. Now shut your cakehole.

Yes, living in America is great. We enjoy – and sometimes take for granted – freedom and liberty that are unimaginable in many parts of the world. Heck, I can even criticize the government and not have to worry about the next knock on my door.

Of course, living in America is a liberty that doesn’t come free. The bill does come due every so often. I consider it the price to pay to be American.

The first bill comes due with jury duty. To live in the best country with the best judicial system created thus far (in the absence of the “whatever-Ray-says-is-law” system, that is), we have to, on very rare occasions, serve as jury members to provide judgment on our peers.

Now, is that really that tough to do? Hell, no it’s not. While it might not be the ultimate in convenience, if that’s the price I have to pay to enjoy the liberties of living in this country, then so be it. Too many others have fought and sacrificed to provide me that liberty – and occasional obligation.

What others are thinking, I don’t understand. In some cases, they should feel flat out embarrassed. I’m talking about the jury duty dodgers, of course. There’s the usual dodging of even showing up in the first place – letters of bogus hardships, etc.

A whole new level of dodging then takes place during the jury interview phase. It often goes something like this:

Judge: Any reason why you should be considered to be dismissed from jury consideration for this trial.

Douche: Oh, hell no, judge. I’m dying to flip the switch on the electric chair for that person. She should fry, I don’t care what her crime is. And, is she a minority too? That settles it!

Judge: That will be all. You can be excused.

We should have those potential jurors clean our sewers instead.

Jury duty is just one of the prices we have to pay. The bigger bill comes due the first Tuesday of November. Election Day. Or, rather, the weeks leading up to election day.

The good is the democratic election of our leaders. Can’t beat that. The bad is the campaigning leading up to the democratic election. For crying out loud, wake me when it’s over.

This last week, I’ve been bombarded with phone calls from various campaigns. Whatever happened to the “Do Not Call” list, anyway? Wasn’t that the purpose in the first place?

Not to outdone, I’m pretty sure a nice-sized parcel of rain forest has been cut down to create the campaign junk mailers I’ve received this month. Today, alone, nearly 50% of the items in my mailbox were campaign materials – three from one guy alone (David Harmer, running for U.S. Congress)!

Ah, but that’s just “snail mail.” Don’t get me started on the junk email I’ve been getting. Rather, don’t get me too started, since I’ve already started.

Despite a rigorous junk mail filter, the annoying emails with subject lines ranging from panhandling to fear-provoking, trickle in constantly through the course of the day. It’s odd that we’ve legislated laws condemning “spamming,” as it’s often a cause of great expense to organizations and individuals alike. Well, I mean there’s nothing odd about that legislation or the reasoning behind. It’s odd that it seems to apparently not apply to candidates and political parties.

Have you ever asked to “unsubscribe” to the emails? First, it’s rather unsettling you have to ask to unsubscribe to something you never subscribed to in the first place. But, what’s more aggravating is the spam continues on, only from different people. Instead of receiving a message for the Chair of the Republican National Committee, you’ll instead receive one from the Secretary, and so on down the line.

It’s not just a Republican thing either. Same goes with the Democrats, who are even more e-savvy, what with the internet invented by Al Gore and all.

I’m of the mind to shoot off an email to both parties telling them that if I receive one more email from them, I’ll vote straight party ticket for the other party.

Ah, what am I thinking – that will never work. Even a dumb-ass politician would be smart enough to figure out how to send an email under an alias naming the other party, thus “earning” my vote.

Oh well, it’s the price to pay to enjoy being an American, I suppose. Guess I just have to suck it up. But, I have to tell you – that Harmer fella better have one helluva platform, because I’m about set to go out and campaign for his opponent.

That’s me passing judgment in the jury of just this guy’s opinion. Of course, there’s a small chance I might be wrong.

Tweet your vote @RayHartjen.

1 comment:

  1. Living in "America". America is a continent not a country. When do you will learn?