There have been some stupid things reported in the news since New Year's Day. Some that are truly unbelievable. These days when I watch the news I often find myself just shaking my head in wonder. Here are a few that stand out in my mind:
The states of Washington and Colorado passed laws that made personal use of marijuana legal. In a country where impaired driving (alcohol related) is already killing tens of thousands of people each year, two states have now made it more acceptable for people to drive under the influence of THC. Some of those will be driving under the influence of THC and alcohol combined.
While drug advocates believe this is a great idea and that marijuana is harmless and should be legalized nationwide, I personally disagree. I think it's only taking a problem and making it worse - that of people being under the influence of mind-altering substances not just in public places but on our roads. It will be interesting to see if traffic accidents and deaths increase in these two states. And I still believe, regardless of what some may say, that for many people marijuana is a gateway drug.
Another item that stands out on this list is a new law in that ever progressive state of California that allows for transgender children as young as kindergarten to use the bathroom of their gender identity. So if little Johnny believes he should be little Jenny he can now go into the girls' bathroom, by law, regardless of how the girls feel about it, and vice versa.
In my own (maybe unpopular) logic I don't believe any child can make a determination about their gender identity until they're old enough to understand exactly what it means. And even then it should be after intense therapy to help them deal with what they're feeling and determine if it's a physical or psychological abnormality that is causing this. When the child is old enough to make his/her own decisions then they can determine what's best for them.
I read an article about a year ago in which the parents of a six year old "transgender" boy in Colorado were suing the Girl Scouts because they refused to let the boy be a member. The boy's parents say "he identifies as a girl" and wears girls' clothing so he wanted to be a Girl Scout. Apparently the parents not only encourag him but fight for his right to do so. Six years old? In my humble opinion that constitutes child abuse. Children, particularly children at that age, need proper guidance - not a set of parents who say "It's OK if you want to wear girls' clothing and act like a girl. You can be whoever you wish. And if anyone challenges you we'll sue them."
Initially the Girl Scouts said no. Their logic was that the boy has boy parts therefore he is not eligible to be a Girl Scout because he is, technically and biologically, a boy. Sadly, the Girl Scouts caved after being sued and decided to allow it. The logic behind it fails me.
Another asinine political news item (that's not a new law but worth mentioning) is the new mayor of Boston refusing to allow his police department to purchase AR-15 weapons for use by their officers. The Chief of Police wants to purchase enough of these weapons for every precinct to have two rifles, to be used by specially trained officers in case of a situation where the department is outgunned. It makes perfect sense.
Anyone who has seen the footage (or the movie) of the 1997 shootout in North Hollywood where two bank robbers exited the bank (which was surrounded by police) wearing full body armor and carrying AR-15 rifles with numerous loaded magazines, understands why police should have access to these types of weapons. Sometimes they are outgunned by the bad guys. (The two gunmen in North Hollywood were stopped only when police went to a gun store and acquired AR-15 weapons themselves. One of them killed himself rather than be captured and the other was shot by police with an AR-15 and died on the scene.)
The new mayor of Boston apparently believes his police officers can't be trusted because he feels if the officers have AR-15s to defend themselves then more innocent bystanders could be injured or killed. It seems whether or not his officers survive is irrelevant. I hope it's not him who needs rescued from heavily armed bad guys.
Our politicians certainly make our lives interesting - even as they make them difficult. My last example is Obamacare. Since its rollout on October 1st last year, just over 1 million people have enrolled - many of whom still don't have health care because the web site didn't allow for payments to be made to the insurance companies. However, over 6 million people have lost their health care coverage because of the standards set up by Obamacare. Maybe I'm wrong but the math just doesn't seem to be too positive for the new law, nor for the people of the United States. Many of those people who did get insurance will pay higher premiums and exorbitant deductibles - some up to $12,000 a year.
I heard about a couple who purchased health insurance through Obamacare and their premiums are high and they both have to meet a $12,000 deductible each year. If something happens to both of them at the same time, such as a car accident, they will have to shell out $24,000 before their coverage kicks in. What's the point of having a policy that's going to cost you that much?
Yup - politicians are here to make our lives better. Just ask them. They all seem to know what's best for us. That must be why we as a people keep voting for the same ones every election...!