Our right to Endanger other people

While most people may not be able to quote the precise   wording of the Bill of Rights, they will still be able to tell you what rights they have..

Some of these rights have been limited, for reasons of safety, such as the Supreme Court having ruled that you may NOT yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater if there is NO FIRE.  You may have the right, with permit, to carry a concealed weapon, though most states will prohibit the carrying of weapons in certain locations…  and example is if I have a Concealed Weapons Permit that does not mean that I can carry it through the Airport.

Some people seem to think that their rights are more valuable than yours.  An example of this would be the guy who complained to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that, while he was sitting on his Harley and listening to his music, he was given a ticket for a noise violation.  I can almost sympathize with the man…    Imagine how loud your music would have to be, if you were sitting on a Harley, for you to hear it over the engine noise.  So what if those people in their cars can not hear their radios over the sound of your radio, you have YOUR rights!

Some years ago, when I was still working Security I had a young co-worker tell me about an experience he had.  He was driving his Camero on US-41 when he happened to notice a white colored vehicle behind him with rotating red and blue lights.  Once he noticed the lights he started to pay attention, and heard the faint sound of a siren.   It wasn’t even a patrol vehicle, it was one of those support, or supervisor units.   Once the kid was pulled over   the Deputy explained that the sound from his speakers was drowning out the sound of the officers radio INSIDE his vehicle.  The Deputy had planned to just pull him over and give him a warning.  But once it became clear that the kid could not hear the siren blast the Deputy turned on the whole shebang and then had to follow the kid for at least a mile with lights and siren before the kid noticed him there…  He got a ticket.    There are plenty of times when, as your are driving, you must be able to hear what is going on around you in traffic.  Times when sounds from outside your vehicle could warn you of danger, such as a siren of an emergency vehicle trying to pass through an intersection.   Who wants their first warning sign to be when they look up to see that big red truck getting ready to T-bone their car?

There are too many danger in life as it is.  Lets look at people who text on the phones while driving.  Think about how quickly traffic conditions can change, and then think about looking at your phone as you punch in you text message.  Consider how much of you concentration is focused on that text message rather then where you are going, and you can understand why pedestrians have walked out in front of traffic and become roadkill.  One of the laws that Nancy Detert, of Florida, has been trying to get passed for several years is a ban on textting while behind the wheel.  In the 1970s, when the Sarasota Country Sheriffs Department was getting the computer units installed the their patrol units, the state had to exempt Law Enforcement vehicles from a law that said a video monitor, or TV, would not be positioned in a vehicle so that it could be seen by the driver.  This was so that the driver would not divert his attention away from what he was doing, which was driving.

Most people will willingly refrain from activities that lessen their concentration, but others will insist their rights are more important and so will continue with this unsafe conduct.  These are the people for which we write laws.  Some people can use common sense, and others must follow laws.

So we need to be behind Nancy Detert and Senate Bill 416 to let out legislator know that if they can not do the right thing, then they should go home for good.

Thank you,

That Joe Guy.


While thy talk about a Balanced Budget

Politician a scary sight.

While the candidates talk about things like a bananced budget, what goes through your mind?

For me it is a wonder that anyone believe they would do it.  When the Supreme Court decided that Corporation had the right of free speech I think it is a wonder that they did not also give them the right to vote.  Right now they seem to have the right, one we don’t have, to BUY the vote.  Most of us can not afford to put  that kind of money into our candidate.

Why do I put that little gem in there?  Well, look at it this way.  I would seem that the one with the most money, and best attack ads, wins.  Most politicians know that a company will only give money to the one who is in the best position to help their interest.  This company can even hide it behind a PAC to make it harder to determine which politician owes his soul to which interest.

Any politician, even one who is trying to do what he thinks is right, must understand that if he wants to stay in the office, or even get into one, he has to make himself attractive to the people with the money.  One of the common forms of this was the earmark where they slip an extra into a bill that adds money for a local project, which would be a plus for some interest.  The could even appoint a representative of that interest to a board, of some kind, that helps to govern the interest.

Remember just after Katrina hit New Orleans?  We found out the only qualification the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency had was having been a fund raiser for Bush II?

The point is: as long as politicians can put things in the budget and not have to pay for the beyond printing more money, or selling some more IOU s {bonds} we should not expect to see a balanced budget in the near future.  Then, when the BILL pill up so that the country is underwater they will be gone, and our descendant will be screwed.

The last reason I give for this unlikely even is one of the simplest ideas there is: anything they cut our as being more then we can pay for, or not needed, is going to be someones pet cause, and that can get you put our of office.

We need to not only watch what we do with our vote but we should watch what they do with it as well.   When we hear the attack ads, or barbs cast in a debate, we should have paid enough attention to what they were doing to be able to say “thats a lie” or “thats true”.  Not because he is our candidate, or because some reporter told us it was but, because we paid attention to what they said and we knew how true it was.


The FUTURE belongs to us, we should elect people for the job not because we think they will be able to defeat the opponent.

Thank you,

That Joe Guy.



Middle East Peace? is it likely?

US Postage Stamp depicting delegates at the si...
Image via Wikipedia

With the recent fall of Mubarak in Egypt I have fallen to wondering if it is possible that Peace could break out in the middle east.

Learned people will tell us that our problem is that we do not understand other cultures.  That may be true but, does that mean that we have to pander to them?   In about 1980 to 1982 I was stationed at MacDill AFB, it was NOT called Fort MacDill, and was on a mobility team aimed to deploy to Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.  Every so often we would have exercises where we would play at going over.  This would include everything we needed to do up to the point of getting on an aircraft.  One of the things they would brief us on would be letting the ladies know that if they had dark skin they could ask to be relieved of this assignment.  The reason was that when they did deploy there they would be expected to follow the customs of the host country which included wearing the face covering like the women who live there.   It seems that, in an effort to respect local customs, our females would have to wear the scarves, even in UNIFORM, when they went off base.  That seems reasonable, to a degree, that we would respect their local customs, right?

So, how come, when they come here we still have to respect their local customs?  Makes no sense to me.

So, lets agree that there are things we don’t understand about other customs.  We shall just have to muddle along on what we do believe.

Mubarak is out of Egypt.. HU RA.  The madman of Libya seems ready to fall.. OH GOSH.

Does this mean that peace might break out in the Middle East?  Does this mean that DEMOCRACY might follow?  Those are good questions.  Democracies were not founded over night.  The American version, what we have grown accustomed to is a variation of the European idea, and was adapted to what our founders thought we needed.  They took a bunch of these ideas and put them into our constitution, a document that give legal structure to the United States of America.  This document that they finally agreed on was not the first.  First there had to be the documents that laid out the colonies, then there was OUR first document which was the Articles of Federation, then there was the U. S. Constitution.  This document was made up to replace the earlier Articles that were found to be unsuitable, due to the fact that the Federal Government could not make the states do what they did not want to do.  What we have now has been build on that idea.

How important is this?  The Constitution of the United States of America is just a document, it is the people in charge who have to follow it.  There has to be a means by which we can be sure that the rules it lays out are being followed, and we call it the Supreme Court.  This court has the responsibility for telling who is NOT going by the rules, and voiding laws that they believe are contrary to the rules established by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

What if we had not put in that third branch of government?  Picture how it could be with out some of the decisions that the Supreme Court has made over the years.  Consider what might have happened without the court telling the president that his actions were illeagal, or telling the Congress that a law was improper?

The make up of a government is very important but, a constitution is only a piece of paper and can not enforce itself.  In the 1960s, when I was in Junior High School, it was Webb Jr. H. S. in Tampa, Fl.  A history teacher by the name of Mathews explain this point to us.  He went on to say that surprisingly, one of the most freedom loving Constitutions in the world belonged to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  This is the USSR that under Josef Stalin killed millions of their own citizens, and had to build a wall around their area of influence, just to keep the citizens from escaping.  So, what was the deal there?

The deal there was that the Communist did not believe their Constitution and there was no one around to enforce it, so they just did what they wanted.

So here is where I start to get to my point…  Democracy in the west did not come about over a short period of time, it took gradual increments with many concepts added to the mix before a document like our Constitution could come to be, and still, even now, we have to keep vigilant in our efforts to keep the government honest.  We have over time become used to our rights.  How many times have you seen a movie where the American, overseas, says “I’m an American, you can’t do this to me!”  We get used to our rights, and sometimes forget that other people are NOT used to those same things.

There was an article, sometime ago, in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, in either the letters to the editor section and in the op-ed section where the writer went on about what the people in the regions were use to.  His point was that we could no expect people in that area to embrace a democracy for the simple reason that they were not used to the idea.  Look at Afghanistan or the area between Afghanistan and Pakistan and you will see TRIBAL areas.  These areas are ruled by tribal leaders who’s interest are centered around small areas.  Picture what might have happened if the 13 colonies had been made up of small tribal areas, all of whom had their own interest, and then ask them to give this up so that the power could go to some central authority that they would have little control over.  They would be a people who had not been brought up to respect the “rule of law”.  What would you get?  Most likely a middle east on our eastern shores.  It would have been much like what we see in the middle east now.  Rulers like Mummar Ghadafi, and the Mullahs of Iran have no respect for law, either their own or international, and just do what they want.  Some years ago there was a protest against Ghadafi outside the Libyan Embassy in London.  It was during the uproar with the protesters that one of the Libyan Security people shot, killing, an English Bobbie.  I am sure you remember how Iran kept the American Embassy personnel hostage for 444 days.

It would be really nice to think that Democracy and Peace will break out in the region but, if  this situation goes the way it looks, then we could be facing another Iran, or Somalia.

I hope not…  There are a lot of young people there who are in poverty situations, from a government that does not spend it’s oil wealth to better its population, much like Egypt, so we could also wind up with another Taliban type gang in power..

I guess we will just have to wait and see.