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Resolve to risk

December 31, 2011

[22nd J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense, my weekly oratorial exposition on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM Reno.]

There was a news story this week that broke my heart. There’s a town in Pennsylvania named Beaver Borough that banned sledding in one of its two parks this winter, and requires kids to wear helmets in the other park.

Helmets for sledding? Are you kidding me? Is this really the world we want?

Every day there’s another story about the government tightening the screws on us, trying to make sure we’re “safe.” Or at least that’s the excuse they use. I think it’s more about the lust for control and power that attracts these people to government in the first place. Because of that lust we end up with helmet requirements and cellphone bans for drivers and gun control laws and those ridiculous 15 mile-per-hour speed limits in so-called “school zones” and every other ridiculous government attempt to make people “safe.”

The town manager for Beaver Borough was so earnest and so emotionless explaining the sledding ban, I thought for a second the Borg had conquered Pennsylvania:
“If the sled riders were to lose control or were unable to get off their sled, they could potentially go over the hill into the woods... and get injured, fatally injured.”
I don’t know about the “fatally” part, Mrs. Manager, but going over the hill into the woods? YES! THAT’S THE EXCITING PART, YOU DUMMY!

Here in Nevada, today is the last day of cellphone freedom. Starting tomorrow, we’ll pay a fine for using a cellphone in our car, even if we’re stopped at a stoplight talking to our wife about what she wants from the grocery store. "Sorry, buddy, you can’t do that. It’s dangerous!"

It’s not really dangerous at all, which statistics prove over and over again when cellphone bans fail to have any effect on accident rates, but hey, at least those assemblycritters in Carson City got a chance to satisfy their lust.

Next door in California, where the Borg really have taken over, things are worse. Starting tomorrow, January 1, teenagers can no longer use tanning beds or buy cough medicine, children have to use car seats until they’re eight years old, shoppers can no longer buy alcohol in the self-check lanes, public schools have to include history lessons about gay, bisexual, and transgendered people, carrying an unloaded handgun is prohibited, young adults can stay in foster care until they’re 21, and twelve-year-olds can make their own decision to be vaccinated against genital warts.

That last one is because the Borg was confident they know better than parents how to protect the hive.

I don’t know why California made eight the cutoff age for car seats – why not keep everybody in car seats until sixty five, when they retire and Medicare starts using Obamacare’s death panel to usher them into the grave? Wouldn’t that be most efficient?

Remember the Bruce Willis movie Surrogates, where people stayed at home warm and safe and let robots go outside and do everything? Or the Keanu Reeves Matrix trilogy, where everybody was kept unconscious, hooked up to IV’s, and they only thought they were having a life? That’s where we’re headed – a world where we only think we have a life.

If I have one wish for the New Year, it’s that people will stop trying to achieve some silly, government-defined, non-existent state of safety, and instead choose to risk something once in a while, doggone it. So how about a New Year’s resolution, people? Let’s resolve to remember that we’re alive, and God gave us free will, and blessed us with a world that brightens and thrives when we experience it. Let’s go sledding in Beaver Borough without a helmet before it’s too late.

That's... today’s dose of common sense..

"The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live." – Leo F. Buscaglia


From Reno, Nevada, USA       

January 6, 2012 - You are kind of a jerk. Don't be so close minded to others ideas, I feel sorry for you. - Mike, Hawaii
J.P. replies: Thank you, Mike, for giving me a topic for tomorrow's J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense. Listen in, because I'll be talking about you.

January 5, 2012 - Every day, our lives are at risk - We could be hit by an out of control 18 wheeler on the freeway - or while stopped for a red light - or have an airplane crash into our home - or be struck by lightning, or cancer, etc, etc, etc. My belief is that when my number comes up, then I'm gone. I came within seconds of being turned into hamburger while serving in the Navy during the Vietnam war - but it wasn't my turn, so I survived. I also survived childhood bicycle crashes, motorcycle crashes, the usual childhood diseases, pneumonia, etc, etc, etc. My cousin died at the age of eight from hitting his head when he fell in his own back yard - a totally freak accident. The point is, NO one can make us "safe". From the moment we are concieved, we start down the path towards death. What matters is to be truly ALIVE during our journey through life. The America I grew up in was all about the RIGHT of every person to PURSUE Happiness, enjoy Life and Liberty. Many of my parents' generation gave their lives to ensure that we would inherit those rights - many of our children & and children's generation have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free - yet our freedoms are being devoured at an alarming rate, not from without, but from within. Our most dangerous enemy is now firmly entrenched in our own government - not only those who were elected by the people foolish enough to listen to the " mainstream media", but even more dangerously by those appointed by the elected whores of BOTH political parties, who seem to believe that their main job is to be re-elected. (EPA, Dept of Energy, Dept of Education, etc, etc.) We are at the crossroads - either get rid of the thugs in Kongress & the White House, or become just another Cuba or Greece. - Doug R., Reno

January 4, 2012 - I couldn't agree more! Not only are our rights being taken from us, but everyone is living in a constant state of fear. Be thankful you no longer have very young children. Parents are made to feel like their own homes are virtual death traps! Babies are no longer allowed to sleep on their tummies, have stuffed animals, blankets of any kind, or bumpers in their cribs. You are lectured if they do! Oh and by the way it is illegal to sell used cribs now?? I finally reached my last straw when my daughter's former pediatrician shared that he believes strongly that the government should enforce a five-point harness system for all automobiles instead of regular seat-belts. Basically we would all be sitting in giant car-seats. How absurd!! - Samantha, Michigan

January 4, 2012 - Me Thinks Common Unsense or Senseless Common: Had a 9yo son. I loved him dearly and wish him back daily. Hit a tree head on, coma for 3 years, died. Helmets can and do save lives. Look at the stats, use yer noggin in books not against a tree, cement, moving auto! Common sense here. We pay for uncommon sense by higher insurance premiums. Bet the farm if you had a grandkid flying down a hill at trees and you Really knew what you are talking about you just might want the helmet on instead of going to the funeral!!! Shat happens to the best man. Pisses me off to see so many unresponsible adults!!! Even worse promoting the same. Well maybe its a way the thin the herd eh? Heck why not smoke in the car with yer kids and the windows rolled up? - Jon S., Michigan
J.P. replies: I can't imagine losing a child to such a tragic accident. If your story is true you have my sympathy, but it does not give you the right, moral or legal, to punish everybody else for what happened. The number of children who die sledding is vanishingly small, and those deaths are almost always caused by sliding into a street and colliding with a car. And that mostly happens when kids decide to slide down their own driveway... which actually makes the case for going to a park and risking the trees. The only study with numbers I could find was this one, in Ontario (which has more people and more snow than your state of Michigan) and during the five-year study period five people died, only two of whom were children. Both of those children slid down their driveway into the road where they were struck by cars.

January 2, 2012 - Here here! The idea that government nitwits can do a better job of keeping us safe than we can ourselves is just plain silly. - B.B., New York



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