The Madness Of America

There was a time when America was known for neighborliness and a good-hearted attitude towards others. I’m not sure when that time was, but I’ve heard it was so. It may still be true in some areas of the United States, but for sure, not in Obion County, Tennessee.

Only in today’s America would a fire crew stand and watch a house burn to the ground because the home owner had forgotten to pay his annual $75 “pay to spray” fee.

Pay to spray? What the hell sort of crazy phrase is that? Who’s the nerdy, simple-minded, county official responsible for that piece of intellectual articulation?

Home owner, Gene Cranick, forgot to pay the annual fee levied by his local city officials, so when his house caught fire the brigade were forced to stand and watch as it burned down.

The city officials (being as they were city officials) ordered the fire brigade not to intervene, thus causing the death of a cat, and three puppies belonging to Mister Cranick’s grandchildren.


Presumably, these city officials (being as they were city officials) would have given the same order had Mister Cranick’s wife, or three grandchildren, been trapped inside the property.

Meanwhile, to compound this strange disease, this American madness that seems to have overtaken the once good people of the United States, the lunatic broadcaster, Glenn Beck, goes on air with a crazy, convoluted, notion that the Obama Healthcare Bill is no more than a means to bring back slavery to these ex-colonies.

Beck recently attempted a lecture on the history of slavery during his Fox News program.[1] It would have been laughable except for the knowledge that most of his viewers probably believed every word. Among the many spouted inaccuracies, Beck announced that there were no slaves in America in 1640. That’s strange when you consider that by 1690, one out of every nine families in Boston owned a slave.

In fact, it’s well documented that there were black slaves in the New World as early as 1502,[2] long before any civilized government existed, let alone the law courts that Beck blames:

The President is exactly right when he said ’slaves sitting around the campfire didn’t know when slavery was going to end, but they knew that it would. And it took a long time to end slavery.’ yes it did. But it also took a long time to start slavery.

And it started small, and it started with seemingly innocent ideas. And then a little court order here, and a court order there and a little regulation here and a little more regulation there. And before we knew it, America had slavery.

It didn’t come over in a ship to begin with, as an evil slave trade. The government began to regulate things because the people needed answers and needed solutions. It started in a court room then it went to the legislatures. That’s how slavery began. And it took a long time to enslave an entire race of people, and convince another race of people that they were somehow or another, less than them. But it can be done.

I would ask you to decide, are we freeing slaves? Or are we creating slaves? That’s a question that must be answered.[3]

There’s a big difference between the US media and that of other Western nations. It’s called regulation; or, in America’s case, the lack of it.

Glen Beck would never be allowed near a microphone in Europe. Free speech is as important to Europeans as it is to Americans, but doling out large sums of money to lunatics and allowing them to spew forth their own brand of lies and falsehood to the nation is, at best, unseemly, and at worst downright dangerous.

It’s all part of the new and insidious madness of America, a nation that seems hellbent on blowing itself apart like some great egotistical supernova, until eventually it collapses in on itself and disappears into its own black hole.

[1] “PART 2 Glenn Beck: History of Slavery” Fox News, August 19th 2010

[2] “The Slave Trade” National Humanities Center

[3] “Glenn Beck Blames Evils Of Slavery On Government Regulation” Mediaite, October 4th 2010

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3 Replies to “The Madness Of America”

  1. This news story has been burning me up for the past couple of days too, RJ. I’ve been in the position of seeing our longtime home burn with all contents (and damn nearly ourselves in there too, back in 1996) due to no fault of our own, but due to negligence of the owner of an adjacent property. The brilliant firemen of Leeds (70 of ’em in all) couldn’t save it or the attached buildings, but they tried very hard for a long time.

    While Mr Cranick may not be the wisest of men, while he might even be wilfully negligent and a bit of an anarchist (I don’t know) – he did not deserve what happened. He might have deserved a huge fine or even a couple of days in the local slammer, but the loss of everything, his family memories, photographs, letters, mementos, and including living animals……no, not ever!

    As loopy and as misguided as some folk in Oklahoma seem to me to be, I cannot believe they’d have allowed this to happen anywhere in the state. But, with Beck stoking the fires, I could be badly mistaken.

    PS: the procedure at the hospital mentioned in a comment a few days ago went well for the husband, RJ. No plastic J’s in sight at the hospital nor any mention of the Baptist roots of the original hospital, other than a little room set aside to document the history of the place.

    Hospital parts we saw not unlike what we’d find in the NHS in the UK, apart from a much fancier “atrium” and some big gift shops. Actual revovery room and the room where he spent the night was quite spartan really, but adequate. Nurses, who didn’t look like nurses due to not having a specific uniform, were all very helpful and cheery, though to my eye the sloppy dress seemed all wrong. But in the case of uniforms I’m a bit old hat. I like ’em.

    The procedure itself took just 1 hour and was carried out under Medicare. Perhaps when people are treated under swish insurance plans they get swisher rooms etc. Don’t know.
    When we see hospital scenes in movies or TV dramas the rooms are all much swisher than we experienced.

    Medicare is much akin to NHS, I guess. Glad of it though – Gawd knows what this little lot would have cost. It cost husband $30,000 for his stent 10 years ago, a few months before his Medicare kicked in, and he had to re-mortgage to help pay for it.

    Anyway, he has a stiff shoulder at present but otherwise no adverse reactions, other than being restricted in use of left arm for a week to 10 days….no driving, stretching etc.

  2. WWW – nor me!

    Twilight – I agree entirely with your sentiments. No-one deserves that sort of treatment.

    I’m so glad all is well with your ‘better ‘alf’. Give him my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m so glad you weren’t subjected to a plethora of religiosity. Such times are trying enough, without a plastic crucified Jesus staring down at you from above the operating table!

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