Happy birthday America

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Today is July 4, the anniversary of our nation’s birth. In the spawn of 238 years, we went from a British colony, to the world’s only superpower.

That is, the world’s only superpower that doesn’t speak Chinese.

As much as I love my country, I often wonder how different my life would be if I lived under British rule. It wouldn’t be too bad I think. I would be able to watch even more soccer than I get to watch now, and it would be a lot easier to watch Downton Abbey as soon as new episodes are produced. I certainly wouldn’t have to go to a website with a pirate ship as its logo to get new episodes, not that I’m saying I’ve ever done that. I could just watch it on my TV like a civilized person.

Health care would certainly be a lot easier and cheaper since England has a national healthcare system. Then again, so does every other country in the industrialized free world other than the United States, so I’m not sure that is a distinction worth pointing out.

Not everything would be good as a British subject. I would probably have to pronounce the letter “Z” as “Zed” like a godless Canadian. I think I’d also have to worship Queen Elizabeth II, like the people in Beneath the Planet of the Apes worshiped their nuclear bomb. I don’t think I’d like that very much.

Romney believes Obama voters are lazy freeloaders who want everything given to them

A couple of months ago, I saw a secret video on the Internets that someone claimed was Mitt Romney speaking to some wealthy donors about the upcoming presidential election. In the video, Romney spoke about a good many things. One of the things he talked about was the 47% of the electorate who will be voting for Obama and that the reason they will be voting for him is because, basically, they are non-tax paying freeloaders who want everything given to them. In the video, he says that his job is not to worry about those people and that he’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

I assumed the video was fake. It turns out, it wasn’t. It’s real. The Mother Jones website has posted the video and the mainstream news media is reporting on it. Romney has confirmed that the video is accurate, though “not elegantly stated.”

Gee, you think?

This sounds to me to be something inflammatory Rush Limbaugh would say in hour two of his radio show to get a rise out of people, not something a man who wants to be president of the United States would say.

If Romney thinks so poorly of such a large percentage of Americans, why would he even want to be their president?

Thank God, the Oylimpics are finally over

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The XXX Summer Olympics finally and mercifully came to an end last night. It lasted over two weeks, but it began to feel like three months.

Finally, the world of sports can get back to normal. The XXX Summer Olympics were like a bad case of the stomach flu that just wouldn’t go away.

I’m tired of going to the sports section and of a website or a newspaper and having to navigate through the Olympics coverage to get to the real sports. Starting today, I wont have to do that.

My favorite athlete from the XXX Summer Olympics has got to be Leo Manzano, the winner of the silver medal in the 1500-meters final. He celebrated achieving second place by carrying not only the flag of the United States, but the flag of Mexico too. You see, Manzano was born in Mexico, but immigrated to the United States when he was just four years old and eventually became a U.S. citizen.

After the race, he posted on Twitter that he was representing two countries, the United States and Mexico. Funny, it only says USA on his chest.

Leo Manzano is my favorite athlete of the XXX Summer Olympics because he is a shining example that the participants could care less about whatever country they’re supposedly representing and care really only about themselves.

Fareed Zakaria suspended for plagiarism

Time magazine editor-at-large and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has been suspended by both Time and CNN for plagiarism. Time is suspending Zakaria for 30 days. CNN has put no expiration date on his suspension.

Zakaria stole from an essay on gun control written by Jill Lepore, published in The New Yorker on April 23.

Here is a paragraph from Lepore’s original essay:

As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.

Here is a paragraph from Zakaria’s version published in Time:

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.”

Zakaria essentially took Lepore’s words and rephrased them into something slightly different. A simple, honest mistake this was not. This was hard-core, blatant theft.

How can anyone trust anything produced by Zakaria ever again? He has permanently lost all credibility. If his suspensions don’t become permanent, it will say a lot about the credibility of Time and CNN.

Fareed Zakaria is an awful person.

Photo: Harvard Gazette

What we should be talking about a week after the Aurora, Colorado massacre

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It’s been a week since James Holmes walked into an Aurora, Colorado movie theater armed with an AR-15 and other weapons and began shooting people he didn’t know. Some have used the massacre to once again, start a discussion on gun control. Since the Constitution of the United States guarantees all Americans the right to own a military weapon with a high capacity drum magazine, it seems like a waste of time. What we should be talking about is not gun control, but healthcare.

Remember healthcare?

It would seem a good many of the victims in the theater last week didn’t have health insurance. Now, because of no fault of their own, they are looking at thousands, even millions of dollars in medical bills. Even the victims that have health insurance will be looking at medical costs not covered by their plans. Medical bills are the cause of 60% of personal bankruptcy in this country.

Many of the victims, both the insured and the uninsured, will most likely have to declare personal bankruptcy to get on with their lives financially. That is just so wrong and unjust. It’s not right and it’s not fair.

People have begun raising money for many of the victims. We shouldn’t have to do this. We should be better than this. We should have a health care system in this country that doesn’t require people to declare bankruptcy or to take financial contributions from strangers.

None of these victims did anything wrong. They simply went to a theater to watch a movie.

If it’s a constitutional right for people like James Holmes to arm himself with military weaponry, is it asking too much not to be forced into financial ruin when people like James Holmes use these weapons against you? I don’t think it is.