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Originally posted by CyberKat
I can't remember when anything but water (from a drinking fountain), or a book of matches were free. Now, the drinking fountains rarely work, and the matches are rarely free.
Originally posted by CyberKatHowever, there have always been a multitude of laws that we (or our parents when we were too young) never even had an opportunity to vote on. They were just imposed.
Originally posted by CyberKat1) 21 is the "magic age" where one is responsible enough to drink alcohol, but 18 is the "magic age" where one is capable enough to take on the heavy responsibility of fighting wars, operating dangerous weapons, treading very hazardous grounds, etc.... Also, if you break the law at age 17 (in most cases), you are just a kid, don't know what you were doing, so let it go off your record in a few years. But, a year later (like all people mature at the same rate), commit the same crime, and run the risk of life in prison or the death penalty. ~ The things mentioned here, just don't add up or made sense to me ~
Originally posted by CyberKat2) Fireworks. Are they any safer in some states than others?
Originally posted by CyberKat3) Gambling. Are people more responsible in some states than others?
Originally posted by CyberKat4) G.W. Bush. I won't go into the "elected or selected" deal, but, if we really did put him in charge of our country, trust him to be a good leader, then when he has proven just the opposite, why can't we choose another leader? Now?
Originally posted by CyberKat5) The Constituition. Many people say that it can be interpreted many different ways. O.K. I will accept that. However, there are some sentences in it that read like a first grade reader. Such as the well known phrase: "All persons have the inherent right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness...." How hard can it be to interpret that! However, when good men and women get sent to fight a war (especially the current one, which is NOT noble), even though they were not technically drafted, they went willingly to die for something they believed in, something that was not true. And of course, the soldiers that were drafted into Viet Nam, had no choice, but to take their chances, and many died because they were ordered to go into treacherous areas. What about people on Death Row who have been exhonorated years later through new DNA technology, who would have otherwise been put to death by their own government for absolutely no reason? They are the lucky ones. Many have been unjustly put to death, just to close a file. None of this is allowing a citizen the inherent right to "life". Hundreds of people are arrested and jailed daily, on alleged charges. What kind of liberty is this? And as for the "pursuit of happiness", it is pretty difficult when even the most law abiding citizen probably inadvertantly breaks several laws on a daily basis, threfore, basically the entire population of America runs the risk daily of losing their liberty, if not their life. I don't think that many would percieve this constant threat as a good way to persue hapiness.
Originally posted by CyberKat6) I.D.'s. If we live in a free country, then there should be no need to have to present identification for nearly every daily thing that we do, harmessly.
Originally posted by CyberKat7) Privacy. Why are there government cameras all over the country, who knows exactly where they all are (the citizens, I mean)? If we are so free, why must we have our picture taken whenever we walk down the street, etc... as if we were criminals just for wanting to go for a walk, or shop, etc..?
Originally posted by CyberKatWe do not now, nor AFAIK have ever lived in complete freedom in the United States of America.
Originally posted by Amethyst
I think for now our freedom is just an illusion.
A lot of this stuff the government is pulling is basically a way of getting their foot in the door. A lot of people don't seem to care that the Bill of Rights is being trounced on (as long as it doesn't affect them, right?)...but it'll bite you in the rear sooner or later.
Originally posted by CyberKat
2) Fireworks. Are they any safer in some states than others?
Originally posted by CyberKat
3) Gambling. Are people more responsible in some states than others?
Does Anyone Truly Believe America To Be A Free Country ?
Originally posted by Amethyst
Want to know something that's really stupid? You can buy fireworks here in Ohio, but you can't set them off in Ohio. You have to take them out of state.
Originally posted by rhelt100
That's not so bad. Over here in Pennsylvania, we have to drive to Ohio to buy our fireworks and then drive back across the border risking getting pulled over. From what I hear, most cops simply confiscate the fireworks and send you on your way, but fines are possible. Then, when we set them off, we have to worry about neighbors calling the cops.
Anything other than sparklers, spinners, & cap guns require a permit here
Originally posted by The_Camel
Im a foreigner living in the US. Ive lived in UK, France, Hong Kong, Singapore the Middle East and Australasia. Ive been in the US three years now ...... and this is the most un-democratic country Ive lived in...... Ever!!. Compared to many other Western Countries, there are no real Freedoms here. I can't say what I want .... cant go where I want ...... I have to pay for services that I expect as a RIGHT in other countries.
Land of the Free? Ha ..... yeah compared to China or Iran maybe ..... But you Yanks have a long way to go to truely be free. With or without the Constitution ..... you dont have it as good as you really think.
For your answer ..... look beyond your Borders ...... Stop looking within
Originally posted by shantyman
I don't mean to sound rude, but if the United States is so crappy, why don't you stop insulting your hosts and going back to one of those more 'democratic' nations you were talking about. While you're at it, why not stop off in Northern Ireland and ask the Catholics there how democratic the think the government is?
Originally posted by kedfr
If someone who lives in the US cannot criticise certain aspects of US society and culture without encountering the response of 'if you don't like it here then get out' then the right to free speech becomes an illusion.
There is no totally 'free' country.
The UN has put forth 25 international instruments (covenants and conventions) dealing with human rights issues since promulgating the Universal Declaration in 1948. The US has ratified 10 of them. In contrast, Canada and the UK, for instance, have ratified 17; Italy, France, Sweden, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand have ratified 18; 20 for Denmark, and Germany has ratified 23 of the 25.
The record becomes more deplorable when we look at the contents of those 25 instruments. Alone among all of the countries listed above, the US has not ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, drawn from the Universal Declaration (which was described by former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick as "A Letter to Santa Claus").
Among others, the US has also not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others; Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; and the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families. And while the US has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we have not ratified it-the only one of the 192 member states of the UN not to do so.
This sorry record on human rights legal thinking does not improve when we turn to the UN covenants and conventions the US has ratified; on the contrary, it gets worse. Consider the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, first promulgated in 1966 (but not ratified by the US until 1992). In order to make the Covenant effective, an Optional Protocol was promulgated at the same time, signatories to which agreed to the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee to hear charges of Covenant violations brought by a member state or individual. Article I of the Optional Protocol closes with the following:
No communication shall be received by The Committee if it concerns a Party to the Covenant which is not a party to the present Protocol.
Of the 140 signatories to the Covenant, 93 have also ratified the Optional Protocol; guess which major nation is not among them. Thus, even though the US has ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, no charges of violations thereof can be brought before the UN unless the US agrees to it; it is equally easy to guess how often that agreement will be forthcoming. (A moral and rational person might now ask why we even bothered to ratify the Covenant if we had no intention of ratifying the Optional Protocol. Two reasons: for propaganda effect, and the fact that all and only Covenant signatories are eligible for seats on the Human Rights Committee.)
In effect, then, the US has signed on to 9, not 10, of the 25 UN international instruments, but in legal fact has actually signed on to virtually none. Every instrument ratified by the US has been accompanied by caveats: in legal parlance, "reservations, understandings, and declarations"--RUDs. All signatories to UN Human Rights instruments enter RUDs on occasion, but they are not like those entered by the US.