Every state in the union has decided that you must 21 years of age to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages. How did this event unanimously occur amongst 50 states that have some substantial differences in their laws? As I understand it, the federal government decreed that if any state’s legal drinking age was below 21, that state would not receive any federal funding for its highways. Federal coercion and extortion!
Here’s what you can do at age 18:
You are expected to vote for your elected officials, and from an American national perspective, vote for a President who can wage nuclear war upon the planet.
You can join the military armed forces and by doing so, be committed to accepting orders that will result in your death, under penalty of court martial.
You can you enter into legally binding contracts and loans.
But you are not considered by American society to be responsible enough to buy a six-pack of beer.
At the time that I tuned 18, I could legally purchase alcoholic beverages in the state of New York. Moving forward a couple of years, I am 20 years old, a few months away from my 21st birthday. I am in the State of California where the drinking age was then 21, as it now is on a national basis. I am in the United States Air Force. I am married. I have a child. I vote. I can’t buy a beer. This could not seem more ridiculous to me at that time and it still feels completely ridiculous to me now.
So, if I were 18 years old today, I would really be pissed. I think it is illogical.
Ponder this and then Please, Seriously:
Don’t let a kid be legally obligated to die in military service if he/she is not responsible enough to buy a beer. Don’t let a kid be legally obligated to a contract if he/she is not responsible enough to buy a beer. Don’t let a kid vote if he/she is not responsible enough to buy a beer.
Let’s get it right, one way or the other. Few things seem simpler to me, one way or the other.
There is no greater priority; Energy Independence is my Number One issue. Actually, now that I think of it, Energy Abundance would be even better. We could trade our surplus energy to a world in fast growing need of it. Trade balances would quickly swing our way for a long overdue change.
And let me give you my point of view straight-up: Energy self-sufficiency is more important to me today than clean emissions. I’m willing to gamble that if we can develop the technology to become energy independent, we will have no trouble developing the proper ecology cleansing technology as well.
Note also that I strongly believe that we should be a good neighbor on the planet that we inhabit. I hope it won’t be too long before we all readily agree that throwing pollutants into the planet is just as dumb as throwing waste on the streets where we live.
Nietzsche said, “From chaos comes order,” which I consider a semi-no-brainer. I would counter it with, “From chaos comes profit.” One person’s waste may profitably be another person’s living.
Lack of geographical frontiers can be potentially deeply vexing to our species – this is really the first time in recorded history that there are no more readily available lands to explore and inhabit. So we must change our focus to other frontiers. This may be the most wonderful time in our history to be American.
T. Boone Pickens is sure behaving like an American! And I’m glad that he is fundamentally a cowboy, whether he is right or wrong. Let’s bring on more Yankee Ingenuity.
President Kennedy boldly asserted in the early 60’s that we would land a man on the moon before 1970 – a goal that was pretty far fetched at the time. The nation became properly challenged and powerfully motivated. We did it.
Lincoln asserted, “No man stands still, he either moves ahead or falls behind.” I believe Honest Abe was correct in that observation. So it is true with nations.
In conclusion, I do not suggest the foregoing to push for an isolationist future; I just think that we should not be dependent upon other earthlings.
I’ve been suspicious about the sage financial advice provided by the media, especially from people that yell a lot. The Daily Show’s segment (above) confirms my cynicism.
I am amazed that the media, and the government as well, can so easily get away with such abuse of fiduciary responsibility. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem that the American people really care about it either…Could there be a connection?
I’ve mentioned the general info about streaking in the 70’s in a previous post. I also mentioned in that post that I streaked a time or two and it did have some unintended consequences:
It was a Sunday night back in 1974. Ernie and I were bored. We decided to streak the local 7-11 type gas station. We did. All going according to plan when in the midst of our “ass-cape,” Officer Timothy Onions decided to pull in to buy a pack of smokes. He came straight at us (he actually accelerated) in his car.
Ernie went one way, I went the other. Officer Onions followed me. I got to the back corner of the property and lo to my wonder and surprise was a six foot fence with spikes! Great development: Officer Onions running at me and the Wall of China in front of me. I jumped like it was the Olympics. That fence could have been ten feet high – I was one motivated jumper.
Ran through backyards to get to the car. Ernie had already made it and was leaning sidewise on the seat to avoid detection. I hopped into the driver’s seat and slid down as well. We were the news of the moment and we must have had half of the force looking to bring us to justice. And let me tell you, bring us to justice they did.
We had a good visual of the cars in pursuit, so any time one was headed towards us; we just slid down so that our car looked unoccupied. It was brilliant and we were sure that we had beaten The Man. But things can take a twist. The police, it seemed, had given up the chase, but then one last car came by. As we slid down into safety my foot hit the brake, thereby igniting the brake lights and furthermore giving the police officer the easiest arrest of his career.
It could have ended there, but it didn’t. I had to go to court. Because I was seventeen, I had to be accompanied by a parent. Mom, in all her unhappy glory, was there by my side. The judge read the charges, slid down his glasses a bit, then read some more. He looked up and asked, “Mr. Law, in attempting to avoid arrest, you ran through some backyards. Did you know that one of those was My backyard?” I said, “No.”
Of course, I hoped that this would make him unable to render judgment upon me and maybe it would all go away. He went on, “You know, my daughter’s bedroom window faces the backyard. Do you think that I want my daughter, looking out her window, to see you go running by without clothes?”
I sensed where he was going with this and replied, “I will never run naked in front of your daughter’s window again.” OK, so now it’s clear that this guy is going to render judgment whether he should or not…
I was found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct and had to pay a fine, it being my first offense.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about…I’m here to talk about becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
After passing the grueling 19½ hour test and doing my years of apprenticeship time, it was time for me to become officially certified. The application was going along fine until I hit the question, “Have you ever been convicted of any crime? If so, provide the details.”
Paranoia and fear struck me immediately. I mean, I’m asking the State Board of Accountancy to license me to its highest standards of accounting. Streaking and Accounting are two very different things.
My lawyer advised me that if I was honest and provided the details it would be much better than if I forgot that I had been convicted.
So like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, when, in the midst of serious criminals at the Army Entrance Board, he has to confess to being a litterbug, I had to confess to the New York State Board that I had indeed been arrested for running around naked outside. Arlo, to his credit, didn’t get into the army, but for better or worse, I did get to be a CPA.
P.S. I never did run naked by the judge’s daughter’s window again, but that did not end my streaking career either…
Other than as a small child, have you ever run around naked outside? Well back when I was a teenager people did and it was called Streaking. The object was to run naked in a public place for a brief period of time and not get arrested.
It could be done solo. It could be done in group. Males did, so did females.
The craze happened at the very tail end of the Hippie Movement and though I rationalize that its meaning was an act of civil protest to society’s standards, it probably was just a fun, weird, quirky thing to do.
Nobody died from it, I am not aware of any innocent citizen being scarred for life, nor was it obviously addictive.
Having “Streaked” once or twice myself, I will say that it was exhilarating and I am glad that I experienced it. If you haven’t done so yet, my advice is to give it a try. You will be the better for it.
Of course, in my case, it did have some unintended consequences that I will discuss in greater detail in a post on this topic coming soon.