Someone I know posted the above on Facebook, which is assumed written by Jeff Foxworthy. It's full of half-truths and outright lies. I posted a point-by-point argument against it on that person's wall and then again as my own post. I was just going to leave it on FB, but dammit, I did a lot of research to refute the points and wanted it to be part of my blog.
"If plastic water bottles are okay, but plastic bags are banned, — you might live in a nation (state) that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
Plastic bags are especially hard to keep in landfills--unlike plastic bottles, they more easily get into the soil and waterways and end up in the ocean, where they kill marine life that eats those plastic bags. Also, plastic bags are only banned in a few cities in the nation. Additionally, most people have the choice of asking for paper, or better yet, bringing their own reusable bags from home. And if more people recycled and/or didn't use plastic bottles OR bags, this wouldn't be as much of an issue.
"If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
Contrary to what people are being told right now, people who enter and remain in the country illegally are disciplined for it and always have been.
"If you have to get your parents' permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
Under most states' laws, children under the age of 18 still have to have permission or notify a parent prior to having an abortion, just like they have to have permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin at school. There are extenuating circumstances that will allow a judge to override this need for permission though.
"If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
This deals with voter registration laws that are discriminatory towards people who might have trouble registering to vote, like the elderly and poor. When we register to vote, we are mandated by state law to provide a state ID. The state then sends a voter registration card to the address provided in our voter registration. Just to receive a state ID in the state of Illinois, a person has to have AT MINIMUM two forms of identification and at most four that show a written signature, social security number, date of birth, and proof of residency. So by the time you are registered to vote in Illinois, you have shown four identifiers to the state which in turn carry over to your state voter registration. But to get that ID, you also have to pay for that ID, and some people, believe it or not, simply don't have the money to get an ID card because they are too poor to do so. Or they don't have a way to get to the DMV to get a new ID card.
In CONTRAST, when you board an airplane, cash a check, buy booze, or open an account to rent a library book or a video, you are doing those things with companies that don't have a relationship to the state government your ID is issued from, and they need to know who you are every single time. This prevents people from stealing your money or your identity.
"If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
If you need ten rounds of bullets to protect yourself, you aren't protecting yourself from a single home intruder or rapist or other violent criminal you meet on the street. You are fighting a war. It's unnecessary for a civilian to carry a weapon of war when a handgun or rifle will do.
Regarding the F-16 fighters: where is the proof that the US just GAVE those to Egypt, or anyone else. Countries buy arms from the US, OR the US "also provides some countries with grants and loans -- separate from the arms sales -- to purchase defense equipment from American manufacturers, as part of a program called Foreign Military Financing." But this nation has made a habit of ILLEGALLY giving weapons of war to foreign countries who the US was allied with at the time. Remember the 80s when Reagan was giving weapons to the Sandanistas?
"If, in the nation's largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
This is another issue that is run by city ordinance or state law, not federal law. It's also a moot point because you can still buy two 16-ounce sodas and drink them back to back, thereby increasing your blood sugar and your chance to become overweight and get Type 2 diabetes. Has anyone really had their rights violated because a city won't sell a 24-ounce soda?
"If an 80-year-old woman who is confined to a wheelchair or a three-year-old girl can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
TSA can not legally strip search people going through airport security.
They might have done it in the past, but that was highly inappropriate and a gross abuse of a person's civil rights.
Women wearing a burka or hijab are NOT exempt from TSA screenings or pat downs; in fact, many women who wear a burka or full hijab have complained that they have been patted down for two hours by TSA agents.
"If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
True. So call your Congressional representatives NOW and tell them to quit spending so much damn money on their personal interests and the military, while at the same time not touching Social Security (which you've paid into all your life, so that's YOUR money, not Congress's) or Medicare (which is how most people of retirement age have health insurance right now, and is also a program we pay into ALL our lives and is a program you deserve to have available to you). In 2015, Congress appropriated $598 Billion for military spending; the next largest discretionary spending category was "other" at $276 billion.
"If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is "cute" but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
There was a boy who was suspended for two days--that's hardly being thrown out of school--for calling his teacher cute. After the school district investigated, they found no basis for sexual harassment. The results? ""We will be sending an official letter of apology to the parents," Gaston County Schools Spokesperson Bonnie Reidy said. "Also the suspension will not count against the child and the child will receive additional instructional assistance to make up for the time out of the classroom."
School districts don't host sexual exploration and diversity classes in elementary school. Teachers can attend seminars to help them learn about gender and sexual diversity, but that wouldn't be something they would teach at the grade school level because it wouldn't be appropriate, and states mandate appropriate sex education for each age group.
"If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
It's true that people who earn $100,000 pay more in taxes than people who earn less than that, BUT if we're talking about the extremely rich, "[t]he system starts to lose its progressivity at the very highest levels: In 2015, the effective rate peaked at 29.3% for taxpayers in the $2 million-to-under-$5 million group, then fell to 28.8% for the $5 million-to-under-$10 million group and 25.9% for those making $10 million or more."
From a Washington Post article: "The average SNAP participant would be a child. The highest proportion of SNAP participants are children. Of those who aren’t -- and I think this is one of the things worth emphasizing about SNAP -- is that of those who aren’t children or on disability or retired or something like that, the majority do work. But more than half of SNAP participants are children... Medicaid discourages work: If you earn one dollar more than the cut-off, you lose all your benefits. So if you’re right at the cut-off point, maybe you say ‘I’m not going to work more hours,’ or ‘I’m not going to take a higher-paying job’ or whatever. Or the old Aid To Families with Dependent Children program -- I don’t think there’s any doubt that it discouraged people to work. But that wasn’t because the people getting the benefits are lazy -- well, I’m sure some of them were -- but generally, the disincentive was the fact that there was a huge tax rate on AFDC benefits. [Note: Under AFDC, benefits increased very slightly with higher incomes, to encourage recipients to work; but taxes on those benefits rose far faster.]"
"If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
The government doesn't forgive personal debts like that; only lenders forgive debts: "Debt forgiveness is simple in theory: a lender forgives some or all of the debt you still owe on a loan. But this undeniably appealing concept almost always comes with strings attached." When you default on your mortgage, your credit score drops, you can be sued, it can increase your tax bill, and you might have to file for bankruptcy. This has NOTHING to do with the government. NOTHING.
"If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more "safe" according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots."
Nobody is being stripped of their right to own guns or bear arms. Nobody. This would require a Constitutional amendment to a law written in the Bill of Rights, and most Congresspeople wouldn't touch that particular amendment with a ten foot pole. No President in history has advocated for stripping people of their right to bear arms, not even our Democratic Presidents.
I don't know who wrote this thing, if it was actually Jeff Foxworthy or someone else, but it is full of half-truths and outright lies. It was written to be inflammatory and fear-mongering. We have to do better than this. We have to fact check the things we read. We have to quit spreading lies because they sound good.