Tuesday, April 15, 2003

April 15, the day we pay for all our so-called freedoms

Happy income tax day.

It's also the 138th anniversary of the day Abe Lincoln died. You know, 'Honest Abe.'

And 91 years ago today the Titanic sunk.

What do all those things have to do with one another?

Absolutely nothing.

But it illustrates that April 15 isn't neccessarily the best of days.

I mean, one of the songs topping the charts 40 years ago today was "The End of the World," by Skeeter Davis -- almost fitting if you ask me.

I know, you didn't.

But I digress.

This country was founded on freedoms. And for those freedoms, we pay taxes, which pay the salaries of those men and women who protect those freedoms.

I'm using a double tipped pen here, becuase I'm talking about our military and our politicrat at the same time. They both serve us in different ways. (Look up serve in the dictionary).

Most of the politicrats who end up serving us forget all about the freedoms once they get to their destination, be it City Hall, the Statehouse or the White House.

But one woman I have had the pleasure of talking with over the past few weeks hasn't forgotten the meaning of freedom. (Did you keep that dictionary handy?)

Meet Sandra Lee Wirth, a Republican Assemblywoman from Elma.

She is the only local representative who voted against the smoking ban which is expected to go into effect in July.

And she told me a few weeks ago that smoking in restaurants wouldn't be the only right to be trampled.

She jokingly said that her colleagues would next come up with a law that outlawed fatty foods -- for our own good, mind you.

And then she saw that one of her colleagues was genuinely considering something of that nature due to a lawsuit against McDonalds in which the defendant claims that he didn't know that eating McDonalds day in and day out was bad for you.

When she heard about the lawsuit and the potential ramifications of it, she called me to have a good laugh about it.

"I mean, give me a break," she said. "Once you let pandora out of the box, you can bet the rest are going to follow suit. And here come the fat people now."

The 102 pounder wasn't making fun of fat people, but rather expressing her disbelief that any group of people (smokers, those who are overweight) could have their rights trampled becuase it makes her colleagues feel good about them selves.

Not passing a budget on time in 19 years makes you long for accomplishments to point to, I guess.

Anyway, Wirth marveled at the fact that instead of working on that budget that we've discussed time and time again, they're out peeling back our rights.

So I tested her.

What about the cell phone ban?

She voted against it.

And where were you when we were told we had to wear seat belts for our own good?

"I wasn't a legislator. I was nothing more than a happy little mother and wife," she said.

But not happy about the new law.

"I was livid," she said. "I literally cut them out of my 79 ford thunderbird."

Now she wears it, of course, but wishes you didn't have to.

"I think if I had the chance, I would like to let people have the right to make their own choices," she said. "If you make a bad decision, it's your fault."

In other words, you have the right to remain stupid.

I agree Sandra Lee.

And thanks for sticking up for us.