Only In America . . . TMCopyright © 2004 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.
ONLY IN AMERICA is a collection of short, entertaining stories - sometimes bizarre, often thought provoking - but never quite so improbable as they first appear. These little stories are simply reflections on life in a fractured America. Enjoy!
Only in America . . . do we expect equal rewards for unequal effort.
Only in America . . . do we expect equal rewards for unequal effort.
THE LATEST OFFERING . . .
Fact or Fancy TM
TO SCREEN OR NOT TO SCREEN
Let's quit groping grannies in the airports and start searching Arabs.
If the purpose of airport screening is to thwart hijackers, bombers and terrorists, then we need to stop and search every Arab/Islamic/Middle-Eastern (A/I/M) person trying to get on a plane anywhere in America.
It was A/I/M's that hijacked our planes and used them to destroy NY's twin towers and kill thousands of innocent Americans.
It was A/I/M's who attacked the USS Cole and are still bombing nightclubs and buses and killing innocent men, women and children.
It is A/I/M's who are kidnapping and beheading innocent non-combatants in Iraq.
From which anyone with the IQ of a cornflake would conclude that A/I/M's are the most likely suspects when looking for hijackers, bombers and terrorists. So that's where we should focus our attention.
"Ohmigod!" I hear the ACLU screaming. "That's ethnic profiling!"
You bet it is. And, as long as the overwhelming majority of potential terrorists belong to a single ethnic group, then that group should be singled out for extra scrutiny. If you dance in the streets and celebrate when innocents are maimed and killed by terrorist bombs, then you shouldn't be surprised when you are treated with suspicion.
Are all A/I/M's our enemies? They say not. But they blindly close ranks behind their own regardless of what atrocities they commit, and house and feed them and protect each other from the prying eyes of those looking for terrorists. We caught, tried and executed Timothy McVeigh, "one of our own"; what are A/I/M's doing to stop their radicals?
Of course, many in our own country are trying to get us to do as little as possible, usually in the name of "diversity" or "political correctness" or some other "feel good" buzzword: the FBI agent who wrote a memo warning that terrorists were training at flight schools before 9/11 was ignored by his supervisors because of concerns over racial profiling; our government has issued guidelines barring federal agents from using race or ethnicity in their routine investigations; and it was the policy before 9/11 - and some say remains the policy today - to fine airlines if they have more than two A/I/M's in secondary questioning because it's discriminatory.
With idiocy like this rampant in the land - aided by the constant exhortations from the liberal left, dysfunctional celebrities and self-important media - it's little wonder that we are "losing the war on terror."
When a mountain lion starts killing your cattle, you don't stop it by going hunting for rabbits.
STRIPPED FOR SEARCHING
Security personnel at the nation's airports will no longer have to worry about passengers carrying weapons in their pockets, explosives in their shoes or knives in their belt buckles: beginning next week all airline passengers will be required to travel naked.
"This represents the greatest advance in airline security since the invention of the metal detector," according to FAA spokesman Harry Polander. "It will make the X-ray of carry-on baggage, personal searches and long waits at the airport a thing of the past," he said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Security firms are ecstatic about the new law, because it means they will need fewer metal detectors, personal baggage fluoroscopes and inspection personnel. "We'll be able to just eyeball - if you'll pardon the pun - the passengers as they pass through the gate," said the security director of a large midwestern airport. "And the fewer machines we have, the fewer people we will need to man them. That translates to lower cost both for us and the flying public." He did add that the sight of throngs of naked travelers might cause some of the security people to be a little less attentive than normal, but opined that "we can address that problem through increased training."
But not everyone is happy with the new law: garment manufacturers, shoe companies and nudist colony directors all registered strong complaints with the government.
Gisele Minimaxi, President of The American Garment Makers Union, testified that this legislation would severely cripple the garment industry. "Most people buy new clothes to go on vacation," she said. "With this new law, the need for vacation clothes will be greatly reduced. Also, business travelers used to wear suits and business attire; now they will be able to cut way back on their wardrobes." She told Congress that "without a federal bailout, the garment industry in this country is headed for extinction under the new law."
Susan Suede, past President of the Leather Tanner's and Shoemaker's Guild, agreed. "As the garment industry goes, so goes the shoe trade," she said. "Vacationers and business travelers account for almost half of our gross income. Without them, we would have to rely almost entirely on the athletic shoe segment of the industry. And that," she warned, "could drive the price of athletic shoes through the roof."
Gordon Goodbody, President of Naked and Unclad Denizens of the Earth (NUDE), is even more pessimistic. "Nude beaches have always been tremendous tourist attractions," he said. "But who needs to travel to an exotic beach to see naked people when the airports will be full of them?" He also predicted the demise of most nudist colonies and the disappearance of the "natural life style" NUDE members have become used to.
Despite these dire warnings, proponents of the bill still feel that it is overall a good thing. "It's pretty hard to hide a weapon or bomb on a naked body," Harry Polander said. "That alone should make all of us feel a lot safer."
Links to the story collection:
|Humorous and bizarre accounts
of everyday life in America.
Ha Ha . . . stories
Serious and humorous treatments of the same subject presented side by side.
Fact or Fancy stories
|A serious look at some of today's issues.
Hmmmm . . . stories
EMAIL me with your comments . . .
If you don't look that gift horse in the mouth, the IRS might . . .
The First Amendment isn't dead by any means. It does, however, sustain some severe damage from time to time . . .
What man has decided to join in holy matrimony has become a constant source of wonder . . .
Sometimes you pay more, sometimes you get less. Usually, it's both . . .
Duct tape and Medicare make a powerful combination. Lucrative, too . . .
No matter what you do, there are always some people you can never please . . .
Fact or Fancy TM. . . because there are two sides to every story; one serious,
Absurdities abound in modern America.
Hmmm Stuff . . .
In today's politically correct America the number of sensitive subjects is almost infinite.
Some of them are addressed here.
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Homo Sapiens are supposedly complex beings, but some times they are sooooo predictable . . .
Their primary job seems to be the protection of the few from the machinations of the many. In doing so, they make the laws that shape our lives from cradle to grave . . .
THE EMPEROR'S CLOTHES
Modern America seems awash in two things: Experts who are always smugly certain that their opinions are superior to those of the hoi polloi; and Political Correctness, designed to keep us commoners from questioning or criticizing these opinions.
Fortunately, some of the great unwashed still know the difference between bombast and bologna . . .
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
This is where decisions are made that we can no longer do the things we used to do – or must now start doing things we consider distasteful.
"So long as society is founded on injustice, the function of the laws will be to defend injustice. And the more unjust they are the more respectable they will seem."
" . . . equal harassment under the law."
THE HUMAN JUNGLE
It takes all kinds of folks to make up a country like ours. With that, we get all kinds of ideas: some well thought out, some not; some intelligent, some not; some left, some right; some wacky, some not. However, freedom of speech is guaranteed to all.
THE FIX IS IN
Lots of things need fixing in America – and a lot of things don't. What usually happens is that we try to fix those things that aren't even broken, and do our best to break those that are working just fine, thank you. Occasionally, we get it right.
Movies stars, sports stars, media stars, mega models, instant celebreties of every ilk – we're used to them vying for our dollars in commercials, but that isn't enough for some. Having conquered one field – or at least a tiny piece of it – they are eager to demonstrate their expertise in all others . . .
Sports in 21st century America is a serious business at all levels - from peewees playing for parental approval to professionals playing for personal aggrandizement.
These are their stories . . .
Ha Ha Stuff . . .
There are billions of bizarre stories on planet Earth -- a large subset of which seem to occur smack dab between our shining seas.
Only a few of those billions are presented here.
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What we have here is a veritable cornucopia of little known but important knowledge. All those unanswerable questions that have puzzled philosopher's, sages, wise men, and parents through the ages will be explored here in depth. Either that, or I will try to figure out the answer to the one question that children of any age never seem to tire of: "Why?"
THE HUMAN JUNGLE
It's a big world we live in, and it's full of all kinds of things that we have to deal with -- things animal, things vegetable, and things mineral. Those that are merely vegetable or mineral are usually pretty easy to figure out, but the animal things can drive you down a rubber road -- especially if you're dealing with those human animal things.
A BETTER LIFE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Someone once said that the amount of human knowledge doubles every seven years. These days it seems more like every seven months. New gizmos appear faster than we can use up the old ones, but that doesn't mean that everything new is necessarily better.
It has been said that any destination can be reached by a thousand different roads -- some more heavily traveled than others. Here are some people who have definitely found the road less traveled.
Man is described as a tool-using and machine-building animal. This is usually said with some pride, connoting a certain cleverness, sophistication, and mastery of the natural environment. But, more often than not, the results of this human ingenuity can be more inimical to the orderly life on our native dust ball than anything Ma Nature ever dreamed up.
YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Bureaucracies move in mysterious ways -- when they move at all. Sometimes it seems like the main qualification for a life of "government service" is a daily half gainer off a three story building onto a concrete sidewalk. But, not to worry, what they do, they do for you . . .
The possible paths to riches in a capitalist society are many and varied, and it seems like new money making schemes pop up daily -- some more outré than others.
Stories that warm the cockles of your heart and showcase the human spirit at its very best. Guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, a swell of pride to your heart, or just plain rekindle your faith in homo sapiens. The chance of any of these stories being true is nonexistent.
SACRIFICE AT THE TOP
Someone once said that the only good thing about politicians is that they're not immortal. Obviously, this person hadn't been keeping track of our body politic in the nation's
THE SPORTING LIFE
Once upon a time in ancient Rome, lions and Christians and gladiators were in vogue. This was to entertain the populace and feed the lions. Today wrestling and races and all kinds of professional sports are in vogue. This is to entertain the glitterati and corporate bigwigs and feed the public coffers. The Romans probably had the better idea.
This is a very special category -- it contains all the stuff I couldn't fit in anywhere else.