infants-nowby Chris Shugart

Bear with me as I relate an incident I witnessed a couple of years ago; an important point lies at the end of this true story. I was standing in the checkout line at a Barnes & Noble bookstore when I noticed a mother pushing her two toddlers through the store in one of those tandem strollers. One child began moaning, not loudly, but persistently. I’ve raised two children, and I’m familiar with the sounds they can make to express their feelings. This wasn’t an expression of pain, hunger, tiredness, or any kind of stress that I could sense. The child almost sounded bored. The moaning continued. The mother then handed him a bag of Cheetos. Well that shut the little tyke up immediately as he dug into his tasty snack. Then the other toddler started making the exact same noise and immediately got an identical bag of Cheetos for his non-verbal effort.

I’m about to use a word I’ve never used before: infantilize. It means to treat someone as a child or in a way that denies their maturity in age or experience. It’s become the preferred tactic our government uses to manipulate the public. Worse, many citizens have consented to this manipulation. And even worse still, as a trend over time, it’s become conditioned behavior passed down from generation to generation.

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bang-gunby Chris Shugart

Every time we get a new story about another disturbed wretch shooting innocent people, the demands for increased legislation immediately follow. The most recent incident in Las Vegas that took the lives of two policemen re-energized national efforts to reduce gun violence. Sadly, the anti-gun rhetoric remains emotional and reactionary, and serves no real purpose other than to provide politicians with their own arsenal of ammunition: public posturing, finger pointing, and the shameless exploitation of tragedy to further their political agendas.
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At first I thought this was a parody. It took a couple of times to realize that this was for real. Childish, naive, and a little bit creepy. Sort of what Sesame Street might have looked like if it had been directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Singing animals urging me to enroll in Obamacare? If there’s anybody that actually takes advice from their pets, I don’t want to know them. But what most concerns me is that such people probably vote.

occupationby Chris Shugart

Totalitarian nations, dictatorships, and police states don’t happen overnight. They start out as supposedly good ideas with considerable support from the citizenry. In fact, history shows that in the beginning, despots and tyrants are often viewed as heroic protectors, benevolent rulers, welcomed with fanfare and open arms—champions of the people. But eventually, average citizens wake up one day amidst chaos and decay, look around, and ask in bewilderment, “Wha hoppin?” Of course by that time, it’s usually too late to do anything about it.

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nanny

by Chris Shugart

Freudian psychoanalysis doesn’t ordinarily figure into my vocabulary. But in this case I think “anal retentive” best describes Senator Barbara Boxer’s recent introduction of Senate Bill 2047. It’s called Protecting Children From Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act of 2014. The name says it all. When it comes to obsessive-compulsive micromanagement, the nanny-staters could fill the case loads of every therapist in Washington. And they never run out of ways to inflict their neurosis onto their victims.

Supporters of the bill are convinced that E-cigarettes are a gateway to real cigarettes. Naturally, they insist that there needs to be a new law to thwart this new health threat. Meddling bureaucrats are unable to operate any other way. All potential danger, great and small must be addressed with legislation. If they could have it their way, the world would be one big tamper-proof aspirin bottle.

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