America has lost it!

 Posted by at 04:55  Uncategorized
Dec 032012
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Maybe it’s contagious!

Now that Bob is back in the saddle even if it means watching his ugly puss on video, it’s hard not to be infected by his attitude. He’s always fussing about something but his negativity got me thinking about what’s wrong with this country. How did all the American frontier virtues of independence and self-sufficiency get quashed and replaced with dependency and insecurity. I sure don’t know. I guess I was complicit along the way but I sure never dreamed that we would ever get to the wimpy state of affairs we’ve got now. Looking back I should have seen it coming but I didn’t recognize the warning signs and I certainly didn’t fuss and complain at the time when it might have made a difference. I rolled my eyes and resisted but I never dreamed how it would destroy our country’s spirit.

So what was this warning sign, you ask?

What should have waked me up to the threat and roused me to sound the warning. It seemed harmless at the time. It was only a silly issue that only an old women would care about. I couldn’t realize that this small issue would sap the independence of the American spirit and give power to the growing nanny state. And I failed to understand the siren call of dependency and cowardice.

For Gosh sakes, I hear you saying, what in the world are you rambling about? What could have been so destructive to the American spirit that you can’t stoop your bellyaching? It seemed like a small thing. It seemed innocuous enough. Only now is it obvious. Only now can we see the terrible damage to the American spirit created when we started making our kids wear helmets.

Yes those silly, totally unnecessary,  bicycle helmets.


When I was a kid, it would never have crossed my mother’s mind to make me wear a helmet. I was blissfully unaware of the potential risk from riding my tricycle or later my bicycle. The thought of falling on my head never crossed my mind. I had any number of risky experiences in my youth and even into adulthood riding bicycles. Not once, however, did I come even close to falling on my head. This morning, driving to an appointment , I saw a mother and child crossing an intersection near my house. The kid was maybe three and riding on a tricycle, probably as safe a kiddy vehicle as you can create and on this kid’s head was a helmet that would protect him from colliding with a freight train. What a damning message for that poor kid not to mention what is says about his mom but it sure tells all you need to know about how far American has fallen.

Conditioned for dependency. 

A kid, conditioned from earliest memory to safety equipment in virtually risk-free situations is likely to avoid risks as an adult. I cringe seeing such over-protective behavior but it is so much worse than just overprotective parents smothering their children’s initiative and sprint. We’ve gone and institutionalized this madness. These days the police will arrest you for child endangerment if you let your children ride bikes unprotected. Parental judgment has been overridden by police state nannyism.

And it’s all unnecessary.

I don’t see much hope for our country’s future these days. Nobody is willing to tolerate risk of any kind. And if you somehow missed the memo and take a chance, the police will step in to get you in line. What used to be the American spirit of adventure, taking risks and being responsible for your actions has been replaced with conformity, insecurity and risk-aversion more akin to life in the old Soviet Union. And to think it all started with a harmless little helmet. We’ve lost it.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  6 Responses to “America has lost it!”

  1. We don’t want any child left behind due to a head concussion.

  2. Hansi,
    And this justifies making them all wimps?

  3. Damn Ralph…I’m impressed! Anti-government rhetoric? Becoming like the USSR?

    There might…MIGHT…be hope for you yet…

  4. Bob,
    You are starting to worry me.

  5. Ok, I have another perspective on those helmets. First, I don’t like them. I would rather wear a baseball hat and go about it. If I counted how many times I fell off of my bike and hit my head a s a kid I don’t think I would even have to take my shoes off to count.

    I didn’t fall much. I didn’t hit my head, I am ok. But now, I have to wear one of those God forsaken things as an example to my kids. I haven’t ridden my bike in like 5 years and that is a big part of it.

    Yes all of my kids have helmets. They are variously decorated with flames, flowers, ladybugs, and swirls but they are essentially the same. We have the “no helmet, no ride” rule. My kids are convinced that anyone not wearing a helmet is unsafe. I only shake my undamaged head and go with it because of the wife.

    She is very jaded to the world as a result of working in the ER for years. She sees the worst damage that a human body can suffer and still survive. She doesn’t get the ones who don’t survive. But now, she has seen all of these kids with head injuries many of which could have been prevented by a helmet. She has seen some survive because of a helmet. therefore we wear helmets. I say we should teach some common sense that tells the kids to look at the road and decide if there are any cars moving toward you at a high rate of speed before sticking your puny ass bike into that road and getting run the (expletive deleted) over.

    I am a big believer in let the kid continue to do something stupid until it hurts, then they wont do it any more. if my kid is hitting himself with a hammer, the wife says no, I say let him until it hurts and then he wont do it anymore. Now I don’t want my kids hit by a car, but I think we should be teaching common sense and paying some damn attention (the kids paying attention to the world, not parents to kids, we would run for hours unsupervised and we did ok).

    Bike helmets are a band aid on a non-issue problem in a society that wont let you smack your kids in the head for running across the parking lot at WalMart without looking. Do they save lives, probably. Would as many lives be saved by people paying attention? yes. I feel another rant about cell phones coming on..

  6. Justin,
    I get it. You are just a go-along kind of guy. I was there too. Look where it got us.

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