29 December 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship With BBC World Service

Via the miracle of Sirius Satellite Radio, I have been an on-again/off-again listener to the BBC World Service. I absolutely love a number of aspects about the BBC; the depth to which they cover stories, the focus on news from places we, U.S. Americans to quote a former Miss Teen S. Carolina, normally hear nothing of (such as Africa), the specialty football shows (soccer to you U.S. Americans), and the perspective of non-Americans on world issues.

I also like the perspective the Brits bring to social issues as it gives an insight into where the U.S. is headed unless we dramatically change our socialistic/liberal ways. Even though I like the perspective from a cultural study point of view, it still drives me crazy sometimes and I have to steer clear of the BBC for a few days. That's where the hate part of the relationship comes into play.

Allow me to give two recent examples to illustrate my point:

1) A few days ago one of the shows had a guest on who was a Brit vacationing in Mumbai a year ago when the coward terrorists attacked the hotel and killed a number of individuals. This guest survived the harrowing attack by escaping through a window via bed sheets tied together. Unfortunately, the sheets broke and the gentleman fell quite a ways onto pavement below where he broke a number of bones and is now paralyzed from the waist down. The guest was on the show because he is leading the cause (that is well supported by the Brit politicians) to have the government provide monetary compensation for his pain and suffering. Don't get me wrong, I feel for the gentleman and believe he deserves compensation, but the British government (more appropriately, taxpayer) owes the gentleman nothing. Rather, the terrorists and their supporters are the appropriate ones to pay (or, if the Brit or Indian government ceased terrorists assets and gave it to him that would be appropriate). But, this gentleman went on for ages to much sympathy from the host and callers describing why the Brit government owed him. News flash, the Brit government didn't MAKE you vacation there dude!

2) Today, the Chinese executed a Brit citizen that had been caught and convicted smuggling 9 lbs. of heroin into China and the Brits are up in arms about it for various reasons. My problem isn't that the Brits are up in arms about it, but rather the fact that I learned during the talk show that the Brits consider drug addicts as being "disabled" and compensate them as they do other, more legitimate in my opinion, physical and mental disabilities. I couldn't believe my ears. Paying for drug addicts who CHOSE to take that first hit/snort/etc. to live off of the taxpayers dime? Seriously? What incentive do they have to get off drugs?

Both of these situations, and socialism/liberalism in general, are disturbing to me on numerous fronts. The trend of society shirking the notion of personal responsibility in favor of reliance on government scares me to death. Few seem to understand that reliance on government means reliance on taxpayers. Worse yet, those that do realize it believe they are "owed" something by their fellow man and feel justified in taking their tax dollars. All of this is voluntary relinquishing freedom in favor of "stability" that really isn't stability at all but imprisonment and enslavement to those in power. Scary.

Oh, and to be fair, my comments on socialism/liberalism isn't meant solely at the Democrat party. Many Republicans are no better in that they too want us to voluntarily give up freedoms, just in a different way and at a slower pace.

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