CLOVIS -- I recently decided to visit the country whose President Ronald Reagan once called Soviet Russia, the "Evil Empire."
Leaving Moscow by air, my plane was scheduled to land in Chicago. Instead, we ended up at the Detroit terminal. I know geography is not Americans' strong point but to mistake Detroit with Kosovo is a little too much. And if it wasn't NATO that bombed Detroit, who did?
I left for Chicago. Once there the militiamen from Illinois State Police blessed me with $25 ticket for not wearing a seat belt while being stuck in the rush hour traffic that lasts about all day long!
At the courtroom about 90 out of the 100 or so traffic violators had seat-belt tickets! The judge, unlike our judges back home, was very polite and helpful. Told me to pay $25 fine or appeal and pay $25 fine plus some court costs! Forget the Internet, the seat-belt is the fastest growing industry here! I didn't appeal, I just took the first flight out to Orlando, Florida.
Imagine my surprise when the flight attendants told me that I cannot smoke do to federal regulations.I thought only in the Soviet Union government regulations apply. I got of the plane impressed by the service (Southwest Airlines) and went to meet the one American I trully admire: Mickey Mouse.The imperialists at the gate charged me everything I got so next time I'm down there I'll get a home equity loan first, just to make sure I have enough currency.
Leaving Orlando, on the highway about 3.5 miles away from the airport other imperialists charged me 50 cents toll. Stupid me, I thought I already paid the toll when I bought the heavily-taxed gasoline.Then about a mile later on the same beautiful highway, another toll!75 cents! Now that's evil! Jeb Bush should replace the miles system with the metric system and will collect even more and faster than those guys in Illinois with the seat-belt scam.
I ended up in New York City just in time for the 55 cents tax on the cigarettes. In a capitalist society, wasn't it supposed to be the market that sets the prices, not the government? Out of money I went to get a job as a security guard and surprise again: I was told I have to join a union! Well, of course I was given a choice -- sign this enrollment form or go somewhere else. I signed the paper and went to my post in a fast-food restaurant. Now I know why Stalin was against Mc'Donalds -- not enough security guards to keep an eye on the ketch-up.
On a break I picked up your Clovis Free Press and I read on the Front Page that Vice President candidate AL Gore is calling for hate-crime prosecution for those four white New-York cops and that black man from Pennsylvania because it seems that these people are racists. Wow! Since being a racist is a mental process I didn't expect front page articles about prosecution like in the motherland where one was punished if one had wrong type of thoughts.
What happened with those Constitution amendments of yours so often brought up when your crooks visited our crooks, in Kremlin? You wanted the Russians to be allowed to think freely yet you call for prosecution of Americans that do just that? Charge them for what they did not what they thought. And one last question to the winners of the Cold War. Why? Why did you spent all those money to defeat us only to became us later?
[Editor's Note: Like Johnathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels Vladimir finds, upon arrival in the U.S., he is granted only limited freedom in a complicated and absurd social system that rewards appearance over substance, inefficiency, red-tape and a confusion of laws over personal integrity and freedom. He is completely befuddled at the end of his travels and apparently believes Americans have a very big government and very little liberty, after all. George Lemieux, the writer of this satirical column may be contacted at his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org of Chicago, Ill.]
Letter to the Editor
©2000 Clovis Free Press. All rights reserved.