#2. The Right to Lie
Rick Duncan was a war hero. After returning home to Colorado, wounded from a tour in Iraq, Rick made the rounds at local veterans groups and spoke out in support of returning veterans who were having a hard time readjusting to civilian life.
But Rick Duncan was also something else. Rick Duncan was Richard Strandlof, and that guy was just a shiftless drifter without so much as a day of military service to his name. His military-hero act caught the attention of the FBI, and he was eventually arrested and charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act, a 2006 law that makes lying illegal.
Which, in turn, makes professional wrestling an organized crime syndicate.
Specifically, it makes lying about being a military hero a crime. Richard Strandlof totally did that. But here's the thing, that's all he did. All of this lying wasn't a scheme to milk the government for veteran's benefits or land a sweet job with the DoD. Nope, he just did it to meet a few prominent politicians.
That's exactly the defense that Strandlof is going with. Telling a lie, his lawyers argue, isn't necessarily a crime. In a shocking development when it comes to lawsuits against the government, Strandlof actually won! Score one for free speech!
Except the prosecutors are appealing, so don't get too comfortable in your ability to lie without ramification. There's still plenty of time for the Supreme Court to make throwing on a pair of camouflage pants and telling kids you work with G.I. Joe a punishable offense.
"If I'm lying, where'd I get this beret?"
Once that happens, your right to lie about pretty much anything is on the line.
Suddenly, excluding the "Technical College" part of that degree from "Northwestern" that you list on your resume just got a whole lot riskier.
#1. The Right to Eat and Drink
Everybody's gotta eat. There's no getting around it. If you don't get some food in your stomach at some point, eventually, you're going to die. And if you don't have a soda the size of Delaware with that food, you might as well not be living.
Except New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn't so much agree with that last part, so he's trying to pass a new law that would limit soda sizes in NYC restaurants to no more than 16 ounces. He's selling the restriction as a move designed to benefit public health, citing several studies that tie smaller plate sizes to eating less food. How in the holy hell we ended up needing a study conducted to tell us that smaller plates equal less food is a discussion for another time.
The point is, Michael Bloomberg is trying to take away your right to drink more than 16 ounces of sugary delicious in one sitting. Well, he has actually explained that diners are more than welcome to order more than 16 ounces of soda at once, they just have to use more than one cup. In other words, Michael Bloomberg is a condescending dick.
But he claims his smoking ban from a few years ago has led to New Yorkers having a life expectancy that's three years longer than the average American, and that banning barrel-sized sodas will only widen that gap.
"Approximately this wide."
So cheer up, New Yorkers, Bloomberg is just trying to give you a few extra years to bitch about how the city was so much better when everyone was too fat and out of shape from drinking gallon jugs of Mountain Dew and chain-smoking cigarettes in bars to outrun all the armed robbers who used to roam the streets back before that Giulani asshole cracked down on crime.
Nice tits, dude.
The war on America's right to eat shit that's bad for us isn't confined to Big Gulps and NYC, though. Federal agents recently raided a Venice, California, food co-op as part of a massive operation involving five different government agencies. So what were they looking for? Meth? Guns? Liam Neeson's daughter?
Nope, they were there for unpasteurized goat milk. According to the government, unpasteurized milk can cause all sorts of health problems. This is an argument I could totally get behind if drinking unpasteurized milk was strongly linked to some kind of infectious disease that would bring about the zombie apocalypse should it ever be released on mankind. And I only meant that last sentence as a joke until I learned that one of the bacteria unpasteurized milk can carry is E. coli. Everyone knows E. coli is like top five on the list of bacteria most likely to someday turn us into a society of extras from a George Romero movie.
To make matters even worse, after learning about the E. coli thing, I stumbled upon this story about cafeteria workers in Pennsylvania who had to fight their school district for the right to eat food that had passed its expiration date and could therefore not be sold to children or given to homeless shelters. "Nonsense!" the cafeteria workers cried. And they won, so now they get to eat all the expired food their hopefully steel-lined stomachs can handle. Great, right?
Wrong. Because then I read a story that's literally titled "'Zombie Apocalypse' Could Get a Boost From Spoiled Food," and even though the story never mentions zombies or even bothers to explain the meaning behind that sensational headline, I'm still pretty sure we should all stop eating or the zombies will get us.
So, I guess the feds aren't wasting everyone's time and money after all.
For more from Adam, check out 7 Hilariously Failed Attempts at Politically Correct Toys and 5 Retarded Health Campaigns That Backfired (Hilariously).