Uncle Sam


Uncle Sam. Sometimes I think of him as tío Samuel. Uncle Sam protects us from ourselves for our own good. By Uncle Sam I mean the federal government that so much control over our lives that sometimes it downright scary. For the most part, federal laws protect us and maintain civic order in our country. Uncle Sam intervenes so much in our daily life, but the average citizen is unaware just how much.

You’re probably wondering how Uncle Sam entered into your home without your knowledge. Food products are regulated as far as what ingredients are allowed and how foods may or may not be prepared. In a perfect world, this system works perfectly. However, government inspections aren’t as thorough as they should be. Food must be packaged safely for the consumer. Manufacturers must seal all food products to prevent them from getting contaminated from dirt, disease, etc. If they use a sealant of any kind, it must be made from edible ingredients just in case it gets into the product accidently or a consumer accdentally eats it. It’s a federal law. Just think of those candy wrappers when you open them and you see the glue stretching. If a small child ate that glue, he or she wouldn’t suffer any harmful efffects thanks to Uncle Sam. And back in the old days, before e-mail, when we used to lick postage stamps, Uncle Sam mandated that the glue on the back of the stamps be made from edible and nutritious ingredients! Thank you, Uncle Sam. For some people, that was the most nutritious item of their daily diet. Let’s not forget that letter that we used to write on actual paper with actual ink. Well, Uncle Sam also regulated those items. All pens manufactured in the U.S. have chemical markers in their ink in order to determine the year of their manufacture. If you use fancy stationary with a watermark, the watermark contains identifying marks that also determine the year of its manufacture. Why? So Uncle Sam can protect us. Suppose someone wrote a will. The ink and stationary would determine with some degree of certainty the year that it was written. So if someone found the will, say an heir, and he didn’t like the fact that he didn’t inherit the entire estate, he could rewrite the will on new stationary, but the chemical markers in the new ink and the identifying marks on the stationary would immediately reveal the fraud. There are thousands of other federal laws on the books that help Uncle Sam in his mission to protect us from ourselves.

Look at any electrical appliance in your home. All electrical appliances must be labelel, by federal law, to indicate power source and and at least one federal government agency will be listed also, e.g. FCC on telephones. Let me see. Let me find an electrical appliance in my own home. Okay, how about that wonderful labor-saving device (that really didn’t need to invented), the electric can opener. Well, it lists the manufacturer’s information and toll-free telephone numbers for their offices in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (Thanks to NAFTA). However, this can opener is MADE IN CHINA. Also listed is the power requirement: 120V ~ 60Hz. Why does it have to 120 volts? Why does it have to be 60 Hertz? Because it’s a federal law. Uncle Sam is protecting us and regulating us with this law. This way the electricity is uniform throughout the country. Because of this law mandated by Uncle Sam, it’s also uniform throughout Mexico and Canada. That means you safely plug in any electrical appliance, even if it’s made in China, anywhere in NAFTA-land and you will not be seriously injured. Okay, we don’t want too much voltage so we don’t fry ourselves, but why, you ask, 60 Hertz? This is where Uncle Sam gets a little sneaky. The electricity that is wired into our homes is AC, or alternating current, that alternates at the frequency of 60 Hertz. Everywhere in the U.S. and NAFTA-land.

But what is the significance of 60 Hertz? Think about the number 60 for a moment. Does it ring a bell? It’s a nice round number. Well, there just happens to be 60 seconds per minute and 60 minutes per hour. Uncle Sam insists that our electricity alternate at 60 Hertz so we can plug in electric clocks and they will tell us the time fairly accurately. Uncle Sam maintains civic order by making the correct time available to everyone so we can all get to school, work, etc. on time. They also give us more hours of daylight by adjusting our clocks twice a year with Daylight Saving Time. It’s a federal law! And everyone follows Uncle Sam’s schedule because if we didn’t, we would be an hour early for everything from springtime and all the way through the fall when the clocks are turned back to their “real” time. As you can see, Uncle Sam controls many aspects of our daily lives.

There is also a computer chip in your car that records various statistics about your driving habits. The auto manufacturers will tell you that’s for maintenance purposes. If you take your car to the dealer, they plug it into a computer that prints out a complete diagnosis of all mechanical problems. However, suppose you get into an accident, your mileage and velocity are recorded by this computer chip with an extremely accurate timeline. I read in the newspaper about an accident that occurred near my house. It was a hit and run accident in which a pedestrian was killed as he attempted to cross the street at a stop sign. It a few days, but he offender was finally apprehended. It turned out that he was a police officer who immediately made out a false police report that his car was stolen. Well, his girlfriend turned him in because she felt bad for the dead teenage boy and his family. In his defense, the driver stated that he was driving 30 MPH, the speed limit. However, the crime scene indicated otherwise. Well, they investigated the onboard computer chip and discovered that he was driving well over the speed limit, about 70 MPH. I suppose this was a good use of the computer chip, but what if the government is using it to track our every movement?

Uncle Sam supports all these laws with our tax dollars. And we all pay our taxes religiously because we don’t want to risk being convicted and confined in a federal prison for income tax evasion. You can get away with a lot of crimes, including murder, in this country, but just don’t pay your taxes and see what happens. Just think of Al Capone. This how Uncle Sam controls us. Uncle Sam also controls a lot of countries in international politics. If he doesn’t like your political leadership style, he’ll just take you out, e.g. Saddam Hussain.

Uncle Sam controls many aspects of our daily lives in our homes and in the national and international arenas. They also control immigration, legal and illegal. That’s right, illegal immigration, and from almost all countries on Earth, not just Mexico. Why doesn’t Uncle Sam do something about this rampant illegal immigration? Oh, yes, there are the immigration stings that you see in the news where they round up a few hundred illegal immigrants that are nothing more than political posturing. Most people assume that only Mexicans were rounded up in these stings, but other illegal immigrants were also arrested, such Ukrainians, Poles, Chinese. Uncle Sam has so much power, not just over us, but over many of the world’s countries that he could easily stop practically all illegal immigration at all our borders and international airports. Uncle Sam uses its military might to take over countries with tens of millions of inhabitants, but he can’t stop a few hundred thousand illegal immigrants per year entering the USA? Why is this? Well, because the American economy would collapse without illegal immigrants who work at less than minimum wages. How many American citizens would work these back-breaking agricultural and factory jobs? American jobs would go south to Mexico or, worse yet, overseas. So Uncle Sam turns a blind eye in order to prop up the American economy. In fact, every so often, Uncle Sam grants amnesty to illegal immigrants by the millions, indirectly condoning and rewarding illegal immigration.

Uncle Sam wants you!

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David Diego Rodríguez, Ph.D.

I write about whatever comes to mind. También enseño español y escribo acerca de los mexicanos y la enseñanza del español.

One thought on “Uncle Sam

  1. Hi Dr. D. You are so right! As a matter of fact, many jobs that could be easily feeding American families have already been shipped to India and other on the other side of the world. I wonder if people pay attention when they contact the customer service of AT&T, Ameritech, and some other cell phone companies, or white line products’ customer service. Many of those companies bring people from India, Pakistan and other countries on the other side of the world to receive training here in northern Illinois and then give them jobs answering phones and providing customer service from their countries of origin, paying them very competitive salaries (compared to what people earn on those countries) and still a tiny fraction of the minimum salary for a worker in U.S. Then we wonder why there are so many families back on food stamps…Ops I am sorry, I meant Link Card. Sad for people living in the same continent, isn’t? But it is true. Take care 🙂

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